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    The best writing of the week, March 9

    The best writing of the week, March 9


    Your Sunday reading

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    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 Veronica Mars

    Jason Cohen tells the story of Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and the resurrection of a cult TV show.

    Texas Monthly: Jason Cohen - Mission to Mars

    "Veronica Mars is in the public consciousness now in a way that it never was when it was on the air," he says. "You know when you meet people in the airport or whatever and they ask you what you do? It used to be that one in fifty people would know what [Veronica Mars] is, and I feel like now it’s one in three people." Plus, he’s no longer automatically mistaken for the guy in Matchbox 20. One night during the movie shoot, he went to grab some takeout at an LA restaurant. When he gave the counter guy his name, the guy looked up and said, "The singer or the director?" It was the first time that had ever happened.On internet emergencies

    Ryan Bradley writes about an attempt to track DDoS attacks through a mysterious building in New York.

    The Awl: Ryan Bradley - The internet terror phone

    "We fell in love with the building," said Omer Shapira, a filmmaker and journalist. "It’s just so insanely big, and dark, and what it contains no one knows. There are no blueprints online. Maybe there are NSA servers in there." Shapira said that they first did their pondering before anyone knew who Edward Snowden was, and before cybercrime was something normal people might talk about. He and his partners, Max Ma and Ryan Bartley, wanted to find a way to link that building, full of phone lines, to its surroundings, full of Internet. "How about if we make this phone that shows the emergencies on the Internet," Bartley said. "It would be like there’s this enormous building screaming for help."On Michael Crichton

    Keith Phipps continues a series on science fiction films with a look at Michael Crichton's dire technological warnings.

    The Dissolve: Keith Phipps - The technophobic fantasies of early Michael Crichton

    The Andromeda Strain is filled with blinking lights, primitive electronic graphics, green monochrome monitors, and banks of control panels, all whirring in service of some indecipherable pursuit. All this, and an electronic score by jazz musician Gil Mellé, suggest a place made by humans, but seemingly designed to create a completely inhospitable environment for humanity. They serve an important narrative purpose, but Wise’s shots of a crying infant alone in a metal room, unable to be touched by human hands, feel like they belong in a nightmarish experimental film.On genetics

    Susan Young writes about CRISPR, a genome engineering tool that could provide therapy for everything from sickle-cell anemia to autism.

    MIT Technology Review: Susan Young - Genome Surgery

    Many human illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and assorted neurological conditions, are affected by numerous variants in both disease genes and normal genes. [...] If a scientist wants an animal with multiple mutations, the genetic changes must be made sequentially, and the timeline for one experiment can extend into years. In contrast, ­Jaenisch and his colleagues, including MIT researcher Feng Zhang (a 2013 member of our list of 35 innovators under 35), reported last spring that CRISPR had allowed them to create a strain of mice with multiple mutations in three weeks.On BuzzFeed

    BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti compares his site to the "new media" of the early 20th century.

    Medium: Jonah Peretti - Is history repeating itself?

    One of Murrow's contemporaries, a writer named Robert Landry, summed up Murrow's advantages: "Murrow has three advantages over correspondents for the greatest American newspapers: 1) He beats the newspapers by hours; 2) He reaches millions who otherwise have to depend on provincial newspapers for their foreign news; 3) He writes his own headlines. That is to say he emphasizes what he wishes — whereas the newspaper correspondent writes in cablese."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.

    Today’s Storystream

    Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

    Emma RothSep 25
    Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.

    Emma RothSep 25
    Starlink is growing.

    The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

    Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.

    External Link
    Emma RothSep 25
    We might not get another Apple event this year.

    While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

    I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.

    External Link
    Emma RothSep 24
    California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

    The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

    A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

    Welcome to the new Verge

    Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

    Nilay PatelSep 13
    Andrew WebsterSep 24
    Look at this Thing.

    At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

    The Verge
    Andrew WebsterSep 24
    Get ready for some Netflix news.

    At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

    Tom WarrenSep 23
    Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

    Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.