Chris Aldrich is reading “How Donald Trump is changing the rules for American business”

Read The president and corporations: How Donald Trump is changing the rules for American business (The Economist)
HIS inauguration is still six weeks away but Donald Trump has already sent shock waves through American business. Chief executives—and their companies’ shareholders—are giddy at the president-elect’s promises to slash burdensome regulation, cut taxes and boost the economy with infrastructure spending.

This article takes much the same view of Trump’s economic policies as I (and I’m sure many) do. I’ve been hoping every day for more than a year and a half that more politicians would take Cesar Hidalgo’s book Why Information Grows as the basis for their economic policies. Alas…

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

American capitalism has flourished thanks to the predictable application of rules. If, at the margin, that rules-based system is superseded by an ad hoc approach in which businessmen must take heed and pay homage to the whim of King Donald, the long-term damage to America’s economy will be grave.

Such tariffs would be hugely disruptive. They would make goods more expensive for American consumers. By preventing American firms from maximising their efficiency using complex supply chains, they would reduce their competitiveness, deter new investment and, eventually, hurt workers’ wages across the economy. They would also encourage a tit-for-tat response.

The role of lobbyists will grow—an irony given that Mr Trump promised to drain the Washington swamp of special interests.

Nonetheless, Mr Trump’s approach is worrying. Unlike the Depression, when Hoover and then Roosevelt got companies to act in what they (often wrongly) saw as the national interest; or 2009, when Mr Obama corralled the banks and bailed out Detroit, America today is not in crisis. Mr Trump’s meddling is thus likely to be the new normal. Worse, his penchant for unpredictable and often vindictive bullying is likely to be more corrosive than the handouts most politicians favour.

Mr Trump’s mercantilism is long-held and could prove fierce, particularly if the strong dollar pushes America’s trade deficit higher (see article). Congress would have only limited powers to restrain the president’s urge to impose tariffs. More important, even if rash protectionism is avoided, a strategy based on bribing and bullying individual companies will itself be a problem.

But over time the damage will accumulate: misallocated capital, lower competitiveness and reduced faith in America’s institutions. Those who will suffer most are the very workers Mr Trump is promising to help. That is why, if he really wants to make America great again, Mr Trump should lay off the protectionism and steer clear of the bullying right now.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Lulu.com launches academic service suite – Glasstree”

Read Lulu.com launches academic service suite – Glasstree by David Haden (News from JURN.org)
The leaders in affordable print-on-demand, Lulu.com, have just launched a book publishing service for academics. Glasstree offers the… “tools and services needed by academic authors, an…

Chris Aldrich is reading “PFUNK”

Read I Need More Velvet in My Life by Shawn (PFUNK)
For a while, Saturdays returned to normal. Shredded wheat in the morning. Meandering nearby neighborhoods. Walking and watching his breath float into the air. Usually he’d hear Joan strumming…

Chris Aldrich is reading “Bob Dole Worked Behind the Scenes on Trump-Taiwan Call”

Read Bob Dole Worked Behind the Scenes on Trump-Taiwan Call (nytimes.com)
The former senator turned lobbyist worked to establish the high-level contacts that led the president-elect to call the president of Taiwan last week.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Aggressive design caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions”

Read Aggressive design caused Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explosions (Instrumental)
In September, the first reports of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 batteries exploding hit social media.  At first, Samsung identified the issue as one relating to the lithium polymer battery manufacturing process by Samsung SDI, where too much tension was used in manufacturing, and offered to repair affected phones.  But several weeks later, some of the batteries in those replacement units also exploded once they were in the hands of customers -- causing Samsung to make the bold decision to not only recall everything, but to cancel the entire product line. This is every battery engineer’s nightmare. As hardware engineers ourselves, Sam and I followed the story closely.  If it was only a battery part issue and could have been salvaged by a re-spin of the battery, why cancel the product line and cede several quarters of revenue to competitors?  We believe that there was more in play: that there was a fundamental problem with the design of the phone itself.

How The Telegraph built its new CMS by focusing on simplicity | Nieman Lab

Read How The Telegraph built its new CMS by focusing on simplicity by Joseph Lichterman (Nieman Lab)
The British newspaper was previously using five separate online publishing systems, each of which larded up the publishing process with dozens of fiddly steps.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Facebook is asking users to judge the truthfulness of news headlines”

Read Facebook is asking users to judge the truthfulness of news headlines (The Verge)
Facebook is apparently asking users to rate the quality of news stories on its service, after facing criticism for allowing fake or misleading news. At least three people on Twitter have posted surveys that ask whether a headline “uses misleading language” or “withholds key details of the story.” The earliest one we’ve seen was posted on December 2nd, and asked about a story from UK comedy site Chortle. Two others reference stories by Rolling Stone and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Chris Aldrich is reading “A Facebook VR Millionaire Is Funding an Anti-Hillary Group Based on Memes”

Read A Facebook VR Millionaire Is Funding an Anti-Hillary Group Based on Memes (Select All)
Another Trump supporter ranks high up on Facebook’s corporate ladder.

Chris Aldrich is reading “PolitEcho”

Read PolitEcho (politecho.org)
PolitEcho shows you the political biases of your Facebook friends and news feed. The app assigns each of your friends a score based on our prediction of their political leanings then displays a graph of your friend list. Then it calculates the political bias in the content of your news feed and compares it with the bias of your friends list to highlight possible differences between the two.

Chris Aldrich is reading “Use These Secret Hacks to Find Every Celebrity on Snapchat”

Read Use These Secret Hacks to Find Every Celebrity on Snapchat (Select All)
Some simple ways to find Official Stories on the app.