We all know the feeling. You're sleepless in the sad hours of the night or stumbling around early on a hazy weekend morning in need of something to read, and that pile of unread books just isn't cutting it. Why not take a break from the fire hose of Twitter and RSS and check out our weekly roundup of essential writing from around the web about technology, culture, media, and the future? Sure, it's one more thing you can feel guilty about sitting in your Instapaper queue, but it's better than pulling in vain on your Twitter list again.
Grab the entire list as a Readlist.
On business class
David Owen digs into the world of international business-class aircraft seating design.
The New Yorker: David Owen - Game of thrones
He clicked open a door to the right of the video console, revealing a lighted makeup mirror—useful upon arrival. “A good seat doesn’t show you everything it’s got in the first ten minutes,” he said. “It surprises you during the flight, and lets you discover things you weren’t expecting.” Such features can pay off in unexpected ways: passengers who like their seats tend to give higher ratings to everything on their flight, including movie selections that haven’t changed.
Mat Honan writes about his experience at this week's Facebook's f8 event.
Wired: Mat Honan - The Year of the Facebook
These were the days when everyone was still beautiful, and we were all still rich. The things big bubble-pop doomsayers kept predicting hadn’t happened yet, and Facebook was on top of everything else. It was just firing. And firing. And firing. Even the misses–Paper and Home and Poke–seemed like they didn’t matter because its hits were so vital. And with the wind at its back, the fog of war blew away from its eyes and into those of its enemies. It seemed like only Mark could see clearly.
Paul Ford makes an argument for five canonical works of software, from Microsoft Office to GNU Emacs.
Medium: Paul Ford - The Great Works of Software
I distrust Microsoft Office, because it is a bear to use and expensive, and it has destroyed many drafts by crashing. Yet greatness is not the same as goodness and I must admit that it is a great work of software—powerful, omnipresent, and woven into the culture. It was first announced by Microsoft in 1988, but components had been around far longer—Microsoft Word since 1983. So the original ideas inside of Office have been around for 30 years.
Michael Paterniti profiles chef Andoni Luiz Aduriz and his cutting edge restaurant Mugaritz.
GQ: Michael Paterniti - The Most adventurous restaurant in the world is on a small hilltop in Spain
In the world of haute cuisine these days, the kitchens of such Michelin multiple-starred restaurants as Mugaritz, as well as those of steampunk upstarts looking for their first star, have become the crucible for a certain war between faux and haute, fuff-and-noise and authenticity, between extreme dictatorships and imperfect oligarchies, between plates served with miniaturized affectations delivered in designy settings and true artistry exercised in such a way that both challenges our sensibilities and redefines food, making it unforgettable. The question one must ask on the threshold of any such restaurant is: What, now, are we in for, disappointment or transcendence?
Danny Bradbury reports on Mike Davis, a white hat hacker tracking down internet scammers.
Matter: Danny Bradbury - Scammed
His first step is defensive: the creation of a software shield that will hide his identity. He boots up a computer containing a version of Windows that’s cut off from the rest of the machine. It’s a digital Russian doll, a computer within a computer. His sleuthing may attract attention, but any hacker who penetrates the inner realm would probably never know there was a larger doll wrapped around it. And when it’s all done, Mike will delete the hidden computer and any unwanted software that may have slipped into it.
For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.
Have any favorites that you'd like to see included in next week's edition? Send them along to @thomashouston or share in the comments below.