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Category: Newley’s Notes (Page 1 of 9)

🕯️ NN 153: New Apple Gadgets; Netflix Intrigue; Reggie’s Leap

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

💰 1. Everything Apple announced at its Brooklyn event [Quartz] – TLDR: New iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini. My WSJ colleague Tripp Mickle has the context on Apple’s corporate strategy here: raising prices:

The announcements amplified Apple’s recent strategy of boosting total revenue by jacking up prices. A year after lifting its flagship iPhone price to $999, the company is raising prices for new versions of the MacBook Air by 20%, the Mac mini by 60%, and the iPad Pro by about 25%.

👎 2. Tech-meets-terrorism story of the week, take one: Cesar Sayoc’s Path on Social Media: From Food Photos to Partisan Fury [NY Times] – “His vehicle, a white van plastered with right-wing slogans, came to resemble a Facebook feed on wheels,” Kevin Roose writes.

💬 3. Tech-meets-terrorism story of the week, take two: Gab.com goes down after GoDaddy threatens to pull domain [The Verge] – Robert Bowers, accused of killing 11 people and injuring six in an anti-Semitic attack last weekend, had taken to the platform in the past.

🎥 4. Must-read WSJ Page One Netflix story: At Netflix, Radical Transparency and Blunt Firings Unsettle the Ranks [WSJ] This is a remarkable piece of reporting by my colleagues Shalini Ramachandran and Joe Flint about Netflix’s unique corporate culture. Among the many vivid anecdotes:

When Netflix’s Singapore office opened in 2016, employees said they were shocked by the frequency of firings. A Korean employee who left earlier this year from the Singapore office said the culture encouraging harsh feedback at times reminded her of North Korea, where mothers are forced to criticize their sons in front of the public.

🔌 5. Electric vehicle related stat of the week: “Nearly half of the world’s electric vehicles are in 25 cities.”. And China is leading the way. That’s from the International Council on Clean Transportation.

📚 6. Book-related shot: Tiny Books Fit in One Hand. Will They Change the Way We Read? [NY Times] – “Dwarsliggers” are “tiny, pocket-size, horizontal flipbacks that have become a wildly popular print format in the Netherlands.” I want one bad!

💡 7. Book-related chaser: The New Canon: What’s the most influential book of the past 20 years? [Chronicle of Higher Education] – Scholars from various disciplines list their pics. Fantastic food for thought here.

📱 8. Tech curiosity of the week: Why a Helium Leak Disabled Every iPhone in a Medical Facility [Vice/Motherboard] – Bizarre. (Thanks, Eric!)

🥡 9. Internet silliness of the week: The Reddit Forum That Guesses Who You Are Based on What’s in Your Fridge [New Yorker] – All about the Fridge Detective subreddit.

😂 10. Amazing, uplifting, simply wonderful dog video of the week: Leaping into Monday like! [Instagram] – Magestic stuff from Reggie the miniature Aussie bulldog.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 152: More Bad News for Google; Tesla’s Big Quarter; Old People in 1929; Paper Airplane Bible

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🔍 1) Another big Google story, following our recent piece about the company exposing user data: How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’ [NY Times] – After being accused of sexual misconduct, “Google could have fired Mr. Rubin and paid him little to nothing on the way out,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Katie Benner write. “Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package.”

🍎 2) Elsewhere in Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Condemns ‘Data-Industrial Complex’ [WSJ] – In a speech at a privacy conference in Brussels, Tim Cook “issued the tech giant’s strongest call yet for U.S.-wide data-protection regulation, saying individuals’ personal information has been ‘weaponized,’” my colleagues Sam Schechner and Emre Peker write.

🚗 3) This week in e-car news: Tesla rides Model 3’s popularity to its first profit in two years [The Verge] – “The turning of financial fortunes can be largely attributed to how Tesla nearly doubled production of the Model 3 from the second quarter to the third this year,” Sean O’Kane reports.

