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India Journalism Tech

India Orders WhatsApp, Google to Save Data on Mob Attack

That’s the headline on my newest story, with my colleague Krishna Pokharel, out Tuesday. It begins:

NEW DELHI — An Indian court ordered Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to preserve data connected to an attack on a university campus earlier this month in the latest attempt by authorities in the country to wrangle more control over the messaging and search giants.

According to an attorney involved in the case, the Delhi High Court said Tuesday that the companies, local police and university authorities must try to save messages, photos and videos connected to the Jan. 5 attack, when several dozen people stormed the campus of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, injuring 32 students and two faculty members.

Click through to read the rest.

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Journalism Newley's Notes

NN201: Newest Page One Story — Podcast Appearance — 1 Billion Surveillance Cams — Bonus Puppy Content

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Sent as an email newsletter December 9, 2019.

👋 Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

📬 Not a subscriber yet? Get it here.

Apologies for NN’s absence last week. After an enjoyable Thanksgiving…your faithful correspondent promptly fell ill. But I’m back now!

✍️ I’m proud to say I had another page one story (the second in a week’s time, following my piece on lending apps), this one out on Wednesday. The headline: U.S. Tech Giants Bet Big on India. Now It’s Changing the Rules.

And the first few grafs:

NEW DELHI – After Walmart Inc. sealed a $16 billion deal last year to buy India’s biggest domestic e-commerce startup, it got some bad news. India was changing its e-commerce regulations.

Foreign-owned online retailers would need to modify their supply chains and stop deep discounting. Those rules didn’t apply to Indian companies.

India, the world’s biggest untapped digital market, has suddenly become a much tougher slog for American and other international players.

It’s not just Walmart, but also the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook’s WhatsApp that are facing shifting regulatory sands.

Please give it a read.

📹 Meanwhile, my colleague Liza Lin and I had a story out Friday that has captured a lot of attention (it was even shared on Twitter by Marco Rubio. The headline: A World With a Billion Cameras Watching You Is Just Around the Corner. It begins:

As governments and companies invest more in security networks, hundreds of millions more surveillance cameras will be watching the world in 2021, mostly in China, according to a new report.

The report, from industry researcher IHS Markit, to be released Thursday, said the number of cameras used for surveillance would climb above 1 billion by the end of 2021. That would represent an almost 30% increase from the 770 million cameras today. China would continue to account for a little over half the total.

Fast-growing, populous nations such as India, Brazil and Indonesia would also help drive growth in the sector, the report said.

🎧 Other news: I was on the latest edition of the excellent Asia Matters podcast. In an episode called “What China’s ambitions tell us about tech in Asia,” I joined my ex-WSJ colleague Andrew Peaple and Julian Gewirtz of Harvard to share my perspective from India.

You can listen here, or search for “Asia Matters” on Spotify or in your favorite podcast app.

Okay – enough self-promotion. On to this week’s links…

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

📈 1) Google Management Shuffle Points to Retreat From Alphabet Experiment [WSJ]

“Sundar Pichai’s appointment this week as chief executive of Google parent Alphabet Inc. effectively shifts the focus back on the company’s advertising profit machine and away from its “moonshots” and other potential new businesses.”

👓 2) Warby Parker Wants to Be the Warby Parker of Contacts [Bloomberg]

“At $440 for a year’s supply, the lenses will be slightly cheaper than many daily contacts but will be sold with what Warby says will be a much improved ordering process.”

⛺ 3) How Hipcamp Became the Airbnb of the Outdoors [New Yorker]

“Alyssa Ravasio, Hipcamp’s founder and C.E.O., is not a purist. For her, camping is a leisure activity, an escape valve, a business opportunity, a wealth-redistribution system, and a political strategy: an avenue to environmental awareness, engagement, even activism.”

🍎 4) Apple worth more than US stock index’s energy sector [Financial Times]

“Apple is now worth more than all large-cap US energy stocks put together.”

🧘 5) Buddhism scholars: Meditation apps are fueling tech addiction, not easing stress [Fast Company]

“…Buddhist apps, rather than curing the anxiety created by our smartphones, just make us more addicted to them and, in the end, even more stressed.”

🏎️ 6) These Guys Just Drove an E63 AMG Across America in a Record 27 Hours 25 Minutes [Road & Track]

“After leaving the Red Ball garage on the east side of Manhattan at 12:57 a.m. on November 10, it took Toman, Tabbutt and Chadwick 27 hours and 25 minutes to reach the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, in L.A.’s South Bay. In a car.”

💾 7) Version Museum [VersionMuseum]

“A visual history of your favorite technology.”

🗺️ 8) Map: The most common last name in every country [Reddit]

🏈 9) Sad/heartwarming dog-related story of the week: This college football player lost his parents before Senior Day, but he didn’t walk out alone [CBS News]

“A Michigan State University football player whose parents died before Senior Day walked out with his adopted dogs onto the field for the occasion.”

🐶 10) Dog-related video of the week: This is the most Indian photo bomb [Twitter: @Tim_Kimber]

💡 Quote of the week:

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Raymond Chandler

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

Categories
India Journalism Tech

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

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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.

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Newley's Notes

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

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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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👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,
Newley

Categories
Journalism

Me on CBS News Discussing Antivaccine Misinformation on WhatsApp in India

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I joined CBS News’s Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers on Monday to discuss my recent story about antivaccine misinformation on WhatsApp here in India.

The clip is online here.