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Weekly#404

  • Slack’s stock climbs on possible Salesforce acquisition
  • AI can run your work meetings now
  • HBO Max, for instance, has around 9 million users; Roku has 46 million users, giving it an estimated 30 percent of the streaming device market.
  • SpaceX Starlink engineers take questions in Reddit AMA—here are highlights…Expanded beta is coming in January, and there’s no plan for data caps.
  • Alibaba vies for a piece of China’s booming EV market
  • Thanksgiving online shopping hits record $5.1B, up 21.5% on 2019, 47% of sales via mobile
  • Bigblue wants to automate e-commerce fulfillment in Europe
  • SpaceX successfully launches a Falcon 9 booster for a record seventh time
  • Mobile banking app Current raises $131M Series C, tops 2 million members
  • 1% of farms operate 70% of world’s farmland
  • Microsoft hints at turning Xbox into an app for your TV
  • How my electric car is helping to power my home
  • China launches ambitious mission to land on moon and return samples to Earth
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” set the record as the most-watched scripted limited series to date on Netflix — with 62 million member accounts tuning in to the show in the first 28 days, according to the company.
  • Imagine a World Without Apps
  • How Archaeologists Are Using Deep Learning to Dig Deeper

Weekly#403

  • An Economist’s Guide to the World in 2050
  • Four Reasons the Stay-at-Home Economy Is Here to Stay (WSJ:Paywall) “…First, companies have made huge investments in the infrastructure needed to deliver goods and services to our homes quickly and efficiently, which means those products are now easier to use and often less expensive. Second, families have also invested in the services and gadgets to keep their members safe and sated while sheltering in place. Third, our habits have changed: Many people have gotten over the “hump” of adopting new technologies earlier than they otherwise might have. And finally, hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost traditional jobs in retail and service—on showroom floors and inside restaurants—have found new ones working in online order fulfillment and delivery. Even those who retained their jobs are seeing their roles shift to address these new conduits for economic activity...”
  • During the pandemic, 10 years of consumer adoption of e-commerce was compressed into three months, according to a recent survey by McKinsey
  • Who should get a covid-19 vaccine first?…Mathematicians are faced with two conflicting priorities when modeling for vaccines: Should they prevent deaths or slow transmission?
  • Rocket Lab has successfully recovered a booster for the first time
  • Spotify has 300 million users
  • …That’s a remarkable thing. It’s the first time you’ve ever been able to decide exactly when and where you want to watch a big, would-be-blockbuster Hollywood movie on opening day
  • Google Chrome is available as an Apple M1 native app today
  • Stadia game streaming will come to iOS via Web browser
  • Google revamps its strategy towards banking (FT:Paywall)
  • Google Pay gets a major redesign with a new emphasis on personal finance
    • Google Pay now has about 150 million users in 30 countries
    • Google is also partnering with 11 banks to launch a new kind of bank account in 2021. Called Plex, these mobile-first bank accounts will have no monthly fees, overdraft charges or minimum balances. The banks will own the accounts but the Google Pay app will be the main conduit for managing these accounts
    • …combining three things into one,”
      • One is the ability to pay friends and businesses really fast.
      • Explore offers and rewards, so you can save money at shops.
      • Getting insights about your spending so you can stay on top of your money.”
  • Apple drops its cut of App Store revenues from 30% to 15% for some developers…The cut benefits only developers who pull in less than $1 million annually.
  • Thanks to SpaceX, NASA regains a capability it lost for a decade
  • Windows Turn 35: A Visual History…The PC revolution started off life 35 years ago this week. Microsoft launched its first version of Windows on November 20th, 1985
  • Microsoft and Apple working on Xbox Series X controller support for iPhones and iPads
  • Eero’s security subscription now lets parents block sites at the router level
  • OneWeb emerges from bankruptcy, aims to begin launching satellites again on December 17
  • LidarPhone attack converts smart vacuums into microphones
  • Japan Inc to begin experiments issuing digital yen


