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⚽ Newley’s Notes 109: #USMNTFail; New Oculus and Kindle; Sweet Slinky Tricks

 

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Edition 109 of my email newsletter just went out.

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Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes. If you like this newsletter, please invite others to sign up.

Well, I expected to wake up Wednesday morning to the news that the U.S. men’s national soccer team had qualified for the 2018 World Cup after beating or, at the very least, drawing with lowly Trinidad and Tobago. After all, we only needed a point, and a poor T&T side were bottom of the group and already disqualified.

Instead, disaster struck.

The U.S. lost 2-1, giving away two bad goals and generally not putting up much of a fight.

It was an insipid performance.

We are missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The only good thing to come out of the failed campaign was the emergence on the national stage of 19-year-old Christian Pulisic, already a legitimate star at Borussia Dortmund in Germany. He performed admirably. The rest of the team? Meh.

So, what happened? Was it poor coaching decisions by Bruce Arena? (He quit a few days later.)

Was it a lack of talent among players born in the 1990s?

Did U.S. soccer boss Sunil Gulati allow ex-coach Jurgen Klinsmann too much influence, then wait too long to fire him?

Was it simple arrogance — not preparaing sufficiently and playing like we’d already qualified?

Perhaps it was all those factors combined. I tend to agree with Michael Davies, who argued on the most recent Men in Blazers podcast that soccer is an immensely competitive game where small margins have huge effects, and that, crucially, teams in the CONCACAF region have gotten stronger thanks in part to the success of our increasingly popular MLS.

At least we’re in good company: Chile, the Netherlands, Ghana and Cameroon, among other sides that are better than ours, will also be missing out this summer in Russia.

📰 What I Wrote in The WSJ

Uber’s India Rival Raises $1.1 Billion From Tencent, SoftBank. We reported last week that talks were on. Ola says it’s in negotiations with additional investors for a further $1 billion.

✏️ What I Wrote at Newley.com

“Blade Runner 2049”: Some Thoughts. TLDR: it’s awesome, but too long; an unexpected intermission — or “interval,” as they call it here in India — can really ruin the flow.

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

  • 1. One reason for the rise in interracial marriage in the U.S.: online dating. People used to basically marry their neighbors. Now, according to researchers, “people are strongly connected to a relatively small group of neighbors and loosely connected to much more distant people.”
  • 2. Facebook’s Oculus is releasing a new virtual reality headset. The Oculus Go, which is wireless, will cost $199. That’s about half the original cost of the Oculus Rift. Cheaper VR devices could make the technology more prevalent.
  • 3. Good news for beach and pool-side e-book lovers: Amazon’s coming out with a waterproof Kindle. The new Oasis has a slightly larger screen than other models, an aluminum back, more storage, and costs $249.
  • 4. The seven top TED Talk hand gestures, in case of use for your next presentation, include the “Expand and Clasp,” “Measure the Loaf,” and “Pinch and Point”
  • 5. Travel pillows are ridiculous. They just don’t work, writes Kelly Conaboy in this Atlantic jeremiad.

💫 1 Silly Thing

  • 1. You have never seen anyone rock at Slinky like this. I guarantee it.

💬 Quote of the week

“Some customers cry during or after the experience. One man came in following the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, and wept as he tore apart the room to Linkin Park songs.”

Rage Ground, in Los Angeles, is an establishment where you can go to take out your anger, busting lamps, throwing shot glasses at walls, and more. L.A-based NN readers can book online here. Packages start at just $13.99 for five minutes.

Thanks for reading, amigos. Please share this newsletter on Facebook or Twitter if you like it.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

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🌌 Newley’s Notes 108: Google’s New Gadgets; Fake News Consequences; Creepy Owls

2017-05-14windows.jpg

Edition 108 of my email newsletter went out yesterday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes. If you like this newsletter, please invite others to sign up.

Well, the temperature is dropping ever so slightly here in New Delhi as we inch toward Diwali, which is just under two weeks away. The festival period typically ushers in cooler temps. Bring it on, I say!

Diwali is also a time when the country’s big e-commerce sites unleash huge advertising campaigns and launch mammoth sales as they battle each other to gain new users. For a flavor of the branding and deals, check out the home pages of Amazon.in, Flipkart.com and Snapdeal.com.

Customers certainly benefit when well-funded online shopping sites go head to head, trying to out-duel one another by slashing prices. At stake, they reckon, is users’ loyalty in the years ahead, as more and more folks start buying stuff online in this country of 1.3 billion.