🤖 4) …and in autonomous vehicle news: Self-driving car dilemmas reveal that moral choices are not universal [Nature] – “The largest ever survey of machine ethics, published today in Nature, finds that many of the moral principles that guide a driver’s decisions vary by country,” Amy Maxmen writes.

📵 5) Quote of the week: “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.” That’s from a Nellie Bowles story at the NY Times headlined A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley.

💊 6) Medical story of the week: A Blue Pill Is Stopping HIV, World-First Study Shows [Bloomberg] – The lede on this Jason Gale story: “An antiviral pill taken daily by thousands of men across Sydney and other parts of Australia led to a globally unprecedented reduction in new HIV cases, showing that a targeted, preventative approach may accelerate progress on ending the AIDS epidemic.”

👴🏻 7) Fascinating video of the week: 1929 – Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US [YouTube] – “The first hundred years is the hardest,” says one centenarian.

💬 8) Linguistics tool of the week: Time Traveler – Search this Merriam-Webster database to find out which words were first used in print by year.

✈️ 9) Paper airplane-related tool of the week: Fold’NFly – “A database of paper airplanes with easy to follow folding instructions.”

🐶 10) Dog/human-related link of the week: O.M.G. Look at That Dog! [NY Times] – Pia Peterson offers this dispatch from the “world’s largest creative grooming industry event,” where “dogs are every color of the rainbow.” (Thanks, Patrick!)

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 151: Google Data Bombshell; Alexa: Creepy?, Emotional Support Squirrels

The latest edition of my email newsletter, below, went out on Sunday. Subscribe to get future dispatches in your inbox before they’re posted here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

🕉️ Shubho Durga Puja from New Delhi!

Durga Puja, an important Hindu holiday in West Bengal and other places, is just kicking off.

So this evening Anasuya and I met a friend to see the festivities and sample some of the food on offer in the city’s C.R. Park neighborhood, home to many Bengalis. It was great fun. Here are some photos I posted to Twitter.

The temps are dropping ever so slightly in the mornings and evenings; Diwali is just a few weeks away. Winter is almost upon us!

⚠️ One administrative note: There will be no NN next Sunday. I’ll be back Oct. 28.

Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🔍 1) Tech story of the week, by my colleagues Douglas MacMillan and Robert McMillan: Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public [WSJ] – The lede:

Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network and then opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage, according to people briefed on the incident and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

🗣️ 2) Tech-related #longread of the week: Alexa, Should We Trust You? [The Atlantic] – The dek on the story by Judith Shulevitz: “The voice revolution has only just begun. Today, Alexa is a humble servant. Very soon, she could be much more—a teacher, a therapist, a confidant, an informant.”

⌚ 3) File under: wearables and law enforcement investigations: How Jamal Khashoggi’s Apple Watch Could Solve His Disappearance. [Wired] – “The question now is whether the wearable transmitted any forensically useful information to either of his mobile phones,” Robbie Gonzalez writes of Saudi dissident who appears to have disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

🇸🇦 4) Related opinion piece: Silicon Valley’s Saudi Arabia Problem [NY Times] – “Long before the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished, the kingdom has sought influence in the West – perhaps intended, in part, to make us forget what it is,” Anand Giridharadas writes. “But lately the Saudis have been growing their circle of American enablers, pouring billions into Silicon Valley technology companies.”

🗯️ 5) Big picture political story of the week: Americans Strongly Dislike PC Culture [The Atlantic] ** – Don’t be distracted by “Team Woke” and “Team Resentment,” Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk writes. Most Americans “share more common ground than the daily fights on social media might suggest – including a general aversion to PC culture.”

💓 6) Semi-morbid but quite useful career-related #protip of the week: Write your own obituary before planning your next career move [Quartz] – “It is often by envisioning the end point that we are able to see clearly what must be done right now,” writes Rakuten Chief Executive Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani.

