Newley Purnell's Home on the Web since 2001

Category: Misc. (Page 2 of 187)

By Me Today: 500 Startups Invests in Vietnam

The story begins:

Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups is starting a fund to pump money into Vietnam, a sign that some foreign investors believe the communist state’s technology scene is set to blossom.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based seed investor and startup incubator said Tuesday that it aims to invest $10 million in some 100 to 150 startups in the fast-growing country.

“I’ve been watching the tech scene here since 2010, and back then it was way too early” to invest, Eddie Thai, a 500 Startups venture partner, told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday at an event to launch the fund in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Over that period of time, the macros [macroeconomic conditions] improved,” said Mr. Thai. “Internet access improved, smartphones became ubiquitous,” and the teams running startups in Vietnam have gotten “stronger and stronger every year,” he said. “This is our call to everybody to say we’re investing, come to us.”

U.K.-based consultancy We Are Social says smartphone ownership is growing quickly in Vietnam, and that 55% of adults in the country now use the devices. The country is also young: Some 41% of the country’s more than 94 million people are below the age of 24, according to CIA World Factbook data. That means there is a huge potential for companies to tap into a growing base of users.

In This Week’s Newsletter: Oatmeal-Centric Restaurants, Nate Silver, Why Chocolate May be Good for Your Noggin

The latest edition of my email newsletter has gone out to subscribers. It’s pasted in below.

To get these weekly dispatches delivered to your inbox, sign up here. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief — and few people unsubscribe!

Hi friends,

Thanks for reading Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter where I share my WSJ stories, posts from my blog, and various interesting links

What I wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

Uber Rolls Out Motorcycle-Booking Service in Bangkok — The world’s most valuable startup picked Thailand for its first service allowing users to book motorbikes through its app.

(Those who have visited the Kingdom or other parts of Southeast Asia know that motorcycle taxis are popular in the region because they allow a cheap, easy way to cut through traffic-clogged metropolises. I was reminded how strange they might seem to outsiders, however, by someone who left a one-word comment on the story: #deathwish.”)

5 items that are worth your time this week:

1. There exists in America a restaurant that serves 30 different kinds of oatmeal. Amazingly, it is in New York’s Greenwich Village, not Portland, Oregon. (Thanks, Anasuya!)

2. Worth a listen if you’re interested in economics, politics, sports, forecasting, and/or statistics: Nate Silver talks to Tyler Cowen about just about everything you can imagine.

3. Research finding of the week: “Chocolate intake is associated with better cognitive function: The Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study.” Yesssssss…

4. Good stuff from The Wirecutter: a detailed guide to improving your smartphone’s battery life

5. Here’s an interesting New Yorker profile of the legendarily frugal Peter Adeney, the Canadian man behind popular blogMr. Money Mustache.

Have a great week!

— @Newley

Very Cool: Video Footage of NYC from the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Embedded above and on YouTube here: footage of New York City from 1896 through 1905.

Via Kottke.

Video of the Week: ‘Monkey Sees A Magic Trick’

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Monkey Sees A Magic Trick.”

I love it.

Not Sure What to Read in the ‘New Yorker’? Subscribe to this Email Newsletter

2015 10 03 nyer

An email newsletter* I recently discovered and am loving: “The New Yorker Minute.

It’s a weekly rundown of the gems in each issue — and a guide to what you can skip.

Each Wednesday, subscribers receive a summary of material in the week’s issue, broken down into sections like “read this,” “window-shop these,” and “skip without guilt.”

There are also pointers regarding short stories, poetry and cartoons.

*Longtime readers know I really love email newsletters — and send out a weekly one myself.

Brian Eno’s Favorite Books; AeroPress Inventor; Creepy/Cute kangaroos; Creepy/Cute Drones

Those are among the links I shared in the 25th edition of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, which just went out to subscribers.

Sign up here and never miss another dispatch.

Productivity Tip: ‘Iterate Toward Perfection,’ But Forget Perfection Exists

Matt Might, whose account of having a disabled child I mentioned previously, also has an interesting post on productivity tips for academics.

The advice can be applied to people working in many professions, though, not just academia.

I really like this bit:

Iterate toward perfection

Treat perfection like a process, not an achievable state. Perfectionism is crippling to productivity. I’ve known academics that can’t even start projects because of perfectionism. I know some academics that defend their lack of productivity by proudly proclaiming themselves to be perfectionists. I’m not so sure one should be proud of perfectionism. I don’t think it’s bad to want perfection; I just think it’s unrealistic to expect it.

The metric academics need to hit is “good enough,” and after that, “better than good enough,” if time permits. Forget that the word perfect exists. Otherwise, one can sink endless amounts of time into a project long after the scientific mission was accomplished. One good-enough paper that got submitted is worth an infinite number of perfect papers that don’t exist.


Moving Account of Having a Disabled Child — and What’s Important in Life

This post from University of Utah Computer Science professor Matt Might is very much worth reading.

Might saw a question on Quora from a 16-year-old who said he wanted to have a successful career in computer science or medicine, but feared getting married and having a disabled child.

Might wrote:

First, your question is trivial to answer: to minimize the risk – to zero – that you’ll have a disabled child, don’t have a child.

Any attempt to have a child will incur risk, although you can take measures described in other answers to lower it.

But, let me tell you a story – my story.

I am the father of a “disabled child,” yet I’m a professor in computer science at the University of Utah, and also currently a professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Hopefully I’ve just dispelled your fear that having a disabled child is not compatible with “a strong career in computer science or medicine.”

In fact, what if I told you that much of what I’ve done was the result of my having a disabled child? Because I too (naively) believe in love, and love my wife and son dearly?

Read the whole thing.

Gone Fishin’

2015 08 09gonefishin

I’m on the road and won’t be posting anything here for the next week or so.

See you in a bit, friends!

Page 2 of 187

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: