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Newley's Notes

NN268: Playful Puppies

Newley stray dogs Hong Kong

👋 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: I recently participated in a work-organized volunteer outing at the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation shelter here in Hong Kong. The fine folks at that group are looking after more than 100 dogs. Among them is this handsome fellow, named Lucas. Click through to their website to find out how to support the organization.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 👉 Juneteenth – June 19 – is now a U.S. federal holiday. People across the country gathered Saturday to commemorate the date. [The Guardian]

2) 🏈 Carl Nassib, of the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first active NFL player to announce he is gay. [ESPN]

3) 💰 Someone in tiny Lonaconing, Maryland, population 1,200, won $731 million in a state Powerball lottery in January – but no one knows who. [Washington Post]

4) 🔫 File under “the world in 2021”: Hand-held anti-drone weapons are a thing. [The Drive]

5) 🎵 Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” was released 50 years ago this week; musicians reflect on the album’s greatness. [New York Times]

6) 🎬 Steven Spielberg has signed up to make movies for Netflix. [WSJ]

7) 🔥 Art-related story of the week: “Scientists Recreate Stone Age Lamps and Torches to See How Ancient Artists Illuminated Caves.” [Inside Science]

8) ✏️ On the culture of documents and meetings at Amazon. [Justin Garrison]

9) 💻 How inexpensive netbooks for students in Argentina empowered a generation of musicians. [Rest of World]

10) 📺 Just out: the season two trailer for “Ted Lasso.” [YouTube]

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

🐕 “There are two types of dog.” [Imgur]

•••

💡 Quote of the week:

“We must not allow the ignoble to injure the noble, or the smaller to injure the greater. Those who nourish the smaller parts will become small men. Those who nourish the greater parts will become great men.” – Meng Tzu

•••

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

Categories
Newley's Notes

NN267: Dunkin’ Doggos

Sent as a newsletter on June 13, 2021. Want in? Join my email list.

👋 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: a watercolor, done from a photo I took on a recent trip to Hong Kong’s Lamma Island.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 💰 “ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth – sometimes, even nothing.” [ProPublica]

2) 🦠 A Covid–19 report from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says the Chinese lableak hypothesis is plausable. [WSJ]

3) 🚀 Jeff Bezos will be on his space company Blue Origin’s first flight carrying people to the edge of space. [TechCrunch]

4) 🍎 New Apple updates are coming this fall: FaceTime gets Zoom-like features, Macs get a low-power mode, Safari gets tab grouping, and more. [WSJ]

5) 💬 Authorities around the world busted hundreds of suspected criminals by secretly gaining access to an encrypted messaging platform used on mobile devices. [WSJ]

6) ⚽ Euro 2020 – that is, the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, being played a year late due to Covid – has kicked off! Favorites include Belgium, Italy, Portugal and – my pick to win – France. [Wikipedia]

7) 👀 End-times-related video of the week: a tour of a survivalist community living in underground bunkers in South Dakota. [Laughing Squid]

8) 🌲 Now out: winners of the BigPicture natural world photography contest; my favorite is number five, “Facing Reality.” [The Atlantic]

9) 💊 Longread of the week, by Erika Fry: “How Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway took on America’s health care system – and lost.” [Fortune]

10) 😢 Dog-related tearjerker of the week: An eight-year-old-boy in Virginia set up a stand to sell his Pokemon cards to fund treatment for his sick puppy, Bruce. Once word got out, people all over the country pitched in – and Bruce is now on the mend. [Washington Post]

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

🏀 “This dog can dunk.” [Reddit]

•••

💡 Quote of the week:

“No one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbor, if you would live for yourself.” – Seneca

•••

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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Newley's Notes

NN266: Compassionate Corgis

Sent as a newsletter on June 6,2021. Didn’t arrive in your inbox? Join my email list.

