Weekly#423

  • China Creates its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major Economy (WSJ)
  • Hitachi Ltd. ’s $9.6 billion purchase of digital-engineering firm GlobalLogic Inc. amounts to a big bet that enterprise software will unleash the power of big data on heavy industry. (WSJ)
  • The rise and fall of a massive industry based on missed calls
  • What the SPAC explosion means for Latin America
  • T-Mobile 5G home Internet: $60 a month, 100Mbps speeds, and no data cap
  • Sixty-Week Delay on Router Orders Shows Scale of Chip Crisis
  • A pair of robot legs called Cassie has been taught to walk using reinforcement learning
  • Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019
  • A monkey equipped with Elon Musk’s Neuralink device play Pong
  • Verizon and Honda want to use 5G and edge computing to make driving safer
  • Broadband use surged more than 30% during pandemic, industry group says
  • Why Shortages of a $1 Chip Sparked Crisis in Global Economy
  • NASA’s Mars Helicopter Survives First Cold Martian Night on Its Own
  • Turkey E-commerce Statistic (in Turkish)


Weekly#422

  • Global Gender Gap Report 2021
  • Chip Shortage Costs Carmakers Output of 1.3 Million Vehicles
  • Google Is Ending Cookies and the Ad Industry Has an Alternative
  • Google Maps has a wild new feature that will guide you through indoor spaces like airports
  • Containerize all the things! Arm v9 takes security seriously
  • Spotify Acquires Sports-Talk App Locker Room…Deal values the company at around $50 million (WSJ)
  • Microsoft wins US army contract for augmented reality headsets worth up to $21.9bn (FT)…Microsoft is supplying 120,000 HoloLens-based headsets to the US Army
  • Google is accelerating partial reopening of offices and putting limits on future of remote work…Google employees will begin returning to offices in a “limited” capacity in April, according to a memo on Wednesday…If after Sept. 1, employees want to work remotely for more than 14 days per year, they will need to formally apply.
  • Amazon says it expects some employees to return to the office this summer, most will return in fall
  • ILM shows off the new Stagecraft LED wall used for season 2 of ‘The Mandalorian
  • What Covid-19 Taught Us About Telemedicine (WSJ)
  • TSMC to Invest $100 Billion to Increase Semiconductor Output (WSJ)
  • High-Frequency traders eye satellites for ultimate speed boost (WSJ) …but one satellite operator has touted speeds of less than 29 milliseconds from Chicago to London.
  • Apple to build battery-based solar energy storage project in Monterey County

