Friday, April 25th, 2014


The Road Warrior

It's come to this. The information superhighway race is now playing out on a terrestrial street near you. Amazon is testing out its own delivery system. "Ultimately, a delivery network could transform Amazon from an online retailer into a full-service logistics company that delivers packages for others." This move is emblematic a larger trend in which Internet companies are trying to use their software to gain an advantage offline. UPS has about a century head start. We'll see if that will be enough.

+ Re/Code: Who wins and who gets crushed by an Amazon delivery network?

+ Meanwhile, Starbucks may become a software company.


These Pipes Are Clean

"Imagine you have clogged up plumbing due to debris. Similar clogging in our blood vessels occurs due to fat and cholesterol building up over time. Our drug, we hope, will prevent [or] delay the rise in cholesterol and fat and thus prevent thickening/hardening of the blood vessel. This is like the use of Drano to clean up our plumbing at home." The Daily Beast on how scientists at Johns Hopkins may have just gotten one step closer to eliminating heart disease.


Lost Weekend Reads

"Silicon Valley is not a place where one is invited to show frailty or despondence. It is, as Nick puts it, 'the place where everybody is killing it all the time.'" Wired's Gideon Lewis-Kraus provides an excellent look into the often weird days and nights of a pair of startup co-founders in Silicon Valley. "'I have to admit, I just wonder,' one investor said. 'How special is the special sauce?'"

+ And in case you missed it a couple weeks ago, I wrote up a quick guide to how to raise $10 million for your tech startup.

+ The Atlantic: Your friendly neighborhood drug dealer.

+ Texas Monthly: "In an increasingly militarized zone along the Rio Grande, there are more border patrol agents on the ground than ever before, and more violent clashes between agents and Mexican citizens. Which raises a fundamental concern: Who will watch the watchers?"


Joe Lies When He Cries

"People lie all the time. According to the psychologist Robert Feldman, who has spent more than four decades studying the phenomenon, we lie, on average, three times during a routine ten-minute conversation with a stranger or casual acquaintance. Hardly anyone refrains from lying altogether, and some people report lying up to twelve times within that time span." And even though you think you can tell when they are lying, you really can't.


The Program

"It isn't my rape that's the problem now. The rape was nothing compared to the way my school has treated me." Buzzfeed's Katie J.M. Baker explains why, on some college campuses, rape victims don't trust the fixers that colleges hire to help them.

+ "The police did not follow the obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter." The NYT's Walt Bogdanich takes a look back at what happened (and what didn't happen) when a star FSU quarterback was accused of rape.


Fools Rush In?

"As I got up closer to the mall, I could see ... people coming out, clearly who had been shot. People with blood splattered on their faces being pushed out of this mall by other civilians in shopping carts, literally using shopping carts as gurneys and wheelchairs for people who couldn't walk." That was about the time Tyler Hicks decided to move in for a closer look. Welcome to the world of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist.


And Don’t Call Me Shirley

Is there a way that we could decrease the time it takes for passengers to board a plane and prepare for take-off? Yes. What's the way? Any other way than we do it now.

+ We worry about our phones and computers and email getting hacked. We also need to worry about our planes getting hacked. From FP: The Blue Screen of Death at 30,000 Feet.


Swimming with Sharks

The international question of the day: Would President Obama save President Vladimir Putin if he were drowning? "I used to be a pretty good swimmer. I grew up in Hawaii." (I'm not sure Putin really imagines himself as a guy who could be drowning.)

+ Why is Kim Jong-un always surrounded by people taking notes?


The Lonely Guy

Forget about the stigmas associated with dining alone. A pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam only has tables for one. And there's no WiFi. (This is the first time I've ever looked forward to taking my kids out to dinner.)


(Voyage to) The Bottom of the News

Adding to the list of related lawsuits, some former Buffalo cheerleaders are suing their NFL employers for violating several labor laws (and for repeatedly exposing them to Bills' football). As part of the complaint, we're given a rather disturbing glimpse into the General hygiene & lady body maintenance section of the cheerleaders' handbook.

+ "Bands normally choose a genre of music to play before they start writing songs. You, for some reason, chose a genre of literature: mystery." From McSweeney's: I'm sick of being blackmailed into playing bass for your band.

+ The Netflix of Coffee. Forty-five bucks for all you can drink in a month. This offer should come with a straight jacket.

+ As you undoubtedly know, today is World Penguin Day. Here are 21 facts about penguins that you might not know.