📰 What I Wrote in The WSJ

Uber’s Indian Rival in Talks to Raise Up to $2 Billion

TLDR: Ola could receive the funds from SoftBank and perhaps one or more other investors. The money would give Ola fresh ammo to battle Uber here. (A trend similar to what’s happening in e-commerce is happening in ride-hailing.)

✏️ What I Wrote at Newley.com

Warren Buffett’s System for Sharpening Your Career Focus — a simple exercise for determining what’s most important.

Video: Why Did the New Delhi Street Dog Cross the Road? — You tell me: Am I anthropomorphizing here?

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

  • 1. Google launched some new gadgets. Among them: two new smartphones (the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL), a new laptop (the Pixelbook), new VR headset (the Daydream View). wireless headphones (Pixel Buds), and new connected home devices.

Perhaps most frightening, at least to me, is the new Google Clips camera, which, The Verge says, “takes pictures for you, using machine learning to recognize and learn faces and look for interesting moments to record.”

  • 2. Speaking of machine learning and the years ahead,, Cathy O’Neil writes that there are four kinds of futurist.

They are: People who are down with “the Singularity” — when humans and machines will one day merge, the theory goes — and aren’t worried about the future; those who believe in the Singularity and are concerned; “technoutopianists,” who are often selling a corporate vision; and those who fret about how new tech threatens “the very concept of social mobility.”

A key point: How you view the future may depend on how your favorite futurist views it.

  • 3. Museums seem to be catering to Instagram users. The likes of The Museum of Ice Cream in New York and the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington are proving extremely popular selfie backdrops, Wired reports.
  • 4. Fake news has real consequences. In this excellent New York Times story, Caitlin Dickerson shows how rural Twin Falls, Idaho was roiled by baseless rumors about Muslim refugees. A sobering reminder that viral news spread on Facebook can seriously affect peoples’ lives.
  • 5. THE NEW BLADERUNNER IS OUT! We’re off to see it tomorrow. If you’ve yet to take it in and want to brush up on the storylines, Vox has a guide to the various versions of the original 1982 film.

Meanwhile The WSJ’s Joe Morgenstern has a positive review, writing: “Daring in its own right, this broodingly sumptuous saga explores the primacy of feelings, the nature of memories and the essence of being human, framed as the difference between being manufactured or born.”

💫 1 Silly Thing

  • 1. Weirdest. Owl Video. Ever: Who knew the birds could…run?. (The responses to the Tweet are pretty funny, too.)

💬 Quote of the week

“It seems that with this kind of shoes which are basically just leather socks, the way that you walk is a very natural one.”

In this video, a guy decked out in medieval garb shows how the way we walk has, he says, changed over time.

Thanks for reading, amigos. Please share this newsletter on Facebook or Twitter if you like it.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,

Newley

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💃 Newley’s Notes 108: Netflix Gems, Musk’s Mars Dreams, Airport Dancing

2017-10-01earth

Edition 108 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, just went out.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from my blog, and links about tech and life.

So, I got sick this week – don’t worry, it was a brief illness and I’m fine now. As I was laid up in bed for a bit, I took to Netflix to see what was new, (or new-ish), to pass the time. Here are a few items I enjoyed:

  • Betting on Zero.” – This 2016 documentary tells the story of billionaire investor Bill Ackman’s big bet against nutritional-products firm Herbalife, which he contends amounts to a pyramid scheme. A fascinating look at the man, and the company he wants to topple
  • Last Chance U.” – A Netflix original show about the players and staff at East Mississippi Community College, a junior college football powerhouse where players who’ve had troubles in the past often come for a shot a redemption. As much about American society as it is about sports. The first season debuted last year, and it’ll be back for a third one (this time set in Kansas).

  • Ozark.” – Another Netflix original, this one stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, who play parents who flee Chicago with their two kids to start life again in the Missouri Ozarks. (There’s some good acting here, but I after several episodes I’m losing interest; for one thing, I just can’t seem to imagine Bateman as anyone other than Michael Bluth from “Arrested Development.”)

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

1. Amazon upped its war for the living room, unveiling new Echo connected speakers, a new Fire TV set-top box, and more. Axios has a round-up. Bezos’s firm is also working on smart glasses, according to the Financial Times.

2. Elon Musk outlined his vision for Mars missions. The SpaceX founder is working on huge rockets that would put humans on the Red Planet by 2022 or 2024. That’s “more than a decade before the U.S. or any other governments anticipate coming close,” my WSJ colleague Andy Pasztor wrote.