Weekly#421

  • The a16z Marketplace 100: 2021
  • Suez Canal Traffic Snarl Is Making Shipping Costs Skyrocket…Cost to ship a standard container to Europe has quadrupled…Rerouting around Africa would cost $300,000 just for the fuel…Suez Canal blockage is delaying an estimated $400 million an hour in goods
  • Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Environment (WSJ)
  • Zoom said Monday that it would start selling its videoconferencing technology so other companies can embed it in their own products (WSJ)
  • Amazon-backed Deliveroo seeks valuation of up to $12 billion in its London IPO
  • The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are We Ready?
  • 10 ways office work will never be the same
  • “…The biggest takeaway was that all the activities related to online dating ratcheted up during the pandemic. Conversations on average were 32 percent longer than they had been pre-pandemic and people matched — meaning both people found the other attractive — 42 percent more. There were about 20 percent more messages per day in February of this year than there had been in February of last year. The number of swipes on Tinder broke 3 billion in a single day for the first time in March of 2020, and then proceeded to surpass that benchmark 130 more times since…”
  • TSMC: How a Taiwanese chipmaker became a linchpin of the global economy
  • Exclusive: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to make EVs using Great Wall’s plant – sources
  • Xiaomi says to launch its own computer chip on March 29…flags rising costs of chips
  • Microsoft Is in Exclusive Talks to Acquire Discord…Deal valuing chat app at $10 billion or more could be completed next month (WSJ)
  • Some artists found a lifeline selling NFTs. Others worry it’s a trap.
  • Musicians Turn to NFTs to Make Up for Lost Revenue…Artists are connecting with fans and generating revenue by selling digital collectibles, even if they are hard to value (WSJ)
  • Private civilian astronaut training
  • Event Horizon Telescope captures new view of black hole in polarized light…Magnetic fields swirling around a black hole
  • Facebook is making a bracelet that lets you control computers with your brain…The device would let you interact with Facebook’s upcoming augmented-reality glasses just by thinking…It uses electromyography (EMG) to interpret electrical activity from motor nerves as they send information from the brain to the hand.
  • It’s been 20 years since the launch of Mac OS X
  • Fairphone suggests Qualcomm is the biggest barrier to long-term Android support
  • Global chip shortage worsens, forces production cuts at GM, Hyundai
  • “…Intel on Tuesday committed to a record $19 billion to $20 billion in capital expenditures this year, or about 45% above the company’s average annual capital expenditures over the past five years…” (WSJ)
  • Musk: Tesla accepts bitcoin as payment
  • Qualcomm is reportedly building a Nintendo Switch clone, powered by Android
  • New U.K. Currency Honors Alan Turing, Pioneering Computer Scientist And Code-Breaker
  • Researchers Found a Way to Send Tiny Robots Into Mouse Brains
  • Scientists discover how humans develop larger brains
  • A new study published in Nature Communications suggests lightning may have been a key component in making phosphorus available for organisms
  • Porsche adds the all-electric Taycan to its subscription program
  • Renewables met 97% of Scotland’s electricity demand in 2020
  • An Astronomer Just Laid Out a Navigation System For Interstellar Space Travel
  • Microsoft: Hydrogen fuel cells will enable data centers to completely rethink electrical systems
  • Gravitational lenses could allow a galaxy-wide internet
  • Tips for Managing Your Many Subscriptions…Audit your subscriptions. (WSJ)

Weekly#420

  • Five Things We Know About Google’s Ad Changes After Cookies (WSJ)
  • What’s Ahead in the Second Year of COVID-19?
  • Roku to Acquire Nielsen’s Addressable TV Advertising Business
  • NFT marketplace OpenSea raises $23 million from a16z
  • Pinduoduo  788M annual active users
  • WhatsApp hires Amazon Pay’s Mahatme to lead India payments – sources
  • A mouse embryo has been grown in an artificial womb—humans could be next
  • Among Us’ new Airship map launches on March 31st
  • What working from home looks like
  • How the pandemic fueled a new criminal business model
  • Twitter begins testing a way to watch YouTube videos from the home timeline on iOS
  • NFL finalizes a new 11-year media rights deal, Amazon gets exclusive Thursday Night rights. “…Advertisers, meanwhile, are buying more in streaming TV, especially on internet-connected sets, where U.S. ad spending will total nearly $13.41 billion this year, up from nearly $9.03 billion in 2020, according to research firm eMarketer…”
  • “…My gut says that, for us, it’s still very important to physically be in touch with one another because collaboration isn’t always a planned activity. Innovation isn’t always a planned activity,” Cook said. “It’s bumping into each other over the course of the day and advancing an idea that you just had. And you really need to be together to do that…”
  • Google to Invest $7 Billion in Bet on Post-Pandemic Office…The tech giant says ‘coming together is core to its culture in announcing U.S. investment (WSJ)
  • Study finds 3-ft distancing in schools is enough—but the debate is far from over/ article link
  • BMW’s big electric car push: Selling 2 million new EVs by 2025
  • Microsoft PowerPoint can now help you practice presentations almost anywhere — no humans required
  • Chrome now instantly captions audio and video on the web
  • World-Wide Streaming Subscriptions Pass One Billion During Pandemic…Mass movie theatre closures caused global box-office revenue to drop more than $30 billion in 2020, Motion Picture Association says (WSJ)
  • 15 billion car locations. Nearly any country on Earth. ‘The Ulysses Group’ is pitching a powerful surveillance technology
  • Lenders are turning to coercive loan apps that shut down smartphones if customers fall behind on payments.
  • Covid: EU plans rollout of travel certificate before summer
  • From Remote Work to Hybrid Work: The Tech You’ll Need to Link Home and Office (WSJ)
  • Nvidia raises GeForce Now subscription plan to $10 per month
  • Morgan Stanley becomes the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealthy clients access to bitcoin funds
  • Visa Plans to Enable Bitcoin Payments at 70 Million Merchants