🖼️ 7) Art “hoax” follow-up of the week: Myth Busting Banksy [Artnome] – “I believe that while Sotheby’s was likely not fully aware of what was going to happen, they had a suspicion that something was up and played along for the sake of theater,” Jason Bailey writes.

💊 8) Runner-up, award for most 2018 story of the year: French drug dealer in US beard contest gets 20 years’ prison [ABC News/AP] – The lede: “A Frenchman who was arrested when he arrived in the U.S. for a world beard-growing championship was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for online drug trafficking using the alias ”OxyMonster.""

🐿️ 9) Winner, award for most 2018 story of the year: Flight Delayed After Woman Brings ‘Emotional Support Squirrel’ on Plane [AP/Bloomberg] –
Don’t miss this video of the passenger being wheeled off the flight.

🎃 10) Dog-related link of the week: 19 Best Halloween Dog Costumes from Around the Internet [Chewy]. Title says it all.

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 150: China Spy Attack; Hi-Fi Cafes; Banksy’s Hoax; Dachshunds Chasing Kangaroos

The latest edition of my email newsletter, below, went out on Sunday. Subscribe to get future dispatches in your inbox before they’re posted here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

This marks, amazingly, the 150th edition of my modest newsletter. I launched NN in Feb. 2015, or about three and a half years ago. Thanks for subscribing. Here’s to 150 more!

Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🖥️ 1) Bombshell tech story of the week: The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies [Bloomberg Businessweek] – The dek on the story by Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley: “The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain…” (Apple and Amazon refute the account.)

🕵️ 2) Techno-sleuthing story of the week: Police Use Fitbit Data to Charge 90-Year-Old Man in Stepdaughter’s Killing [NY Times] – The victim’s heartbeat stopped when the alleged killer was in her house, the device showed.

📚 3) Literature-related top 100 list of the week: A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon [Vulture] – A look at the top books so far in the 2000s.

🔊 4) Music-related story of the week: Active listening? Hi-fi bars arrive in Los Angeles… [LA Times] – Audiophiles are gathering in Japanese-inspired “high-fi bars” in L.A. to…simply listen to music on amazing sound systems. I love it.

📓 5) Ivory tower-related hoax of the week: Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship [Areo Magazine]. “Something has gone wrong in the university – especially in certain fields within the humanities,” write Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian. “Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established…”

TLDR: Over the course of a year, the three scholars published several ludicrous papers (e.g. “Dog Park: Human Reactions to Rape Culture and Queer Performativity in Urban Dog Parks in Portland, Oregon” and “Fat Bodybuilding: Who Are They to Judge? Overcoming Anthropometry and a Framework for Fat Bodybuilding”) to illustrate what they see as “cultural studies” or “identity studies” gone awry.

Related: the WSJ opinion piece that brought the issue to a head. And a Chronicle of Higher Education story putting the project into perspective.

🖼️ 6) Art-related hoax of the week: ‘Going, Going, Gone…’: Banksy Artwork Shreds Itself After Sale [WSJ] – The artist’s 2006 painting “Girl With Balloon“ sold at auction for $1.4 million – and then, as my colleague Michael Wright reports, ”the canvas passed through a shredder that appeared to be hidden inside the frame, emerging underneath in thin strips." Here’s a video.

🔘 7) Fun tech-related blog of the week: Control–Panel.com, a repository of photos of old “dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs.”

⚽ 8) Uplifting aging-athlete story of the week: Kazu Miura and the Never-Ending Soccer Career [NY Times] – Jeré Longman on the 51-year-old striker who is still playing professionally – and scoring goals (video here).

🗡️ 9) Story of the week that most sounds like the beginning of an awesome sci-fi/fantasy series: Girl, 8, pulls a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake in Sweden [BBC] – And yes, her first name is…“Saga.”

🌭 10) This week’s moment of sausage dog zen: A Dachshund named Kingsley chases some kangaroos [Instagram video] – Fantastic.

