Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 181: Google Maps Trouble; Slack’s IPO; MH370 Mystery; Dogs Practicing Yoga

2019 06 30HK

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

🇭🇰 I spent much of last week in Hong Kong, where we held our annual WSJ D.Live tech conference. It’s a gathering of tech executives, venture capital investors, startup founders, WSJ journalists, and more. (And yes, the event happened during the city’s massive protests, injecting an added element of excitement.)

In one on-stage event, I interviewed Guarav Gupta, chief operating officer of India’s Zomato. You may well have heard of it. It’s a popular platform for food delivery, food ratings, and more. We talked about the company’s push into smaller Indian cities, their expansion abroad, and even the potential for an IPO. You can watch the video here.

🆕 Separately, I had a scoop last week about a new private equity firm targeting Southeast Asia startups. The lede:

A new Southeast Asia-focused private-equity firm launched by a group of seasoned technology executives has hit the first close of its debut fund, the latest sign of investors’ growing enthusiasm for startups in the populous region.

Among the co-founders are Nick Nash, formerly group president of Singapore-based Sea, and Oliver Rippel, who was previously head of business-to-consumer e-commerce at Naspers.

On to this week’s NN.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📍 1) Millions of Business Listings on Google Maps Are Fake—and Google Profits [WSJ]

“…Google still can’t seem to stop the proliferation of fictional business listings and aggressive con artists on its search engine. The scams are profitable for nearly everyone involved, Google included. Consumers and legitimate businesses end up the losers.”

📈 2) Slack Shares Jump in Trading Debut [WSJ]

“Slack Technologies Inc. surged in its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange, the latest technology firm to jump into a hot initial-public-offering market.”

🖥️ 3) Bodies in Seats [The Verge]

“At Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site in North America, one contractor has died, and others say they fear for their lives.”

🛩️ 4) The Drone Iran Shot Down Was a $220M Surveillance Monster [Wired]

“Global Hawks are massive surveillance platforms, in operation since 2001, with a wingspan of more than 130 feet and a maximum takeoff weight of more than 16 tons…”

📺 5) Samsung’s security reminder makes the case for not owning a Samsung smart TV [The Verge]

“‘Prevent malicious software attacks on your TV by scanning for viruses on your TV every few weeks,’ a (now deleted) tweet from the company’s US support account read alongside a video attachment that demonstrated the laborious process.”

❓ 6) A gripping longread: What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane [The Atlantic]

“In truth, a lot can now be known with certainty about the fate of MH370. First, the disappearance was an intentional act.”

🇨🇳 7) Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds [New Yorker]

“A leading sci-fi writer takes stock of China’s global rise.”

🍜 8) A local’s guide to Bangkok [Washington Post]

“It’s the center of industry, finance, government, retail and education for all of Thailand, so everything comes together in fascinating, and often creative, ways.”

🐱 9) Cat filter accidentally used in Pakistani minister’s live press conference [BBC News – Thanks, PB!]

“Facebook users watching the video live commented on the gaffe, but Mr Yousafzai carried on unaware of his feline features.”

🧘 10) Army Dog Unit practices Yoga for #YogaDay2019 [India Ministry of Defense on Twitter]

💡 Quote of the week:

“Living is not thinking. Thought is formed and guided by objective reality outside us. Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new. Thus life is always new.” – Thomas Merton

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Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 180: Streaming Video Wars; Apple’s Privacy Push; YouTube Under Fire; Silly Dogs in Churches

2019 06 10landscape

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

🆕 My latest story, which came out Tuesday, is about the streaming video wars here in India.

🎥 The headline: Netflix and Amazon Trail a Local Video Rival in India That’s Now Disney-Owned. It begins:

To win in India, home to many of the world’s next billion internet users, Netflix Inc. and Inc. are copying the tactics of a video-streaming service built for the local market.

Hotstar dominates the Indian market. Launched four years ago by media conglomerate Star India as a mobile-first streaming platform for watching cricket, movies and TV, it now has 300 million monthly users – roughly 10% more than YouTube, India’s second-biggest video content platform. While only three million users pay for access, that is still more than Amazon has, and more than twice as many as Netflix. Walt Disney Co. now owns Hotstar.

Netflix and Amazon, shut out of China and facing stiff competition in the maturing U.S. market, are adopting the strategies that fueled Hotstar’s success – low prices that the average Indian viewer can afford and loads of local content in multiple Indian languages.

Click through to read the rest.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🔒 1) Apple Touts New Privacy Features Amid Scrutiny of Tech Giants [WSJ]

My colleague Tripp Mickle reports from Apple’s annual software developers’ conference:

“Apple Inc. sought to tout itself as a digital-privacy crusader with an anonymous login system and tools that prevent apps from tracking a user’s location, a push that is designed to further differentiate it from Google and Facebook Inc., which have built their fortunes on tracking user activity and behavior.”

🍎 Other new Apple stuff, via my colleague David Pierce:

  • There’s a new iPad OS
  • The iPad is getting copy-and-paste, and thumb drive capability
  • Mac is retiring the iTunes app
  • Apple Watch is getting an app store
  • There’s a new Mac Pro starting at…$6,000

🚫 2) YouTube just banned supremacist content, and thousands of channels are about to be removed [The Verge]

“YouTube is changing its community guidelines to ban videos promoting the superiority of any group as a justification for discrimination against others based on their age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, the company said today. ”

🎙️ 3) Related: The Making of a YouTube Radical [New York Times]

“The radicalization of young men is driven by a complex stew of emotional, economic and political elements, many having nothing to do with social media. But critics and independent researchers say YouTube has inadvertently created a dangerous on-ramp to extremism by combining two things: a business model that rewards provocative videos with exposure and advertising dollars, and an algorithm that guides users down personalized paths meant to keep them glued to their screens.”

🌊 4) Towing an Iceberg: One Captain’s Plan to Bring Drinking Water to 4 Million People [Bloomberg Businessweek]

“Making use of his unusual skill set, he plans to harness and tow an enormous Antarctic iceberg to South Africa and convert it into municipal water.”

🌷 5) Post-it note war over flowers deemed ‘most middle-class argument ever’ [Metro]

“The row, which kicked off on a street in London, first began after someone left a note on a tree simply stating ‘please don’t pick my flowers’.”

📱 6) When Grown-Ups Get Caught in Teens’ AirDrop Crossfire [The Atlantic]

“As more teens get their own iPhones and a rising number of schools crack down on social media, AirDrop culture has gone mainstream – and more adults are getting caught in the crossfire.”

✂️ 7) The cutting-edge of cutting: How Japanese scissors have evolved [Nikkei Asian Review]

“Inside Tokyo stationery stores, scissors are undergoing a quiet evolution.”

🧵 8) Complete Knot List [Animated Knots]

“Follow along as ropes tie themselves, showing just the essential steps, so you can master a knot in no time.”

📻 9) Learning to Listen, in a Los Angeles Cafe Built for Vinyl [New York Times]

“Japanese-style listening bars, where D.J.’s spin carefully selected records for a hushed audience, are arriving in America.”

😂 10) Sometimes dogs just wanna play…at the most inappropriate times. [Instagram: dogsvideos1]

💡 Quote of the week:

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 179: DOJ eyes Google; UFO Sightings; Spelling Bee Champs; Terrific Tanukis

2019 06 02abstract

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

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🔍 1) Big scoop by my colleagues Brent Kendall and John McKinnon: Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google [WSJ]

“The Justice Department is gearing up for an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, a move that could present a major new layer of regulatory scrutiny for the search giant, according to people familiar with the matter.”

🛸 2) ‘Wow, What Is That?’ Navy Pilots Report Unexplained Flying Objects [NY Times]

“…the objects have gotten the attention of the Navy, which earlier this year sent out new classified guidance for how to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.”

