Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bits and Pieces - January 29, 2014

How a New Science of Cities Is Emerging from Mobile Phone Data Analysis. They don't say how they got the data, but presumably it's from the phone companies. Part of that all-the-time surveillance Edward Snowden keeps warning us about. But there's a new book out suggesting that maybe Snowden isn't such a hero. That's my opinion; he's spreading information that has nothing to do with privacy, but perhaps more to do with a hacker-libertarian hatred of all functions of government. And the materials he's stolen are showing up in more and more places. Of course, we all know how easy it is to duplicate a thumb drive. It looks like people are losing interest, too. I'm not surprised; the articles are hard to follow, show little of the materials they are based on, and frequently are found to be wrong. I've pretty much given up on following them closely.

Here's how Estonia got thoroughly networked. Hint: it didn't expect internet companies to look out for the good of the country.

Did World War II save us from the income inequality we've got now?

Eat your fruit! The good fruit does for you far outweighs whether it's organic or not.

"We had a hard time getting a war started." Nuclear strategist Thomas Schelling on the thinking that was the basis for the movie "Dr. Strangelove," fifty years old today. Something to think about: at that time, tensions were much higher between the US and the USSR than any tensions in the world now, and many of the safeguards against accidental nuclear war that we have now were not in place then.

Everyone needs to calm down. Good advice on Fareed Zakaria's breathless declaration of a "train wreck" in negotiations with Iran. Both sides are placating their hardliners. Let them do it. More here.

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