Weekly#402

  • Emerging Trends in Real Estate®: US and Canada
  • Disney+ has more than 73M subscribers
  • Amazon’s in-garage delivery is now available in 4,000 US cities
  • L’Oréal rolls out a line of ‘virtual makeup
  • Amazon begins shifting Alexa’s cloud AI to its own silicon
  • PayPal now lets all US users buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency
  • Nintendo Switch sales topped 735,000 in October
  • Python creator Guido van Rossum joins Microsoft
  • Uber will now let users book rides 30 days in advance and pick a favorite driver
  • Spotify buying podcast hosting and ad company Megaphone for $235M
  • New forecast pegs TikTok to top 1.2B monthly active users in 2021
  • Autonomous delivery startup Nuro hits $5 billion valuation on fresh funding of $500 million
  • Turkish AI Companies
  • Rolls-Royce plans 16 mini-nuclear plants for UK
  • Honda says will be first to mass produce level 3 autonomous cars
  • SoftBank Is in Talks to Sell Robot Maker Boston Dynamics to Hyundai
  • VW boosts investment in electric and autonomous car technology to $86 billon
  • Alibaba Sets ‘Singles Day’ Sales Record…$75.1 billion in sales in annual shopping event (WSJ)

Weekly#401

  • Goodreads: Best Books of 2020
  • Peloton, Pizza and Videogames Grow in Stay-at-Home World (WSJ)”…Consumers holed up during the coronavirus pandemic redirected their travel and entertainment dollars toward pizza, videogames, home-exercise equipment and luxury goods, according to several companies that provided business updates Thursday…”
  • Sony confirms the PS5 won’t support SSD storage expansion at launch
  • Proposition 22, created to decide the future of the California gig economy, has passed.
  • Battery-Free Underwater GPS
  • Apple will require apps to add privacy ‘nutrition labels’ starting December 8th
  • Gamelist for PS5 and XBox
  • WhatsApp finally begins rolling out payment service in India
  • Challenger bank Starling is out raising a new £200M funding round
  • Amazon to invest $2.8 billion to build its second data center region in India
  • Netflix tests a programmed linear TV and movie channel in France
  • Chinese autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai hits $5.3 billion valuation
  • Bentley is making the shift to an all-electric lineup
  • Amazon launches its first Amazon Air regional hub in Europe
  • The T-cell immune response to covid lasts at least six months
  • Apple TV is coming to Xbox consoles on November 10th
  • YouTube brings in $5 billion in ad revenue as Alphabet and Google bounce back”…YouTube now has more than 30 million music and premium paid subscribers — 35 million, including free trials — and YouTube TV has more than 3 million subscribers…”
  • Happy 13th birthday, Android.
  • The pandemic has created a middle class private jet boom
  • How a UK supermarket nourished Silicon Valley’s critics (FT)
  • NASA’s Voyager 2 receives first commands since March, sends back a hello

Weekly#400

  • Apple reports record $64.7 billion revenue in Q4 2020 despite iPhone delay
  • Amazon reports $96.1 billion in Q3 2020 revenue: AWS up 29%, subscriptions up 33%, and ‘other’ up 51%…Subscription services were up 33% to $6.58 billion. This segment mainly constitutes Amazon Prime and its 150 million paid members.
  • SpaceX Starlink public beta begins: It’s $99 a month plus $500 up front…About 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far
  • making Ocado’s operations streamlined and efficient—in just 5 minutes robotics can complete 50,000 orders
  • US grid-battery costs dropped 70% over 3 years
  • Amazon launches shopping website in Sweden
  • UK study finds evidence of waning antibody immunity to COVID-19 over time
  • Microsoft cloud business gathers steam as pandemic boosts growth
  • Visa to Acquire YellowPepper
  • Visa’s Planned Purchase of Plaid Faces Antitrust Scrutiny at the Justice Department (WSJ)
  • No Implants Needed For Precise Control Deep Into The Brain
  • Don’t fear AI. It will lead to long-term job growth.
  • Apple is quietly building a search rival to Google ahead of the DOJ’s landmark antitrust case, according to a report…Apple develops alternative to Google search
  • Sony sets 100m sales target for new PlayStation 5 console (FT)
  • Marketers Try New Data Tools to Navigate Pandemic…Analytics platforms developed by marketers’ agencies collate information on everything from foot traffic to local pandemic restrictions (WSJ)
  • WhatsApp is now delivering roughly 100 billion messages a day
  • Under Armour to sell MyFitnessPal for $345 million, after acquiring it in 2015 for $475 million
  • Smartphone shipments dip in China for Q3, led by Huawei decline
  • PlayStation CEO says VR won’t be a ‘meaningful’ part of gaming for years
  • The Simple Rule That Could Keep COVID-19 Deaths Down
  • Corsair acquires EpocCam, a webcam app for iPhone
  • Google’s AI converts webpages into videos
  • Humans have been living in space for 20 years straight
  • These drones will plant 40,000 trees in a month. By 2028, they’ll have planted 1 billion
  • “…Even if people now work from home only one day a week, how many retailers will experience that as a 20% decline in footfall…”



