Newley's Notes

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.

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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of anonymity because they were worried about retribution from Alphabet, describe Page as an executive who’s more withdrawn than ever, bordering on emeritus, invisible to wide swaths of the company.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 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,

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