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April 18, 2015

"Behold the Batmobile of Baby Strollers"

I'd guess it's as much for dad as it is for a stroller-aged tot.

"This Tree Beautifully Reveals The Relationships Between Languages"

Supposedly, everything is Indo-European except Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian.

April 17, 2015

"Just how good is Eric Clapton?"

Short answer: pretty darn good.

"No, it's not a mirage! The amazing oasis town that flourishes in the middle of the driest place on Earth"

Not something you see every day.

"Survival in the Age of Spotify"

"Two rock musicians find flaws—and hope—in a book that suggests how artists can earn a decent living even after free online access to music has ravaged the business."

April 16, 2015

"Europe accuses Google of antitrust violations and launches a massive investigation into Android"

Sadly, what has been long forecast here--see, for example, "It's coming, I tell ya," and "One more time, for now: Google and antitrust"--has now happened.

(To be clear, I predicted the US antitrust authorities would do it. I underestimated the power of Google's political pull. And it may still yet come.)

Oh and note the main source of the complaint

And most of the people doing the complaining are NOT Europeans — they are other American tech companies (and their lobbyists) whose international businesses have allegedly been screwed over by Google.

This is all too typical of antitrust complaints. The customers don't seem to mind, but the competitors of very successful companies do.

UPDATE: Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. offers this sharp, concise formulation:

Antitrust is predatory corporate welfare policy. Firms do get large and powerful, but never as large and powerful as governments that collude with rent-seeking firms to forcibly channel customers to the latter.

Antitrust’s goal is to absolve lawyered-up firms of the need to competitively respond to the new market regimes brought into being by the dominant firm; it artificially secures less-competitive firms’ survival by forcibly denying consumers the choices they otherwise would have been free to make.

"37 incredible drone photos from across the globe that would be totally illegal today"

Arresting pictures.

Related: "Armchair travelers can now explore Mount Everest on Google Street View".

"The Top 100 Highest Grossing Restaurants In America"

I've been to two of the 100.

Given the prices I assume most of the rest charge, I'm not really interested in visiting the others.

"Don't You Forget About Me: The John Hughes I Knew"

P. J. O'Rourke pays tribute to the "wit, wisdom, and politics of his friend John Hughes".

April 15, 2015

"On the Road Again: Mapping All the Cities in Willie Nelson's Songs"

Willie has gotten around.

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