👋 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: another amazing Hong Kong vanity plate. Spotted by A.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 🇭🇰 Thousands of people here in Hong Kong marked the anniversary Friday of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre despite massive numbers of police on the streets [WSJ]

2) 🚨 Facebook said its suspension of Donald Trump’s accounts will run at least until January 2023. [WSJ]

3) 💻 Facing the prospect returning to the office, some workers in the U.S. are quitting instead. [Bloomberg]

4) 👀 Bigger pupils = higher intelligence? [Scientific American]

5) 🗣 Eunoia is a new website cataloging more than 500 untranslatable words from various languages. [Eunoia dot world]

6) 🌋 Mario David García Mansilla bakes a special kind of pizza: cooked on a volcano in Guatemala. [Atlas Obscura]

7) #️⃣ #Hashtags were cool, then they were uncool, and now young influencers are bringing ’em back. [LA Times]

8) ❓ Ask Reddit: “What is a simple, painful fact that people need to just get over and accept?” [Reddit]

9) 📹 Please enjoy this compendium of the best dumb internet videos of all time. [Polygon]

10) 🍴 “Roadrunner” is a new documentary about Anthony Bourdain out July 16. [YouTube]

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

🐕 “A hug is worth a thousand words.” [YouTube]

•••

📺 What I’ve Been Reading:

I’ve had a copy of Jonathan Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” kicking around the house for some time, but had never opened it. I’m so glad I finally did. I’m not even finished and it already ranks among my favorite books about happiness – and what makes for a fulfilling life – that I’ve encountered. It is beautifully written, deeply researched, sharply argued, and highly comforting. More soon on its lessons, I’m sure.

💡 Quote of the week:

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin

•••

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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Newley's Notes

NN265: Dancing Dogs

Sent as a newsletter on May 30,2021. Didn’t arrive in your inbox? Join my email list.

👋 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: a recent watercolor from a Hong Kong waterfront.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 🆕 I had three stories out this week. On Tuesday: Indian Police Visit Twitter’s Office After Politician’s Tweet Is Labeled as Misleading. The lede:

Indian police visited Twitter Inc.’s office in New Delhi to investigate the company’s labeling of tweets from a ruling party spokesman as misleading, the government’s latest move against U.S. tech platforms amid criticism over its handling of the pandemic.

2) 💬 On Wednesday: WhatsApp Says It Filed Suit in India to Prevent Tracing of Encrypted Messages. It began:

Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp said it filed a lawsuit in India to stop new government rules that would require the company to trace users’ encrypted messages, escalating a battle over online speech between American tech firms and the South Asian nation’s ruling party.

3) 🦠 And on Thursday: Facebook Ends Ban on Posts Asserting Covid–19 Was Man-Made. The lede:

Facebook Inc. has ended its ban on posts asserting Covid–19 was man-made or manufactured, a policy shift that reflects a deepening debate over the origins of the pandemic that was first identified in Wuhan, China, almost 18 months ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report.

4) 🇨🇳 Separately, a Covid-related must-read from my WSJ colleagues that contains deep and powerful reporting: The Wuhan Lab Leak Question: A Disused Chinese Mine Takes Center Stage.

5) 👉 People gathered Tuesday to mark one year since George Floyd died. [AP]

6) 🎬 In a move likely to strengthen its Prime Video service, Amazon is acquiring Hollywood studio MGM in a roughly $8.5 billion deal, its second-biggest acquisition after Whole Foods. [WSJ]

7) ⚽ Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champion’s League final – and Hershey, Pennsylvania native Christian Pulisic became the first American man to play in and win the world’s most prestigious club tournament. [CBS Sports]

8) 📺 The 90s called, part 1: Here are the best parts of “Friends: The Reunion.” [AV Club]

9) 💥 The 90s called, part 2: “Johnny Knoxville’s Last Rodeo.” [GQ]

10) 🌝 Enjoy a collection of the best “super blood moon” photos. [The Guardian]

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

♥️ “Dog asks for dance with owner at his own wedding!” [Reddit/aww]

•••

📺 What I’ve Been Watching:

We recently went to a screening of “Minari,” an acclaimed film out last year about a Korean family that moves to Arkansas. Highly recommended. The trailer is here.