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

Newley’s Notes 149: SoftBank’s OYO Bet; India’s Biometric ID; Facebook’s Terrible Week; Chilean Military Puppies

The latest edition of my email newsletter went out on Sunday. Subscribe to get it in your inbox before it’s posted here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

It was a busy week for tech news here in India.

First, local hotel booking platform OYO raising a whopping $1 billion on Tues. in a fundraising round led by Japan’s SoftBank.

Then on Wed. the Supreme Court ruled that India’s landmark biometric identity program, known as Aadhaar, doesn’t violate citizens’ privacy, and can continue with some new limitations.

Keep reading for more…

Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🏨 1) By me: SoftBank Leads $1 Billion Investment in Indian Hotel-Booking Startup [WSJ] – The lede: “SoftBank Group Corp. is doubling down on one of its biggest bets in India by leading a $1 billion investment in hotel-booking startup OYO Hotels.”

🆔 2) By me and my colleague Krishna Pokharel: India’s Top Court Rules Massive Biometric Identity Database Legal – With Restrictions [WSJ] – The big picture: “The country’s controversial Aadhaar program uses photos, finger and eye scans and has already signed up more than 1 billion people. It has sparked an intense global debate over how far a democracy should be able to go in collecting the personal data of its citizens and how that data can be used, shared and protected."

👋 3) Shot 1: Instagram Co-Founders to Step Down From Facebook [WSJ] – The photo sharing app’s co-founders “clashed with Facebook executives over the extent of Instagram’s autonomy in recent months,” my colleague Deepa Seetharaman. Reminder: WhatsApp’s co-founders have also departed. That means the creators of two of Facebook’s biggest outside platforms are gone.

🔓 4) Chaser 1: Facebook discloses major security flaw, could affect 50 million users [Axios] – The larger contest, writes Axios’s Shannon Vavra: “This is just the latest in a long string of recent problems for Facebook, including executive defections, social media interference, privacy concerns, and accusations of anti-conservative bias.”

🤐 5) Shot 2: Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information [Gizomodo] – Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill at says Facebook is using for advertising purposes “information you handed over for security purposes and contact information you didn’t hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books…”

🌐 6) Chaser 2: Facebook: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver [YouTube] – A look at Facebook in emerging markets. (Someone wrote on Twitter recently that Facebook now feels like the last days of Blockbuster Video. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s safe to say public opinion has shifted drastically, and quickly.)

🇷🇺 7) Tech-related longread of the week: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump [New Yorker] – Jane Mayer on a new book by University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

🆒 8) Art-related photos of the week: Scenes From the World of WearableArt Competition [The Atlantic] – Wonderful.

🌟 9) Reddit post of the week: What is a website that everyone should know about but few people actually know about?
[Reddit] – Lots of great suggestions here.

🎖️ 10) Amazing dog video of the week: Adorable Police Puppies Take Part In Military Parade [YouTube] – Heartwarming scenes from Chile.

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 148: Florence & Mangkhut; New iPhones; Zuck Deep Dive; Dog-Pandas

Edition 148 of my email newsletter went out Sept. 16. (I’m late in posting it.) Subscribe to receive future editions before I share them here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

I hope everyone is safe, sound, and dry!

☔ I’ve been monitoring Tropical Storm Florence closely given friends and family in the Carolinas. (All our WSJ coverage on the storm is open to all readers; here are our live updates on Florence.)

And as I type this, Typhoon Mangkhut is pounding Hong Kong and Southern China after tearing through the Philippines. It’s the world’s strongest storm so far this year.

Take care, readers!

Also: one programming note. There will be no NN next week. I’ll be back the following week.

🤟 Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

On to this week’s NN…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🆕 1) Apple Launches Bigger, Pricier iPhones [WSJ] – At $1,099, the iPhone XS Max is the company’s most expensive model ever, my colleague Tripp Mickle reports. There’s also the new iPhone XS, which costs $999, and the iPhone XR at $749.
The big picture for Apple: “The new models are critical to maintaining sales in a contracting smartphone market where people hold on to devices longer, and growth of high-price handsets has stagnated.”

Meanwhile our Joanna Stern has a first look at the devices in this video. Apple also announced the fourth version of the Apple Watch. The AP’s Michael Liedtke says the company is “trying to turn its smartwatch from a niche gadget into a lifeline to better health by slowly evolving it into a medical device.”

⏳ 2) Tech-related longread of the week: Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy? [New Yorker] – Evan Osnos profiles Facebook’s chief exec. Lots of good stuff here. Axios has the highlights.

❓3) Google-related headline of the week: Where in the World Is Larry Page? [Bloomberg Businessweek] – The dek: “While Alphabet faces existential challenges, its co-founder is exercising his right to be forgotten.” Mark Bergen and Austin Carr write that:

…a slew of interviews in recent months with colleagues and confidants, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were worried about retribution from Alphabet, describe Page as an executive who’s more withdrawn than ever, bordering on emeritus, invisible to wide swaths of the company. Supporters contend he’s still engaged, but his immersion in the technology solutions of tomorrow has distracted him from the problems Google faces today.

⚡ 4) Food for thought: For safety’s sake, we must slow innovation in internet-connected things [MIT Technology Review] – Well-known security expert Bruce Schneier talks about his new book, “Click Here to Kill Everybody.”

🦊 5) File under: pets I one day want… These domesticated foxes were 60 years in the making [The Verge] – Contains an interesting video. Related Newley.com post from 2013: What Domesticating Siberian Foxes May Tell Us About Dogs.

📚 6) Depressing education-related story of the week: Teens Are Protesting In-Class Presentations [The Atlantic] – Students in the U.S. “…have started calling out in-class presentations as discriminatory to those with anxiety, demanding that teachers offer alternative options,” Taylor Lorenz writes.

🎄 7) Latest sign Amazon will one day control all commerce: What’s in the Amazon box? Maybe a real 7-foot Christmas tree [AP] – This year you can buy big-ass Douglas firs and Norfolk Island pines from The Everything Store.

💡 8) Cool photography-related link of the week: Terrestrial Chiaroscuro [BLDGBLOG] – Geoff Manaugh on how photographer Reuben Wu “uses drone-mounted LED lights to illuminate remote geological formations, towering figures highlighted against the landscape with what appear to be haloes or celestial spotlights.” Click through to see some of his gorgeous pics.

🐠 9) Fish-related story of the week: ‘Gel-like’ see-through fish discovered 7.5km down on Pacific ocean floor [The Guardian] – “Scientists have discovered three new species of ‘hardcore’ fish living in one of the deepest parts of the ocean, the see-through, scale-free creatures perfectly adapted to conditions that would instantly kill most life on Earth.”

🐼 10) Silly dog video of the week: Puppy wearing panda costume [Reddit] – Title says it all.

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN147: My Newest Page One Story; Amazon = Monopoly?; Space Elevators; Dogs of Twitter

Edition 147 of my email newsletter went out Sept. 9. (I’m late in posting it here.) Subscribe to receive future editions before they’re posted here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

😎 Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

This week was a very satisfying one for me. I story I’d been working on for months ran on the front page of the Journal on Wednesday. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

It’s about how India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has spent billions of dollars building a brand new high speed mobile carrier offering data for extremely low prices – and how millions of people here have gotten online for the first time (and why that’s important to the likes of Amazon, Walmart, Facebook and Google).

More below…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📡 1) By me: Two Years Ago, India Lacked Fast, Cheap Internet—One Billionaire Changed All That [WSJ] – The lede and first graf:

India’s richest man is catapulting hundreds of millions of poor people straight into the mobile internet age.
Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest conglomerates, has shelled out $35 billion of the company’s money to blanket the South Asian nation with its first all–4G network. By offering free calls and data for pennies, the telecom latecomer has upended the industry, setting off a cheap internet tsunami that is opening the market of 1.3 billion people to global tech and retailing titans.