Weekly#419

  • The road to electric is filled with tiny cars
  • What’s Next for Ad Tech?
  • “…proverbial $2 electric motor which prevents completion of a $50,000 car…”
  • Study shows online school reviews reflect school demographics more than effectiveness
  • Chernobyl: The True Cost Of Technical Debt
  • Chernobyl DevOps: Software Engineering, Disaster Management, and Observability (source LinkedIn  post by Levent Oner)
  • Netflix test stops you from using someone else’s password
  • Luminar, Volvo subsidiary partner to sell automated driving systems to automakers
  • “…What are the key challenges that will drive the longer-term change agenda? We would highlight three pivotal themes which will drive many others emanating from enterprises, business ecosystems and the natural ecosystem respectively…First, the pandemic has illuminated the need to build resilience. There will be more unexpected shocks in the future, and our research suggests that resilience is not only valuable during crises…Second, the shift to new distribution and working models has accelerated the digital transformation agenda and also raised the associated competitive stakes…Third, climate change will come into even greater focus.
  • Cryptominers have already cracked Nvidia’s RTX 3060 hash rate limiter
  • Scientists developed a clever way to detect Deepfakes by analyzing light reflections in the eyes 
  • Adobe Photoshop now runs natively on M1 Macs
  • Rocket Lab will directly challenge SpaceX with its proposed Neutron launcher
  • Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale marks a potentially transformative moment for the art world
  • Jack Dorsey’s first tweet may fetch $2.5 million, he’ll donate the NFT proceeds to charity
  • Disney+ only needed 16 months to crack 100 million subscribers
  • How Coupang is ‘out-Amazoning even Amazon,’ according to Goodwater Capital
  • Amazon Quietly Began Building a Grocery Chain During Pandemic
  • Understanding Coupang: Setting a New Bar for Global E-Commerce?
  • Apple to invest $1.2 billion in silicon design center in Germany
  • Professor Scott Galloway just raised $30 million for an online school that upskills managers fast
  • SpaceX plans Starlink broadband for trucks, ships, and planes
  • PayPal to acquire cryptocurrency security startup Curv
  • Does NFT Art Spell Trouble for Auction Houses and Dealers? (WSJ)
  • Covid-19 Rewrote the Rules of Shopping. What Is Next? (WSJ) “…A quarter of the nation’s malls will close by 2023…Roughly 40% of mall square footage in China is devoted to food and beverage, compared with 11% in the U.S., according to Ms. Weinswig…Stores morphed into Amazon-style fulfillment centers during the pandemic as retailers looked for places to pack online orders.One reason that won’t change once the economy reopens: It is cheaper. Target said it costs on average 40% less to ship orders that it fulfills from its stores, compared with the expense of shipping from its warehouses…

Weekly#418

  • NFTs and a Thousand True Fans
  • McKinsey: The future of work after COVID-19 Report
  • McKinsey: Reskilling China: Transforming the world’s largest workforce into lifelong learners
  • Amazon launches its first cashierless store in Britain
  • Disney shuttering at least 20% of Disney Stores as it shifts focus to e-commerce
  • SpaceX Starship rocket prototype nails landing … then blows up
  • New Nintendo Switch production to begin in June, will be 4K when docked
  • Amazon’s new Alexa app for Xbox brings visual assistant features to your TV
  • WhatsApp’s desktop app now has video and voice calls…Available for everyone after a limited rollout in December
  • The Lonely Century with Noreena Hertz
  • Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos
  • Luminar’s Austin Russell on the technology that will drive the future
  • Twitter tests new e-commerce features for tweets
  • Privacy-first browser Brave now has its own Google search rival
  • Volvo to go all electric by 2030
  • PayPal to Buy Crypto Custody Firm Curv: Sources
  • Version 2 of Google’s Flutter toolkit adds support for desktop and web apps
  • Postscript raises $35M to give Shopify stores SMS superpowers
  • A 3rd shot? A new booster? Vaccine makers race to trials to beat variants
  • Microsoft’s latest Garage app is for recording group transcriptions
  • Disney CEO Suggests There’s No ‘Going Back’ to Pre-COVID Film Releases
  • AI Index 2021 Report