🐝 3) The 2019 National Spelling Bee ended in an unprecedented 8-way tie [Vox] (Thanks, Mom!)

“Eight contestants exhausted the Spelling Bee’s dictionary over the course of an intense, three-hour final round.”

🥁 4) Is Lo-Fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age? [Vice]

“How YouTube’s related video algorithm helped shaped the strange rise of hazy acts like DJ Boring, DJ Seinfeld, and Ross From Friends.”

👓 5) Secret spectacles: The story of a migrant spy [BBC]

“…he intended to get himself smuggled on the desert migrant route to Europe, using a secret camera in his glasses to document the crimes of the smugglers.”

⚽ 6) How Football Leaks Is Exposing Corruption in European Soccer [New Yorker]

“While Rui Pinto sits in jail, his revelations are bringing down the sport’s most famous teams and players.”

✍️ 7) How to Get Every Email Returned [New York Times]

“In the course of doing research for a book on how people actually change their minds, and what gets them to say ‘yes’ rather than ‘no,’’ I was distressed to find that I knew much less about it than I thought I did.”

🍄 8) Repair Of Iconic ’60s Era Synthesizer Turns Into Long, Strange Trip For Engineer [KPIX5]

“He sprayed a cleaning solvent on it and started to push the dissolving crystal with his finger as he attempted to dislodge the residue and clean the area. About 45 minutes later, Curtis began to feel a little strange.”

🆒 9) A People Map of the US [The Pudding]

"…where city names are replaced by their most Wikipedia’ed resident: people born in, lived in, or connected to a place.

🦝 10) The Care and Keeping of Raccoon Dogs [The Atlantic] (Thanks, Anasuya!)

“Raccoon dogs, also called tanukis, look like supermodel raccoons with their lanky limbs, slender necks, and soulful eyes. But they’re actually wild canines, most closely related to foxes. ”

💡 Quote of the week:

“Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.” – Edward R. Murrow

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Newley’s Notes 177: India Election Results; WhatsApp Hack; Joe Exotic; RIP Grumpy Cat

2019 05 19 abstract

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

🇮🇳 It’s a big week here in India: the country’s massive election, with 900 million eligible voters, comes to an end today (Sunday) after more than a month.

Exit polls should be available any hour now, with final results on Thursday. All eyes on are Prime Minister Modi, whose ruling BJP is fighting to maintain a majority in parliament five after his stunning rise to power.

🛍️ In other news, an exclusive from me out last Wednesday: India grocery delivery startup Grofers has raised a fresh $200 million from SoftBank. It’s the Japanese firm’s latest bet on India tech. You can find the story online here.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

⚠️ 1) WhatsApp voice calls used to inject Israeli spyware on phones [Financial Times]

“A vulnerability in the messaging app WhatsApp has allowed attackers to inject commercial Israeli spyware on to phones, the company and a spyware technology dealer said.”

➕ Bonus link: If you’re a WhatsApp user, here’s how to update the app.

🇨🇳 2) Trump Steps Up Assault on China’s Huawei [WSJ]

“President Trump on Wednesday said he signed an executive order that enables the U.S. to ban telecommunications network gear and services from ‘foreign adversaries.’”

💭 3) Snapchat’s new gender-changing filter provokes strong reactions [Axios]

“While some in the LGBTQ community have been critical of the filters as making a joke out of a serious matter, others say the filters have allowed them to explore themselves in the safety of a digital world.”

🎞️ 4) The Hulu/Disney/Comcast divorce, explained [Vox]

“The giant media companies are consolidating and getting bigger so they can take on the giant tech companies. The result for consumers: You’re going to need to work harder to find your favorite TV shows.”

🐅 5) Longread of the week: Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild [Texas Monthly. Hat tip: PB]

“If you think for one minute I was nuts before, I am the most dangerous exotic animal owner on this planet right now.”

🥾 6) Hikers Take to the Appalachian Trail to Escape the Real World. This Time, They Couldn’t [NY Times]

“…Word spread quickly last month after a disheveled 30-year-old man appeared on the trail in North Carolina, acting erratically and clad in a heavy winter coat and knit cap instead of the usual shorts and T-shirt.”

⚙️ 7) The Complete Guide to Deep Work [Doist]

“As information expands and shifts, keeping up involves learning hard things quickly and applying that knowledge to produce work that’s exceptional.”

📚 Related: my 2016 blog post with notes from Cal Newport’s book, “Deep Work.”

😿 8) Grumpy Cat, whose grumpiness brought joy to the internet, has died [The Verge]

“The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, rose to fame after a Reddit post went viral in 2012, when she was just five months old. Grumpy Cat quickly became a meme…”

👑 9) The Real Reason Fans Hate the Last Season of Game of Thrones [Scientific American]

“In fact, the souring of Game of Thrones exposes a fundamental shortcoming of our storytelling culture in general: we don’t really know how to tell sociological stories.”

💕 🐶 10) A mighty conqueror vanquishing a disability. Kudos to the humans who made it possible. [Twitter: @sehnaoui]

💡 Quote of the week:

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” – Charlie Munger

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Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 176: Uber IPO Fizzles; Co-Founder Slams Zuckerberg; Soccer Insanity; Singing Dogs

soccer field

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

⚽ So, let’s get right to it. Here’s a question your grandkids may well ask you: Where were you when you watched Liverpool stage their crazy comeback, scoring four goals against Barcelona and advancing to the Champions League final? (The totally bonkers highlights are on YouTube here.)

Or what about, the next day, when Tottenham came from three goals down in the second half to beat Ajax and join Liverpool? (The even crazier highlights are here.)

I mean: Are you kidding me?

Either one of these fight-backs could have been moments of the decade, much less the year, for the tournament. It was insane to see them back-to-back.

🏆 Next, Liverpool and Spurs square off in an all-English final in three weeks, on Saturday, June 1. I would normally say the final can’t hope to live up to the semis’ excitement, but this year, you never know…

Meanwhile, in just a few hours the final games of this year’s English Premier League season kick off, with Manchester City just needing to win their final game to beat Liverpool to the title.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📉 1) Uber’s High-Profile IPO Upsets With Weak Debut [WSJ]

“Only eight of the 53 U.S.-listed companies that were worth at least $10 billion when they went public declined on their first day, according to Dealogic, whose data goes back to 1991. The drop is a blemish for the San Francisco-based company, which staged one of the most anticipated IPOs ever.

▶ 2) It’s Time to Break Up Facebook, by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

“Mark is a good, kind person. But I’m angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.”

💬 3) Amazon Flunks Children’s Privacy, Advocacy Groups Charge [NY Times]

“Among other things, the complaint said that Amazon had failed to obtain verified consent from parents before collecting their children’s voice recordings and had kept such records unnecessarily after extracting the data to respond to children.”

😮 4) About One Million Species Face Risk of Extinction, U.N. Report Says [WSJ]

“We’re doing a lot of damage in biodiversity. This damage is working against us.”

😑 5) Google’s new emphasis: privacy [Axios]

“The move is, of course, timely: In the wake of scandals and data spills, all Big Tech is talking privacy, even if individual companies have very different agendas. And Google is the company that basically invented the monetization of user information…

🎵 6) NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ Changes Its Tune After 40 Years [NY Times]

“It’s not a decision that we took on lightly…We wanted to freshen the music and get it ready for what we hope will be another 50 years. It just felt like it was time.”

📖 7) How the Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books? [Glamour]

“There’s a sign in Danielle Steel’s office that reads, ‘There are no miracles. There is only discipline.’”

👕 8) A Houston high school has implemented a dress code – for parents [CNN]

“Principal Carlotta Outley Brown wrote in a letter earlier this month to parents that they cannot enter school grounds while wearing pajamas or revealing clothing.

💫 9) 88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life [Raptitude]

“Here are 88 things I’ve discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants by this point in my short time on earth.”

📹 🐶 10) The most WHOLESOME TikTok you’ll ever see [Twitter: @Disappointing]

“So, this is my uncle’s dog. And, uh, he plays the piano and sings.”

💡 Quote of the week:

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.” –William James

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Newley’s Notes 175: Sri Lanka Bombings

2019 05 05srilanka

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

Apologies for my absence these past two weeks.

On Easter Sunday, when NN was last due to go out, news emerged about the horrific bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 250 people. I was soon on a plane from New Delhi to Colombo.

I spent a good chunk of time in the capital and in the coastal city of Batticaloa. It was a heartbreaking story, but I’m proud of the work my WSJ colleagues and I did to document the events and get at the truth of what happened.

This week’s NN, then, will not be the typically wide ranging compendium of disparate links, but will focus mainly on the stories I wrote from Sri Lanka, along with a couple of other items you may have missed.

Here goes, in chronological order:

1) With my colleague Jon Emont: Sri Lanka Blocks Social Media Amid Bomb Attacks [WSJ]

“As Sri Lankan authorities scrambled amid a wave of deadly bombings across the country on Easter morning, among their first responses was to block social media, including Facebook and the popular messaging service WhatsApp.”

The block has since been lifted, but reflected, as we wrote, the “growing concerns in many parts of the world about the spread of false information and hate speech on social media and the use of online platforms to incite or exacerbate tensions.”

👂➡ Note: I later discussed the story with Kim Gittleson on The WSJ’s What’s News podcast.

2) With my colleague Eric Bellman: ‘Everyone Has Lost Someone’—Sri Lankan Church Bombing’s Wrenching Toll [WSJ]

“A parishioner was leading a prayer of thanksgiving to wrap up Easter Sunday services when a tall, slim young man ran into St. Sebastian’s Church from a side door.

Eric and I focused on one of the hardest hit churches, speaking with victims’ families and others from the community to tell the story of what happened that day.

3) Another piece with my colleague Eric Bellman: Sri Lankans Adapt to Social-Media Shutdown as Government Holds the Line [WSJ]

“While some citizens said they welcomed the restrictions, others said they had found workarounds.”

4) A story with my colleagues Ben Otto and Niharkia Mandhana: Islamist Preacher Died in Sri Lanka Attack [WSJ]

“Authorities confirmed that a radical preacher who inspired a series of Easter bombings died during the attack, but security forces pursued Islamist militants into Friday evening, engaging in fierce firefights in the area from which he hailed.”

5) Sri Lankan Islamist Called for Violence on Facebook Before Easter Attacks [WSJ]

“Facebook declined to comment on when, or how many, of Hashim’s Facebook postings it has removed nor did the company say when it initiated the 24-hour monitoring in local languages. Facebook deleted the videos still visible Tuesday after the Journal inquired about them.

Meanwhile, an item unrelated to Sri Lanka:

6) In NN 174 I shared the story I wrote about anti-vaccine misinformation on WhatsApp in India. Not long after it ran I joined CBS News’s Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers to talk about the situation. The video clip is online here.

Thanks, as ever, for reading. Normal programming will resume next week.

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(Image via Sri Lanka Wikipedia page.)

Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 173: False News on WhatsApp – YouTube Under Fire – Rap Grandmas – Puppy Waves

2019 04 10 india

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

🚨 Elections here in India, the world’s largest democracy, begin Thursday. They run in several stages through May 19.

I had several stories – some election-related, some not – out last week.

First, those related to elections.

📰 Online and on Monday’s WSJ front page:

Fake News Runs Wild on WhatsApp as India Elections Loom.

The lede:

In India, viral fake news is lighting up Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp messaging app as the world’s biggest democracy prepares for national elections in the coming weeks.

Efforts by WhatsApp and the government to stop the spread of misinformation are having little effect, according to fact-checking groups and analysts.

Then two more:

Meanwhile, a couple of other stories I wrote with colleagues:

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📹 1) YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Letting Toxic Videos Run Rampant [Bloomberg]

“The company spent years chasing one business goal above others: ‘Engagement,’’ a measure of the views, time spent and interactions with online videos. Conversations with over twenty people who work at, or recently left, YouTube reveal a corporate leadership unable or unwilling to act on these internal alarms for fear of throttling engagement. ”

⚠ 2) Old, Online, And Fed On Lies: How An Aging Population Will Reshape The Internet [Buzzfeed News]

“Older people play an outsized role in civic life. They also are more likely to be online targets for misinformation and hyperpartisan rhetoric.”

👂 3) Amazon Is Making a Rival to Apple’s AirPods as Its First Alexa Wearable [Bloomberg]

“The Seattle-based e-commerce giant is readying earbuds with built-in Alexa access for as early as the second half of this year, according to people with knowledge of the plans.”

⭐ 4) The Most Hyped Technology of Every Year From 2000–2018 [Visual Capitalist]

“Today’s graphic is a retrospective look at which trends scaled the summit of the Hype Cycle each year since 2000.”

📚 5) They Had it Coming [The Atlantic]

“Thirty years ago, having tapped out of a Ph.D. program, I moved to Los Angeles (long story) and got hired at the top boys’ school in the city, which would soon become co-educational. For the first four years, I taught English. Best job I’ve ever had. For the next three, I was a college counselor. Worst job I’ve ever had.

🔫 6) Reflections on The Sopranos [Econlib/Bryan Caplan]

“Here are the top social science insights I take away. (minor spoilers)”

🚢 7) Building the Largest Ship In the World, South Korea [Alastair Philip Wiper]

“Apart from a couple of guys finishing some last-minute paint jobs, I pretty much had the whole ship to myself. ”

🎤 8) A New Role for Madhur Jaffrey: Rap Grandma [NY Times]

“In the video, which debuted Monday online, the character describes herself as ‘85 years gold’ and ‘the best damn Nani that you ever done seen,’ among other assertions too colorful for this newspaper.”

⚾ 9) A dinosaur tried to throw the first pitch at a Rangers game, but it did not go well [MLB] (Thanks, PB)

“It’s hard to make a pitch when you have tiny arms.”

🐶 10) Say Hi to the people [Reddit] (Thanks, Anasuya)

💡 Quote of the week:

"The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” – Viktor Frankl

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Newley’s Notes 172: Apple’s New Services – Zuckerberg Talks Regs – 38 Best Bangkok Restaurants – Strays Run Free

2019 04 07wood

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

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🍎 1) Apple Pushes Beyond iPhone With Launch of TV, Finance, Gaming, News Services

“Apple Inc. unveiled new products for entertainment, financial services, news and videogames as the technology giant vies with competitors that are also moving to expand their disruptive influence outside their core businesses in search of new growth.”

🔍 2) Bezos Investigation Finds the Saudis Obtained His Private Data [Daily Beast]

“I’ve seen a lot. And yet, I’ve recently seen things that have surprised even me, such as the National Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, being in league with a foreign nation that’s been actively trying to harm American citizens and companies, including the owner of the Washington Post. ”

👮 3) Mark Zuckerberg outlines ideas for new web regulations in WaPo op-ed [Axios]

“When it comes to malicious or harmful content, Zuckerberg is making an unabashed pitch for industry self-regulation.”

📷 4) The Business of Your Face [Fortune]

“In at least three cases, for instance, firms have obtained millions of images by harvesting them via photo apps on people’s phones.”

👍 5) By my pal Austin Bush: The 38 Essential Bangkok Restaurants [Eater]

“Despite what you may have heard, the street isn’t the only place to eat in Thailand’s vibrant capital.”