💡 Quote of the week:

“Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” – William Shakespeare, “Troilus and Cressida.”

•••

🤗 What’s new with you? Hit reply to send me tips, queries, random comments, and videos of sweet dogs who just wanna join in dances.

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

Categories
India Journalism Tech

Facebook Ends Ban on Posts Asserting Covid-19 Was Man-Made

Facebook Covid

That’s the headline on a story I wrote that ran Thursday. It begins:

Facebook Inc. has ended its ban on posts asserting Covid-19 was man-made or manufactured, a policy shift that reflects a deepening debate over the origins of the pandemic that was first identified in Wuhan, China, almost 18 months ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report.

“In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps,” Facebook said in a statement on its website Wednesday.

Click through to read the rest.

Categories
India Journalism Tech

WhatsApp Says It Filed Suit in India to Prevent Tracing of Encrypted Messages

WhatsApp India lawsuit WSJ

That’s the headline on a story out Wednesday by my colleague Jeff Horwitz and me. It begins:

Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp said it filed a lawsuit in India to stop new government rules that would require the company to trace users’ encrypted messages, escalating a battle over online speech between American tech firms and the South Asian nation’s ruling party.

The messaging service, by far the largest in India, said in a statement that it filed the suit late Tuesday with the New Delhi High Court. The company has argued that the new rules violate Indian law because tracing individuals’ messages would violate their fundamental right to privacy.

Click through to read the rest.

Categories
India Journalism Tech

Indian Police Visit Twitter’s Office After Politician’s Tweet Is Labeled as Misleading

Twitter India

That’s the headline on a story I wrote that run on Tuesday. It begins:

Indian police visited Twitter Inc.’s office in New Delhi to investigate the company’s labeling of tweets from a ruling party spokesman as misleading, the government’s latest move against U.S. tech platforms amid criticism over its handling of the pandemic.

Sambit Patra, a spokesman for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, in posts last week shared what he said was a document from the main opposition party purporting to show instructions for criticizing Mr. Modi’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. India has in recent weeks reported record highs of daily cases and deaths, making it the world’s worst current outbreak.

Twitter appended a label to Mr. Patra’s tweets stating that they contained “manipulated media.” A company policy prohibits the posting of images or videos that Twitter determines may be doctored and could cause harm.

Click through to read the rest.

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Newley's Notes

NN264: Giddy Goldens

Greater Idaho

Sent as a newsletter on May 23,2021. Didn’t arrive in your inbox? Join my email list.

👋 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: Oregone? Probably not. See link number three, below, for more. Image via KTVB.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 🆕 My latest, out Saturday: India’s Covid–19 Crisis Tests the World’s Back Offices. It begins:

India’s giant outsourcing firms are facing a two-front challenge: protecting the health of millions of employees as the nation suffers the world’s worst Covid–19 crisis, and ensuring that their work continues as usual for the big Western companies on their client lists.

Click through to read the rest.

2) 🏠 Home prices are climbing in the U.S., leaving would-be buyers scrambling – and not just in big cities, but in towns like Bethlehem, Pa., Martin, Tenn. and Kendallville, Ind. [WSJ]

3) 🇺🇸 The majority of residents in five counties in largely conservative Eastern Oregon – Grant, Baker, Lake, Sherman and Malheur – voted to secede from the state and join Idaho. See map above. It’s unlikely to happen. [New York Times]

4) 🏛️ New York Times Magazine profile of Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a prominent historian at Princeton: “He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive?” [NY Times Magazine]

5) 💀 RIP, IE: Microsoft is shutting down Internet Explorer, its long-running but little used web browser, after more than two and a half decades. [The Verge]

6) 😯 Related: Eight years after killing off Google Reader, is Google re-embracing RSS in their mobile Chrome browser? [Tech Crunch]

7) 📖 …And yet more on the theme of aging tech: “Welcome to My Rare and Antiquarian eBook Shop.” [McSweeney’s Internet Tendency]

8) ⚡ Ford is releasing an electric version of its popular F–150 pickup truck. It starts at under $40,000 and has a large front trunk it calls…the “Mega Power Frunk.”

