Crappy SEPTA & how Madden rates players

Another busy Friday and a late link post! No complaining, though, as there were some great pieces of content this week (finally). First up:

How Madden ratings are made
I have never played Madden once. In fact, the only game system I've ever owned is a Wii, and it hasn't been turned on when sober in multiple years. But the idea that there's someone who evaluates NFL players and constantly tries to make their in-game likeness as realistic as possible (and has to deal with lobbying players/agents) is a testament to how important video games are to the sports ecosystem today.

SEPTA card system delayed again
For those of you who don't live in Philly: the subways here still run on tokens. Yes, that's right. Tokens. I know the MBTA's recent plights should make a Bostonian aware of tossing barbs at a mass transit system, but SEPTA is just the absolute worst in terms of service, infrastructure, cleanliness and usability of the system. It's no surprise to see them continuing to fall behind on their signature modernization project, and another reminder of why Philly continues to lag behind the other great cities of the Northeast.

Sanctions actually work
America's experience with Cuba has jaded me in regards to sanctions, and I've generally felt as though they're more trouble than they're worth. Similar lack of impact in Iran and North Korea has only amplified those feelings. This piece from The American Interest makes a case that not only can sanctions work - but they're getting it done in Russia. 

Trickle-down terrorism tactics
It was only a matter of time: our acceptance of the federal government's illegal treatment of those suspected of terrorism has encouraged local governments to use the same illegal tactics. This article makes me apoplectic, although it's appropriate that this is happening on Rahm Emmanuel's (and Obama's) turf. The Chicago PD has refuted certain aspects of this report, but even a shred of truth is terrifying to everyone.

How an undocumented migrant made it atop Goldman Sachs
In the department of inspiration this week: Julissa Arce. She was an illegal immigrant, worked her way up to the top of Goldman Sachs, and then left to pursue what makes her happy. I loved everything about reading this story, and found great inspiration from Ms. Arce. Bloomberg has really knocked it out of the park the past few weeks with content like this.

Is Lenovo evil or incompetent?
Another victory for team Apple. Last week, it came to light that Lenovo was more or less installing spyware on every Windows laptop it shipped. They've backed off, but it's a reminder that for all its aggravations (and there are many) the Apple model of integrating software and hardware will deliver more and more value as our information becomes exclusively digital and criminals look to exploit it.