🌋 6) The Day the Dinosaurs Died [New Yorker]

“A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth.”

🍔 7) Broken Chains Blog []

“Seeking out the restaurant and retail chains thought long-gone.”

😺 8) Garfield phones beach mystery finally solved after 35 years [BBC News]

“The beach-cleaning teams had long suspected that a lost shipping container – perhaps blown overboard – had regurgitated its precious orange cargo. But they had never been able to find it.”

⚽ 9) Listen: A Referee Wears A Microphone During An A-League Match [YouTube]

“A-League referee Jarred Gillett wore a microphone during match between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers to give a fascinating insight into refereeing.”

🐾 10) Dude adopts 45 dogs and lets them loose in their own 4 acre enclosed preserve! [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

📖 "The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” – Voltaire

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Newley’s Notes 171: Apple’s Big Event; EHRs: FUBAR; Best Chrome Extensions; Weimaraner Puppies

2019 03 27 birds sky

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

🔧 So: Are you ready for some #KnowledgeWorker #ProTips?

Thanks to Mechum for writing in with some suggestions on good Chrome extensions. Yes, Chrome extensions.

If, like many folks, you spend a lot your working day in Google’s Chrome web browser – emailing, doing web research, writing, updating your calendar – it pays to incorporate some tweaks to make it more effective.

✨ Extensions, or small programs you can add on to the browser for specific functions, can be a huge help. To wit, Mechum writes:

"For anyone who runs a tab-heavy Chrome game, I recommend the Cluster extension for wrangling those tabs and actually knowing what you have going on in different windows.

But if you’re running lots of tabs also using an under-powered machine…I find The Great Suspender to be really valuable. It has a lot of options but I have it set to ‘suspend’ (unload) tabs I haven’t viewed in 5 minutes, freeing up memory. The pages reload when you go back to them. These two extensions work together really well."

I can vouch for The Great Suspender, and would add a few more to the list.

For making screen captures, FireShot is excellent.

And for finding web pages that have been taken offline, I suggest Wayback Machine.

For privacy and security, check out two extensions from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere.

Happy browsing!

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

💊 1) An important investigation by my friend Erika Fry, of Fortune, and Kaiser Health News’s Fred Schulte: Death By 1,000 Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong [Fortune/KHN]

“…a months-long joint investigation by KHN and Fortune has found that instead of streamlining medicine, the government’s EHR initiative has created a host of largely unacknowledged patient safety risks.

🎥 2) Just what is Apple going to unveil Monday? [Marketplace]

“On Monday, Apple is holding a special event tagged with the line ‘It’s showtime!’ That’s led to wide speculation the company will finally reveal its streaming service.”

🎮 3) Google Unveils Stadia, a High-End Gaming Service Without a Console [WSJ]

“Google unveiled a new service called Stadia that lets players stream videogames from the cloud without needing pricey hardware – an elusive feat that could change the way people buy and play games.”

🎶 4) Myspace apparently lost 12 years’ worth of music, and almost no one noticed [Ars Technica]

“Myspace apparently admitted the problem to concerned users seven or eight months ago, but so few people noticed that there wasn’t any news coverage until the past 24 hours.”

✈ 5) Rick Steves Wants to Set You Free [New York Times Magazine]

“Out of this paradoxical desire – the enlightenment of Americans through their extraction from America – Steves has built his quirky travel empire”

🧐 6) The Magical Thinking Around Brexit [New Yorker]

“Members of the E.U. are frustrated because, even though they have spent two years negotiating a withdrawal agreement with Prime Minister Theresa May, Parliament has rejected it twice, most recently last Tuesday, which means that there is a risk of a chaotic, off-the-cliff No Deal Brexit, without determining new rules for trade, travel, or such basic matters as drivers’ licenses.”

