Categories
Misc.

Image of the Day: Map of China, Seen from the East

2017 05 22 china from east

Can’t say I’d ever contemplated the country from this perspective.

Via Marginal Revolution.

Christopher Jared, who apparently sent in the image, writes in the comments:

I have used this perspective of China for insight many times. Look at the proximity of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and then what is in the middle? A large green, fertile patch… a middle kingdom. Whenever I am thinking about events in Chinese history, recent or ancient, it is this perspective that is most helpful to understanding.

Note: Taiwan would be grey because it was under Japanese rule in 1941, the date of the map.

Categories
Misc.

Why I’m Excited about Manton Reece’s Microblogging Effort

Silo

I’ve always wanted to find a way to easily include small bits of text or images here on Newley.com that I would otherwise post only on silos owned Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

I’m talking about links, observations, snapshots — not full blog posts, which I’ll continue to write, but rather fun little snippets that I’d nevertheless like to have a record of here.

After all, this site has been my own, tiny little part of the web since 2002, before those platforms ever emerged. Who knows what they’ll look like in the decades ahead.

I want to have all my personal content hosted here, under my control, but I still want to take advantage of these social platforms’ reach.

So I was really excited to read recently about Manton Reece‘s new Micro.Blog effort, part of a successful Kickstarter campaign called Indie Microblogging.

2017 05 14microblogging

I’ve signed up for the service — I’m @Newley) — though visiting that link won’t tell you much about how it all works. It essentially provides a platform that pulls together micro-posts from individuals’ blogs.

The setup allows me to post here first, and then those items are pulled in via RSS to Micro.Blog, a central repository for such posts, and then they’re distributed elsewhere.

It’s all based on the “POSSE” concept: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

The end result doesn’t change much for folks reading this blog — though you’ll likely see a higher volume of much shorter items — but it’s fun to think about my site truly becoming the default repository for my ramblings writings and photos, just like it was before the rise of social media.

2017 05 14windows

Anyway, you may have seen some of these microblog posts here and in the main Newley.com RSS feed of late.

(In WordPress, I use the Aside post type, which renders a bit differently than normal posts, with no title and a blue background. I also created a new Snippets category, with its own RSS feed that’s pulled into Micro.Blog.)

If you’d like to get my microblog snippets separately, that RSS feed is:

https://newley.com/category/snippets/feed/

Stay tuned for more. I’d also like to figure out a way to remove the microblog posts from my main feed, in case folks would only like to see my longer dispatches.

Categories
Misc. Snippets

Frightening observation of the day:

Fidget spinners have started showing up on EDC blogs. 

Categories
India Life Misc. Tech

The difference between saying something and actually doing it 

About a quarter of the time I take Ubers here in Delhi the driver asks me, when I get out, to give him a five-star rating. (Drivers must maintain a certain rating to ensure they can continue working on the platform.)

Usually I just nod my head and say “yeah okay,” and proceed to give them whatever score I would have given them anyway. 

The other day a driver did something different. 

As I was getting out of the car he said “sir” to get my attention, then pointed at his phone, where he had selected five stars in his rating for me

Then when he saw I was looking, he pressed submit.

When it came time for me to score him later, I also gave him a similar rating. 

He was a good driver indeed, but he also understood the law of reciprocity. He knew the difference between just saying something and actually taking action. And that I may well feel inclined to help him out too (since riders are also ranked). 

Clever. 

Categories
Misc. Sports

Is This Arsenal’s Year?

Alexis Sanchez just scored a panenka in the 98th minute to secure three points for #Arsenal and move into second place — after Arsenal gave up a foolish penalty just a few minutes earlier in stoppage time. 

Chelsea have a five point lead with a game in hand. 

But still. 
But still:
Could this be our year? 

UPDATE: Naturally, Chelsea won and the gap is back to eight points. As you were. 

Categories
Misc.

On Streaming Music in Low-Connectivity Environments

Living in India has given me an entirely new perspective on user experience challenges to streaming music services in emerging markets, where connectivity is often weak.

Never mind on mobile: Even at home, on Wi-Fi, services from the big players — Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music — are often difficult to use.

