Today’s Links: January 24, 2012


JORDAN WEISSMANN: “Why the United States Will Never, Ever Build the iPhone
“This weekend, The New York Times published a long exploration of the many reasons why Apple chooses to build its iPhones in China. The piece is indispensable reading for anybody who wants to understand why the United States has seen certain types of manufacturing all but disappear from its shores. But the article’s core lesson might be tough to swallow: Apple doesn’t only choose China because work is cheaper. Apple also chooses China because the factories and the workers do a better job. ”

MATTHEW YGLESIAS: “Three Barriers to Robot Cars
“Google continues to make progress on computer-piloted automobiles, but as John Markoff details substantial legal, regulatory, and technical hurdles remain before such vehicles could be introduced into wide use.  One of the biggest issues, per Atrios, is that there’s a huge difference between building a transportation system for autonomous vehicles from scratch and integrating them into existing roadways.”

JUAN WILLIAMS: “For America’s Children, Education Outlook Grows Only Dimmer
“The idea is simple: Better schools will result if parents have more control over how tax dollars are spent on education. That means bipartisan, coast-to-coast support for charter schools, vouchers and anything else that introduces competition and innovation into a stultified, failing education system.”


LEGAL – Judge: Americans Can Be Forced to Decrypt Their Laptops
“American citizens can be ordered to decrypt their PGP-scrambled hard drives for police to peruse for incriminating files, a federal judge in Colorado ruled today in what could become a precedent-setting case. Judge Robert Blackburn ordered a Peyton, Colo., woman to decrypt the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop computer no later than February 21–or face the consequences including contempt of court.”

IMMIGRATION – Divide on Dream Act Resurfaces in Florida Debate
“In NBC’s debate Monday night, Romney and Rick Santorum reiterated that they would veto [the Dream Act], but Newt Gingrich differed. He said he would work to get a ‘signable version’ of the bill, suggesting that children of illegal immigrants who have joined the military have earned the right to citizenship, but that those who instead have gone to college here do not — because they have broken the law. Romney said he agrees with that stance.”

STEVE JOBS – Virgin America Pays Tribute to Steve Jobs With Jet Name
“As the first airline company to offer fleet-wide Wi-Fi and the only one based in Silicon Valley, it seems natural that Virgin America would name a jet after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The plane, which first flew late last year, is an Airbus A320 and has the popular Jobs’ quote ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish‘ stenciled on its nose.”