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Weekly#399

  • IMF World Economic Outlook
  • The Future of Jobs Report 2020 [PDF]
  • The Jobs Reset Summit
  • AOC’s Among Us livestream hints at Twitch’s political power
  • Quibi Is Shutting Down Barely Six Months After Going Live (WSJ)
  • In defense of Quibi
  • Porsche’s Taycan is the first car with a native Apple Podcasts app
  • “…More than 175 million people message WhatsApp business accounts every day…”
  • Palantir to Help U.S. Track Covid-19 Vaccines
  • Facebook Dating launches in Europe after 9-month+ delay over privacy concerns
  • The Why of Digital Transformation
  • Tesla is a chain of startups, Elon Musk explains
  • Airbnb hires Jony Ive to design next-gen products and services
  • Tesla starts Full Self-Driving Beta rollout, Elon Musk says it ‘will be extremely slow and cautious
  • PayPal to let you buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the US
  • Chinese live tutoring app Yuanfudao is now worth $15.5 billion
  • Top 10 Skills of  2025 
    • Analytical thinking and innovation
    • Active learning and learning strategies
    • Complex problem-solving
    • Critical thinking and analysis
    • Creativity, originality and initiative
    • Leadership and social influence
    • Technology use, monitoring and control
    • Technology design and programming
    • Resillience, stress tolerance and flexibility
    • Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation


Weekly#398

  • 2020 Turkey Media and Ad Stat by MMA (in Turkish)
  • Surging Online Sales Drive Growth for Shopify’s Fulfillment Service (WSJ)
  • New iPhone 12 and HomePod Mini
  • Virgin Galactic readies first spaceflight from Spaceport America for ‘later this this fall
  • Apple Is Poaching From Google’s iPhone Hacking Team
  • Zoom to start first phase of E2E encryption rollout next week
  • Zoom launches its events platform and marketplace, brings apps to your calls
  • Solar energy reaches historically low costs
  • Dropbox is the latest San Francisco tech company to make remote work permanent
  • This machine takes office-air CO₂ and turns it into fuel
  • Disney is restructuring its media and entertainment divisions, as streaming becomes the most important facet of the company’s media business…Disney+, which said in August it had over 60 million subscribers world-wide, has been a big beneficiary of the pandemic’s streaming surge.
  • Introducing the new Google Analytics
  • Your guide to MMX, Japan’s Martian Moons eXploration mission
  • Alphabet’s New Moonshot Is to Transform How We Grow Food…Project Mineral
  • How drone swarms will defend Britain
  • San Francisco Apartment Rents Crater Up to 31%, Most in U.S.
  • Germany drafting law to give people the legal right to work from home
  • EBay Goes Back to Basics“…He has distinguished eBay by focusing on “‘non-new in season”—the kind of merchandise you can’t generally find at the mall or on Amazon, including previous-season apparel, and used, vintage, and certified refurbished goods.”
  • Covid-19: China’s Qingdao to test nine million in five days.”..China said 11 million people in the city had been tested in 10 days earlier this year…In this process, a batch of between five and 10 samples was tested. Only if a sample tested positive would the team go back to carry out individual tests to see who was positive within the batch
  • Amazon’s Prime Day Accelerates Shift to Online Shopping (WSJ)
    • Overall spending on Amazon’s site increased by 36% in the U.S. during the two-day event compared with Prime Day last year, according to research firm Edison Trends, though that was lower than the 42% increase the company saw in 2019. Before the event, research firm eMarketer projected that Amazon’s total U.S. Prime Day sales would reach $6.17 billion.
    • Amazon didn’t disclose detailed financial figures for the event, but the company said third-party businesses on its platform sold more than $3.5 billion during the event, a nearly 60% increase from last year. An iRobot Roomba vacuum and Kids Against Maturity card game were among the bestselling items in the U.S.

