Browser Daily Newsletter 1209

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

Homebrew Computer Club

Walter Isaacson | Medium | 14th January 2014

Steve Jobs's biographer shares more of his work in progress about the birth of American computer culture. The 19-year-old Bill Gates encounters the Bay Area hacking community in 1975 and finds much to complain about: "As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid? Is this fair?"

Restaurant Review: The Bistro At Villard Michel Richard

Pete Wells | New York Times | 14th January 2014

Glittering hatchet job. The food at this New York Palace Hotel restaurant is so bad that you have to suspect they are doing it on purpose, a satirical take on awful hotel cooking. "Slithering around the meat was a terrifying sauce the color of jarred turkey gravy mixed with cigar ashes. If soldiers had killed Escoffier’s family in front of him and then forced him to make dinner, this is what he would have cooked" (Metered paywall)

Roger Ailes: Troublemaker

Michael Wolff | Slate | 14th January 2014

Sizzling, scornful review of Gabriel Sherman's "dour and grudging " biography of Fox News founder Ailes. The Loudest Voice in the Room is "standard magazine journalism" conducted "without access to any of the principals in the story". Sherman does not understand cable television, still less Ailes's place within it. "Ailes hasn’t divided the country. He’s chipped off his own profitable piece of it"

Interview: Anne Enright

Conan Putnam | The Believer | 14th January 2014

Mostly about writing. "It’s like getting a herd of sheep across a field. If you try to control them too much, they resist. It’s the same with a book. If you try to control it too much, the book is dead. You have to let it fall apart quite early on and let it start doing its own thing. And that takes nerve, not to panic that the book you were going to write is not the book you will have at the end of the day"

The Secret Of Modern Britain

Decca Aitkenhead | Guardian | 3rd January 2014

Conversation with Rory Stewart, politician and romantic. I'm late to it, but no matter, it's a terrific piece of talking and writing. On Britain: "We're not run by anybody. The secret of modern Britain is there is no power anywhere. The politicians think journalists have power. The journalists know they don't have any. Then they think the bankers have power. The bankers know they don't have any. None of them have any power"

Video of the day:  Cicada Princess, with Stephen Fry

Thought for the day:

"All writers overrate the impact of writing, or else they would choose another line of work" — Adam Mars-Jones

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