Today’s Links: September 19, 2012


ANDREW LEONARD: “Stop That Smartphone!
“The Romney ‘secret’ fundraising video reminds us all of a basic truth of the contemporary age: If something can be recorded, it will be recorded. […] News is trickling out from various civil liberties and Apple-watching sites that on Aug. 28, Apple was granted a patent that would facilitate the ability to switch off smartphone functions remotely. The patent application lists loads of useful applications: Movie theaters could squelch noisy cellphones, cars could prevent texting, and airline operators could ensure, once and for all, that everyone’s smartphone went directly into airplane mode. Heck, according to the patent application, you could even stop camera phones from recording.”

KEVIN DRUM: “What’s Behind the EPA’s New 4-Gallon Minimum Purchase Mandate?
“Most gas stations don’t want to install new tanks just for E15. Instead, they’re installing blender pumps, which mix the ethanol and gasoline together in the right proportion depending on which one you want. But there’s a problem: if you pump E15 into your car, about a third of a gallon remains in the fueling hose when you’re done. If someone comes along, switches to E10, and buys a single gallon for their lawnmower, they’ll get a third of a gallon of E15 and two-thirds of a gallon of E10. That comes to about 11.7% ethanol, and that might be enough to set your lawnmower on fire. […] So the EPA produced a new rule: if you sell E15, you have to require your customers to buy at least four gallons of gas regardless of what blend they’re buying.”

JOHN GOODMAN: “Personalized Healthcare Choice Vs. Government Mandated Obamacare – Part 1
“Personalized medicine is the future. It’s where the science is going. It’s where the technology is going. It’s where doctors and patients will want to go. Yet, unfortunately for many of us, this is not where the Obama administration wants to go.”


SOCIAL MEDIA – History, As Recorded on Twitter, Is Vanishing From The Web, Say Computer Scientists
“Several websites have since begun the task of curating [social media] content, which is an important record of events and how they unfolded. […] [But] our history, as recorded by social media, is slowly leaking away.”

INNOVATION – Uterus Transplant, Latest Fertility Feat, Raises Ethical Questions
“Swedish doctors have successfully transplanted a uterus from mother to daughter, raising hope for women without wombs who want to carry their own babies.”

CYBERCRIMES – $1 Million Bail for LA-Man Over Death Threat Posts
“A former Yale University student remained jailed on $1 million bail, an amount normally reserved for murder or other crimes that could result in life sentences, after authorities say he made online death threats to children”