The story, with images shot by the excellent Mumbai-based photographer Sarah Hylton, received a lot of attention on social media. I also liked the responses (some 137 comments and counting) to the story on Hacker News, a Reddit-like site for tech news and discussion.

🗳️ 2) Social media/D.C. story of the week: Lawmakers demand more action from top Twitter, Facebook execs – Axios’s David McCabe sums up the Capitol Hill hearings featuring Twitter chief exec Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: “With the midterms approaching, policymakers and Silicon Valley are both trying to avoid a repeat of the 2016 cycle, during which Russian operatives spread content on socially divisive issues ahead of Election Day.”

📵 3) Facebook-related story of the week: More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve deleted the Facebook app from their phones [Recode] – “Let’s just say Americans’ relationship with Facebook is increasingly complicated,” Rani Molla writes.

🤑 4) Finance story of the week: Lehman’s Lessons, 10 Years Later [WSJ] – A decade of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, my colleague James Mackintosh provides five lessons.

🛒 5) Law-related story of the week: Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea [NY Times] – “With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law,” David Streitfeld writes.

🛰️ 6) Crazy space-related story of the week: Japan starts space elevator experiments [Electronics Weekly] – Arthur C Clarke’s dream could become a reality. (Thanks, Colin R., for the pointer following our discussions of this idea many years ago!)_

📸 7) Insta-story of the week: Instagram is building a standalone app for shopping [The Verge] – The app “will let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app,” Casey Newton writes.

✍️ 8) Religion-meets-journalism op-ed of the week: The Biblical Guide to Reporting [NY Times] – “Some people might think that Christians are supposed to be soft and acquiescent rather than muckrakers who hold the powerful to account,” Marshall Allen writes. “But what I do as an investigative reporter is consistent with what the Bible teaches.”

🍟 9) Prank of the week: Friends hung poster of themselves at McDonald’s, and no one noticed for weeks [CTVNews] – “Maravilla said he noticed that there were several photos on the Houston-area restaurant’s walls of people smiling while consuming McDonald’s products. He said the pictures contained ‘literally no Asians,’’ and decided he and Toledo should rectify that situation.” More is available in their YouTube video.

💗 10) Two dog-related Twitter feeds you should be following: At I’ve Pet That Dog, ten-year-old Gideon shares images of pooches he encounters, and relates fun facts about them. And Thoughts of Dog contains, well, what the author imagines the canine in the profile pic (a delightfully dopey yellow lab eating a piece of watermelon) must be thinking. For example, this recent gem:

gooooob morning. i had a dream. that i was chasing my tail. and started spinning so fast. i went back in time. and high-fived a dinosaur

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN146: India Mobile Money Momentum — New iPhones? — Psychedelic Temple — Dog Punks Lions

The latest edition of my email newsletter went out last week. Subscribe to receive it before it’s posted here.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

🙏 Wanna do me a solid? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

💰 As as I’ve mentioned here – and written about in stories – there’s growing interest these days in India’s burgeoning internet economy. From e-commerce to ride-sharing to mobile devices, global tech companies are hustling for a piece of the action as people get online for the first time, and as customers already accessing the web spend more and more money online.

One particularly promising sector is mobile payments. Few people in India have credit or debit cards, but lots of people have smartphones. After Prime Minister Modi took the largest domination notes out of circulation in Nov. 2016 and a cash crunch ensued, masses of citizens flocked to a mobile wallet called Paytm for their everyday transactions.

This week mobile payments were in the news again: Berkshire Hathaway – yes, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet’s, firm – is investing in Paytm, joining the ranks of Asian tech titans who have already done so, like Alibaba and SoftBank.

Meanwhile Google also rolled out some new features for its mobile payments app in India. Keep reading for more…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📱 1) By me and a colleague: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Invests in India Mobile-Payments Firm [WSJ].

📈 2) Also by me: Mobile Money Heats Up in India as Google Doubles Down [WSJ] – The lede: “Alphabet Inc.’s Google is raising its mobile-payments game in India with new functions and services as global players race to woo the nation’s legions of consumers who are skipping credit cards and transacting on smartphones instead.”

🔍 3) Meanwhile, an important story by my WSJ colleagues Doug MacMillan, Sarah Krouse and Keach Hagey: Yahoo, Bucking Industry, Scans Emails for Data to Sell Advertisers [WSJ] – Yahoo’s owner “has been pitching a service to advertisers that analyzes more than 200 million Yahoo Mail inboxes and the rich user data they contain…”

🍎 4) Apple announces next iPhone event for September 12: ‘Gather round’ [9to5Mac] – Look out for “three new flagship iPhones and a redesigned Apple Watch,” Zac Hall says, in addition to new iPad Pros and possibly details on a new wireless charging mat.

🎹 5) Music-related story of the week: Show Tunes [Real Life] – In the age of social media and streaming, “The business model for music doesn’t require a must-have album, then, but rather a week-to-week narrative within the music world to justify a monthly subscription,” writes David Turner. (Editor’s note: I find this all so tiresome. I’ll keep listening to decades-old vinyl, as pretentious as that sounds!)

🛐 6) Crazy art/architecture story of the week: In upstate New York, a DMT-inspired psychedelic temple rises [Architect’s Newspaper] – The story contains this utterly amazing sentence, among many others:

“Selecting a point on their 40-acre plot that aligns with the solar plexus of a projected goddess, ‘the kabbalistic sephirot of justice,’’ CoSM has begun converting a former carriage house into a three-level, 12,000-square-foot concrete structure replete with modern amenities, including an ADA-compliant elevator.”

🔭 7) Mind-blowing photo of the week: Hubble Observes Energetic Lightshow at Saturn’s North Pole [European Space Agency] – Click through to see the “fluttering auroras.” Astounding.

😴 8) #ProTip of the week: How to Fall Asleep in 120 Seconds [Medium] – It can be done, Sharon Ackman writes, with these steps developed by the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School.

🔥 9) College soccer golazo of the week, featuring my old team: Khattab’s OT Goal Gives No. 8 Emory Men’s Soccer 5–4 Win over No.14 W&L in Instant Classic [EmoryAthletics] – Click through for a video.

💪 10) Brave canine of the week: Dog chasing lions [YouTube] – As the saying goes: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 144: Elon’s Amazing Interview; the New Facebook; Goats on the Lam

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Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.
So, apropos of nothing: I saw something (especially) funny while in traffic here in Delhi today.

Hint 1: It was a passenger vehicle full of animals.

Hint 2: These particular creatures have been in the news in the U.S. this week.

Hint 3: They are almost as awesome as llamas.

Give up? Click here to see my pics.

And now, baaaack to our originally scheduled newsletter (#sorrynotsorry)…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

⚡ 1) Elon Musk Details ‘Excruciating’ Personal Toll of Tesla Turmoil [New York Times] – An astounding interview. I pointed out in a Newley.com post what I see as the most remarkable passages.

🇷🇺 2) Russian Hackers Target Conservative Groups in Widening Cyberattacks [WSJ] – Just out from my colleagues Dustin Volz and Robert McMillan: “Russian hackers linked to the 2016 election cyberattacks on the Democratic Party are widening their targeting for the coming midterms to include the U.S. Senate and well-connected conservative groups, according to new research from Microsoft…”

📱3) Modern Horror Films are Finding Their Scares in Dead Phone Batteries [The Verge] – Tasha Robinson on the “new standard trope.”

✈️ 4) How TripAdvisor changed travel [The Guardian] – “Over its two decades in business,” Linda Kinstler writes, “TripAdvisor has turned an initial investment of $3m into a $7bn business by figuring out how to provide a service that no other tech company has quite mastered: constantly updated information about every imaginable element of travel, courtesy of an ever-growing army of contributors who provide their services for free.”

