Sunday Links

"The Last Question" is a short story by Isaac Asimov. Of all that he wrote this was his favorite.

Over the counter dietary supplements are increasingly hurting and even killing people. Epicures beware. It's mostly livers, and to be fair the numbers are relatively small. (NYT)

Peter Zumthor on presence in architecture. (ArchDaily)

It's official, the only way to make money on the internet other than selling physical goods and Nigerian scams is to gather vast amounts of information on users. 23andMe is doing just that. Plot twist: one of the founders is married to Google founder Sergey Brin. (Scientific American)

The NYTimes analyzed Facebook profiles and Google search data to quantify who openly says they're gay versus how many people are still in the closet. There are still parts of the US where large amounts of people are in the closet - surprising and sad. (NYT)

DNA is only half the picture. There's a whole other layer of information underneath. (University of Washington)

This is now a trend (I've written about this before) - residential solar power is disruptive to utilities. You pay your power company for actual power consumed, not the distribution of power (the grid). A home with photovoltaics (PV) pushes its excess power onto the grid when the sun is shining and consumes electricity when from the grid when it isn't. Basically, homes with PV need the grid (battery systems are expensive), but that's not traditionally how the power company gets paid. It seems like an easy fix but no one's figured it out yet. So solar is now viable but we can't figure out who will pay for the grid, so several states have shut down programs to encourage or even allow solar panels on homes. (Scientific American)

President Obama gave a very good and straight forward speech about inequality. The mostly nonpolitical part where he explains the problems (with lots of numbers) is between about 2:15 about 20:00. Krugman explains why this is a big deal. (Krugman, NYT)

The difference between empathy and sympathy. (Hat tip Chris Dilts)

Logical errors.