Don’t miss this story from my colleagues in France about the remarkable ease with which the Paris attacks earlier this month were planned and executed.
Online hotel booking services, easy movement across borders, etc. The nut graf:
The account emerging from French officials, witnesses and those who interacted with the suspected terrorists shows how the operation hinged on Mr. Abaaoud’s ability to use the tools of everyday modern life to lay the groundwork for the massacre. The ease with which he and his teams moved—all while avoiding detection by France’s security apparatus—suggests the challenges in identifying would-be terrorists and preventing further attacks in the fluid, digital and transnational world of today, especially when they are European citizens.
Bernard Leong interviewed me for this week’s episode of his Analyse Asia podcast, which is about tech, business and media in the region.
We discussed three India-related issues I’ve written about for The WSJ (and have mentioned on this blog): Facebook’s Internet.org project, Google’s Android One, and the talent cruch for top startup coders in the country.
You can play or download the episode above, or click through to listen to it on the podcast’s home page, where you’ll also find the show notes. You can also search your favorite podcast app for Analyse Asia; it’s the most recent show.
A colleague and reported today that DJI, the world’s biggest drone maker, is releasing a crop-spraying drone.
The story begins:
China’s SZ DJI Technology Co., the world’s top consumer-drone maker, is setting its sights on the agriculture industry with the launch of a crop sprayer that will test whether farming is fertile ground for drone technology.
DJI, which helped kick-start the global craze for drones with its $1,000 easy-to-fly devices, will on Friday unveil an eight-rotor drone priced at roughly $15,000 that is designed to spray pesticides on crops, a spokesman said. DJI said the drone, which has a 2.6-gallon spray tank and a typical takeoff weight of 49 pounds, can fly for about 12 minutes.
It can spray pesticides on seven to 10 acres of farmland per hour, depending on how much it needs to climb, descend or turn to follow the terrain.
The battery-powered DJI Agras MG-1 will be available first in China and South Korea, though the company didn’t specify exactly when it would go on sale. In China, DJI is taking preorders starting on Friday. The drone is expected to be available in other markets later, the company said.
A colleague and I reported earlier this week that Facebook’s looking at Asia to launch its Instant Articles advertising platform.
The story begins:
Facebook Inc. is laying the groundwork to expand its Instant Articles service in Asia, underscoring the extent to which it considers populous emerging markets as it implements new features.
The world’s largest social network has in recent weeks advertised job openings via its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore for contractors who will work with “new publishers to begin developing Instant Articles” and “provide direct support to publishers” who use the service. The jobs call for candidates who can speak Thai or Vietnamese.
Instant Articles allow media companies to publish material directly on Facebook, rather than as links to their sites. Facebook says these articles load ten times faster than standard articles on mobile phones. The company launched Instant Articles in the U.S. in May and in India last week.
And it does not disappoint.*
Spoiler alert: Mugatu is back. And he still has exceedingly high latte standards.
*Assuming that you are, as I am, a huge fan of the original flick.
NY–SF by train from Tom Harman on Vimeo.
Tom Harman writes:
A 3-day journey across the US on Amtrak in September, 2015. Everything was shot on the train with an iPhone6+ and edited in iMovie.
States traveled through include:
The AP reports:
An error by race organisers has turned Bangkok into the home of the world’s longest half-marathon.
Instead of a 13-mile run through Thailand’s capital, the Standard Chartered Bangkok marathon on Sunday accidentally extended its annual half-marathon to almost 17 miles.
The bonus miles came as a surprise to runners, who unleashed a tirade of complaints on social media after the event.
The Jogging Association of Thailand, one of two organisers of the race, admitted to the error on Monday.
“The association apologises for the mistake,” Songrakm Kraison, its vice-president, told the Associated Press. “It will not happen again in the future.”
There’s more over at Asian Correspondent.
These photos from Flickr user alan taylor show how editions of the popular book for children, “Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever,” changed between 1963 and 1991.
Males in the kitchen, less overtly obedient kids, fewer “handsome” airline pilots, the addition of menorahs, gender neutral professional titles and more.
A fascinating study.
Via Kottke. There’s more over at Fusion.