Boxing’s Sordid Past and Anemic Present

Boxing’s Sordid Past and Anemic Present→

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao square off tonight in what will be boxing’s richest fight ever. Grantland provides an entertaining review of boxing’s history, how it’s playbook has run its course, and the ways in which that history and playbook are undercurrents running through tonight’s fight. Very well written and well-worth your time. Here’s a sample.

Now, for one weekend, in a media age in which it is impossible to ignore the crimes and in which everything hidden shall be revealed, boxing is going to try to work its illusion one more time, for higher stakes than it ever has worked that illusion before, for more money and, probably, for the survival of the sport itself. It will try to make Floyd Mayweather’s crimes disappear. It will try to make his victims disappear, too. And there will be people, loud and righteous, who will shout that they see through it all, that they can see the wires and the pulleys and all the hidden trapdoors vital to the illusion. It’s a last, long-shot roll, and everyone will pretend to hold their breath, as though something of real value were in play.

If you’re interested in the glory days of boxing, read the whole thing.


Facebook is Dominant

Facebook is Dominant→

The following statistics provide fascinating context:

“We already know, from a Pew poll last year, that nearly half of the adults who use the Internet report getting their news from Facebook alone. Now consider some of the latest numbers from Pew, in its annual State of the Media report, which came out on Wednesday:

• As in previous years, just five companies generate the majority (61 percent) of digital ad revenue: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL.

• Facebook more than doubled digital ad revenue over the course of two years. It made $5 billion in ad money last year. That represents 10 percent of all digital ad revenue.

• Facebook is getting a quarter of all display ad revenue and more than a third (37 percent) of display ads on mobile.

This last point—Facebook’s mobile ad revenue dominance—is worth lingering on for a moment. Facebook has succeeded in thriving financially on mobile while leaving desktop behind. That’s exactly what consumers are doing, but it was unclear for years that money would follow on mobile. (It’s still unclear, for news sites especially, whether mobile revenue will be enough.) Facebook’s share of revenue on desktop dropped 20 percentage points last year, while its share of mobile revenue went up 20 percentage points.

Chess grandmaster accused of using iPhone to cheat during international tournament

Chess grandmaster accused of using iPhone to cheat during international tournament→

The Washington Post provides perspective on chess cheats in the age of smartphones.

In the 20th century, chess was a yardstick used to measure the advance of computers. In 1996, world champion Garry Kasparov defeated IBM’s revolutionary supercomputer, Deep Blue. A year later, Kasparov stormed off a television set in New York City in defeat. He later claimed he had been cheated, arguing — ironically, from today’s perspective — that the computer had received human help.

Kasparov’s May 11, 1997, defeat was billed as a blow for humankind: demonstrable proof that after centuries of technological progress, machines had finally surpassed their creators, at least at chess.

Nearly 20 years later, Nigalidze’s cheating scandal shows just how far we’ve fallen compared with machines and raises questions about the future of a sport in which a simple cellphone can transform anybody into a grandmaster.

Tesla is a Battery Company

Tesla is a Battery Company→

Interesting theory:

Tesla Motors started as a Car company, but they should now be considered to be a Battery company for three key reasons:

1.Tesla Leadership has Expertise in Batteries and Energy Systems.

2.Batteries Are the Most Important Component of an Electric Vehicle (EV)

3.Tesla can enter other Markets with the Battery Tech they Developed While Building EVs.

An Engineered Drought→

Victor Davis Hanson on water hypocracy in California.

The Bay Area remains almost completely reliant on ancient Hetch Hetchy water supplies from the distant Sierra Nevada, given the inability of groundwater pumping to service the Bay Area’s huge industrial and consumer demand for water. But after four years of drought, even Hetch Hetchy’s huge Sierra supplies have only about a year left, at best. Again, the California paradox: those who did the most to cancel water projects and divert reservoir water to pursue their reactionary nineteenth-century dreams of a scenic, depopulated, and fish-friendly environment enjoy lifestyles predicated entirely on the fragile early twentieth-century water projects of the sort they now condemn.

Microsoft: An Open Source Windows Is ‘Definitely Possible’

Microsoft: An Open Source Windows Is ‘Definitely Possible’→

It’s a new Microsoft…

Microsoft’s software empire rests on Windows, the computer operating system that runs so many of the world’s desktop PCs, laptops, phones, and servers. Along with the Office franchise, it generates the majority of the company’s revenues. But one day, the company could “open source” the code that underpins the OS—giving it away for free. So says Mark Russinovich, one of the company’s top engineers.

“It’s definitely possible,” Russinovich says. “It’s a new Microsoft.”