Today’s Links: November 13, 2012


NAOMI ROVNICK: “The Great Firewall of China looms higher around the Communist Party congress
“China’s biggest political event for a decade is also its biggest secret. With the Communist Party meeting in Beijing for its 18th Congress, the country’s infamous censors are on high alert. […] Google access is patchy. On Friday, data on Google’s own transparency report, which provides data on traffic worldwide, showed a marked and unusual drop in traffic from China.”

MATT YGLESIAS: “How Cheap Will Legal Marijuana Be in Colorado and Washington?
“Back in July, I learned the striking fact that if marijuana were fully legal, a decent high could be had for a few cents. Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes—no ‘medical marijuana’ fig leaf here or even Dutch-style toleration—will pot prices crater? Almost certainly not. For starters, both states are trying to make money off pot. They envision a legal framework broadly modeled on alcohol regulation with licensing schemes for production, retailing, and distribution of marijuana, coupled with laws against underage consumption and driving while intoxicated.”

REBECCA J. ROSEN: “The Places Where America’s Drones Are Striking, Now on Instagram
“Technology has countervailing effects. We can send a battle by air to a land we have never set foot in, laying previously unimaginable distance between us and our wars. But at the same time we can see on a device in our pocket a satellite picture of these places so remote. Maybe, Bridle writes, the instant connectivity of our world can be a platform not just for faster information, but for deeper empathy for people who live a world away.”


HEALTHCARE – Wal-Mart Employees to Pay More for Health-Care Plans
Wal-Mart Stores’ U.S. employees will pay between 8 percent and 36 percent more in premiums for its medical coverage in 2013, prompting some of the 1.4 million workers at the nation’s largest private employer to say they will forego coverage altogether. ”

GENDER – EU drops planned board gender quota for softer pressure
“The European Commission has dropped a plan to force firms to give 40 percent of non-executive board positions to women in favor of a less drastic obligation to favor female candidates where they are equally qualified, an EU source said on Tuesday.”

LEGAL – Microsoft and Google financials could surface at trial
“Microsoft and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit are set to square off on Tuesday at a trial with strategic implications for the smartphone patent wars and which could reveal financial information the two companies usually keep under wraps.”