Weekly#417

  • Even the World’s Most-Vaccinated Economy Faces a Tough Reopening
  • DLD Conference Videos
  • Toyota begins building smart city near Mount Fuji
  • Amazon acquires Selz, a Shopify competitor that helps small businesses build online stores
  • How NASA Designed a Helicopter That Could Fly Autonomously on Mars
  • Google Mobile-First Indexing Deadline Is Around March 2021
  • MIT Technology Review: 10 Breakthrough Technologies
  • Firefox 86 brings multiple Picture-in-Picture, “Total Cookie Protection
  • Chip shortage may threaten PlayStation 5 supplies at Christmas
  • Starlink broadband speeds will double to 300Mbps “later this year
  • Nickelodeon creates Avatar Studios to create new Avatar, Legend of Korra content
  • Mission: Impossible 7 will stream on Paramount Plus just 45 days after it hits theaters
  • Nvidia made $5 billion during a GPU shortage and expects to do it again in Q1
  • Why Discord is switching from Go to Rust
  • Pfizer seeks to store vaccine at higher temperatures, easing logistics…that would allow vials to be stored at -25 to -15 degrees Celsius (-13°F to 5°F) for a total of two weeks.
  • Square purchased approximately 3,318 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $170 million
  • Microsoft Word is getting text predictions next month
  • YouTube to launch parental control features for families with tweens and teens
  • Airbnb is introducing Flexible Search, which will allow users to forgo putting in exact dates when they look to book lodging on the platform
  • Spotify to Add 85 New Markets With 1 Billion People
  • Coinbase S-1 Document
  • Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets
  • Twitter CFO says company is confident about strategy to double revenues in two years
  • Digital vaccination passports likely available before summer, Merkel says
  • Covid-19 has persuaded some parents that home-schooling is better
  • China’s economy could double in size by 2035 — and surpass the U.S. along the way


Weekly#416

  • Perseverance Rover has landed on Mars
  • “…When the Perseverance rover sets down on Mars on Thursday, another NASA spacecraft already there will be listening for the thump-thump that will result when the newcomer arrives…”
  • Why Google’s Internet Balloon Project Loon Failed
  • Elon Musk’s SpaceX raised $850 million, jumping valuation to about $74 billion
  • Russia, China to sign agreement on international lunar research station
  • Google closes Stadia’s dedicated game studios after less than 2 years
  • Glassdoor now lets you filter company ratings by demographics
  • YouTube TV to Launch Option for 4K and Unlimited Streams, TikTok-Like YouTube Shorts Coming to U.S. in March
  • Ford says it will go all-electric in Europe by 2030
  • Jaguar to become all-electric brand from 2025
  • Apple will proxy Safe Browsing traffic on iOS 14.5 to hide user IPs from Google
  • Coca-Cola company trials first paper bottle
  • Bitcoin Jumps to $50,000
  • Bitcoin market cap hits $1 trillion
  • No 2. cryptocurrency ethereum soars to record high as bitcoin rally continues
  • “…China dominates battery production today, with 93 “gigafactories” that manufacture lithium-ion battery cells, vs. only four in the United States, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence…”
  • Sequoia-Backed Grocery App Dingdong Maicai Mulls U.S. IPO
  • Coupang, South Korean E-Commerce Giant, Unveils U.S. IPO Plan (paywall: WSJ)…Coupang S-1 Document
  • Shopify Q4 Presentation
  • 3 ways that the U.S. population will change over the next decade
  • Apple reportedly negotiating to build iPads in India
  • Nvidia is purposefully making its new RTX 3060 graphics cards less efficient to mine Ethereum cryptocurrency.
  • How to audit Core Web Vitals
  • Microsoft announces Office 2021, available for Windows and macOS later this year
  • “…Apple has posted multiple job listings indicating that it is hiring engineers to work on 6G technology internally so it does not have to rely on partners like Qualcomm…”
  • Google announces the Android 12 Developer Preview
  • Math learning app Photomath raises $23 million as it reaches 220 million downloads
  • Google has appointed Dr. Marian Croak to lead its responsible artificial intelligence division within Google Research
  • AI creates psychedelic visual interpretations of famous poems
  • IBM Explores Sale of IBM Watson Health (paywall: WSJ)
  • China May Ban Rare Earth Technology Exports on Security Concerns

