Read — 2013/11/23

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Urbanites Flee China’s Smog for Blue Skies“, by Edward Wong (NY Times). China’s less-known reverse migration, from urban to rural.
  2. Tension and Flaws before Health Website Crash“, by Eric Lipton, Ian Austen, & Sharon LeFraniere (NY Times). The site functioned less than 50% of the time in October 2013. “The online exchange was crippled…because of a huge gap between the [Obama] administration’s grand hopes and the practicalities of building a website that could function on opening day” — October 1, a deadline government official insisted was “not negotiable”. Other disturbing signs: “Some CGI software engineers ultimately walked out, saying it was impossible to produce good work under such conditions… ‘Cut corners, make date'”.
  3. Twitter Toughening Its Security to Thwart Government Snoops“, by Nicole Perlroth & Vindu Goel (NY Times). In response to public demand following revelation of government storage and decrypting of internet traffic, many internet companies are implementing protocols with forward secrecy. The article notes that the increased security comes at the cost of “slow[er] website and browser performance” — about 150 milliseconds for an initial US connection to Twitter, for example.
  4. Norwegian, 22, Takes World Chess Title“, by Dylan Loeb McClain (NY Times). Magnus Carlsen defeated World Championship titleholder Viswanathan Anand, 3-0-7, in a best-of-twelve series. The victory comes with approximately $1.5 million for M Carlsen. Quotable: “You should play to the end”, says Carlsen. Also, British GQ speculates this could be the match that will help men mature.
  5. The Death of President Kennedy” (NY Times). Headlines and excerpts from the NY Times paper, November 23-26, 1963. The Nov 23 headline “Sister Sees Dallas Telecast” introduced me to John F. Kennedy’s sister Rosemary.
  6. The Delicate Art of Pushing Back“, by Elizabeth Bernstein (Wall Street Journal). Definition: boundary is “knowing what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for”. When asserting boundaries, Bernstein’s suggestions include: (1) Assume positive intent. (2) Start with a positive. (3) Focus on want, not behavior. (4) Be concise. (5) Control emotions.