Browser Daily Newsletter 1194

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

Where Will We Live?

James Meek | London Review Of Books | 23rd December 2013

Britain's housing policy reaches crisis point. For more than three decades government has been encouraging people to buy houses, while constraining supply. The result is that prices have more than tripled, and the poor are getting squeezed out of the little social housing that remains. How long before the poor are forced back into the slums that public housing policies of the last century were designed to clear?

An Economist’s Christmas

Izabella Kaminska | FT Alphaville | 23rd December 2013

"Keynesians would vary the number of Christmases each year according to the state of the economy. Chicago Schoolers argue Christmas has no meaningful impact because gift-giving nets out. Fully rational individuals will anticipate this and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Secular stagnationists claim Christmas hasn’t been as much fun since the mid-1990s, but can’t really explain why. Perhaps it's the music"

The Year In Robotic Seduction

Anshuman Iddamsetty | Hazlitt | 19th December 2013

"Boston Dynamics was as much its YouTube channel as it was a robotics firm. The videos were what Boston Dynamics did best: present experimental technologies as logical conclusions. Of course we’ll have quadruped robots running faster than Usain Bolt. But there were consequences to this kind of thinking. My — our — obsession with Boston Dynamics served as a kind of military boosterism"

Into The Bitcoin Mines

Nathaniel Popper | Dealbook | 21st December 2013

Ex-HSBC banker builds world's largest Bitcoin mining operation in Iceland, where electricity is cheap. Mining has shifted from home computers to industrial-scale computer farms. Dedicated computers sell for $20,000 each. "The work the computers do is akin to guessing at a lottery number. The faster the computers run, the better chance of guessing that right number and winning valuable coins"

Video of the day:  Pictures Of The Year

Thought for the day:

"We are all geniuses when we dream"" — Emil Cioran

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