💬 5) College chat app pulls a page from Facebook [Axios] – Kia Kokalitcheva on a messaging app called Islands that’s big on college campuses in the U.S. “We launched Islands and our thesis was the group chats are the new social network,” the company’s founder says. (Note: I think he’s right about this. Who needs Facebook when you have WhatsApp groups?)

👂6) The future is ear: Why “hearables” are finally tech’s next big thing – Apple, Amazon and Google are all “working on products that combine the utility of the hearing aid with the entertainment value of a pair of high-end headphones,” reports Peter Burrows.

🚀 7) Tech-related #longread of the week: Virgin Galactic’s Rocket Man [New Yorker] – Nicholas Schmidle on the “ace pilot risking his life to fulfill Richard Branson’s billion-dollar quest to make commercial space travel a reality.”

🌭 8) Fun, useless link of the week: Buns.life is a website that allows you to…“put words between buns.”

⚽ 9) Soccer video of the week: Wayne Rooney’s Incredible World class tackle and Assist vs Orlando City [YouTube]. Honorable mention: trailer for Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer to Never Play Football [YouTube].

🐶 10) Adorable dog video of the week: Kirk, a female Border Collie, watching herself win the 2017 Purina Pro Challenge [Twitter].

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. If you received this from a pal, you can sign up here.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

NN 143: Alex Jones’s Very Bad Week; Wither Snapchat?; White Shark Breach

Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🖥️ 1) By me at Newley.com: Book Notes: ‘The Master Switch,’ by Tim Wu. The book’s subtitle: “The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.” An archive of my Book Notes posts is here.

🚫 2) Apple Kicked Alex Jones Off Its Platform, Then YouTube And Facebook Rushed To Do The Same [Buzzfeed News] — “In all, the actions will currently seriously limit Jones’s ability to reach his massive audience,” John Paczkowski and Charlie Warzel wrote. “Twitter and Periscope remain one of the sole major platforms to still host Jones.”

↘️ 3) Snapchat’s Users Slide in Latest Setback for Social Media [WSJ]– After it appears that user growth is slowing at Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat “reported its first quarterly decline in daily users, sending its stock price gyrating,” my colleague Marc Vartabedian reported. The number of daily users fell 2% to about 188 million, the first such decline in seven years.

🤖 4) Robotics-related link of the week: All Is Full of Björk Bots [Slate] — “I couldn’t escape the feeling I’d seen this sort of robot design before, and in a strikingly similar context,” Benjamin Frisch writes. “Then I realized where I recognized it from: the seminal video for Björk’s ‘All Is Full of Love.’”

📹 5) This week in surveillance/fashion-related news: Camouflage from face detection [CV Dazzle] — Click through to read how “avant-garde hairstyling and makeup designs” can be used to “break apart the continuity of a face.”

📚 6) Shot: Gutenberg’s Revenge [Strategy+Business] — Why “the consumer market for physical, printed books is holding its own in an increasingly digital world.”

💯 7) Chaser: 17 Places Book Lovers Need to Visit [Conde Nast Traveler] — Gorgeous pics, ranging from a trippy bookshop in Yangzhou, China to a three-story library in Rio de Janeiro and a monstary in Prague.

🔥 8) No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man [Smithsonian American Art Museum] — In the first exhibit of its kind, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. is showing artwork from the legendary desert party.

🗣️ 9) 10 of the best words in the world (that don’t translate into English) [The Guardian] — My favorite: “sisu.” Runner up: tiáo (条).

🦈 10) Crazy-ass shark-related video of the week: White shark surprise breach off Wellfleet, MA. [YouTube/Atlantic White Shark Conservancy] — Title says it all. (Thanks, Milo!)

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to a friend. If you received this from a pal, you can sign up here.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

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