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Saturday, March 16

16th Mar - Weekender: Off-Topic

Last week’s Off-Topic here.

Previously on MoreLiver’s:
Weekender: The World (Cyprus, IMF’s EU-assessment)
Weekender: Weekly Support (last week, next week)
Weekender: Best of the Week (from the ending week)

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How a Soviet spy outmaneuvered John Maynard Keynes to ensure U.S. financial dominanceWonkblog / WP

Aircraft Carriers: R.I.P?The Diplomat

Drug War EffectivenessChartporn

Czeched Out: The Losers of Prague's Drug LiberalizationSpiegel
The Czech Republic's 2010 decision to lower drug possession from a criminal to misdemeanor offense has turned the country into a mecca for drug users. The change has spawned a profitable sub-economy, but also come at a high social cost.

Vladimir Putin: 'the godfather of a mafia clan'The Telegraph
The Moscow journalist Masha Gessen pulls no punches in her biography of Vladimir Putin, The Man Without a Face

The Path to Radicalization: Following a German Salafist to EgyptSpiegel
A year ago, a SPIEGEL editor met a Salafist in Hannover. Following several meetings in Germany, he traveled with him to his new home in Egypt. But he could not have anticipated the danger he would encounter there

How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millionsThe Guardian
Papacy used offshore tax havens to create £500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland

An Orwellian AmericaZH

Benoit Mandelbrot — The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific MaverickFarnam Street

Richard Feynman on the Universal Responsibility of Scientistsbrain pickings

Reconstructing the Big Bang: A 'Baby Photo' of the UniverseSpiegel
Europe's "Planck" research satellite has measured the residual radiation from the big bang with greater precision than ever before. The goal of the mission is to solve the mystery of whether the universe truly arose out of nothing.

Smiling fighters more likely to loseBPS
A new study has analysed photographs taken at dozens of these pre-fight encounters and found that competitors who smile are more likely to lose the match the next day

Our brains, and how they're not as simple as we thinkThe Guardian
Neuroscience has entered the public consciousness, and changed the way we talk about ourselves. But much of what passes as knowledge is inaccurate

Mind gamesBabbage / The Economist

Checklist: What are 4 steps to a more meaningful life?Bakadesuyo

Do markets dream of electric androids? alphaville / FT
Last weekend I attended Robots on Tour, a robotics, humanoids and cyborg exhibition put together by the Zurich-based Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich.

Japan Becomes First to Extract Gas From Frozen MethaneDiscover

Are methane hydrates the next big energy source? Japan hopes soWonkblog / WP

If You Wear Google’s New Glasses You Are An AssholeGawker

China must rein in its cyber assaultsThe A-list / FT

Difference Engine: Hackers' paradiseBabbage / The Economist
Chinese hackers may get all the notoriety, but their cyber-security exploits against American targets are chickenfeed compared with the damage done by organised crime.

BizDaily: Fire with fire?BBC (mp3)
Hacking back against the hackers - with a global campaign of industrial espionage over the Internet, should companies be retaliating and firing malware back? And, shark fins off the menu - a new global ban on some types of shark fishing and what it means for Hong Kong's chefs. Plus - the office without chairs. But will we stand for it?

The Second Great Crypto Warreason
The first great conflict over cryptography and state power happened in the 1990s… The cypherpunks achieved a new level of fame when one of them founded Wikileaks, a website for sharing leaked or liberated documents. The site terrified national governments, setting off the Second Great Crypto War.

Are We Ready for an Internet Cold War?Big Think

The value of the internet now and in the futureFree exchange / The Economist
Discussion of attempts to measure the consumer surplus generated by the internet

Which Google Reader Replacement Will You Use?MIT Technology Review
Google kills its Reader, beloved by many (but not enough).

Google Reader Shutdown a Sobering Reminder That 'Our' Technology Isn't OursForbes

Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About YouPropublica
Data companies are scooping up enormous amounts of information about almost every American. They sell information about whether you're pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars you have.

Lowbrow in High Places: When Lederhosen Porn Was KingSpiegel
Four decades ago, the southern German state of Bavaria became the birthplace of a film genre like no other. The alpine meadows were rugged, the men wore lederhosen, the porn was soft -- and Germany was hooked.

How we made Killer, by Seal and AdamskiThe Guardian
The singer and producer recall the acid house anthem that took them from illegal raves to stardom and a No 1 hit

Why I Hacked Donkey Kong for My DaughterWired