Due to prior work commitments, I have not had much time to write or journal this week. Nevertheless, I have been reading in-between meetings and jotting down notes on why I liked the following stories:
Why you should not download video files on WhatsApp: Motherboard by Vice has a story that outlines how Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked by a Saudi Arabian group. The sheer sophistication with which Bezos’ phone got compromised is astounding. My one big take away: avoid any and all downloads on these messaging apps, especially these so-called meme videos and seemingly personal looking videos. Read
Is it too late for Apple TV+?: Having watched some of its shows, I am not that impressed. I don’t believe Apple has what it takes to win against the likes of Netflix. Plus, the numbers don’t look too good in early returns, especially compared to Disney+. By the way, I am not the only one. The folks over on Next TV are skeptical, as well. Read
They were promised broadband and tech jobs: Apparently “they” — a.k.a. folks who live in rural Kentucky — are still waiting for modems to connect. The failure of KentuckyWired is a good example of how the entire broadband infrastructure is mired in incompetence compounded by lobbying dollars from incumbents. This is a great example of the enterprise reporting that makes ProPublica a publication worth supporting. Read
WeChat is going all-in on the paywalls: It might be a good thing for its aging community. Funny, but this was what Facebook should have done, given that their audience is also getting older pretty fast. By offering fractional payments for good articles using Facebook’s cryptocurrency as a tool, the social platform could have made the news business an ally. Instead, they treated media publications as a piñata. Read
What would Steve Jobs do if he ran a Swiss Watch company?: Mike Ortolano has a really wonderful take on what is wrong with the watch industry and how someone like Jobs could have done an end-run around the Swiss brands. What Mike forgot to add is that Jobs would have done what he did to the phone (and by extension the phone companies): turned it into an application. Read
How to fight disinformation: They say that truth will set you free. And that is what you need, argues Sean Gourley in his op-ed for Wired UK. As he outlines how and why, I find I am doing a head nod throughout the piece.Read
Three months with AirPods Pro: Here is a review that I should and would have written. I love my AirPods Pro. I even wear them on short-haul flights. I am using them constantly for Zoom calls. All I want to do is find a way to have a custom fit AirPods Pro. Though, I do disagree with The Sweet Setup team on one point: the battery life is way worse than I expected. Read.
Why Hollywood will never look the same again on film: The end of neon and the rise of LEDs is good for the environment, but it doesn’t necessarily look good on film. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Read.
Slow Death of the Duty-Free Stores: The generic look and feel, plus the middling quality of offerings, are taking the glamor out of duty-free stores. And while this post is about whiskey, it could actually be true for anything. I think the internet has made it easier to buy anything anywhere at a better price. Why does one really need duty free? Read.
Finally, as Ian Bogost wrote in The Atlantic, every place is the same place now. Read.