Newley's Notes

NN254: Leaping Labradors

Sent as an email newsletter March 14, 2021. Sign up to receive future dispatches in your inbox.

πŸ‘‹ 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.

Image of the week, above: “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS,” by Beeple. (More on this below…)

πŸ—ž My latest in The WSJ:

My newest story, out Wednesday with my colleague Drew FitzGerald:

Facebook Drops Plan to Run Fiber Cable to Hong Kong Amid U.S. Pressure. The story begins:

A Facebook Inc. consortium withdrew its bid to build a new internet conduit between California and Hong Kong after months of pressure from U.S. national-security officials, the latest sign of a deepening rift between the two governments.

Click through for more.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 🎨 Art-meets-tech story of the week: Beeple – the digital artist I mentioned a couple weeks ago – sold an NFT of his work for $69 million in an auction at Christie’s. That’s the third highest price tag for any living artist’s work.

2) πŸ’° …Wait, sold a what? NFT stands for non-fungible token; it’s a kind of digital certificate of authenticity based on a blockchain. For an explanation, check out this episode of Planet Money’s Indicator podcast, and this episode of our Tech News Briefing podcast.

3) πŸ“· “More than 100 employees at security camera startup Verkada Inc. could peer through the cameras of its thousands of customers, including global corporations, schools and police departments, according to three former employees aware of the company’s security protocols,” Bloomberg News’s William Turton and Ryan Gallagher report.

4) πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ Mexico is set to pass a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, which would make it one of the world’s biggest regulated markets for the drug.

5) 🎡 RIP Lou Ottens, the Philips engineer who invented the cassette tape in the early 1960s. He was 94.

6) πŸ—Ί From Singapore to Paris to the U.S. Virgin Islands, this New York Times interactive shows how people in global tourists destinations have been dealing with the pandemic, one year on.

7) πŸ‘ Twenty-five-year-old Truman Cheng, a graduate student here in Hong Kong, successfully proposed a unique new Lego set: Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

8) 🐻 Sentence of the week, in Hollywood Reporter: “Universal is behind Cocaine Bear, which is based on an untitled spec written by Jimmy Warden, inspired by events that took place in Kentucky in 1985.”

9) πŸ—£ An excellent resource, with tons of links to new services and apps: “How to learn a language (and stick at it),” by University of Leeds lecturer John Gallagher.

10) 🎳 This is the coolest drone video shot inside a bowling alley that you will ever see. Here’s the backstory.


🐢 Dog-related video of the week: A classic from 2014 that is worth revisiting. “Run Walter, RUN!!”


πŸ’‘ Quote of the week:

β€œThere is no better teacher than history in determining the future…There are answers worth billions of dollars in a $30 history book.” – Charles T. Munger


πŸ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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