Critical Linking: April 16th, 2013



Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scale con artists. She used to be legally certified but her license got pulled a while back, which has actually turned out to be a blessing because now she can follow her own code of ethics—carry a Beretta, do business with sleazebags, hack into people’s bank accounts—without having too much guilt about any of it. Otherwise, just your average working mom…

The description of Thomas Pynchon’s new book seems pretty straightforward, as does the first page. What the hell is going on with him?


An amazing story was just self-published on Amazon. It takes place in a buried silo where population control is critical, the Down Deep is flooding, and loved ones are being put to death. It is suspenseful and gut-wrenching. It is based on Wool. And I didn’t write it.

Hugh Howey needs to rethink how he thinks and talks about women, but damn his take and actions on fan fiction are remarkably progressive.


A rare psalm book from 1640 could fetch between $15 million to $30 million at a Sotheby’s auction on Nov. 26 in New York.

And yes, in case you are wondering, a prayer book made for Puritans going for this much money is indeed ironic.


Pardon the uninspired UI, but even the addition of a few relevant features could help customers drill down to what really matters to them, and this could be done with relatively simple semantic analysis. This basic idea also illustrates some of the direction I think search is heading.  Semantic search isn’t just about retrieving concepts; it’s also about understanding the context of our questions.

I give this four out of five stars.

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