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Friday,  08/07/15  09:51 PM

Want to be more productive?  Have a job that requires dedicated periods of concentration?  Then listen to music.  It's fun, and it works...

My current favorite Slacker channel: Masters of Metal.  YMMV!

Apple Music clocks more than 11M trial customers.  Which have so far collectively paid $0 for trying the service.  I can't get too excited, I've heard zero friends raving about the service. 

First I passed on Apple Watch, and now Apple Music.  Hmmm...

Powerline celebrates Milton Friedman's birthday by linking his "20 best quotes".  They're all great, folksy wisdom from a solid thinker, well worth checking out.  You have to like #1: 

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

The NY Times editorializes: The Right Minimum Wage: $0.  "The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable – and fundamentally flawed."  That was in 1987.  Everyone has a right to change their mind, but those arguments are just as compelling today. 

Related: Plunder and Deceit reaches #1 on Amazon's bestseller list

Interesting article by Laura Hudson in Boing Boing about the game Never Alone, which features an Alaska Native girl named Nuna and her pet arctic fox.  "Cook Inlet Tribal Council members weren't just asked to superficially consult; they became part of a greenlight committee that had equal numbers of E-Line employees and Natives, and worked together to address problems related to everything from concept art to personnel."  After watching the video, I wanted to play the game, which is amazing because I'm not really a gamer. 

Also interesting, this post featured an image in webp format, the first time I've seen that.  My ancient version of Photoshop didn't know what to do with it, so I had to screen print and cut-and-paste.  My first reaction to a new image format is "who ordered that?" but I guess we mustn't stand in the way of progress :)

A great use of technology: Machine learning used to predict fine wine price moves.  I'll drink to that, but of course using it to make fine wine finer would be a higher and better use. 

Of course they are: North Korea is creating a new time zone.  It is offset from South Korea, China, and Japan by ... 30 minutes.  That will certainly make things easier. 

Wow: IBM are buying Merge Healthcare for $1B, to add medical images to Watson.  "When IBM set up its Watson health business in April, it began with a couple of smaller medical data acquisitions and industry partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. Last week, IBM announced a partnership with CVS Health, the large pharmacy chain, to develop data-driven services to help people with chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease better manage their health."  This is probably the biggest visual search deal yet, and it's focused on medical imaging.  How interesting! 

Also of note: the stock photo which accompanies the article (shown at right) is pretty dated; most Radiologists have PACS systems and can compare images side-by-side on a computer screen.