Why Doctors Hate Their Computers

Digitization promises to make medical care easier and more efficient. But screens are coming between doctors and their patients. [Atul Gawande] www.newyorker.com

Thoughtful article about problems that ensue when digitization imposes top-down centralized command on front-line workers.

“I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.”

For 10 years, Lauren Hough was a cable tech in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. She writes about her experiences in a brilliant essay that’s funny, exasperating, frustrating, infuriating and occasionally sad. “A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney.” www.huffingtonpost.com

What killed RSS?

Technology didn’t kill RSS — regulatory capture did, says Cory Doctorow. “… thanks to generations of antitrust malpractice and financialization, we now live in an era of five massive services filled with screenshots from the other four.” Also, blaming feuding among RSS developers for its demise is “like blaming rhino conservationists’ internal disputes — rather than climate change — for the decline in rhinos’ numbers.” boingboing.net

I love RSS. I still use it every day, several times a day on workdays. I’m about to do another sweep in my chosen RSS reader, inoreader.com, now. It’s very disappointing that RSS never took off. People complained that it’s difficult to use and understand, but it’s easier than Facebook.

Marc Andreessen: audio will be “titanically important” and VR will be “1,000” times bigger than AR

Andreessen’s take on AR vs. VR reveals a kind of chauvinism. He says your environment is inherently uninteresting if you’re unlucky enough to live anywhere other than Silicon Valley, a college campus, or a major city. And virtual reality, he says, is the cure.

On the other hand, he’s right about the importance of audio. A voice in your ear that you can interact with every waking moment. That’s a kind of augmented reality already.

Marc Andreessen: audio will be ‘titanically important’ and VR will be ‘1,000’ times bigger than AR

How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success

With “The Apprentice,” TV producer Mark Burnett mythologized Trump — then a floundering D-lister — as the ultimate titan, paving his way to the Presidency. [Patrick Radden Keefe] www.newyorker.com

An outstanding profile. Keefe notes that Trump and Burnett are kindred spirits. However, Burnett really is a successful businessman. Trump is a fraud, who arguably modeled his current image on Burnett.

Stick a pin in it

A casual mention in a presentation by Yahoo’s “Senior Vice President for Bad Decisions” helped Maciej Cegłowski build Pinboard.in into a sustainable business. www.economist.com. Since this article ran in 2011, Pinboard.in acquired Delicious.

Why do you (still) have to sign so many credit card receipts? [Rachel Sugar/Vox]

Merchants are finally phasing out signature requirements for transactions, though the US is moving more slowly on it. “We just love signing things here; after football, it is our national pastime.”

Interesting information: The Talmud requires signatures for contracts — as important as marriage, or as minor as buying a cup of coffee. Does this mean religious Jews will no longer be able to use credit cards? Can religious Jews now use Apple Pay and the Android equivalent?