Image of the Day: Map of China, Seen from the East

2017 05 22 china from east

Can’t say I’d ever contemplated the country from this perspective.

Via Marginal Revolution.

Christopher Jared, who apparently sent in the image, writes in the comments:

I have used this perspective of China for insight many times. Look at the proximity of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and then what is in the middle? A large green, fertile patch… a middle kingdom. Whenever I am thinking about events in Chinese history, recent or ancient, it is this perspective that is most helpful to understanding.

Note: Taiwan would be grey because it was under Japanese rule in 1941, the date of the map.

Newley’s Notes 93: iPhone Scoop; SoftBank Allegations; Bluths Coming Back

2017 05 20colors

Edition 93 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out yesterday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, I’m Newley Purnell – welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, where I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from by blog, and various links about technology, business and life.

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

A contentious back-and-forth between SoftBank Group Corp. and attorneys who say they represent anonymous, disgruntled shareholders is riling the Japanese telecommunications titan.

The difficulties for SoftBank come as it is poised to begin investing $100 billion in technology startups around the world, and they have drawn concern from a Saudi Arabian investment vehicle that is set to commit $45 billion to the SoftBank technology fund.

The allegations from the attorneys have lingered over the past year about the conduct of top SoftBank executives, especially in India…

Click through to read the whole thing.

💬 What I Wrote at Newley.com

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. A round-up of everything “WannaCry.” This comprehensive post from Troy Hunt explains what we know about the ransomware that hit computers around the world. There’s also a Wikipedia page about the attack.

2. The biggest news from Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, involved Google Lens (image recognition), a standalone virtual reality headset, new photo tools, and more. Here’s the BBC on the gathering’s 5 biggest announcements. And The Verge has a more comprehensive rundown.

3. The 20th anniversary of Amazon’s IPO. When the company when public in May 1997, it was worth $438 million. Now its worth almost $460 billion. Recode has some charts illustrating its rise. (Related: My notes from “The Everything Store,” Brad Stone’s excellent 2013 book on Jeff Bezos and the company he created.)

4. How tech titans rake it in. Speaking of charts, here’s a breakdown of how the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft make their money. (Don’t forget: Google and Facebook are enormously successful at attracting advertising bucks; they get comparatively little revenue from other sources.)

5. Bill Gates tweeted some advice for new college grads. While most were inspirational tips, he also mentioned one big regret: “When I left school, I knew little about the world’s worst inequities. Took me decades to learn.”

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. The Bluths are coming back. The entire cast of hit TV show “Arrested Development” is returning to to Netflix for a fifth season next year.

As creator Mitchell Hurwitz said in a statement, “…we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days.”

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley


The NYT mobile site recently served me this ad, presumably because I’m in India. 😷

New Story: As Allegations Swirl Around SoftBank, It Calls Them ‘Sabotage’

A new story out Thurs., which I wrote with my WSJ colleagues Bradley Hope and Alex Frangos, begins:

A contentious back-and-forth between SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 0.90% and attorneys who say they represent anonymous, disgruntled shareholders is riling the Japanese telecommunications titan.

The difficulties for SoftBank come as it is poised to begin investing $100 billion in technology startups around the world, and they have drawn concern from a Saudi Arabian investment vehicle that is set to commit $45 billion to the SoftBank technology fund.

The allegations from the attorneys have lingered over the past year about the conduct of top SoftBank executives, especially in India. The company announced last week it had taken a loss on $1.4 billion on investments, largely in Indian startups. In March, a complaint was submitted to an Indian financial regulator purporting to identify financial malfeasance in those deals, including that current or former SoftBank executives received kickbacks connected with the investments.

Click through to read the rest.

Our Scoop Yesterday: Apple Manufacturer Assembles First iPhones in India

2017 05 18 apple india

The exclusive, which I wrote with my WSJ colleagues, begins:

NEW DELHI—An Apple Inc. manufacturer has completed a trial run of the first-ever iPhones assembled in India, in an important step in the U.S. tech giant’s push into the fast-growing South Asian market.

The manufacturing of Apple’s cheapest iPhone model, the SE, was handled earlier this month by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp., which has an assembling unit in the southern state of Karnataka, a state official with direct knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Apple said in a statement that it has begun initial production of a small number of iPhone SE handsets in Bangalore and will begin shipping the Indian-made devices to domestic customers this month. The first devices could hit stores as early as this week or next, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Wistron spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on “market rumors or speculation.”

With sales cooling in China—long an engine for Apple’s growth—the Cupertino, Calif., company has been looking for new ways to build its brand in India. Apple has sought concessions on the taxes it pays to import some components, government officials say.

The story was followed by may other outlets.

Why I’m Excited about Manton Reece’s Microblogging Effort

Silo

I’ve always wanted to find a way to easily include small bits of text or images here on Newley.com that I would otherwise post only on silos owned Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

I’m talking about links, observations, snapshots — not full blog posts, which I’ll continue to write, but rather fun little snippets that I’d nevertheless like to have a record of here.

After all, this site has been my own, tiny little part of the web since 2002, before those platforms ever emerged. Who knows what they’ll look like in the decades ahead.

I want to have all my personal content hosted here, under my control, but I still want to take advantage of these social platforms’ reach.

So I was really excited to read recently about Manton Reece‘s new Micro.Blog effort, part of a successful Kickstarter campaign called Indie Microblogging.

2017 05 14microblogging

I’ve signed up for the service — I’m @Newley) — though visiting that link won’t tell you much about how it all works. It essentially provides a platform that pulls together micro-posts from individuals’ blogs.

The setup allows me to post here first, and then those items are pulled in via RSS to Micro.Blog, a central repository for such posts, and then they’re distributed elsewhere.

It’s all based on the “POSSE” concept: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

The end result doesn’t change much for folks reading this blog — though you’ll likely see a higher volume of much shorter items — but it’s fun to think about my site truly becoming the default repository for my ramblings writings and photos, just like it was before the rise of social media.

2017 05 14windows

Anyway, you may have seen some of these microblog posts here and in the main Newley.com RSS feed of late.

(In WordPress, I use the Aside post type, which renders a bit differently than normal posts, with no title and a blue background. I also created a new Snippets category, with its own RSS feed that’s pulled into Micro.Blog.)

If you’d like to get my microblog snippets separately, that RSS feed is:

http://newley.com/category/snippets/feed/

Stay tuned for more. I’d also like to figure out a way to remove the microblog posts from my main feed, in case folks would only like to see my longer dispatches.

That time David Lee Roth played himself on “The Sopranos” (S5E4).