9) 🎧 Podcast of the week: Sarah Hallberg, a doctor specializing in obesity and diabetes, talks to Peter Attia about carbohydrates and metabolic disease – and shares her own moving story about being diagnosed with lung cancer. Inspirational.

10) 🎸 Monday is Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday. Amazing.

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

This made me realize that I may, in fact, be a Golden Retriever.” [Imgur]

•••

📚 What I’ve Been Reading:

🪁 I want to learn more about early U.S. history, so have been digging into Walter Isaacson’s 2003 biography of a founding father: “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.” I’m liking it. To wit…

💡 Quote of the week:

“What you seem to be, be really.” – Benjamin Franklin

•••

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

Categories
India Journalism Tech

India’s Covid-19 Crisis Tests the World’s Back Offices

India IT firms and Covid

That’s the headline on my latest story, out Saturday. It begins:

India’s giant outsourcing firms are facing a two-front challenge: protecting the health of millions of employees as the nation suffers the world’s worst Covid-19 crisis, and ensuring that their work continues as usual for the big Western companies on their client lists.

Companies like Infosys Ltd., Wipro Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., known as TCS, have built up armies of workers who serve global clients like Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc.’s Citibank and Vanguard Group, doing everything from running call centers to writing computer code. The companies, along with Western tech businesses with large India-based staffs, are dealing with absences of sick workers, trying to help stricken employees find oxygen and getting vaccine shots for others at a time when such resources are scarce.

Click through to read the rest.

Categories
Newley's Notes

NN263: Restin’ Retrievers

SABEW tweet

Sent as an email newsletter on May 9,2021. Didn’t arrive in your inbox? Join my email list to get future editions delivered directly.

👋 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.

Tweet of the week, above: from my colleague Anthony DeRosa on Friday.

✍️ I’m proud to say that my colleague Jeff Horwitz and I won a “Best in Business” award from SABEW (the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing) for our coverage of Facebook in India.

You can find more info on the SABEW website here, and judges’ comments here.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) 👉 Reuters has the latest from what is “the worst outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in years”: Israel bombs Hamas Gaza chief’s home as fighting enters seventh day. [Reuters]

2) 💻 A fuel pipeline operator paid hackers approximately $5 million in ransom, according to people familiar with the matter, after being shut down in a cyberattack. [WSJ]

3) 🙅‍♂️ Dozens of state attorneys general want Facebook to stop its plans for a version of Instagram for kids. [CNN]

4) 🦠 Axios: “The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream.” [Axios]

5) 🇨🇳 China Lands on Mars in Crowning Moment for Space Program [WSJ].

6) 🛸 Ezra Klein: “Even if You Think Discussing Aliens Is Ridiculous, Just Hear Me Out.” (Separately, look for a new “60 Minutes” report on UFOs airing today.)

7) 🏙 “While the ‘15-minute city’ model promotes neighborhood-level urban planning, Sweden is pursuing a hyper-local twist: a scheme to redesign every street in the nation.” [Bloomberg CityLab]

8) 🦑 “A seaside town in Japan has raised eyebrows after it used funding from an emergency Covid–19 relief grant to build a giant statue of a squid.” [BBC News]

9) 🤓 Digital tool of the week: Push to Kindle lets you send “news stories, blog posts and other web articles to your Kindle for a better reading experience​.” [Five Filters]

10) Highly clickable: a Map of Reddit, by Andrei Kashcha [Github]

•••

🦴 Dog-related video of the week:

An Extremely Rare Triple Snoot Boop.” [Reddit]

💡 Quote of the week:

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our own mind." — Buddha

•••

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley