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

2019 05 19 abstract

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

Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I'm reading, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. For updates, get my weekly email newsletter.

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