Links: What’s up with Russia?,’s saga, Ikea, Linux laptops, Les Mis, and more!

* “Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War,” from The New Yorker and a much better piece than you think; it’s also not just the usual.

* Comments from a female engineer on why she likes (liked?) Nastygal’s clothes, along with other insights about women and clothes.

* “The Weird Economics Of Ikea,” which are not particularly weird. See also me, “Does IKEA enable mobility?

* “How Victor Hugo came to write Les Misérables.”

* Why Dell’s gamble on Linux laptops has paid off. Linux seems to be getting easier on the desktop. If you’re a non-technical person using it, please leave a comment!

* Almost related to the above: Purism’s coreboot port is done. This is an important step in the company’s effort to ship a completely open source (and modern) laptop.

* “The case for going to bed at 2:30 am.”

* “Trouble at sea: what fossil fuels are doing to our oceans.”

* “In praise of cash;” seems like an obvious point to me.

* “Japan Gets Schooled: Why the Country’s Universities Are Failing.” The comments about the humanities and liberal arts are especially interesting from a Western perspective:

Although Japanese students rank among the top in the OECD for math and science, liberal arts and humanities are languishing. Yet they are critical to the growing creative industries of the future. The government is aware of this challenge.

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