1. Jalopnik argues compellingly that the “check engine light” in cars “keeps car owners in the dark about the condition of their vehicle, and ensures they stay dependent and subordinate to car dealers and mechanics.”

2. Is cooking an art? Or are there fundamental mathematical principles underlying great cooking?

3. Amazon is considering spinning off their Instant streaming video service (currently free with a $79 Amazon Prime subscription) into a standalone service to better compete with Netflix.

(This could be a good move, but it would be nice to see Amazon redesign its site to better differentiate the various store offerings. Everything just seems muddled together, unlike in the iTunes store)

4. New music from Fiona Apple is coming sometime this year. It’s hard to imagine anything from her topping Extraordinary Machine, but her return is a welcome one.

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