Weekly#397

  • “…Capital markets think a new era is dawning: conventional banks now account for only 72% of the total market value of the global banking and payments industry, down from 81% at the start of the year…”
  • Owning an electric car really does save money, Consumer Reports finds…Most EVs are $6,000-$10,000 cheaper to operate than an equivalent vehicle.
  • A NASA mission is about to capture carbon-rich dust from a former water world
  • IBM to split into two companies by end of 2021…As-yet unnamed “NewCo” will handle IBM’s “managed infrastructure services.”
  • Computer Scientists Break Traveling Salesperson Record
  • The future of the Belt has begun in first trailer for The Expanse S5
  • Amazon unveils its new electric delivery vans built by Rivian…
  • The delivery giant aims to have 10,000 vehicles on the road by 2022
  • Microsoft Edge gets free 24-hour video calls, screenshot tool, and shopping features
  • AMD Is in Advanced Talks to Buy Xilinx (WSJ)
  • Two women share chemistry Nobel in historic win for ‘genetic scissors
  • Waymo finally launches an actual public, driverless taxi service
  • Ant’s IPO Runs Low on Time to Avoid U.S. Election Turbulence
  • Digital money Ant Group and fintech come of age
  • Microsoft app store playbook swipes at Apple, Google
  • NVIDIA Uses AI to Slash Bandwidth on Video Calls
  • Pentagon wants SpaceX delivering cargo around the globe — and a live test could come next year
  • Microsoft Thinks You’ve Been Missing Your Commute in Lockdown (WSJ)”…‘Virtual commutes’ on Teams aim to rebuild the boundaries between work and home life, and signify the tech firm’s move into corporate well-being…”
  • “…The committee asserted repeatedly that Amazon dominates U.S. e-commerce. The company’s market share of U.S. online sales is often said to be about 39%, but the figure is as high as 74% across a range of product categories, according to the report, which also called out practices of other large tech companies…” WSJ
  • How 10 billion people could live well by 2050 – using as much energy as we did 60 years ago
  • On Oct. 1, AT&T stopped selling digital-subscriber-line connections
  • Amazon’s Growing Ad Business Could Forever Change Tech
  • Apple TV now plays YouTube videos in 4K, with limits

Weekly#396

  • Toyota’s robot butler prototype hangs from the ceiling like a bat
  • Amazon’s palm reading starts at the grocery store, but it could be so much bigger
  • Meet Curly, the Curling Robot That Beats the Pros
  • South Korea plans to launch 6G trials in 2026
  • The Boss Says It’s OK to Take a Break From Zoom. Why Are You Still on Video Calls?”…Employers are trying ‘quiet days’ to dial back the time remote workers spend on meetings; ‘Focused Wednesday Afternoons’…” (WSJ)
  • Amazon’s Alexa Boss on What Users Are Asking During Covid-19 (WSJ)
    • WSJ: As people stay home, which consumer habits evolved the fastest?
    • Ms. Reid: Meditation skills! We’ve seen an increase in things around cooking and recipes. You’re seeing people use reminders and timers to help them with home schooling.
  • Tesla delivers 139,300 vehicles in Q3, beating expectations
  • What Robots Can Do for Retail
  • New Brain-Computer Interface Transforms Thoughts to Images
  • Ford announces $1.8 billion investment to produce ‘fully battery electric vehicles’ in Canada
  • 35 Thoughts About Mario on Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary
  • Palantir Shares Go Up in Wall Street Debut
  • Astronauts to Vote in Space

Weekly#395

  • Amazon’s Luna game streaming service is powered by Windows and Nvidia GPUs
  • Microsoft’s new Xbox app will let you stream Xbox One games to your iPhone
  • Here’s everything Amazon announced at its latest hardware event
  • The eSIM maker powering Xiaomi’s IoT devices raises $15M
  • Google to Increase Push for Apps to Give Cut of In-App Purchases
  • E-commerce platform Whitebox raises $18M
  • Microsoft is releasing a non-subscription Office suite in 2021
  • OSIRIS-REx will attempt its first asteroid sample collection next month
  • Twitter to start testing voice DMs
  • Google expands its Flutter development kit to Windows apps
  • Apple CEO Impressed by Remote Work, Sees Permanent Changes
  • Generation Work-From-Home May Never Recover
  • “…More than 150 million Americans have access to Amazon Prime, which promises a two-day turnaround on millions of items that can be dispatched to your home with literally one click…”