Browser Daily Newsletter 1321T


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

Let’s, Like, Demolish Laundry

Jessica Pressler | New York | 21st May 2014

Joyous portrait of Bay Area start-up. Washio picks up your laundry at the shake of an iPhone. The founders searched online markets for casual help and spotted high demand for personal laundry service. Über for washing was born. "The brightest minds of a generation have taken the knowledge acquired at our most august institutions and applied themselves to solving increasingly minor First World problems" (7,820 words)

Politics Or Technology – Which Will Save The World?

David Runciman | Guardian | 23rd May 2014

Neither; but as to which will change the world, technology is way ahead. "China hasn't changed much politically since 4th June 1989 when the massacre in Tiananmen Square snuffed out a would-be revolution. But China itself has been totally altered. A country of more than a billion people has been transformed by the mobile phone. Who needs a political revolution when you've got a technological one?" (5,000 words)

The Chaos Engulfing Eastern Ukraine

Joshua Yaffa | New Yorker | 23rd May 2014

How civil war begins. "The fighting has taken on its own grinding, self-perpetuating momentum, independent of developments taking place in Kiev, Moscow, or the West. An array of militia forces on both sides launch attacks almost daily, and within each respective camp the proliferating paramilitary brigades do not necessarily communicate, or even care for one another. The men with guns are the ones in charge now" (2,780 words)

The Secret History Of Hypertext

Alex Wright | Atlantic | 22nd May 2014

The conceptual history of the World Wide Web is often traced back to an essay by Vannevar Bush published in 1945. But ideas for storing and distributing knowledge across electronic networks were well advanced in Europe in 1930s. A Belgian called Paul Otlet imagined a global chain of “electric telescopes”; Emmanuel Goldberg, founder of Zeiss Ikon, invented a dial-up search engine. Then World War Two intervened (1,700 words)

Explaining China’s Aggression

Hugh White | The Interpreter | 22nd May 2014

China's confrontational behaviour in the East and South China Seas alienates neighbours and undermines regional stability. So why do it? To weaken alliances between America and China's neighbours. By threatening military action, China forces America to choose between deserting friends and fighting China. China bets that America will back off, losing the confidence of its allies and its status as a regional power (920 words)

Video of the day:  David Bowie — Stardust

What to expect: Interview from 1988 with animation; the rock-star life

Thought for the day:

"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from" — Cormac McCarthy

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