Browser Daily Newsletter 1335


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

India After English

Samanth Subramanian | New York Review Of Books | 9th June 2014

English is ceasing to be the language of power in India. The new prime minister, Narendra Modi, is more at ease in Hindi and Gujarati. Literacy rates are rising fast; but it is Bengali, Hindi and Marathi newspapers which are prospering, while English ones stagnate. "The new middle class is increasingly found in smaller towns, and prefers to read in its own regional language, rather than English" (1,820 words)

The Future Of “The Guardian”

Michael Wolff | GQ | 10th June 2014

It has money, credibility, ambitions. But does it have a plan? Good luck finding much out from the editor, Alan Rusbridger: "An hour with him is both unpleasant in the exertions required to penetrate his lack of transparency and fill the conversational void and, yet, at the same time, uplifting and restorative. The vacuum that surrounds him somehow seems to represent moral superiority and it draws you in" (3,830 words)

Who Killed Shamus?

Peter Gerstenzang | New Republic | 9th June 2014

It's forty years since "Chinatown". What killed the classic Hollywood detective movie? Perhaps China: "Detective movies are talky. And often a studio won’t greenlight a film unless it can play in China, which means too much talk is out." Perhaps Google: "With the Internet everybody thinks of themselves as a detective. Now that everyone can go online and dig up stuff, they’re not as interested in watching other people do it” (990 words)

China Needs A Series Of Miracles

John Mauldin | Business Insider | 9th June 2014

Deeply pessimistic view of China's economy. "The credit boom is well past the point of diminishing marginal returns; misallocation is widespread, with capacity utilisation now below 60% ... Without sweeping structural reforms, China’s investment boom will continue its march toward a mega Minsky moment". Such reforms are improbable. China is "like an elephant riding a bicycle". When it falls the earth will quake (5,800 words)

How Amazon Patented White-Background Photography

Charles Duan June | Ars Technica | 10th June 2014

"I was not in the room with the engineers, the patent attorneys, or the patent examiner; I don’t know them and have no relationship with them. But I do have the public record of the documents filed with the Patent Office, the audit trails of the searches conducted by the examiner, and the correspondence between the examiner and the patent attorneys. This allows me to reconstruct the story of the patent" (3,580 words)

Video of the day:  Nike — The Last Game

What to expect: Silly, uplifting Nike advertisement celebrating individualism in football

Thought for the day:

"When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object" — Milan Kundera

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