Newley's Notes

In This Week’s Newley’s Notes: iPhone 7 in India; Trendy Ayahuasca; U.S. Fortuneteller in Cambodia

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Hi friends,

Thanks for reading Newley’s Notes. From the new iPhone to Pokemon Go to women on Facebook in India, it’s a been a busy week.

What I wrote in The WSJ

Why Will Apple’s New iPhone 7 Cost So Much More in India?

Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 7 smartphones go on sale Friday in the U.S. at a starting price of $649. They won’t be available in India until next month, and when they do land their base price will be close to $250 more expensive.

India Petition Seeks to Ban Pokémon Go for Insulting Hindus With Virtual Eggs:

An attorney has filed a petition to ban the smartphone game sensation “Pokémon Go” in India for placing virtual eggs in houses of worship and allegedly offending some people’s religious sensibilities.

In the hit game–which uses location-tracking and augmented-reality technology– players visit landmarks called PokéStops, where they can collect goodies including virtual eggs, which hatch into the eponymous Pokémon or pocket monsters. While the game hasn’t officially been launched yet in India, Pokémon Go enthusiasts have already found ways to play.

On Indian Facebook, Men Outnumber Women Three-to-One

As inexpensive smartphones allow millions of Indians online for the first time, internet newbies are rushing to sign up for Facebook at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, new data shows, an overwhelming majority of the Indians on the network are men

A report this week from U.K. consultancy We Are Social found just 24% of India’s 153 million Facebook users are women — meaning there are more than three men on the platform for every woman.

That figure, one of the lowest in the world, illustrates that even as technology starts to trickle down to more Indians, women are not accessing some online tools at the same rate as their male counterparts.

At a Glance: The Billion-Dollar Battle Between Tata and NTT DoCoMo

The battle over a potential $1.17 billion payment from Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, to Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc. has its roots in an ill-fated deal that was agreed in 2009.

Singapore’s Garena Raises Fresh Funds for Expansion

Southeast Asia-focused online entertainment and e-commerce startup Garena Interactive Holding Ltd. has raised additional funding from some high-profile investors as it seeks to expand across the populous region.

Reliance’s Ambani Lays Out Plan for Low-Cost Mobile Data in India

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, on Thursday outlined his plans to shake up the country’s telecommunications industry through his new cellular company, which aims to lure customers away from the competition and bring millions of Indians online for the first time by offering data at low rates.

The chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. told the company’s annual general meeting that its new wireless phone unit, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., will undercut its competitors by offering data for 50 rupees (75 cents) per gigabyte and monthly plans as low as 149 rupees, or $2.22. The first group of users signing up for the new platform, which launches Monday, will be offered free service until next year, said Mr. Ambani.

What I wrote at

Book Notes — The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller

My notes from a surprisingly optimistic and hope-infused novel…that just happens to be about what happens when a mysterious plague wipes out all but a few people on earth. ¯(ツ)

Delhi Snapshot: ‘Selfie Garlic Bread’

The title of the post says it all.

5 items that are worth your time this week:

1) Apple’s iPhone 7 launch, condensed into a two-minute video.

Just the highlights. Or the lowlights, if like many you found their newest smartphone underwhelming. (Personally, I’m pretty stoked about the new camera. And not too fussed about the new audio jack.)

2) Speaking of Apple, here’s how to fix a major design flaw in the Apple TV remote

Thanks, A!

3) “The Drug of Choice for the Age of Kale”

That’s the title of this week’s #longread, a New Yorker’s story by Airel Levy examining the growing popularity in the U.S. of Ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogenic drug found in the Amazon.

4) How to choose the fastest supermarket line.

There are some good tips here. For example, it makes sense to get in line behind someone with a full cart rather than several people with smaller amounts of items because the time taken between customers tends to be longer than you’d imagine.

5) American Soothsayer Rakes In Small Fortune

Interesting story about an American woman who has set up shop at a market in Cambodia, providing tarot-card readings in Khmer. My favorite part is the end of this passage:

“I didn’t have a job, I needed something to do and I wanted to help people through my spiritual work. I was getting messages to do this, so I just followed my gut,” said Eileen, who speaks conversational Khmer and asked to be identified only by her first name so that her mother in the U.S. would not find out about her new trade.

Have a great week, and let me know what’s new in your world.


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