Newley's Notes

NN206: Bezos in India — Oscar Noms — RIP Neil Peart — Clever Mutts

Photo by Thomas Griesbeck on Unsplash

Sent as an email newsletter Friday, January 17.

👋 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.

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🙏🏻 Apologies for the tardiness of this week’s edition. There’s been a lot of news here in India this week. To wit, I’ve had three stories out in recent days:

On Monday: India Orders Antitrust Probe of Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart. The lede:

India’s antitrust watchdog ordered a probe into whether Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart have violated competition laws, New Delhi’s latest move to try to rein in American tech giants that dominate its burgeoning internet economy.

Then on Tuesday: India Orders WhatsApp, Google to Save Data on Mob Attack. The lede:

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.

And finally, on Wednesday: Amazon’s Bezos Pledges New $1 Billion India Investment Amid Pushback. TLDR: he promised to pour more funds in India – and also, understandably, played to the local audience:

On Wednesday, Mr. Bezos praised U.S.-India ties and said he believes the 21st century “is going to be the Indian century.” At the end of his talk, the executive, dressed in an indigo Nehru jacket, clasped his hands together and bowed before the crowd to great applause.

After touching down in New Delhi on Tuesday, Mr. Bezos posted a video on his Twitter account showing him paying tribute at a memorial to Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

⚠️ Editor’s note: I will be tied up over the coming days, so the next NN will land in your inbox the weekend of Feb. 1.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

💬 1) Facebook Backs Off Controversial Plan to Sell Ads in WhatsApp [WSJ]

“Facebook Inc. is backing away from efforts to sell ads in WhatsApp, in a retreat from a controversial plan that drove the creators of the popular messaging service to resign more than 18 months ago, according to people familiar with the matter.”

♾️ 2) Does Consciousness Pervade the Universe? [Scientific American]

“Philosopher Philip Goff answers questions about ‘panpsychism’

🆕 3) The Verge Awards at CES 2020: welcome to the land of the concept [The Verge]

“Oh, what a difference 12 months makes. At last year’s CES, we found fewer concepts and more tangible products than ever before. Apparently this year, the exhibitors saw our reaction and felt they had to work overtime to correct it because if there was a theme to 2020’s CES, it was that CES is the land of the concept.”

⛔ 4) The Evil List [Slate]

“Which tech companies are really doing the most harm? Here are the 30 most dangerous, ranked by the people who know.”

😥 5) Neil Peart, Drummer and Lyricist for Rush, Dies at 67 [New York Times]

“Neil Peart, the pyrotechnical drummer and high-concept lyricist for the Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 67.”

🥁 Bonus: Neil Peart’s Essential Songs: Hear 10 Tracks.

📽️ 6) ‘Joker’ leads Oscar noms; ‘1917,’ ‘Irishman’ close behind [Associated Press]

“Female filmmakers were shut out, ‘Parasite’ made history and ‘Joker’ edged out ‘The Irishman,’ ‘1917’ and ‘Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’ in Monday’s Oscar nominations.”

💊 7) 7 Biohacks to Master Before Worrying About Other Biohacks [The Atlantic]

“Unlike the biohacks that the other gurus are out there selling, these are all-natural. I call them – and I insist on the capitalization here – NATURAL BIOHACKS .”

🖊️ 8) Stamps, Scientific Charts, and Hand-Drawn Maps Occupy Every Inch of Travel Notebooks by José Naranja [Colossal]

“Author and artist José Naranja ensures he won’t forget any detail of his year-round travels across the globe through a meticulous and unique documentation process.”

🇯🇵 9) Why Japan is so successful at returning lost property [BBC News]

“Cultural norms, complex religious influences and friendly neighbourhood police officers make losing something in Japan no big deal.

🐕 10) Dog video of the week: I SEE YOU!!!!!! [Imgur]

💡 Quote of the week:

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,


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