In praise of pessimism

“We do not arrive at any idea of what is best for the collective unless we are prepared to seize the day and practise it on our own behalf. Most mature individuals understand what this means in respect of themselves—it’s just all those feckless others that they don’t trust to act appropriately.” Things may be for the worst in a less-than-perfect-world, but Will Self is determined to hold on to his idealism.
www.newstatesman.com

The full story of Nokia and Microsoft

“When the N9, running MeeGo received the strongest positive reviews of any Nokia phone ever, the first handset of any brand considered better than the iPhone—what did Elop do? He said that no matter how well the N9 sold, Elop would never allow another MeeGo based device to be sold by Nokia.” Microsoft has just bought Nokia’s handset division for a knockdown price of 5.3 Billion Euros, prompting former Nokia employee Tomi Ahonen to chronicle the decline of this once mighty company since in September 2010 former Microsoft employee Steven Elop became the first non-Finnish director in Nokia’s history.
communities-dominate.blogs.com

How browsers store your passwords (and why you shouldn’t let them)

“I hope this post has helped clarify how browsers store your passwords, and why in some cases you shouldn’t let them. However, it would be unfair to end the post saying that browsers are completely unreliable at storing passwords. For example, in the case of Firefox, if a strong Master Password is chosen, account details are very unlikely to be harvested.” Having read Jordan’s post, I for one am ditching Chrome on all of my devices.
raidersec.blogspot.in

Another reason for me to stop using Chrome is this long-standing bug in Chrome for Android.

The lethality of loneliness

“What’s most momentous about the new biology of loneliness is that it offers concrete proof, obtained through the best empirical means, that the poets and bluesmen and movie directors who for centuries have deplored the ravages of lonesomeness on both body and soul were right all along.” Judith Shulevitz concludes that natural selecton favoured people who needed people.
www.newrepublic.com

The public-private surveillance partnership

“The losers are us, the people, who are left with no one to stand up for our interests. Our elected government, which is supposed to be responsible to us, is not. And corporations, which in a market economy are supposed to be responsive to our needs, are not. What we have now is death to privacy—and that’s very dangerous to democracy and liberty.” Bruce Schneier shares his thoughts on the incestuous relationship between corporations, lawmakers and the intelligence community in the US.
www.bloomberg.com

You might also wish to compare Article 12, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

How did Germany become the new champion of Europe?

“Would he ever consider buying a foreign car? Too polite to say no, Schlüter gave a slightly apologetic smile. After decades of industrial neglect and regional decline, Britain has a long way to go before such popular pride in homegrown products goes without saying”, Julian Coman reports. This story captures some of what it should mean to be German.
www.guardian.co.uk

However, given the current state of the Eurozone, Germany’s outlook might not be so bright after all.

How Google plans to rule the computing world through Chrome

“For many Chrome is just a browser. For others who use a Chromebox or Chromebook, it’s a full-time operating system. The general consensus is that Chrome OS, the platform used on these devices, can only browse the web and run either extensions and web apps; something any browser can do. Simply put, the general consensus is wrong and the signs are everywhere.”, suggests Kevin Tofel.
gigaom.com

The special dread of terrorism for Muslims in the west

“Contrary to some hyperbolic depictions of Muslim minorities as a nefarious fifth column within society, the average Muslim has about as much control of, or connection to, the vile actions of terrorists as the average white American does to school shootings or movie theater massacres”, contends Murtaza Hussain.
www.guardian.co.uk

Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack

“I’ve talked to some of those who participated in the HBGary hack to learn in detail how they penetrated HBGary’s defenses and gave the company such a stunning black eye—and what the HBGary example means for the rest of us mere mortals who use the Internet.” Peter Bright’s story may be a couple of years old, but it still makes for an interesting read and tells you what not to do.
arstechnica.com

God save the British Economy

“Our options, he argues, can be divided into three general categories: austerity, stimulus and doing nothing. He, like an increasing number of mainstream economists, believes we can now scratch austerity off the list.” Adam Davidson talks to Adam Posen, until recently a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, about ways to fix the UK’s economy.
www.nytimes.com

Ryanair deserves a new name

“The culture is created at the top and reflects all the way down. Michael O’Leary is a twat. Can I say that, Mrs Lawyer? He is. There’s no getting round it. And Ryanair, the airline he has built in his image, is a twattish airline that treats both its staff and its customers with contempt.” Comment by Carole Cadwalladr.
www.guardian.co.uk