Browser Daily Newsletter 1189


Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Top Products In Two Decades

Walter Mossberg | Wall Street Journal | 17th December 2013

After 22 years as WSJ's lead tech reviewer, Mossberg signs off his last column with a list of the 12 products he thinks did most to change the world in that time. Five are from Apple. Most are fairly uncontentious — Netscape, Palm Pilot, Windows 95, Google search etc. But nice to see the Newton honoured. A more questionable inclusion is the MacBook Air, which was a stylistic innovation rather than a substantive one

Michael Bloomberg’s View From The Top

Laura Bennett | The New Republic | 17th December 2013

Great fun. Snarky account of life at Bloomberg View, the op-ed vehicle stuffed — to borrow a term from taxidermy — with big-name contributors. "The result of gathering all these heavyweights under one virtual roof has not exactly lit a fuse under the intellectual world. Instead, the output of Bloomberg View has been mostly flat—a particularly bloodless kind of centrism. The site is practically dull by mandate"

Learning About Isaiah Berlin

John Banville | New York Review Of Books | 16th December 2013

Review of Building: Letters 1960–1975, by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy and Mark Pottle. A difficult time for the world in general — Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, first oil crisis — but for Berlin, the peak of his career: "He had attained worldwide fame as a historian of ideas whose essays were read with admiration and envy both inside and outside academe; he was the confidant of presidents and statesmen"

Moonshot

Horace Dediu | Asymco | 17th December 2013

Amazon drones, Google driverless cars both smack of what Clay Christensen calls "cramming" — when companies try to leapfrog the market, but end up with flaky products, allowing smaller rivals to undermine them with cheaper, less ambitious implementations. "The most reliable method of breakthrough creation is not the moonshot but a learning process that involves steady iteration. Small but profitable wins"

38 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius

Jake Heppner | Distractify | 14th December 2013

As the last days of 2013 tick away, I am poised to declare this the funniest thing I have seen all year

Video of the day:  Coca-Cola | Life

Thought for the day:

"One shouldn't compare apples to oranges. But it's fair to say both are food" — Scott Adams

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