3. Sign of the times: Pop songs are now tailored for streaming services. An illuminating PitchFork piece shows how songwriters are ratcheting up the catchiness at the very beginnings of songs to ensure listeners keep the track going long enough to trigger royalties.

4. Are college textbooks dying? Perhaps. Reflective of a larger trend, Glen Hubbard, dean of Columbia University’s business school, is ditching his printed economics tome for a virtual version.

5. Not all global financial titans think Bitcoin is bogus. Some corporate, academic and regulatory bigwigs aren’t as pessimistic about cryptocurrencies as you might think, this Quartz roundup shows. (Many of them reckon Bitcoin’s a fraud, to be sure.)

💫 1 Silly Thing

1. Video: “‘All Night Long’ at the Airport.” Mahshid Mazooji got stuck overnight in the Charlotte airport, so she made a video with airport staff and fellow travelers set to the Lionel Richie classic.

💬 Quote of the week

Not giving a shit takes the wind out of an asshole’s sails.

That’s according to Stanford psychology professor Robert Sutton, who spoke with Vox about his new book, “The Asshole Survival Guide.”

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else. Thanks for reading, amigos, and please do forward this email to friends or mention it on Facebook or Twitter.

Fist bump 👊 from New Delhi,
Newley

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#️⃣ Newley’s Notes 104: Social Media and Harvey, Decade of Hashtags, ConfirmShaming

2017 09 06abstract

Edition 104 my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out on Sunday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from my blog, and links about tech and life.

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

1. On social media and Hurricane Harvey. A WSJ story looks at how people are using big platforms like Facebook and Twitter to summon help following the massive flooding.

Meanwhile others are using lesser-known services like Zello, a walkie-talkie like app, and neighborhood-based network Nextdoor, Buzzfeed reports. Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, was quoted in our story as saying:

People have gotten used to this idea that if you are stuck in an airport and you tweet at an airline, sometimes they will find a way to swoop down and save you when the system isn’t working.

2. The Twitter #hashtag turned 10. Over the last decade, hastags have powered everything from social movements (#BlackLivesMatter) to bad punchlines. And of course, the convention is commonly abused (i.e., #blessed). Some 125 million hashtags appear on Twitter daily.

3. Can’t stand Burning Man? Read these stories. It’s time for the annual festival in the Nevada desert popular with hipsters, bohemians, anarchists – and wealthy tech types. LAist provides a list of the “10 Best Burning Man Hate Reads.

4. Apple watchers: Put Tues., Sept. 12 in your calendar. WSJ broke the news, later confirmed by Apple, that the tech behemoth will hold an event that day. They are likely to unveil three new iPhones and a smartwatch, just in time for the holidays. There could also be a new Apple TV.

As ReCode notes, the event is an important one for Apple because it needs to show it can still create innovative new products without Steve Jobs at the helm.

5. For serious travel/tech nerds only: here’s an exhaustive oral history of online travel from the early 1990s through 2005, recounting the rise of companies like Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz and many more.

💫 1 Silly Thing

1. Term of the week: “confirmshaming.” A new-to-me Tumblr highlights instances in which links visitors must click to opt-out of special offers contain ridiculous text, like “no, I’m ignorant and complicit in hate,” “I don’t read,” or “I don’t want smarter email.”

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else. Thanks for reading, amigos, and please do forward this email to friends or mention it on Facebook or Twitter.

Fist bump 👊 from New Delhi,
Newley

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➡️ Newley’s Notes 103: Page 1 Uber Story, Amazon v. SoftBank, Tito the Raccoon

2017 05 13water

Edition 103 my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out yesterday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from my blog, and links about tech and life.

NN returns today after a two week hiatus. A and I are back in New Delhi now after a fantastic holiday in Greece 🇬🇷 .

We caught up with some close friends, swam in the Aegean Sea, consumed incredible food, read books, took in incredible views, and generally recharged the old mental batteries.

(I’ve been posting some images from the trip on my Instagram feed, and will likely post a round-up all the pics on Facebook later.)

On to this week’s NN!

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

📰 1. Smoke, Then Fire: Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers – this story ran just before we left, and you may have seen it as I mentioned it on social media. It’s a page one story with my colleagues about how the world’s most valuable startup bought Honda SUVs in Singapore – that were subject to a recall – and rented them out; one caught fire.
Our exclusive was followed by news outlets around the world, including Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, USA TODAY, CNN, Axios, Quartz, and more.

