Say hello to the Hangzhou Internet Court that is in session and accessible via WeChat. It has handled 3 million legal cases or other judicial procedures. It was first established in 2017 to help online trade disputes, copyright cases, and e-commerce product liability claims. By using artificial intelligence, chatbots, and other new technologies, the digital court judges are augmented by humans to get quick decisions. The cost of mistyping couldn’t be higher. Read on Japan Times.

The 2010s are coming to an end, and looking back, a lot has changed, especially when it comes to retail landscapes. Vox looks back at the brands we have lost. Blockbuster and Borders failed to adapt and thus became victims of broadband and the Internet, only to be replaced by Netflix and Amazon. Internet and the companies it has spawned saw the death of compact discs, and with that, we lost the brands such as Columbia Record House. Payless, American Apparel, and Bon-Ton are some other names. Only recently we lost Dean and Deluca and Barneys. Good News is that we still have many American brands thriving in Japan. When I look back at the decade and see all these brands dying, I can only see the regeneration and creation of new brands and enterprises — bigger and different. I can’t imagine life without Spotify. Or Amazon, for that matter. 

Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

Phone Cameras FTW

The iPhone 11 Pro is just another step in the seemingly unending march of the camera phones. The falling sales of cameras across the price and performance spectrum is a testimonial to how everyday people take photographs. As a believer in computational photography and the improvement curve of phone-camera capabilities, I have often written about … Continue reading Phone Cameras FTW

Photo by Anne Marie Vivienne

Travel writing that resonates with me tends to be less formulaic and more poetic and personal. I love the works of Pico Iyer and Bruce Chatwin for those reasons. And very rarely do you come across a new talent just waiting to be discovered. I love this ode to the Utah deserts in winter by Anne Marie Vivienne. Have a look.