Browser Newsletter 1092


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

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Best of the Moment

Surveillance And The State

Editorial | The Guardian | 23rd August 2013

"It is not the role of politicians or civil servants to determine the limits of public discussion. Nor should the debate be circumscribed by attempting to criminalise the act of journalism − without which, in this instance, there could be no debate. Citizens of free countries are entitled to protect their privacy against the state. The state has a duty to protect free speech as well as security. Fundamental rights collide"

Holding Tyrants Personally Accountable

Philosopher's Beard | 23rd August 2013

The case for putting a huge bounty on Assad's head. "Directly targeting the criminal in chief would seem much more justifiable than shooting up a bunch of conscripts or crippling an entire civilian economy. Tyrannicide may thus satisfy both consequentialist and deontological standards of justification: less innocents would suffer than otherwise and the person who does suffer is the criminal who deserves to"

What Do London Underground Stops Taste Like?

Ben Riley-Smith | Telegraph | 23rd August 2013

President of UK Synaesthesia Association, diagnosed with lexical-gustatory synaesthesia, maps the London underground according to the tastes he associates with each station. Flavours include apple pie, bubble'n squeak, HP Sauce, purple grapes, chicken soup and soft boiled egg. "Baker Street is lovely. The best way to describe it is crusty and sweet, like jam roly-poly but slightly burnt" (Metered paywall)

Why Steve Ballmer Failed

Nick Thompson | New Yorker | 23rd August 2013

Microsoft shares soared on the news that its lacklustre boss will soon be leaving. "Ballmer is roughly the tech industry’s equivalent of Mikhail Gorbachev. When he took control Microsoft was one of the most powerful and feared companies in the world. As he leaves, it’s a sprawling shadow." He alienated employees, missed every trend, came late to every innovation. Microsoft needs a successor who is his opposite in every way

Video of the day: I Forgot My Phone

Thought for the day:

"Twitter has revealed that brevity and verbosity are not always antonyms" — Nicholas Carr

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