🛒 2. Amazon, SoftBank Battle for One of Last Untapped Internet Markets – Jeff Bezos is pouring $5 billion into his company’s operations here. Now he’s facing off against SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, who’s injecting some $2.5 billion into India’s Flipkart, Amazon’s biggest rival in India.

📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

1. Here are some of the best #SolarEclipse2017 photos, courtesy of NASA.

2. What new features will the iPhone 8 introduce? According to this Bloomberg run-down, the device, due out this fall, could include a facial recognition sensor, wireless charging, and new cameras.

3. Book publicists are now pitching Instagram stars. A pic from an “influencer” may now be better than a blurb from a bestselling author.

4. “The Death and Life of Helicopter Commuting.” An eye-opening video about the ill-fated New York Airways of yesteryear, and how we could be using a new breed of choppers to get around in the future.

5. Check out the configuration of New York City subways with these cool x-ray maps of various stations.

💫 1 Silly Thing

1. Video: Tito the pet Raccoon goes swimming with a canine pal. More Tito goodness is available on his (owner’s) YouTube channel. Happy Friday.

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else. Thanks for reading, amigos, and please do forward this email to friends or mention it on Facebook or Twitter.

Fist bump 👊 from New Delhi,

Newley

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💯 Newley’s Notes 100: Grab, Mobike Scoops; teleporting photons; gorgeous goats

Newleys notes 1 440x330

Edition 100 — yes, 100! — of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out last week.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories, other writings, and links about tech and life.

Amazingly, this is the 100th edition of Newley’s Notes. The first one went out on Feb 15, 2015. Time flies! Thanks, as ever, for reading.

❤️ Note: If you like NN, please forward this to a friend or click at the bottom to share on Twitter and Facebook. #SharingIsCaring

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

Uber Rival Grab in Talks for Up to $2 Billion from SoftBank, China’s Didi – a scoop with my colleagues Liza Lin and Julie Steinberg. Singapore-based Grab is set to get a new influx of cash, fueling its quest to win Southeast Asia. The story was followed by many outlets.

China Bike-Sharing Titan Mobike Sets Sights on Washington, D.C. – another exclusive with my colleague Liza Lin.

💬 What I Wrote at Newley.com

  • New: Get iOS Alerts for My WSJ Stories – Want to get an iOS alert whenever my new stories go live? Of course you do. Click on the link to find out how. (TL;DR: select the plus sign next to my byline from within the new iOS app.)

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

  1. The untold story of Google’s academic influence. A piece by my colleagues Brody Mullins and Jack Nicas based on public records requests showing ways the search giant finances research papers to “defend against regulatory challenges of its market dominance.”
  2. Will “beam me up” one day be possible? Scientists in China have for the first time teleported a photon particle from earth to a satellite.

  3. U.S. folks: You stoked for the upcoming total solar eclipse? Here a handy map to find out where it’ll be most visible. It happens on Aug. 21.

  4. Can Google, Facebook and Amazon be stopped? In a much-discussed WSJ essay, author Jonathan Taplin says powerful U.S. tech giants are remaking the economy and the nature of work, and are now poised to dominate artificial intelligence. Will the government or others do anything about their power?

  5. J. M. Coetzee once wrote poems in computer code. The Nobel Prize winning South African novelist was a programmer in the 1960s, and a researcher at King’s College London made the discovery while examining his papers.

💫 1 Fun Thing

  1. A photographer took formal portraits of goats. And the pics are effing amazing. “They’re treated as if they were customers in a small-town photo studio,” said the Langley, Washington-based photographer. (Thanks, Anasuya!)

What’d I miss? Send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else. Thanks for reading, amigos.

Fist bump 👊 from New Delhi,
Newley

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Newley’s Notes 97: Apple’s India Bet; Uber Post-Kalanick; Free, Beautiful Ebooks

2017 06 26 sandstone

Edition 97 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out on Friday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories and other writings, along with links about technology, business and life.

It’s been a busy week. But before we get going, a heads up that my colleague Eric Bellman and I will be doing a Facebook Live at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday, which is 8 a.m. Tuesday India time. Join us! Details are here. We’ll be discussing…

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

…This story: Apple Scraps Like an Underdog in Second Biggest Mobile Market. Here in India, where Apple has just a tiny market share, it’s trying to build brand awareness using some interesting tactics, my colleagues and I report. (Related Tweet I posted today: Photographic confirmation of our scoop last month that the first-ever assembled-in-India iPhones are a reality.)

CEO’s Resignation Is the Least of Uber’s Problems in Asia. Following Travis Kalanick’s departure, my colleagues and I examined how the world’s most valuable startup is doing in Asia. The upshot: a potentially distracted Uber could lose ground to the likes of Ola in India and Grab and Go-Jek in Southeast Asia.

India’s Hike Brings Mobile Payments to Its Messaging App. WhatsApp’s rival here is looking to tap into the fast growth of mobile wallet usage following last year’s cash crunch.

💬 What I Wrote at Newley.com

Weekend Sketching: Pen and Ink is Therapeutic. Just a few pics of some scribbling during my downtime.

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. Why Uber’s Kalanick quit. My colleague Greg Bensinger has details on how and why it all went down. Meanwhile Axios’s Dan Primack reports that more than 1,000 Uber staff want him to return.

2. Samsung: doubling down on South Carolina? My colleague Tim Martin reports that the South Korean titan is in talks to plow $300 million into a factory in Newberry, S.C.

3. Facebook has a new mission, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s no longer to “connect the world.” Rather, he wants to give “people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” That means more focus on Facebook groups.

4. Tesla: creating its own streaming music service? Would that even be a good idea? Recode has more.

5. Sweden has a museum of technological flops, celebrating everything from Crystal Pepsi to disposable DVDs. As Liz Lemon would say, I want to go to there.

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. Beautiful, free, public domain ebooks. A new project called Standard Ebooks is a boon for digital book lovers.

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.

Thanks for reading.

❤️,
Newley

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📨 Newley’s Notes 96: Amazon Buys Whole Foods (!), Tech News from HK, Rise of Cold Brew Coffee

2017 06 18wood

Edition 96 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out on Saturday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories and other writings, along with links about technology, business and life.

Apologies for not sending NN last week. I was in Hong Kong covering our WSJ D.Live Asia 2017 conference, a gathering of tech luminaries (and humble reporters) from across Asia. More on that below.

Meanwhile, the weather here in Delhi – normally sweltering this time of year – has taken an unexpectedly pleasant turn, with temps dropping and air pollution clearing up. Fingers crossed it lasts. It’s a nice break.

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

Use of H1B Visas Fell Before Donald Trump’s Critiques of Program – a story with my colleague Laura Meckler.

Samsung Plans Fresh India Investment as It Looks to Upset Apple’s Cart – a story with my colleague Tim Martin on how the world’s biggest smartphone maker is shelling out $760 million to double its production capacity here, where it’s battling Apple.

– From D.Live Asia, I wrote about how Indonesian motorbike hailing startup Go-Jek claims it’s beating its rivals there, and how Singapore-based startup Grab is fighting for riders across Southeast Asia. Here are more of our stories from the conference.

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The blockbuster deal, as my WSJ colleagues wrote yesterday, transforms Amazon into “a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.” They write (all emphasis mine):

The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, gives it a network of more than 460 stores that could serve as beachheads for in-store pickup and its distribution network. It would make Amazon an overnight heavyweight in the all-important grocery business, a major spending segment in which it has struggled to gain a foothold because consumers still largely prefer to shop for food in stores.

For more, here’s Brad Stone, author of the excellent book “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon”:

In a sense, the surprising deal is preordained by his mission to construct the everything store: A company that delivers everything to everyone, at the best possible price and within the shortest amount of time.

And:

Grocery is an $800 billion market in the U.S., still largely untouched by the internet and resistant to change. Whole Foods itself has a well-established brand and high-income demographic that maps well to Amazon’s own customer base, and in particular its Amazon Prime subscription service, with an estimated 80 million members.

2. Walmart’s acquiring Bonobos for $310 million. The purchase of the menswear site shows how the retailer’s pushing into fashion.

3. A woman who was raped by an Uber driver here in India sued the company’s top execs in the U.S. She says they violated her privacy by disclosing her medical records, as a WSJ colleague reported. And if you missed it earlier: Founder Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence after a string of scandals.

4. The iPhone’s origin story. Ten years after the device was unveiled, Motherboard’s Brian Merchant has a new book out called “The One Device.” Here’s an excerpt.

5. Why cold-brew coffee is taking over the world. Okay, not exactly a high tech story, but one about tech(nique), coffee brewing, and business.

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. TuneFind.com. Wondering what that cool song was on that TV show or movie you just saw? This site provides the answer.

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.
Thanks for reading.

❤️,

Newley

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📨 Newley’s Notes 94: Ambient Computing; Drones for Dummies; Dogs in Pools

2017 05 31blades

Edition 94 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out on Saturday.