This actually has me considering using…mp3s (!) again.

Categories
Misc.

My Top 10 Posts from 2016

2016 12 30blogging

Here are the ten most popular posts from Newley.com this year, measured by number of visits.

I will refrain from speculating on the reasons. Food, tech, weird animals, soccer — the Internet, I learned a long time ago, works in mysterious ways.

  1. Recommended: Decker Barbeque, Texas-Style BBQ in Singapore — A report from what is, if you ask me, the best purveyor of smoked meat products in the city-state.
  2. My iPhone Home Screen, Early 2016 — There have been some tweaks of late. Stay tuned for an update.
  3. Rise of the ‘Coyowolf’ — Part Wolf, Part Dog, Part Coyote — This one has drawn a lot of search engine traffic. I’m not sure why. People seem to really love coyowolves.
  4. Why You Shouldn’t be Surprised When England Lose — This was written, I must point out, just five hours before the team…lost to Iceland in the Euros.
  5. The 10 Must-Have Apps I Install on Every New Mac — You can’t go wrong with a top ten post for Mac geeks!
  6. By Me Yesterday: India’s Paytm Sees Surge in Usage After Demonetization — This was merely an excerpt from a story of mine. I suspect many folks have been looking up mobile payment services here in India of late.
  7. Single, Individually Wrapped Bananas for Sale in Singapore — Truly an amazing food product.
  8. IPhone 6 Touchscreen Problems? You’re Not Alone — This issue persisted for me. And I was forced to ditch my device. More soon on that. I am not pleased.
  9. By Me Last Week: Facebook Asia-Pac VP Dan Neary Talks Growth in the Region — A link to my story.
  10. Book Notes — ‘Deep Work,’ by Cal Newport — My thoughts on the popular treatise on the importance of uninterrupted, complex work.

Onward to 2017!

Categories
Misc.

Post-Trump Election Tab Dump: What I’m Reading

  • ‘Deplorables’ Rise Up to Reshape America,” by The WSJ‘s Gerald F. Seib. (yesterday):

    In short, Mr. Trump and his followers have, in one dramatic stroke, transformed the GOP from a traditionally conservative party into an avowedly populist one.

  • The Voters Decide,” by Ben Thompson (March 2016). Politics “is just the latest industry to be transformed by the Internet,” he writes.
  • Democracy’s Destabilizer: TMI,” by Virginia Postrel. (Dec. 2015). References a 2014 book I have just begun reading, “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium,” by Martin Gurri. Postrel writes:

    Information used to be scarce. Now it’s overwhelming. In his book “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium,” Gurri considers the political implications of this change. He argues that the shift from information scarcity to abundance has destroyed the public’s established trust in institutional authorities, including media, science, religion, and government.

  • Has Election 2016 been a turning point for the influence of the news media?” (yesterday), by Pablo Bocskowski:

    “The stark contrast between editorial dynamics and electoral preferences might lead to two trends directly affecting the news media in the short-term future.”

  • 5 Reasons Why Trump will Win” (July 2015), by Michael Moore.
  • The Cycles of American History“, a 1986 book by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. on the “recurring struggle between pragmatism and idealism in the American soul.”
  • Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy” (2012), by by Chris Hayes. “A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.
  • Categories
    Misc.

    Amazing Video: Hippo Devouring a Watermelon in One Bite

    This Vine, embedded above and online here, is mesmerizing. I saw it posted to Twitter recently.

    There’s a slightly longer version, with an alternate — and more frightening, given how close the camera is to the creature’s maw — view on YouTube here.

    And then there’s the original video, which includes a bit more footage before the chomping occurs.

    It comes from the Nagasaki Bio Park in Japan, according to this this UPI story from April, and its description reads “Learn how hippopotamus eat whole watermelon!”

    Indeed.

    Categories
    Misc.

    Video: The Things You See in New Delhi Traffic

    Traffic here in New Delhi is often many things: chaotic, congested, beguiling. 

    It is never, however, boring. 

    Here’s a video I recorded one recent night on the way home from work.