Newley's Notes

Newley’s Notes 149: SoftBank’s OYO Bet; India’s Biometric ID; Facebook’s Terrible Week; Chilean Military Puppies

The latest edition of my email newsletter went out on Sunday. Subscribe to get it in your inbox before it’s posted here.

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

It was a busy week for tech news here in India.

First, local hotel booking platform OYO raising a whopping $1 billion on Tues. in a fundraising round led by Japan’s SoftBank.

Then on Wed. the Supreme Court ruled that India’s landmark biometric identity program, known as Aadhaar, doesn’t violate citizens’ privacy, and can continue with some new limitations.

Keep reading for more…

Wanna help me out? Forward this email to your smartest, coolest friends, so they can join our list. If you received this from a pal, sign up here.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🏨 1) By me: SoftBank Leads $1 Billion Investment in Indian Hotel-Booking Startup [WSJ] – The lede: “SoftBank Group Corp. is doubling down on one of its biggest bets in India by leading a $1 billion investment in hotel-booking startup OYO Hotels.”

🆔 2) By me and my colleague Krishna Pokharel: India’s Top Court Rules Massive Biometric Identity Database Legal – With Restrictions [WSJ] – The big picture: “The country’s controversial Aadhaar program uses photos, finger and eye scans and has already signed up more than 1 billion people. It has sparked an intense global debate over how far a democracy should be able to go in collecting the personal data of its citizens and how that data can be used, shared and protected."

👋 3) Shot 1: Instagram Co-Founders to Step Down From Facebook [WSJ] – The photo sharing app’s co-founders “clashed with Facebook executives over the extent of Instagram’s autonomy in recent months,” my colleague Deepa Seetharaman. Reminder: WhatsApp’s co-founders have also departed. That means the creators of two of Facebook’s biggest outside platforms are gone.

🔓 4) Chaser 1: Facebook discloses major security flaw, could affect 50 million users [Axios] – The larger contest, writes Axios’s Shannon Vavra: “This is just the latest in a long string of recent problems for Facebook, including executive defections, social media interference, privacy concerns, and accusations of anti-conservative bias.”

🤐 5) Shot 2: Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information [Gizomodo] – Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill at says Facebook is using for advertising purposes “information you handed over for security purposes and contact information you didn’t hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books…”

🌐 6) Chaser 2: Facebook: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver [YouTube] – A look at Facebook in emerging markets. (Someone wrote on Twitter recently that Facebook now feels like the last days of Blockbuster Video. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s safe to say public opinion has shifted drastically, and quickly.)

🇷🇺 7) Tech-related longread of the week: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump [New Yorker] – Jane Mayer on a new book by University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson.

🆒 8) Art-related photos of the week: Scenes From the World of WearableArt Competition [The Atlantic] – Wonderful.

🌟 9) Reddit post of the week: What is a website that everyone should know about but few people actually know about?
[Reddit] – Lots of great suggestions here.

🎖️ 10) Amazing dog video of the week: Adorable Police Puppies Take Part In Military Parade [YouTube] – Heartwarming scenes from Chile.

What’s new with you? Just hit reply and share your news. I love hearing from folks.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *