The subprime swindle. For black America, the “mortgage meltdown” looks less like a market hiccup than a massive strip mining of hard-won wealth, a devastating loss that will betray the promise of class mobility for tens of thousands of black families. Is the mortgage industry bankrupting black America? — The Nation

What the auto industry can learn from Apple’s iPhone. Witnessing the exuberant demand for the new iPhone made me wonder if this feat could be repeated in other categories, such as the auto business. What would an automaker have to do to seduce consumers to stand in line to buy a hot new car? Here are some lessons from the iPhone. — Advertising Age

Helping Wikipedia fight the PR whitewash. Last year tech student Virgil Griffith released a simple piece of software code that tore the lid of secrecy off the anonymous community of volunteers who edit nonprofit online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Now he’s unveiled a new piece of software which allows users to not only filter Wikipedia edits, automatically pinpointing corporations who edit articles about their company or products, but also reveals the corporate affiliation of users whose business and personal IP addresses had been previously masked. — Forbes

The 11 and a half biggest ideas of the year. From the Surge to carbon consciousness, the Atlantic rounds up the ideas—good and bad— which most informed America’s national conversation over the past twelve months. Herewith the result: a thumbnail intellectual history of the year. The Atlantic