Monday, January 26th, 2015


Let’s Get Small

The Internet has made it easier for a small company to become a big company really fast. But it's also made it possible for big companies to completely wipe out entire categories of small, local businesses. Is there any hope for a small company with no aspirations of becoming an international, Internet behemoth? Yes. Small breweries are doing well, indie movies are making money, and even independent bookstores are actually on the rise. The New Yorker's Tim Wu shares a few organic, small-batch, locally sourced stats that just might surprise you: Small is Bountiful.


Snow Days

Somewhere, in small room, alone, Anderson Cooper takes a deep breath and puts on his parka. Monday night and Tuesday morning should be prime time for an east coast blizzard that has already closed schools, canceled flights, and led a Brooklyn resident with a beard, skinny jeans, and designer glasses to purchase a prepared meal that was non-artisanal. Buzzfeed is tracking the latest developments. (If you were upset when Paris got more coverage than the Boko Haram story, just wait until the snow starts falling in Manhattan.)

+ You can watch the ongoing action via the Snowcam.

+ Does it seem like there's more snow these days? Places like NYC are actually getting around the same amount, but it's being dumped across a fewer number of days.

+ Photos from New York after the blizzard (of 1888).

+ Stuck inside? Here's a little light reading on heavy snow from Longform.


This Will Make You Sick

"It can definitely come back." And what could make measles (one of the most transmissible viruses) come back? The biggest risk is people who are unvaccinated because they choose to be.

+ Wired: Why did vaccinated people get measles at Disneyland? Blame the unvaccinated. (Sensing a trend here?)


No Cigar, But Close

The idea of kids spending hours a day chatting, playing online games, and downloading movies doesn't sound too surprising. Unless you consider that it's been happening in Cuba, where almost no one has Internet access. The AP on the way "young Cubans have quietly linked thousands of computers into a hidden network that stretches miles across Havana." (In other words, you might as well just let your kid have the iPad...)


Forcefield Down

Here's yet another dent in our notion of a presidential home that's secure from any conceivable outside threat: Someone landed a drone on White House grounds. (It turned out to be a government employee who said he didn't mean to do it.)


Social Networking

"I have a fiancé, a girlfriend and two boyfriends." That's just one of the unusual relationships among people and substances found in CNN's look at Sex, Drugs and Silicon Valley.

+ People love to write negative stories about Yahoo. But it's still one of the Internet's biggest players, and perhaps more importantly, it spawned a generation of developers and business leaders that are still kicking SaaS and taking names across the entire industry. Rob Solomon explains why Yahoo is the GE of the Internet.


Don’t Call Me Daughter

"My brain clicked, my breath was stuck, and my stomach was walloped with a pang of odd familiarity. My head tilted. It took me a minute to find my voice." Buzzfeed's Lois DeSocio on the first date that changed everything.


A Round of Stories for My Friends

"A real bartender remembers you. He uses your name. A real bartender makes it seem as if he's been standing there all along, waiting for you. Ready for you. The bartender inhabits certain roles in the room: captain and commander, steward of arrival and departure, calm eye of a stormy night, willing servant of want, interpreter of need." (And as an added bonus, a bartender pours drinks.) From Chicago Mag: Consider the Bartender.

+ The Awl: Under Pressure -- New York's last seltzer man goes all in.


Getting Your Rocks Back On

Syndicated from Kottke: "Removal of items from US National Parks is illegal (or at least highly frowned upon). In the case of the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, the removal of petrified wood has come to be seen by some as unlucky. Bad Luck, Hot Rocks is a book and web site containing "conscience letters" from those who are returning stolen rocks to the park."


The Bottom of the News

BoingBoing describes what is perhaps the greatest example of reality programming: "The Peruvian TV show Harassing Your Mother performs secret makeovers on the mothers of habitual catcallers, then uses hidden cameras to record catcallers shouting sexual remarks at their own mothers, who furiously upbraid them in the middle of the busy streets of Lima." Maybe I've spent too much time around Jewish mothers, but I am expecting a sequel called "So Why Don't You Ever Catcall Anymore?".

+ There are a lot of interesting words about David Simon in this Grantland piece, but I'm most focused on these: "His new HBO miniseries..."

+ The Verge: "Politicians are supporting Comcast's TWC merger with letters ghostwritten by Comcast." (I wouldn't be surprised if even they had complaints about customer service...)

+ A few notes on grumbling.