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Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.
Here are ten items worth your time this week:
🛵 1) By me, with a colleague, in The WSJ: Hot on the Wheels of Grab, Go-Jek Rides Further Into Southeast Asia. The story begins:
Motorcycle-taxi service PT Go-Jek Indonesia will invest $500 million to expand its operations in Southeast Asia, revving up competition in a fast-growing consumer market just two months after Uber Technologies Inc. reached a landmark deal to exit from the region.
The Indonesian company said in a statement Thursday it plans to enter Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines in the next few months and is currently working with regulators and stakeholders across the region.
Go-Jek will initially offer motorcycle-hailing services in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, and provide traditional taxi services in Singapore, where motorcycle taxis aren’t permitted, a company spokesman said. The move, in effect, puts Go-Jek in direct competition with regional market leader Grab Inc.
🚫 2) Cautionary tale of the week: Amazon Alexa-Powered Device Recorded and Shared User’s Conversation Without Permission [WSJ] — /Begin rant/ Not to beat a dead horse, but Newley’s Notes readers have been warned about these devices on several occasions. Think long and hard about installing one in your house, if you’re privacy-conscious. Consider Amazon’s business model — selling you stuff — and how that might inform their product strategy. Same with Google Home. The Big G is an advertising company fueled by personal data. And it should come as no surprise that Facebook is also said to be considering getting into the connected speaker business. /End rant/
🤑 3) Tech longread of the week: How the Math Men Overthrew the Mad Men [The New Yorker] — “Once, Mad Men ruled advertising,” Ken Auletta writes. “They’ve now been eclipsed by Math Men — the engineers and data scientists whose province is machines, algorithms, pureed data, and artificial intelligence.”
💉 4) Tech video of the week: The Theranos deception — “60 Minutes” sums up the Theranos scandal — uncovered by The WSJ‘s John Carreyrou — in this 14-minute piece. Carreyrou’s new book, “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” is just out.
🃏 5) How Trump changed everything for The Onion — [Politico] — How do you make jokes about a president who “often defies satire“? Politico’s Andrew Restuccia interviews The Onion‘s editor in chief, Chad Nackers.
🎹 6) The Songs of the Years, 1925-2018 [Kottke.org] — A simple, cool idea: a playlist featuring one song from each year, running through the decades. On Spotify here; on Apple Music here; on Google Play Music here.
⚽ 7) Soccer trend piece of the week: A New Atlanta, United by Soccer [New York Times] — “For 10 years, I didn’t look at Atlanta as my home,” one fan of the new MLS side Atlanta United says in this story about how team has built its fan base. “Now, Atlanta United is the glue to the community for me.”
💯 8) Soccer goal of the week/year/decade/in Champion’s League history? A must-see from Gareth Bale in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Liverpool yesterday. On YouTube (for now at least) here. And here’s a fan’s view on Twitter.
😂 9) One silly thing: Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas “Outtakes.” [YouTube] — Fantastic.
📚10) A quote I’ve been pondering:
If you want to think long-term, you can’t spend all day reading things that train your brain to twitch.
That’s from Wall Street Journal investing columnist Jason Zweig — one of the sharpest minds out there on behavior and money — describing what he reads and why.
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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,