We Are Not All Jobsians … Yet
May 20, 2010

My wife wanted an iPad as soon as she saw Steve Jobs’s announcement last January. She even had a place set out for it. It would go in the kitchen where it would be available for looking up recipes, as well as reading the morning newspaper. But life is disappointment: The iPad wouldn’t come out for another four months, and when it did, it cost about $300 more than we could afford. Luckily, one surfaced around The New Republic offices, and I got a chance to play with it for several weeks. And so did my wife.

You Know Who Else Pulled Videos Off Youtube? Hitler.
April 21, 2010

You know those ever-present "Downfall" parodies, in which a scene from the movie with Hitler in is bunker is given subtitles to parody some recent event?

Amazon’s Kindle: Symbol of American Decline?
February 24, 2010

Apple’s iPad is dominating the gadget buzz this winter, but a few years ago, we and others made a big deal about the “polyglot” iPod, turning it into a talisman of the globalized supply-chain. The point was to accent the global context in which U.S.

The PC Officially Died Today
January 27, 2010

The PC era ended this morning at ten o’clock Pacific time, when Steve Jobs stepped onto a San Francisco stage to unveil the iPad, Apple’s version of a tablet computer. Tablets have been kicking around for a decade, but consumers have always shunned them. And for good reason: They’ve been nerdy-looking smudge-magnets, limited by their cumbersome shape and their lack of a keyboard.

Gathering Clouds
January 13, 2010

Google’s reasons for leaving China aren’t as pure as they seem.

Will Facebook Kill Off The Automobile?
January 06, 2010

Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute has a new report out today showing that the U.S. auto fleet shrunk by four million cars in 2009—the first time that's happened since World War II. All told, 14 million vehicles were scrapped and just 10 million were bought (by comparison, auto sales had been averaging about 17 million per year before 2007).

Rumors Before The Internet
November 11, 2009

Forty years ago, the rumor that Paul McCartney had died, and that the Beatles had covered up his death while for some reason scattering clues of it in their albums, leapt from the counterculture to the mainstream, where it briefly transfixed millions. The key event in the rumor going viral was a Michigan Daily article by student Fred LeBour. Michigan Today recounts the story: On the morning of October 14, the university community awoke to the shocking and incredible report that one of the world's most popular and beloved entertainers was no more.

A USAID Pick, Finally
November 11, 2009

I've been diverted with a print story so this is a little belated, but it's great news that the Obama administration has finally chosen someone to lead USAID. The vacancy of that post more than 10 months into an administration that has pledged to prioritize foreign aid was a minor scandal, even if the vetting process is a "nightmare." But important decisions remain about the fate of the agency. As part of its sweeping "Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review" (QDDR) Hillary Clinton's State Department has rethinking USAID's role.

Every Time Innocent Life Is Taken By Religious Fanatics We Are Told That "No Faith Justifies These Murderous And Craven Acts" (More On Nidal Malik Hasan)
November 11, 2009

So again, yesterday, in an otherwise poignant and truthful memorial talk at Fort Hood, the president assured us that religion does not kill. It killed in ancient Judaism: remember Amalek. It killed through virtually the entire history of Christianity. Hindu fanatics kill in India. Alas, Muslim faith kills every day in half the globe. It kills in zeroes, many zeroes. Look at your daily newspaper. Read your habitual web-site. Watch blood-thirsty Muslim television from centers of the faith. There are grave splits in Islam, and no one knows which of the many sides will come out on top.

Towards 30,000 Troops
November 11, 2009

The NYT reports that Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Mike Mullen are supporting a big troop increase for Afghanistan. This actually isn't terribly newsy: We've had a pretty good idea while that those three have been leaning towards a McChrystal-ian position. The Times describes Obama as undecided. But the tenor of recent leaks on this subject clearly suggests that the president himself is closing in on this position.