Browser Newsletter 1103

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

Best of the Moment

All LinkedIn With Nowhere to Go

Ann Friedman | The Baffler | 2nd September 2013

Exactly so. "LinkedIn merely digitizes the core, and frequently cruel, paradox of networking events and conferences. You show up at such gatherings because you want to know more important people in your line of work—but the only people mingling are those who, like you, don’t seem to know anyone important. You just end up talking to the sad sacks you already know. It’s an Escher staircase masquerading as a career ladder"

Cutting And Pasting J.D. Salinger

Adam Gopnik | New Yorker | 5th September 2013

Dismissive review of David Shields and Shane Salerno’s "heavily hyped" biography Salinger. Negative takes don't usually make rewarding reading; but this one does, a measure of how well Gopnik writes. "The method the book employs is what was once quaintly called a clip-job — the kind of celebrity bio where, in the guise of research, previously published work is passed off, with varying degrees of honesty, as original discovery"

Hyderabad In Five Colours

Pico Iyer | New York Review Of Books | 5th September 2013

India's veneer of prosperity and modernity is patchy and thin. On the surface, everything is changing. Underneath, everything is the same. Hyderabad may be one of the world's great tech-industry cities — but try finding a working Internet connection at the airport. "The very qualities that make India so culturally alive, textured and itself make it uncommonly reluctant to adjust to the economic rules and geopolitical norms of the world"

A Passage To Flight

Christopher Schaberg | The Atlantic | 5th September 2013

Microhistory. Reflections on the jet bridge, and how it has changed air travel. Gone the romance of walking across the tarmac to the waiting plane, like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca; now, the oblivion of a tunnel. "Like a nested Russian doll, the jet bridge is a smaller version of the more generic architectural features of terminals and concourses: it reproduces the long march before flight, in condensed form"

Stay Secure Against NSA Surveillance

Bruce Schneier | Guardian | 5th September 2013

Use strong open-source cryptography. If you use a commercial product, the NSA probably has a back-door into it. Keep private stuff on a computer with no internet connection, and if you want to send it somewhere, walk it over to a connected computer on a USB stick. Do use Tor: "Yes, the NSA targets Tor users, but it's work for them. The less obvious you are, the safer you are. Our best defense is to make surveillance of us as expensive as possible."

Video of the day: Jii USB Lighter

Thought for the day:

"There is no harm in being sometimes wrong — especially if one is promptly found out" — J.M. Keynes

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