Why I support Longreads

People, often lament about lack of good journalism and diveristy in their information diet. I see that as a side effect of living inside the filter bubbles, a phenomenon exacerbated by the emergence of the social web. In reality, a lot of good journalism is happening all around us — we just don’t have the ability to find it easily, because of the information utilities — Facebook, Twitter and Google work.

Happy Diwali

After a relaxing week in Tuscany (to celebrate the end of my 50th year around the sun,) I came back refreshed. I was full of verve and vigor to get back to work, writing and connecting with my friends, family and colleague.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans often go wrong, thanks to unplanned events. I got hit by the Flu virus (yes it is that season) and have been at home, literally doing nothing. Flu and cold are my kryptonite and I am destroyed by them. It is day five, the fever has receded and I have finally started to feel like a human. I hope by end of this week I can be at full strength. On the plus side I have been able to watch the playoff baseball games on my iPad.

Before I go, I also wanted to wish all my readers, especially those in India, a very happy Diwali. It is a festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Now more than ever, we need to remember that message. It is one of the few days in a year when I really miss being in Delhi — all those sweets.

October 19, 2017, San Francisco

Goodbye Netflix

It was over ten years ago when I started talking to Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix about broadband and streaming. The company was still in the business of DVD rentals, but the I was sold on the idea of “Netflix” being the killer app of broadband. I cut the cord early — just after launching our NewTeeVee website — to eat my own dog food. I got rid of the television screens, and instead focused on watching video exclusively on my laptop.

In January 2007, I became a customer of Netflix streaming. I have been a big fan of the service, the company and its chief executive. I have enjoyed every minute on it. I respect their technical achievements and how they have expanded around the world, embedded themselves into every device and have become a cultural phenomenon.

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As I try to reclaim my time for pursuits that include more reading, writing and creating, time has come to say goodbye to Netflix. I am sure I will miss a lot of great shows, great comedy specials and some amazing award-winning movies. However, the time is such a precious and limited commodity — and I need to spend it wisely. Sadly, that means saying goodbye to Netflix. As an Indian immigrant to America, a big thanks for helping bring Master of None. All I can say, thanks Reed and company — being your customer has been a lot of fun and games.

October 11, 2017, San Francisco

The Circle of Happiness

2.45 am… I woke up and looked out of the window. It was jet black sky with twinkling stars, spread like diamonds across the universe. There were so many of them. I was wide awake in a few minutes. I walked out to the patio, barefoot, my soles feeling the cold of the tiles and wetness of the dew.

I slipped on my headphones and listened to Tom Petty, walking, sitting, walking some more. I wasn’t searching for specific songs to listen to, just his greatest hits. Listening as a way to pay homage to a great rocker. I was introduced to his music by one of my oldest friends, Tito. He turned 50 earlier this year, much like me last year. I turned 51 last week.

Some Good Reads from around the web

These are the stories I found worth reading during the course of my day. I hope you enjoy them.

  • The coming software apocalypse, is a great long read on The Atlantic. I didn’t like the headline, but the story is great look into our reliance of software and weaknesses that are all around it. I urge you to read this.
  • If you look hard enough, you know Amazon HQ2 is just spin and polishing a turd, John Battelle eruditely explains.
  • A driverless car with some common sense? A startup called iSee is working on it. I am not clear on how their approach is special compared to other, but otherwise it seems like an idea and a company paying attention to. MIT Technology Review has the story.
  • Let Twitter be Twitter, Dave Winer argues.
  • Surveillance is the business model of the Internet, says Bruce Schneier, commenting on this story about Tinder. An eye-opening read.
  • You want more context, then read this N+1 story, The Commercial Surveillance State.

Randomly

  • FBI exposes wide scale corruption in the (US) College Basketball program. Worth a read. #
  • 88 percent of American adults watched the August total solar eclipse or about 215 million. That’s a lot. #
  • Listen up Steve Jobs wannabes, being abusive bosses works only for so long. So shape up. #
  • Boston vs Silicon Valley. #