Newley’s Notes 184: Smart-Enough Phones; Millionaire Gamers; Wearable ACs; Eager Pooches

2019 07 31abstract

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

🔌 My latest story, out last Tuesday and teased on the WSJ front page Wednesday: The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones. It begins:

NEW DELHI–The hottest phones for the world’s next billion users aren’t made by smartphone leaders Samsung Electronics Co. or Apple Inc. In fact, they aren’t even smartphones.

Millions of first-time internet consumers from the Ivory Coast to India and Indonesia are connecting to the web on a new breed of device that only costs about $25. The gadgets look like the inexpensive Nokia Corp. phones that were big about two decades ago. But these hybrid phones, fueled by inexpensive mobile data, provide some basic apps and internet access in addition to calling and texting.

As I mention in the story, as part of our reporting we spoke with a fruit vendor here in New Delhi who makes about $80 per month. He couldn’t afford even the cheapest smartphones, but is now online – streaming Bollywood music and watching movies with his family night – thanks to a “smart feature phone” that cost only about $20.

📱 Click through to read the rest.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🍎 1) Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings [The Guardian]

“Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on to contractors working for the company around the world.”

😳 2) The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge [New York/The Cut]

“A Harvard Law professor who teaches a class on judgment wouldn’t seem like an obvious mark, would he?

🤖 3) Tech-related longread of the week: The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking [The New Yorker]

“In the past, intellectual debt has been confined to a few areas amenable to trial-and-error discovery, such as medicine. But that may be changing, as new techniques in artificial intelligence – specifically, machine learning – increase our collective intellectual credit line.”

🇭🇰 4) In Hong Kong Protests, Faces Become Weapons [New York Times]

“Hong Kong is at the bleeding edge of a significant change in the authorities’ ability to track dangerous criminals and legitimate political protesters alike – and in their targets’ ability to fight back.”

🏆 5) U.S. teen wins $3 million at video game tournament Fortnite World Cup [Reuters]

“Geirsdorf, 16, from Pennsylvania, was one of at least 100 players competing for $30 million in total prize money, as the booming popularity of video and online games has drawn top-dollar investments and fueled the emerging professional sport. ”

🌡️ 6) Sony’s Wearable Air Conditioner Should Be Ready for Next Year’s Heat Wave [Gizmodo]

“…Sony is crowdfunding a portable wearable air conditioner/heater so you can flip the bird to mother nature and live your best, climate-controlled life.”

💰 7) How Legal Marijuana Is Helping the Black Market [Politico]

“Expensive regulation and high demand across the country have made the illicit trade more profitable than going legit.”

⚒️ 8) Notre Dame Fire Revives Demand For Skilled Stone Carvers In France [NPR]

“In the workshops of the Hector Guimard high school, less than three miles from the cathedral, young stone carvers are training for that task.”

🍴 9) A Global Feast in an Unlikely Spot: Lancaster, Pa. [New York Times]

“This small city, best-known for its Amish and Mennonite communities, is a welcoming home for immigrants, refugees and their cooking.”

(Thanks, Jess!)

🎾 10) Hi! Can i interest you in a ball?!?! [Reddit]

💡 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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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

The Hottest Phones for the Next Billion Users Aren’t Smartphones

smart feature phones

That’s the headline on my most recent story, which came out Tuesday.

It begins:

NEW DELHI—The hottest phones for the world’s next billion users aren’t made by smartphone leaders Samsung Electronics Co. or Apple Inc. In fact, they aren’t even smartphones.

Millions of first-time internet consumers from the Ivory Coast to India and Indonesia are connecting to the web on a new breed of device that only costs about $25. The gadgets look like the inexpensive Nokia Corp. phones that were big about two decades ago. But these hybrid phones, fueled by inexpensive mobile data, provide some basic apps and internet access in addition to calling and texting.

Smart feature phones, as they are known, are one of the mobile-phone industry’s fastest-growing and least-known segments, providing a simple way for some of the world’s poorest people to enter the internet economy.

While global smartphone sales began sliding last year as markets became saturated, smart feature phone shipments tripled to around 75 million from 2017, according to research firm Counterpoint. Some 84 million are likely to be shipped this year.

Click through to read the rest.

Newley’s Notes 183: Apollo 11 Anniversary; FaceApp Fears; Siberian Selfies; Sweater-Wearing Shibas Strutting in Snow

moon

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

🇮🇹 Anasuya and I are back in Delhi after an exceptional ten-day-long family holiday in Italy.

I’ve been posting some photos on my Instagram feed (@Newley), with more to come. We were in Rome for a few days, then spent a week in Cernobbio, next to Lake Como.

The food.
The mountains.
The water.
The colors.
The people.
The history.
The art.

💯 One word: wow.