🤖 7) Being An Instagram Influencer Is Hard Work, So This Guy Made A Bot To Do It For Him [Buzzfeed News]

“For Buetti, it’s the perfect solution if you don’t want to actually dedicate time to curating an online following, but still want to score free spaghetti from restaurants seeking publicity.”

🐦 8) Fantasy Birding Is Real, And It’s Spectacular [Deadspin]

“Using eBird, a citizen-science database run by Cornell University where birders log their sightings, players select single locations on a map each day, and get credit for a bird if a real-life birder spots that species within a 10-kilometer radius that day”

🏠 9) Meet the Flintstone House, a Home So Odd It Was Declared a ‘Public Nuisance’ [New York Times]

“‘It is one thing to spot this house when driving by on the freeway; you might find it amusing,’ Mark D. Hudak, a lawyer for the town, said on Monday in an email. ‘It is a different thing to be a neighbor and see it all day, every day.’”

🐕 10) Gotta have the ear blanket [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." – Stephen King

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 170: Chinese Apps: Huge in India – Facebook Exec Reshuffle – Theranos Doc – Kratu’s Jaunt

2019 03 20abstract

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

🆕 My latest story came out Thursday. The headline:

India’s Newest Internet Users Are Addicted to These Apps From China.

🔥 “Facebook is boring,” one user told us.

Among the apps seeing huge growth especially among local language users in rural areas: Like, Bigo Live, Helo and TikTok.

I shared some screen shots of some of the wild and wacky content on these platforms in this twitter thread.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

😢 1) New Zealand Shooting Suspect Ranged Widely Online and Off [WSJ]…

“The internet has made it easier for extremists, whether they are jihadists or white supremacists, to find each other and radicalize, said Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist and consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ‘Social media becomes a host for the virus to be transmitted,’ he said.”

😞 2) …and Why Video of New Zealand Massacre Can’t Be Stamped Out

“The vast cloning of the footage underlines a stark reality in the era of live online broadcasting: These videos can’t be cut off.

💡 3) Mark Zuckerberg is taking total control again [Recode]

"On Thursday, Facebook lost one of its most important, and arguably its most beloved, company executives. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer and Zuckerberg’s top consigliere, announced that he was leaving the company after 13 years. Chris Daniels, who has been running WhatsApp for the past year, also announced his departure."

🚨 4) All the Crime, All the Time: How Citizen Works [NY Times]

“Under the hood, Citizen is essentially a transcription service for emergency radio. The company employs teams of people to listen to police, fire and emergency radio transmissions and to submit certain categories of incident for including in the app.”

🎮 5) How an App for Gamers Went Mainstream [The Atlantic]

Discord is a real-time chat platform that was founded four years ago as a way to make it easier for gamers to communicate. But over the past year, it has outgrown its origin story and become the default place where influencers, YouTubers, Instagram meme accounts, and anyone with an audience can connect with their community.”

📓 6) The New Canon: What’s the most influential book of the past 20 years? [Chronicle of Higher Education]

“We invited scholars from across the academy to tell us what they saw as the most influential book published in the past 20 years.”

📹 7) Who wants to join the cult of video artist Matthew Barney? [Washington Post]

“Twenty years ago, Barney, who turns 52 this month, was described by Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times as ‘the most important artist of his generation.’ If importance can be measured in terms of influence, Kimmelman’s claim has been borne out.”

💉 8) “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” Official Trailer [YouTube]

“From Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney comes a documentary about the rise and fall of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar healthcare company founded by Elizabeth Holmes. Premieres March 18 on HBO.”

💯 9) The best books on Dogs [5 Books]

“José Castelló, author of the delightful field guide, Canids of the World: Wolves, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Their Relatives recommends some of the best books to read on dogs and other canids.”

🏆 10) Kratu The Happy-Go-Lucky Rescue Dog Has A Mind Of His Own [YouTube]

“Funny video of Kratu the Romanian rescue dog enjoying a run out on the agility course at Crufts 2019.”

Quote of the week:

⚡ "The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” – Bertrand Russell

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,