Weekly#415

  • Preparing for the Next Macroeconomic Cycle — and Its Risks
  • When Will Life Return to Normal? In 7 Years at Today’s Vaccine Rates
  • Disney says it now has 94.9 million Disney+ subscribers
  • United Airlines orders 200 vertical-takeoff electric airplanes
  • What, Exactly, Is Amazon Web Services?
  • Qualcomm objects to Nvidia’s $40 billion Arm acquisition
  • Spotify will let employees work from anywhere after the pandemic
  • Breached water plant employees used the same TeamViewer password and no firewall
  • Bitcoin Hits Record as Mastercard, BNY Mellon Embrace Crypto
  • Google is testing a dark mode for desktop search
  • Microsoft approached Pinterest about a takeover (Paywall: FT)
  • Top 100 subscription apps grew 34% to $13B in 2020, share of total spend remained the same
  • Monzo, nearing 5 million customers, has recruited a new US CEO
  • Android 12 leak appears to show major redesign with color-changing UI
  • The Apple car, briefly explained
  • Facebook Is Said to Be Building a Product to Compete With Clubhouse
  • The price of solar electricity has dropped 89% in 10 years
  • All the Coronavirus in the World Could Fit Inside a Coke Can, With Plenty of Room to Spare
  • The future of “smart” cities is in street lights
  • Germany to let citizens store ID cards on smartphone
  • The cinemas now hiring out their screens to gamers
  • Earth to Voyager 2: After a Year in the Darkness, We Can Talk to You Again
  • In a major new pandemic trend, people are turning to carbon dioxide monitoring devices to help assess ventilation quality
  • How Car Makers Collided With a Global Chip Shortage (Paywall: WSJ)

Weekly#414

  • Why Big Companies Keep Failing: The Stack Fallacy
  • Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO…Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, will take the reins as CEO beginning in the third quarter
  • Amazon reports first $100 billion quarter following holiday and pandemic shopping surge
  • Fire TV now reaches more than 50 million monthly active users around the world.
  • eBay’s sneaker category exploded with triple-digit growth last quarter
  • Amazon timeline
  • Alphabet revenue up 23% as core advertising business shows strong growth
  • Airstream’s New Trailer Comes With Beds That Transform Into an Office
  • “…in uncertain economic times there is often nostalgia for decor from former decades associated with comfort and stability…”
  • Facebook makes the case for activity tracking to iOS 14 users in new pop-ups
  • Sony says semiconductor shortage makes increased PS5 production difficult…Sony shipped more than 4.5 million PlayStation 5s
  • Spotify: 155 million premium subscribers, 345 million monthly active users
  • Apple will invest $3.6 billion in Kia Motors to build an Apple Car, report says
  • South Korea Leads World in Innovation as U.S. Exits Top Ten
  • Google Cloud lost $5.61 billion on $13.06 billion revenue last year
  • When the Electric Car Is King, Less Energy Is More
  • iOS 14.5 will support PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers
  • Neuralink has wired up a monkey to play video games using its mind
  • Pixel phones will be able to read your heart rate with their cameras
  • SpaceX Starlink public beta begins: It’s $99 a month plus $500 up front
  • VW Group will handle self-driving car development in-house, report says
  • Apple’s mixed reality headset could cost $3,000 and include 8K displays
  • We’re Teaching Robots to Evolve Autonomously—So They Can Adapt to Life Alone on Distant Planets
  • Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 aren’t launching this year
  • How the search for a ‘death ray’ led to radar
  • YouTube Expands Its CTV and Sports Offerings Ahead of Upfront Season