To subscribe, simply enter your email address at this link. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief, and few people unsubscribe.


Hi, I’m Newley Purnell. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, where I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from by blog, and various links about technology, business and life.

💬 What I Wrote at Newley.com

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. On the internet (or lack thereof) in rural India. The New York Times’s Ellen Barry reports on how people in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state, like in many parts of India outside large cities, remain largely disconnected from the web.

2. Walt Mossberg’s final column. Mossberg, whose impending retirement I mentioned in NN88, looks to the future in his last dispatch at Recode and says we’re entering an era of ambient computing. Advances in fields like AI, VR/AR, robotics, drones and more mean tech will become ever more pervasive, rather than just sitting in front of us in the form of a PC or in our pockets, like smartphones:

I expect that one end result of all this work will be that the technology, the computer inside all these things, will fade into the background. In some cases, it may entirely disappear, waiting to be activated by a voice command, a person entering the room, a change in blood chemistry, a shift in temperature, a motion. Maybe even just a thought.
Your whole home, office and car will be packed with these waiting computers and sensors. But they won’t be in your way, or perhaps even distinguishable as tech devices.
This is ambient computing, the transformation of the environment all around us with intelligence and capabilities that don’t seem to be there at all.

3. DJI’s new drone for dummies. Speaking of drones, the Chinese powerhouse is launching a new $499 model, the Spark, that can be controlled with hand gestures. This could be a killer feature, since anyone who’s flown a traditional drone can tell you how hard they can be to keep aloft. (Yes, the new model can also snap selfies for you.)

4. Pics of Amazon’s new bookstore in NYC. Some have said the shop, in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, looks like it was designed by people who hate books. What do you think? Say what you will about the toll the e-commerce titan has taken on book publishers and stores, but it’s interesting see their push into physical retail.

5. Why Google’s gobbling up your photos. In this piece at Medium, Victor Luckerson says the popular Google Photos product is all about gathering more and more of our data:

While we allow the company to passively track us through platforms like Chrome and Maps, Google Photos may be the first Google product that persuades people to actively share their personal information with the company en masse since Gmail.

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. Video: Cody the Labrador stands in the pool. Not a new video, but new to me. Why dog paddle when you can just stand up?

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley

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Newley’s Notes 93: iPhone Scoop; SoftBank Allegations; Bluths Coming Back

2017 05 20colors

Edition 93 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out yesterday.

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Hi, I’m Newley Purnell – welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, where I share my Wall Street Journal stories, posts from by blog, and various links about technology, business and life.

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

A contentious back-and-forth between SoftBank Group Corp. and attorneys who say they represent anonymous, disgruntled shareholders is riling the Japanese telecommunications titan.

The difficulties for SoftBank come as it is poised to begin investing $100 billion in technology startups around the world, and they have drawn concern from a Saudi Arabian investment vehicle that is set to commit $45 billion to the SoftBank technology fund.

The allegations from the attorneys have lingered over the past year about the conduct of top SoftBank executives, especially in India…

Click through to read the whole thing.

💬 What I Wrote at Newley.com

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. A round-up of everything “WannaCry.” This comprehensive post from Troy Hunt explains what we know about the ransomware that hit computers around the world. There’s also a Wikipedia page about the attack.

2. The biggest news from Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, involved Google Lens (image recognition), a standalone virtual reality headset, new photo tools, and more. Here’s the BBC on the gathering’s 5 biggest announcements. And The Verge has a more comprehensive rundown.

3. The 20th anniversary of Amazon’s IPO. When the company when public in May 1997, it was worth $438 million. Now its worth almost $460 billion. Recode has some charts illustrating its rise. (Related: My notes from “The Everything Store,” Brad Stone’s excellent 2013 book on Jeff Bezos and the company he created.)

4. How tech titans rake it in. Speaking of charts, here’s a breakdown of how the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft make their money. (Don’t forget: Google and Facebook are enormously successful at attracting advertising bucks; they get comparatively little revenue from other sources.)

5. Bill Gates tweeted some advice for new college grads. While most were inspirational tips, he also mentioned one big regret: “When I left school, I knew little about the world’s worst inequities. Took me decades to learn.”

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. The Bluths are coming back. The entire cast of hit TV show “Arrested Development” is returning to to Netflix for a fifth season next year.

As creator Mitchell Hurwitz said in a statement, “…we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days.”

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.

Thanks for reading.

Love,
Newley