Carmaking, Google, Passwords, Russian Cheese

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

Ways To Think About Cars

Benedict Evans | 21st August 2015

How cars will change. The shift to electric will make manufacturing much simpler: Small firms will make competitive cars using standard modules. On-demand services will reduce individual ownership; most buyers will be fleet operators who want general robustness, not decorative flourish. Autonomous vehicles will speed the move towards on-demand use. In tech terms, road traffic is moving to a packet-switching model (2,200 words)

How Google Could Rig The 2016 Election

Robert Epstein | Politico | 19th August 2015

Google has great power to control elections through search results. Google's algorithms "can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more" by assigning higher and lower search rankings to candidates and issues. Obviously we should fear deliberate manipulation by Google or a rogue employee; but Google is already swaying our elections in ways that nobody fully understands simply by being there (2,680 words)

This World Of Ours

James Mickens | Login Logout | 1st January 2014

All that the average user really needs to know about computer security. "Basically, you’re either dealing with Mossad or not-Mossad. If your adversary is not-Mossad, then you’ll probably be fine if you pick a good password and don’t respond to emails from ChEaPestPAiNPi11s@ If your adversary is the Mossad, you're gonna die and there's nothing that you can do about it" (PDF) (3,100 words)

On Cheese In Russia

Alison Smith | Russian History Blog | 21st August 2015

The public burning of foreign cheese in Vladimir Putin's Russia is strange but not absurd. "Cheese was and is hugely symbolic, and particularly symbolic of Russia’s relationship with Europe". Strongly-flavoured foreign cheeses first came to Russia in the 18C as an acquired taste for the upper classes who identified with French culture. They disappeared under communism, and returned with its collapse. Now, they disappear again (1,070 words)

Video of the day: An Ode To Anthony H. Wilson

What to expect: Tribute to the Manchester founder of Factory Records featuring Steve Coogan, Iggy Pop and many more (6'05")

Thought for the day

You've never said anything as stupid as what people thought you said
James Richardson (

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