I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit. – The Washington Post →

The final straw came late last month, when the White House issued a directive reorganizing the National Security Council, on whose staff I served from 2014 until earlier this year. Missing from the NSC’s principals committee were the CIA director and the director of national intelligence. Added to the roster: the president’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism.

The public outcry led the administration to reverse course and name the CIA director an NSC principal, but the White House’s inclination was clear. It has little need for intelligence professionals who, in speaking truth to power, might challenge the “America First” orthodoxy that sees Russia as an ally and Australia as a punching bag. That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk.

Ticketmaster is a horrible company →

Ticketmaster is my least favorite shopping experiences on the internet. Each screen I click through I feel like I’m being taken advantage of. Just now, during my previous shopping experience, I decided I’ve finally had enough. If I can help it, I will never order another ticket from them again.

When I think of terrible companies, Ticketmaster is tops. From using their website, app, or in-store kiosks to purchase tickets, or even trying to call to order tickets, it’s a terrible experience all the way down. To make matters worse, Ticketmaster charges an exorbitant service fee for their terrible experience. My last two Ticketmaster purchases I paid fees of 17% and 25% of the ticket price, to simply put, reserve my spot(s) at an event.

I would love to see some disruption in concert/show ticketing either in the form of a new service/app (e.g. Uber, Lyft, OfferUp, etc.) or simply by having more artists and venues selling tickets directly to their fans.

Conservatism turned toxic: Donald Trump’s fanbase has no actual ideology, just a nihilistic hatred of liberals – Salon.com →

Conservatism has, over the decades, curdled into an ideology of hatefulness and destruction, with no real interest in building up much beyond the bank accounts of the already wealthy. One can read a billion think-pieces about Trump’s divergence from traditional conservatism, but the reality is that “traditional” conservatism doesn’t exist anymore, outside a few enclaves of (ha ha) coastal elites. Conservatism as practiced by most Republicans is an ideology built on one single principle: Pissing off the liberals. And no one excels at that more than Donald Trump.

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps — Anchor Editions →

A really great collection of photos taken by Dorothea Lange during the U.S.’s internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.

“The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.” — General John L. DeWitt, head of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command

It is completely asinine that the incoming administration has promoted a national Muslim registry. The times may have changed, but fear and ignorance have not.

Xiaomi is selling the concept phone of your wildest dreams – The Verge →

Nothing says sci-fi like a bezel-less screen, and Xiaomi’s newly announced Mi Mix Android phablet is very sci-fi with its 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Great looking phone and the bezel-less design is definitely a precursor to future smartphones.

I read this great quote from an Om Malik piece in the New Yorker about smartphone design:

“Maeda said that he spent time with designers at Sony and felt their frustration designing a television set “because all you can really do is design the rectangle that the TV sits within. . . . Everything else around that screen really doesn’t matter.” The same problem holds for the iPhone. All that matters is the screen—its size, brightness, and resolution. “Now that we have all those dimensions sated, it’s basically the challenge of designing a TV set all over again,” he added.

It will be interesting to see how the smartphone design is innovated and improved upon.

The New York Times is buying The Wirecutter for more than $30 million – Recode →

The New York Times is buying The Wirecutter, a five-year-old online consumer guide. The Times will pay more than $30 million, including retention bonuses and other payouts, for the startup, according to people familiar with the transaction.

I love the Wirecutter and SweetHome. Off the top of my head, items we’ve purchased using the Wirecutter and SweetHome reviews: Honda Odyssey, LG Washer and Dryer, 50″ and 32″ televisions (Samsungs), smartphones (HTC One(s)), iPad, bluetooth speaker (Logitech UE Boom), wireless router (TP-Link), cable modem (Motorola SurfBoard), Solid State Drive (Samsung), rain jacket (Marmot Precip), SD cards (Samsung), and probably a few more things.

Barack Obama on 5 Days That Shaped His Presidency →

A really great read summarizing Obama’s two terms and accomplishments as President. Looking back on it now, considering what he was handed in 2008-9 and the GOP-lead Congress whose sole purpose was to make Obama a one-term President, it really is amazing all that Obama accomplished.