November 2020 archive

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