6 minutes estimated reading time
Here’s One Reason the US Military Can’t Fix Its Own Equipment – The New York Times – the irony of the US military being restricted by US legislation and lack of ‘right to repair’. US military withdrawal from R&D hasn’t help things either. DARPA does pure research, but the focus on COTS (commercial off the shelf) solutions by the US military has seen a withdrawal from more practical applications. Where is the modern US military equivalent of things like the Piccatinny rail standard? More security related content here.
Facebook’s fake numbers problem — Lex in depth | Financial Times – Facebook’s own estimates suggest duplicate accounts represent approximately 11 per cent of monthly active users while fake versions make up another 5 per cent. Others claim the total is higher. Yet Facebook continues to promote its user base as an incredible 2.45bn per month — close to one-third of the global population.” – ok so some of the logic is wonky, but the underlying point is very interesting
Adidas is shutting down its Speedfactories in Germany and the US — Quartz – Adidas is apparently moving this to APAC which negates the agile advantage. Is this more about Capex and recent poor financial results instead?
Sidewalk Labs document reveals company’s early vision for data collection, tax powers, criminal justice – The Globe and Mail – The community Alphabet sought to build when it launched Sidewalk Labs, she said, was like a “for-profit China” that would “use digital infrastructure to modify and direct social and political behaviour.” While Sidewalk has since moved away from many of the details in its book, Prof. Zuboff contends that Alphabet tends to “say what needs be said to achieve commercial objectives, while specifically camouflaging their actual corporate strategy.” – some of the most sinister stuff I’ve heard of, that hasn’t been originated by Chinese Communist Party cadre
E-Commerce Content Marketing: A 2020 China Trend | PARKLU – basically OTT shopping TV
Luxury Daily | Breitling in step with resale mood launches online trade in programme – or a way of stimulating sales. Rolex seems to have sucked a lot of the momentum out of the luxury watch market. Breitling and and other brands like IWC have suffered
Chaebols and firm dynamics in the Republic of Korea | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal – Moving from low- to high-income status implies that countries escape the middle-income trap. This implies institutional reform to create innovation-based growth. The column uses firm-level data to show how the Korean government’s chaebol reforms in the late 1990s transformed the economy from an investment-based to an innovation-based model. There are lessons here for China.
USAF officer says China brags about stealing US military tech, they call it “picking flowers in the US to make honey in China” | War Is Boring – ”China devotes significant resources at a national level to infiltrate our universities and our labs,” Murphy stated. “They are doing it for a reason. They’ve even coined the phrase, ‘Picking flowers in the US to make honey in China,’ which I would say perfectly illustrates their deliberate plan to steal R&D, knowhow, and technology
Why are so many countries witnessing mass protests? | The Economist – interesting on how there isn’t necessarily a clear correlation of reasons, despite efforts to find a pattern – (paywall)
Apple, TikTok draw congressional rebuke for skipping hearing on China – The Washington Post – I hope that they get penalised
Dialog 50 cent SoC Targets Disposable Bluetooth Market | EE Times – environmental disaster in waiting
Smartphones Rule. But Should They Control Cars? | EE Times – no they shouldn’t
Something in the air – Why are so many countries witnessing mass protests? | International | The Economist – As Red Flag, an Australian socialist journal, sees it: “For more than four decades, country after country has been ravaged by neoliberal policies designed to make the mass of workers and the poor pay for what is a growing crisis in the system.”
Opinion | Why Google’s Quantum Supremacy Milestone Matters – The New York Times – In everyday life, the probability of an event can range only from 0 percent to 100 percent (there’s a reason you never hear about a negative 30 percent chance of rain). But the building blocks of the world, like electrons and photons, obey different, alien rules of probability, involving numbers — the amplitudes — that can be positive, negative, or even complex (involving the square root of -1). Furthermore, if an event — say, a photon hitting a certain spot on a screen — could happen one way with positive amplitude and another way with negative amplitude, the two possibilities can cancel, so that the total amplitude is zero and the event never happens at all. This is “quantum interference,” and is behind everything else you’ve ever heard about the weirdness of the quantum world.
5G will only be as revolutionary as the devices we design for it — Quartz – “When we’ve spoken with consumers who carry the latest smartphones today, and you talk with them about 5G, what these users are saying is that the current form factor and feature sets cannot take advantage of the promise of 5G,” Sethi told Quartz. While smartphones are great for reading the web, watching videos, and checking emails, there’s not much that a considerably faster connection speed will do for them that they can’t already do.
Unreal life: just 21% of Brits believe internet personalities portray life honestly | YouGov – about authenticity as a concept….
Letter of the US attorney general – very thoughtful defence of end-to-end cryptography in the face of sensationalist ‘protecting children’ claims
How China’s mystery author called its economic slowdown | Financial Times – interesting read about the end of China’s growth
I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb – VICE – the interesting bit is that AirBnB don’t care if people get grifted
China effectively bans online sales of e-cigarettes | Revue – given that: China invented the e-cigarette and the government has a monopoly on smoking sale. This isn’t the market opportunity loss Juul et al might think that it is
IPA | IPA reacts to Twitter’s political ad ban – If online platforms won’t commit to a publicly available, platform-neutral, machine-readable register of all political ads and ad data online, then they should consider following Twitter’s lead in banning political advertising – and even then what would the first solution solve, given the failure of legislative regulation – what’s the point of a register when you have both major parties more crooked than a yakuza convention, but without the style?
IPA | IPA Insight Infographic: Smartphones – interesting point for me is that the phone alarm didn’t appear on this
IPA | Legal Update 31 October 2019 – Google announced that they are making changes to YouTube to address the substance of the FTC’s concerns and will apply these changes globally. The changes, which will be rolled out from January, include:• moving families over to YouTube Kids through notifications and educating parents about its benefits;• identifying Made for Kids content on YouTube via a combination of input from creators and machine learning; and • no longer serving personalised ads on Made for Kids, for all users regardless of age, and serving only contextual ads on this content