Links For March 11, 2014

Our Comrade The Electron

Technology concentrates power. In the 90’s, it looked like the Internet might be an exception, that it could be a decentralizing, democratizing force. No one controlled it, no one designed it, it was just kind of assembling itself in an appealing, anarchic way.... But those days are gone. We’ve centralized the bejesus out of the Internet now. There’s one search engine (plus the one no one uses), one social network (plus the one no one uses), one Twitter. We use one ad network, one analytics suite. Anywhere you look online, one or two giant American companies utterly dominate the field.

Tim Cook Soundly Rejects Politics of the NCPPR, Suggests Group Sell Apple's Stock

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues. “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

Time Can Be Rewritten Final: The Day of the Doctor

Because, of course, the angst over the Time War was always angst over a fictional event. Or, perhaps more accurately, it was always angst about a real event, namely Doctor Who’s cancellation.... Fundamentally, the Time War stops being useful to the series at the precise moment that Doctor Who no longer has to be bound up in the trauma of its cancellation. This is the real message of Day of the Doctor and, subsequently, Time of the Doctor - an energetic two-fingered salute to the world on the part of a series finally owning up to the fact that it’s here to stay.

Roentgen Objects, or: a Device Larger Than the Room That Contains It

Hidden amidst drawers and sliding panels are keyholes, the proper turning of which results in other unseen drawers and deeper cabinets popping open, swinging out to reveal previously undetectable interiors. But it doesn’t stop there. Further surfaces split in half to reveal yet more trays, files, and shelves that unlatch, swivel, and slide aside to expose entire other cantilevered parts of the furniture, materializing as if from nowhere on little rails and hinges. Whole cubic feet of interior space are revealed in a flash of clacking wood flung forth on tracks and pulleys.

Laurel & Hardy - "Thicker Than Water" (1935) – Check out the crazy edits at at 9:50 and 16:00.