20+ high speed trains in a train depot in Wuhan

High-speed trains in Wuhan

That (…) picture is so serious. Once upon a time, the Dow Jones industrial average was a composite metric designed to roughly characterize the rail industry, including steel production, machining and manufacture, real estate, and use. The health of that industry was found to be predictive of the health of the entire country, and although the DJIA shifted from rail, it is still predictive of nationwide economic health.

China, in my eyes, just proved how far ahead they are – and my jaw is on the floor. Those trains represent so much. It’s not merely that they exist – and all of the economic activity inherent in making them exist – but now that they exist, they are an engine of productivity.

(source 1, 2)

“Jolene” @ 33 rpm

If you play Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” at 33 RPM, something happens.

While in most cases, slowed down music just sounds like, well, slowed down music, in the case of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” something extraordinary happens. It is like the song transforms and is suddenly sung perfectly, just a bit more depressing and with a guy’s voice instead.

Via Neatorama.

Why Are We Fighting the Crypto Wars Again?

The government kept encryption legal, but benignly neglected it, while our infrastructure, our business plans, and our personal secrets lay exposed to thieves, vandals and foreign powers. Security flaws were a pain to users, but a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Now, post-Snowden, our tech companies are finally taking steps to implement strong-encryption-by-default, the best way to insure security and privacy. The FBI’s response? Clipper Chip redux.

And we’re back at square one.


1930’s “Blue Monday”

New Order’s classic Blue Monday was released on 7 March 1983, and its cutting-edge electronic groove changed pop music forever. But what would it have sounded like if it had been made 50 years earlier? In a special film, using only instruments available in the 1930s – from the theremin and musical saw to the harmonium and prepared piano – the mysterious Orkestra Obsolete present this classic track as you’ve never heard it before.

Original at the BBC.

Not being an employee…

Switching jobs had not solved my problems. The truth was that I hated working in a conventional structure. I hated having a boss, working on someone else’s creation and sitting in an office all day. My time was not my own, and I was miserable. I could not bear it for even one day longer. So I quit and decided to become an entrepreneur.

Exciting as it may be, however, the entrepreneurial life is far from easy. Stress is a regular part of the day. Money is tight. There are frequent emotional highs and lows, and the desire to succeed can become all-consuming. Underlying all of this is the knowledge that failure is the most likely outcome.

Yet, no matter how tough things get, I wake up every morning with renewed hope and excitement for what lies ahead. The fact that I am working on my passion gives meaning to even the most mundane tasks.

My future is perhaps more uncertain than it ever has been. I may end up wealthy, or I may earn barely enough to support myself. But the realization that I face a high likelihood of failure is not enough to send me back to the corporate cubicle.

Very true. From The New York Times.