April 15th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

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“Dominance as such is not a problem. However dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position.” So said E.U. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager as she “slapped Google with an official complaint Wednesday that accuses the Internet giant of violating fair competition rules by directing users of its Web search to the company’s own products.” The move is the latest salvo in a five year investigation. What’s interesting here is that during those five years, Google has become an almost entirely different company; one focused more on answers (directions, movie times, sports scores) than on initiating a broader search. They’re not alone. Directing users to one’s own core products has become the name of the game for many tech companies. All the big players want as much of your attention as possible; on your laptop, in your car, on your phone, in your living room, around your wrist… The portal is back. And it’s everywhere.

+ Danny Sullivan has been writing about the shift away from search for years: How Google Went From Search Engine To Content Destination.


Run-On Sentence

“That’s what gets lost. Everyone starts crying about these educators … There were thousands of children that were harmed in this thing. This is not a victimless crime that occurred in this city.” That was Judge Jerry W. Baxter of Fulton County Superior Court as he handed down some pretty shocking sentences to educators convicted of inflating students’ standardized test scores. Some of the educators were sentenced to seven years in prison.

+ A New York teacher was fired for assigning students write why they hated a classmate who they described as “ugly, annoying and a phony.”


Private Benjamins

“That’s the legacy of Blackwater — they didn’t really make the business, but they’ve symbolized it. They’ve become the hood ornaments for an industry that was for centuries pretty much illegal, and now it’s pretty much re-emerged.” The NYT’s James Risen and Matthew Rosenberg on the era in which battles are fought by private security companies that charge big bucks to wage war.


The End Zone

In a much-watched case, former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of murder and ordered to serve a life sentence in a prison that’s about a mile and a half (and a world) away from Gillette Stadium.

+ Rolling Stone: The gangster in the huddle.


International Orange is the New Black

“From A to Z, it’s just unbelievable what we’re up against and what we’re actually able to get done.” CityLab on the fascinating, never-ending job of painting the Golden Gate Bridge.

+ Speaking of bridges, here’s my short essay: I Walked the Brooklyn Bridge Without Facebook.


A Total Knickhead

“I think he has appropriately suffered. He knew this was going to be a personal transformation, and you never know what the transformation is going to bring. But you know that there’s going to be some pain involved.” That is an awfully big understatement from the sister of Dennis Doyle; the guy who decided to take a year off from work and attend every Knicks game this season. Thankfully, that painful experience is about to come to an end.

+ On the other end of the sports spectrum, the Warriors Stephen Curry hit 77 straight three-point shots during a practice on Tuesday. (Yup, we’re talking about practice.)


It’s All About Debase

Most people who commit adultery want to keep things private. But the Internet company that enables adultery is taking another crack at going public. Ashley Madison claims it’s the world second largest dating site and has 36 million members. (Of course, they’re not very loyal customers…)


To Whom It May Concern

Do intelligent people worry more? Are those who worry more intelligent? From Slate: “The adage that ignorance is bliss suggests the reverse, that knowledge involves anguish. Now it’s starting to get some scientific validation.” (These studies are probably just an excuse used by worried smart people who want to freak each other out.)


Someone Didn’t Get the Demo

In China, old neighborhoods are demolished to make way for new developments at a rapid pace. But some of those who own the old properties weren’t satisfied with the price being offered. So they stayed put as new structures rose around them. InFocus has some great photos of these so-called nail houses.


The Bottom of the News

Eight years after the screen went black. David Chase gives a shot-by-shot description of what he was going for in the Sopranos finale.

+ HBO complained about Periscope users who live-streamed Game of Thrones. That wouldn’t provide much of a viewing experience, but you can expect live-streaming (or re-streaming) of events to be a contentious — and litigious — issue moving forward.

+Vox: An illustrator drew every woman Don Draper has slept with. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with a sore arm after watching that show.

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