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Month: November 2017

By Me Today: Uber Hits Roadblocks in Southeast Asia

2017-11-28ubergrab

The story begins:

SINGAPORE—When Uber Technologies Inc. retreated from China last year after conceding a costly battle with a local rival, the ride-hailing giant vowed to devote new resources to winning other lucrative markets in Asia.

Since then, Uber has suffered setbacks in Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million people, where it has been outflanked by another local player, Grab Inc., which is gobbling up market share. Grab has expanded more rapidly, been more nimble in meeting local preferences, analysts say, and has forged better relations with regulators.

Grab has more monthly active users than Uber across six Southeast Asian countries, according to app analytics firm App Annie, while a May report from consultancy Bain found users across the region prefer Grab to Uber.

Now Uber investors and analysts believe the region may be the next to be ceded by Uber, which withdrew from Russia in July.

Click through to read the rest.

 

 

🚗 Newley’s Notes 112: The End of Cars; Facebook’s Eerie Prescience; Cyber Monday Deals

2017-11-28building

Edition 112 of my email newsletter 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, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes. If you like this newsletter, please invite others to sign up.

Apologies for NN’s absence last week. I was busy with travel, work, turkey, and — best of all — family. I hope you had an excellent Thanksgiving, if you celebrated it.

What I Wrote at Newley.com

5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

  • 1. Cars as we know them will be gone within two decades. So says Bob Lutz, a former General Motors executive, who describes a future in which only the elite will know how to drive, and the masses will be ferried about by self-driving Ubers and Lyfts.
  • 2. Airports, photographed from above, are full of beautiful symmetry, as demonstrated in a new series of images from Mike Kelley, the photographer who created that cool composite pic of planes taking off from LAX.
  • 3. “How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met.” In a revealing piece at Gizmodo, Kashmir Hill describes how the platform seems to use “shadow profiles” and its “People You May Know” algorithm to connect individuals — sometimes with unintended consequences.
  • 4. Protip: if you buy Bitcoin, don’t lose your storage PIN. In Wired, writer Mark Frauenfelder tells the story of losing $30,000 worth of the crypto-currency.
  • 5. Here’s a mammoth list of Cyber Monday deals, courtesy of The Wirecutter, covering everything from steaming media sticks to electric toothbrushes, Bluetooth speakers and dog beds.

1 Silly Thing

    • 1. “People Matching Artworks” is Stefan Draschan’s blog displaying…yes, images of museum-goers matching the art they’re viewing.

Quote of the week

“More and more often one feels the urge to check their phone, even if you are not expecting a specific message or call. These observations inspired the idea of making a tool that would help stop this ‘checking’ behaviour.”

That’s from designer Klemens Schillinger, who created the Substitute Phone, a plastic “device” with stone beads for smartphone addicts.

Thanks for reading, amigos. Please share this newsletter on Facebook or Twitter if you like it.

Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

New Delhi Smog Update: At Least the Temps are Dropping

So, what’s up with the air pollution here in New Delhi?

Here’s an update:

It’s still bad.

The PM2.5 reading yesterday morning was in the 300s. Which is not good.

But it’s not all terrible news.

Winter temps are here, which I love. Lows are dropping down to the 50s Fahrenheit, which is about 10 Celsius.

Sweater weather…just about! After nearly a decade in tropical Bangkok and Singapore, I am still giddy at the prospect of winter.

You take the good with the bad.

Proof of the Commodification of Fidget Spinners

Spotted today at a roadside stall here in New Delhi.

Yes, this bag of snacks comes with a free fidget spinner.

This raises a few questions.

First, how inexpensive must these toys be that they’re included with such low cost items?

Second, how many consumers do you think will unwittingly munch on the toys?

🎤 Newley’s Notes 111: Great Pyramid Mystery; Musically’s Payday, #AnimojiKaraoke

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Edition 111 of my email newsletter 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, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes. If you like this newsletter, please invite others to sign up.

I’m back after a couple weeks away. So, what’s new here in Delhi?

Sadly, and predictably, the talk of the town is the severe air pollution — or, as it’s been called on Twitter, #DelhiSmog and #Airpocalypse.

As I mentioned in the previous edition of NN, meteorological events and other factors this time of year mean the air gets quite soupy. This past week has been especially bad. Schools have been cancelled and the government has instituted restrictions of cars and trucks.

Here’s a shot video I shot on Wednesday afternoon showing what central Delhi was like. Fortunately, things have improved since then.

What I Wrote at Newley.com

5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

  • 1. The Great Pyramid has…a secret room? Deep inside the structure sits a previously undiscovered space, the so-called “Big Void.” As a WSJ colleague wrote:

“It is the first discovery of a major structure within the pyramid since the 19th century, and augurs new potential uses for a decades-old imaging technique, according to researchers who described their findings in the journal Nature.”

  • 2. An app you’ve never heard of was bought for up to $1 billion. Shanghai-based Musical.ly lets users — many are tweens and teens — create videos of themselves lip-syncing. It was snapped up by China’s Bytedance, maker of the news app Toutiao.
  • 3. 2017, viewed through push alerts. What a year it’s been. You can relieve it all — should you wish — via this clever Slate piece, which shows how news events appeared on our smartphone screens.
  • 4. Facebook’s founding president shared some candid views on the social media platform. “It’s a social-validation feedback loop,” Sean Parker told Axios’s Mike Allen, “…exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
  • 5. A useful site for finding streaming movies and TV:the new-to-me JustWatch.com. Simply search for a title, and it’ll show you were to find it.

1 Silly Thing

Quote of the week

“This is probably the most comprehensive review of one of the most underestimated tools of the modern technology world.”

That’s from “All you need to know about whiteboard markers,” Yuri Malishenko’s epic review of nine of the most popular brands on the market.

Thanks for reading, amigos. Please share this newsletter on Facebook or Twitter if you like it.

Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

How Bad is the Smog in Delhi? Here’s a Video

 

As I mentioned in the most recent Newley’s Notes, the air pollution here in Delhi worsens significantly this time of year.

Here’s a short video I shot on Wednesday afternoon near Connaught Place, in central New Delhi.

The air has been, in a word, soupy.

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