iPhone or gPhone? The Cell Phone Wars.  Google’s G1 is the first phone based on Google’s new mobile operating system, Android. Google’s software will soon make its way to other phones and other carriers across the globe. Google says that Android embodies principles of “radical openness.” Unlike Apple, the company will let developers create any mobile apps they please. Google has also persuaded carriers to allow users to run any apps they like—including voice-over-IP software like Skype, which carriers have traditionally resisted because it lets you make calls without running up cellular minutes. — Slate

Regrets Only. Lionel Trilling and his discontents. Lionel Trilling was not completely happy about being Lionel Trilling. “I have one of the great reputations in the academic world,” he wrote in his journal after being promoted to full professor in the Columbia English Department, in 1948. “This thought makes me retch.” Two years later, he published “The Liberal Imagination,” a book that sold more than seventy thousand copies in hardcover and more than a hundred thousand in paperback, and that made Trilling a figure, a model of the intellectual in Cold War America. — The New Yorker

Skin Deep. In his thought-provoking and disturbing new book, Anthony Elliott describes Asia as having become “the world’s hotspot for surgical tourism, particularly Thailand, Singapore and India.” Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Latin America, the Caribbean states, and parts of the Middle East have witnessed a similar phenomenon, as cosmetic surgery has become as globalized as any other industry — not only for patients, but also for the professional personnel who provide it. The demand for such services and the mobility of the providers has magnified in recent years, and by every indication it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Indeed, the entire concept of periodically re-imagining oneself – -more, re-designing oneself — has taken its place in the culture of Western societies. — Powell’s Books [via 3QuarksDaily]

Sign of the Times. Dear American, My Dear Friend: I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you. — Best of New Orleans blog