On to this week’s NN…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🚀 1) The Nation Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 [WSJ]

“In a hundred different ways this week, people nationwide celebrated the moon voyage that climaxed on July 20, 1969, when Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed and walked on another world.”

🌕 Bonus explanatory video: Apollo 11: The Complete Descent.

📉 2) Netflix stock sinks after U.S. subscriber loss [Axios]

“Analysts weren’t expecting the streaming giant to lose subscribers, especially since rival streaming services, like HBO Max, Disney + and NBCUniversal’s new service, aren’t expected to launch for another year or so. ”

🥵 3) As FaceApp Goes Viral, So Do Concerns About Privacy, Russia Ties [WSJ]

“FaceApp is raising alarms in particular because it is encouraging people to share information that companies or individuals typically find difficult to obtain quickly on a large scale, said Micah Hoffman, principal investigator at Spotlight Infosec LLC, a cybersecurity and open-source intelligence firm in Rockville, Md.”

🗣 4) Have We Hit Peak Podcast? [NY Times]

“There are now upward of 700,000 podcasts, according to the podcast production and hosting service Blubrry, with between 2,000 and 3,000 new shows launching each month.”

📡 5) Disneyland Makes Surveillance Palatable – and Profitable [Bloomberg]

“At a time when Facebook Inc., Google and myriad other technology companies are getting hammered over consumer privacy issues, Disney is running the happiest police state on earth.”

🎤 6) Fired Over Too Much Tupac? A Rap-Loving Bureaucrat From Iowa Says He Hopes Not [NPR]

“I’m a 66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes rap music, who likes Tupac!” he says.

☢️ 7) Toxic lake in Russia’s Siberia becomes selfie sensation [AP]

“The lake is blue…due to a chemical reaction between toxic waste elements from a local power station. Environmentalists are warning people against coming into contact with the water.”

👏 8) Apple Teases 230 New Emoji in Celebration of World Emoji Day [TIME]

“This upcoming collection will have a large focus on inclusion and accessibility. Some of the upcoming emoji will include people who use hearing aids, wheelchairs, guide dogs and people with prosthetic limbs.”

🐦 9) The 2019 Audubon Photography Awards: Winners [Audubon]

Birds make fascinating subjects, as the winners and honorable mentions of this year’s contest, our 10th, make clear.”

❄️ 10) Ladies and gents, I present to you a Shiba Inu wearing a sweater tracking through snow [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

"Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.” – Joan Didion

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi – and happy summer!

Newley

Newley’s Notes 182: So Long, Jony; Sikh Truck Drivers; Rooney Golazo; Frolicking Beach Dogs

2019 06 30abstract

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

⚠️ Editor’s note: NN will be on summer holiday for the following few weeks. Expect the next edition July 21.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🍎 1) Apple Design Chief Jony Ive to Depart, Ushering in New Era [WSJ]

“Apple Inc. said design chief Jony Ive will leave the company later this year to form his own independent design company, marking the end of an era at the iPhone maker as it shifts from an emphasis on product development to services.”

🎨 2) And, from 2015, a profile of Ive: The Shape of Things to Come [New Yorker]

“How an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product.”

👂 3) Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students [ProPublica]

“‘It’s not clear it’s solving the right problem. And it’s not clear it’s solving it with the right tools,’ said Suresh Venkatasubramanian, a University of Utah computer science professor who studies how replacing humans with artificial intelligence affects decision-making in society.”

🦄 4) A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel [NY Times]

“In a season of multibillion-dollar I.P.O.s for Slack, Pinterest, Zoom, Uber, Lyft and others, Evernote is nowhere close.”

🚚 5) Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway [LA Times]

"‘You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited,’ says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking. ‘Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.’’

📚 6) San Francisco Will Spend $600,000 to Erase History [NY Times]

“All are fair game for censorship in a worldview that insists that words and images are to be judged based on how ‘safe’ they make people feel.”

⌨️ 7) 20+ Mac Productivity Hacks from CEOs, Artists, Developers, Youtubers and More [Boxy Suite]

“I’m always surprised by how many Mac hacks, tricks and workflows I keep finding out that boost my productivity and make my life easier.”

🗣️ 8) This map shows the most commonly spoken language in every US state, excluding English and Spanish [Business Insider]

German is the most commonly spoken non-English, non-Spanish language in nine states, with French most common in six states and D.C. Vietnamese was the most common language in six states.”

⚽ 9) Wayne Rooney GOAL from Beyond Midfield! [YouTube]

“Wayne Rooney scores from beyond the midfield stripe.”

😂 10) Water, water, OMG water! [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training." – Archilochus

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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi – and happy summer!

Newley

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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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

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 Amazon.com 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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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

Netflix and Amazon Trail a Local Video Rival in India That’s Now Disney-Owned

2019 06 06 hotstar netflix amazon

That’s the headline on my most recent story, out Tuesday.

