Whose Finger On The Switch?

Marc Parry interviews net neutrality proponent Tim Wu: [T]hroughout modern history, Wu's book argues, every information industry has been hijacked by some "ruthless monopoly or cartel." It happened to the telephone. It happened to radio. It happened to film. Now, as all media converge on one network, Wu warns that "an unprecedented potential is building for … Continue reading Whose Finger On The Switch?

About My Job: The Y2K Programmer and the Systems Administrator

by Conor Friedersdorf

A reader writes:

On December 31, 1999, I along with programmers around the world sat apprehensively in front of my TV watching the date roll starting in the far east.  As each hour passed, and cities still had power, I became more elated.  We had done it!  I think if you had asked most programmers coming up on the date change, we were confident of our company's efforts but not sure whether other companies had accomplished their goal.
To hear people refer dismissively to Y2K as a disaster that didn't happen is a misreading of the event.  It's actually a case of people in thousands of companies and many countries working together to avert a potential disaster, and the fact that it looked like nothing happened means that we were successful, not that we were just saying "the sky is falling" when it wasn't!  I hate seeing "Y2K" used as a synonym for unjustified hysteria.  It ought to serve as an example of companies working together successfully to solve a real problem.

A Misadventured, Piteous Overthrow Attempt

Few would shed few tears if Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, who recently signed a law criminalizing “aggravated homosexuality” and who once claimed to have discovered an herbal cure for AIDS, were to come to some bad end. However, the two Gambian-Americans who recently tried to pull off a coup in Banjul clearly didn’t think it through: The … Continue reading A Misadventured, Piteous Overthrow Attempt

The Meaning Of #Ferguson

by Dish Staff That's me in the cloud of tear gas tweeting in #Ferguson. pic.twitter.com/9fMCdRGQYX — Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 12, 2014 Over the weekend, David Carr marveled at how well Twitter has matured as a tool for journalism: For people in the news business, Twitter was initially viewed as one more way to promote and distribute … Continue reading The Meaning Of #Ferguson

The Best Of The Dish Today

Sullybait: data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System now proves that New Yorkers are the unhappiest residents of a metro area in America. No: seriously. Huge numbers of people answer the CDC question, “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” with four options: satisfied, very satisfied, unsatisfied, very unsatisfied. From the … Continue reading The Best Of The Dish Today

Where Are They Supposed To Go? Ctd

Amy Davidson finds Netanyahu’s answer to that question deeply unsatisfying: It would be a simple thing, Netanyahu suggests, for Palestinians to listen to the I.D.F.’s warnings—which come in the form of text messages and announcements and admonitions not to let someone Israel might target live in one’s home—and go. Civilians die, according to this logic, because they didn’t … Continue reading Where Are They Supposed To Go? Ctd

Sully And Hitch After Dark

A late-night conversation between Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens, recorded in 2006. A while back I thought it would be a cool idea to do some post-prandial chats with some of my favorite people. It occurred to me that the best conversations I ever heard in Washington never happened on television or radio. They were … Continue reading Sully And Hitch After Dark

A Poor Man’s Poverty Agenda

Beinart appreciates that the GOP is at least starting to focus on the problem of poverty but he’s still far from impressed: [T]aken together, the new Republican anti-poverty speeches have a depressingly theological quality. They usually begin with a catechism: Washington can’t effectively fight poverty. “After 50 years, isn’t it time to declare big government’s war on … Continue reading A Poor Man’s Poverty Agenda