How Food Companies Conspire to Make You Fat

Michael Moss has written a groundbreaking exposé on the procesed food industry for the New York Times:

The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive. I talked to more than 300 people in or formerly employed by the processed-food industry, from scientists to marketers to C.E.O.’s. Some were willing whistle-blowers, while others spoke reluctantly when presented with some of the thousands of pages of secret memos that I obtained from inside the food industry’s operations. What follows is a series of small case studies of a handful of characters whose work then, and perspective now, sheds light on how the foods are created and sold to people who, while not powerless, are extremely vulnerable to the intensity of these companies’ industrial formulations and selling campaigns.

It's a long read, but worth it. This story is going to be huge.

The Awkward Transition from Dropbox to iCloud

Rene Ritchie, iMore:

The architecture is unnecessarily dependent on apps. If I create a document in Text Editor 1, not only do I have to remember the document I created but, if I want to access it again, I also have to remember the app I created it in. If I later switch to a much better Text Editor 2, my document doesn't switch with me. I have to either copy and paste every document from Text Editor 1 into Text Editor 2, or keep a list of which documents are where. That's a non-trivial amount of cognitive overhead. If at some point I move on to Text Editor 3, or delete (or switch devices and don't re-install) Text Editor 1, it gets even worse. I have to track my documents over multiple access points, and perhaps even re-install old apps just to get back to the documents locked inside. It's a mess.

What's funny is that Apple knows how to solve this. On the Mac, the iPhoto library can be accessed just like any folder on the filesystem, and on iOS the photo library is the same way. The problem is that Apple needs to define fixed buckets for documents the same way they've defined one for photos. I shouldn't have to remember if I created a text file in TextEdit or BBEdit.


The New Yorker on House of Cards and the Death of Cable

Tim Wu, The New Yorker:

An Internet firm like Netflix producing first-rate content takes us across a psychological line. If Netflix succeeds as a producer, other companies will follow and start taking market share. Maybe Amazon will go beyond its tentative investments and throw a hundred million at a different A-list series, or maybe Hulu will expand its ambitions for original content, or maybe the next great show will come from someone with a YouTube channel. When that happens, the baton passes, and empire falls—and we will see the first fundamental change in the home-entertainment paradigm in decades.

House of Cards is a fantastic show. If you have Netflix, be sure to check it out.

It's exciting to watch the Internet create real competition for traditional media strongholds. But what worries me is that I see a future full of walled gardens. Amazon-exclusive shows I can't watch on my Apple TV, iTunes-exclusives I can't view on a Roku, etc.

I want cable dead, but not if it means I'll need 20 boxes hooked up to my television.

How to Crash Any Mac App

Brad Sams, Neowin:

Here is a bit of news that will leave you scratching your head for anyone that uses OS X Mountain Lion. If you type "File:///" (without the quotes) into nearly any app, it will cause the app to crash. This odd bug has been confirmed by Neowin and we have managed to crash Spotify, Tweetbot, Notes and a bunch of other applications too.

Apple's software gets sloppier all the time. Note that the "F" has to be capitalized. I tried this in Safari, Chrome, and Tweetbot, and it works like a charm. Even if you just type it in a search box; even if you don't hit Return. I hope this gets fixed fast.

Valve Finally Releases Half-Life for the Mac

Xanfan, Retro Game Network:

If you are a fan of the first person shooter, chances are you have played the original “Half-Life” at some point in your gaming history. (If not Half-Life, then at least Counter-Strike!) Over the past 15 years, Half-Life has been loved by PlayStation 2 owners, and nearly all computer gamers out there. That is unless, of course, you were a fan of Apple before it was cool, and were a Macintosh user, where the game was never released. We are happy to report that over 14 years after it’s original release, Mac users can finally play Half-Life on their own computers, without having to buy one of those “PC compatible” things.

Only took 14 years. I was eagerly awaiting this port, and then the Dreamcast port, which was cancelled just before release. In related news, Reddit user Murmur322 figured out how to run Black Mesa Source natively on the Mac with Wineskin.

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