Frys Electronics + more things

3 minutes estimated reading time

The disappearing history of the Bay Area’s themed Frys Electronics stores | SF Gate – there couldn’t have been hardware startups without Frys electronics stores. As Frys goes, so does Silicon Valley and I don’t think that loss of hardware hacking is a good thing. Frys is odd and idiosyncratic, but that’s part of the charm in it. Silicon Valley is now the home of media companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter) rather than technology companies which seems like the end state outlined by Judy Estrin in her book Closing The Innovation Gap

Court Rules Deliveroo Used ‘Discriminatory’ Algorithmaccording to the ordinance, if a rider failed to cancel a shift pre-booked through the app at least 24 hours before its start, their “reliability index” would be negatively affected. Since riders deemed more reliable by the algorithm were first to be offered shifts in busier timeblocks, this effectively meant that riders who can’t make their shifts—even if it’s because of a serious emergency or illness—would have fewer job opportunities in the future.According to the court, the algorithm’s failure to take into account the reasons behind a cancellation amounts to discrimation and unjustly penalizes riders with legally legitimate reasons for not working. Deliveroo was ordered to pay €50,000 (~$61,400) to the suing parties. 

Unilever taps seaweed to create self-cleaning surfaces | Financial Times 

Schaudenfreude Alert: Bezos-Buffet-Dimon Health Care Industry Disruptor Haven Makes Faceplant, Announces Closure | naked capitalism – The press is now curiously awash with experts commenting on the Haven closure, saying they knew it would never work. Although some may be able to produce press clips to substantiate their claims, health care industry investors and incumbents were freaked out enough by the prospect of squillionaires swooping in to squeeze their margins that health care company stock prices fell sharply and broadly upon the announcement. And remember, this was 2018, close to Peak Unicorn. Even if the three lords of lucre couldn’t necessarily come up with a health care “innovation” concept that made money, Uber and Lyft had demonstrated that was no obstacle to getting oodles of funding. The play could wind up being like the building of the railroads, where the profit in the enterprise wasn’t in moving stock but selling shares. And only now are tech writers finally admitting that self-driving cars are not only not coming any time soon, but when they do, they will likely have narrow uses, including requiring dedicated lanes

‘We need a real policy for China’: Germany ponders post-Merkel shift | Financial TimesMs Merkel personifies old ideals of western rapprochement with China — the principle that ever deepening economic ties with the west would encourage political change in Beijing, and a shift to liberalism and western values. “Wandel durch Handel” — change through trade — was for years a key precept of German policy – and this was written before the Hong Kong 53 and China blocking WHO yet again. And more here Greens accuse Merkel of forcing pact with China | The Times 

Streaming Tutorial – or how Kpop fans can do a better job of hacking the YouTube algorithm

194: Historic Ad Fraud at Uber with Kevin Frisch – Marketing Today with Alan B. Hart – if you’ve watched this presentation by Frisch’s peer (Simon Peel) at adidas, you’ll start to notice a pattern

Inside the Whale: An Interview with an Anonymous Amazonian – we make it easy to migrate and difficult to leave. If you have a ton of data in your data center and you want to move it to AWS but you don’t want to send it over the internet, we’ll send an eighteen-wheeler to you filled with hard drives, plug it into your data center with a fiber optic cable, and then drive it across the country to us after loading it up with your data

Forget actors, footballers are the new fashion icons | Vogue Business – a lot of this is down to Roc Nation UK

‘Peak hype’: why the driverless car revolution has stalled | Technology | The Guardian – is this the sign of a wider AI winter?