Friday, May 12, 2017
1. I guess it's time for a couple of phone-desktop convergence updates. First, Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu variety of Linux, just put out the last release that will feature its "Unity" desktop. This was supposed to make it simple for people to just plug a phone running Ubuntu into an adapter and, with a screen and other peripherals now attached, use it like a desktop. Seeing next to no adoption of their OS on phones, Canonical decided to stop pouring resources into the effort.
But phone maker Samsung is still trying. Its latest effort, a docking station, just got a mixed review at Ars Technica. At around $150, the reviewer points out, one could just buy a Chromebook for a similar degree of portability and functionality.
2. The next time you hear how crucial government funding of medical research is, consider the following:
People assume the NIH research brings us most new treatments and drugs, but that's not true either. To quote my brother from this winter's issue of National Affairs, "Three separate analyses concluded that 85 percent of the drugs approved by the FDA since 1988 arose solely from research and development performed within ... industry." [bold added]This comes from the latest John Stossel column, which advocates actually moving towards a free market in medical care, contra the ObamaCare Lite recently passed by the House.
3. The Atlantic asks, "Why Isn't Native American Food Hip?" One would think that the time is ripe for Amerindian food, with the recent flowering of interest in different culinary traditions and the trendiness of locally-produced foods, but there are headwinds:
The confusion about what constitutes Native American cuisine isn't surprising; there's no easy definition. Of the more than 500 recognized tribes in the U.S., each has different cooking traditions shaped by access to different resources. That can make the task of launching and marketing a Native American restaurant difficult. Where one customer might expect to see buffalo and venison on a menu, another might anticipate salmon and squash. No restaurant can cater to everyone's interpretation of what constitutes Native American food. Mitsitam, the highly regarded cafe in the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, got around this by setting up a series of stations, each dedicated to the cuisine from a different region. "A lot of people don't really identify with native foods because they're not educated about it," said Jerome Grant, the executive chef at Mitsitam. "We kind of educate people of the indigenous ingredients of the areas."The fact that there is no one cuisine strikes me as a marketing and logistical nightmare by itself. But it's far from the only problem.
"Everyone has endured the vanishing keys, the elusive password or that pesky oven that might -- or might not -- be on." -- Michael Hurd, in "Give Your Memory a Jump Start!" at The Delaware Wave
"You haven't seen hatefulness until you try to discuss politics with a leftist." -- Michael Hurd, in "Hollywood's Hypocrites Can't Take What They Dish Out" at Newsmax
My Two Cents
After reading the second Hurd column, quoted above, I can't resist adding that sometimes, you needn't even try. Interesting bonus: This guy was a one-percenter three years early...