Things I read this week, vol. 4

I read (and in one case, wrote) some things this week. Here are all of them!

36 hours on the fake campaign trail with Donald Trump: (the fallout from this story has been hilarious, btw)

I meet Trump for our official interview around 5 p.m. in the “living room” — a cavernous, ornate chamber at the center of the complex with high gold ceilings, massive chandeliers, and a collection of flamboyantly baroque furniture spread throughout the premises. Trump leads Nunberg and me to a large dining hall, where the staff is setting the table for a wine dinner to be held later tonight. He introduces me to an older, German-accented gentleman who appears to be in charge of the event.

“He’s the biggest blogger in the world,” Trump tells the man. “You look at him, and he’s sort of handsome, but his power is immense.” He turns to me. “Isn’t that right?”

Before I can answer, he is facing the German gentleman again. “Have you heard of BuzzFeed?”

The man doesn’t want to say no, but it’s clear he’s unfamiliar.

“It used to be the New York Times, now it’s BuzzFeed,” Trump explains. He pauses a beat, and then adds, almost wistfully, “The world has changed.”

Inside the Netflix war room

The engineers can tell, in real time, how many people are streaming the show on these devices, where they are, and who’s binging. Edberg said the last time House of Cards launched, the engineers figured out that the entire season was about 13 hours.

“And we looked to [see]  if anybody was finishing in that amount of time,” Edberg said. “And there was one person who finished with just three minutes longer than there is content. So basically, three total minutes of break in roughly 13 hours.”

The failings of startup bro culture:

Subtle cues in the physical environment of companies such as Star Trek posters and video games lead to women being less interested in being a part of an organization when compared to a neutral office environment. This causes women to self-select out of technology jobs.

Indeed, the trend is getting worse. In 1985, 37 percent of computer science undergraduate degree recipients were women. By 2011 this proportion had dropped to 18 percent. Most technology firms refuse to release gender and diversity numbers. Data collected on Github explains why. Dropbox, for example, had only 9 women in its 143 person engineering team as of October 2013. That’s 6.3 percent in an industry in which 18 percent of the hiring pool is women.

And more! The unlikely duo behind Ready For HillaryHaunted houses and Hot Pockets. All the Presidents’ Honeymoons. Rand Paul and felon voting rights. Positive thinking is a sham, but like addiction is totally real. A “Worth It” button for stories you actually read all the way through. Against voluntourism. How accurate is the Deep Web subplot in House of Cards? Google is now blocking WND’s hateful “black mob” stories. Charlie Crist is a big hugger. Rick Steves is a longtime pot activist. Six degrees of Bill Murray. Secrets from voiceover schoolInternships—boy, I don’t know.

Blog of the week: Used to be a Pizza Hut
Shade of the week:
“It feels like you’re watching performance art… and most of them are bad actors.” – Kevin Spacey vs. Congress
Comic of the week:
 White Thug Life
Songs of the week: Everything is AwesomeLet It Go
Pie chart of the week: What are straight white male feminists worrying about?
Videos of the week: Brian Williams does Rapper’s DelightCat Curling
GIF of the week: This is a game I like to call, “Swat the Haters” (via The Daily GIF)

Did you know tomorrow is National Margarita Day? Me neither. I’m about to go acquaint myself, and advise you to do the same.

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