It begins:

NEW DELHI—To win in India, home to many of the world’s next billion internet users, Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com 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.

Netflix is churning out Indian-language dramas, love stories and thrillers and slashing its monthly rates. Amazon has signed up local stand-up comedians and backed a “Sex and the City” clone about a group of women in Mumbai that is broadcast in three Indian languages.

Click through to read the rest.

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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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

Newley’s Notes 178: Tsu-NaMo; Fake Pelosi Vid; SF Blues; Beagle Puppies

abstract

🇮🇳 Well, it’s official: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back.

In a big way.

Official results out Thursday showed he’s won a sweeping mandate for another five years.

🌊 “NaMOMENT,” “Yes! Prime Minister,” “Modi Tsunami,” “Modi Magic,” “Tsunamo.”

Those were among the newspaper front page headlines on Friday. I posted some photos of them here on Newley.com.

🤔 So, what does Modi’s reelection mean for U.S. firms, like Amazon and Walmart, that are pouring billions of dollars into India?

For my latest story, I spoke with several folks to answer that question. The lede:

U.S. technology firms recently facing pushback in India, the world’s biggest untapped digital economy, can expect more scrutiny following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding re-election, according to executives and analysts.

“Electorally there’s no gain in mollycoddling Amazon and Walmart,” one senior executive at a tech firm told me.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🔍 1) Facebook on fake Pelosi video: Being ‘false’ isn’t enough for removal [Politico]

“Facebook said Friday that a video doctored to depict House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her words will remain on the social network because false information alone does not violate the site’s rules.”

🕵️ 2) In Baltimore and Beyond, a Stolen N.S.A. Tool Wreaks Havoc [NY Times]

“Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.’s own backyard.”

🔮 3) Amazon Is Working on a Device That Can Read Human Emotions [Bloomberg]

“Amazon.com Inc. is developing a voice-activated wearable device that can recognize human emotions. The wrist-worn gadget is described as a health and wellness product in internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg.”

🌁 4) How San Francisco Broke America’s Heart [Washington Post]

“Tech isn’t what everyone talks about in San Francisco. It’s money. Real estate, income inequality, $20 salads, the homeless, adult children unable to move out, non-tech workers unable to move in.”"

🎸 5) Sofar Sounds house concerts raises $25M, but bands get just $100 [TechCrunch]

“Tired of noisy music venues where you can hardly see the stage? Sofar Sounds puts on concerts in people’s living rooms where fans pay $15 to $30 to sit silently on the floor and truly listen.”

⛵ 6) ‘It could change everything’: coin found off northern Australia may be from pre–1400 Africa [The Guardian]

“…the most likely scenario is that the Portuguese, who looted Kilwa in 1505, went on to set foot on Australian shores, bringing the coins with them.”

🌏 7) What Changed My Mind About Climate Change? [The Bullwark]

“As Cato’s director of Natural Resource Studies (and later, as a senior fellow and eventually vice president), I maintained that, while climate change was real, the impacts would likely prove rather modest and that the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions would greatly exceed the benefits. I changed my mind about that, however, because (among other things) I changed my mind about risk management.

⚔️ 8) An illustrated guide to all 6,887 deaths in ‘Game of Thrones’ [Washington Post]

“And after eight seasons of continually rising body counts, we can definitively confirm — “Valar Morghulis” — all men must indeed die.”

📊 9) How Data (and Some Breathtaking Soccer) Brought Liverpool to the Cusp of Glory [NY Times Magazine]

“Analytics has famously influenced the tactics in professional baseball and basketball in recent years. Ultimately, it may have just as great an impact on soccer, which traditionally hasn’t relied on statistics to figure out much of anything.”

🐶 🤩 10) When food is life [Instagram video: doglover_s]

🐱 😂 BONUS LINK: UPDATE – FOUND CAT – NEED OWNERS ASAP!! [Craigslist]

💡 Quote of the week:

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.” – Carl Sagan

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Newley

Modi’s Re-Election Means More Scrutiny for U.S. Tech Giants

2019 05 26modi tech

That’s the headline on my newest story, out Friday. It begins:

NEW DELHI – U.S. technology firms recently facing pushback in India, the world’s biggest untapped digital economy, can expect more scrutiny following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resounding re-election, according to executives and analysts.

They expect Mr. Modi’s government to continue tightening restrictions on American titans such as Amazon.com Inc., Walmart Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp.

U.S. firms have been pouring billions of dollars into the country of 1.3 billion people in part because, unlike China, India has provided a level playing field for foreign firms at a time when hundreds of millions of people are getting online thanks to cheaper mobile data and smartphones.

Click through to read the rest.