October 2019 (Links)


Title: Beachheads and Obstacles

In the article, we get an analysis of the hardware ambitions of Facebook and Amazon. Where the first isn’t making real progress, the second might have a shot at dominating the home.


Title: To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight

First researchers looked at how we focus on specific inputs, now they are looking at how we suppress other stimuli.

One system identified with regards to the suppression is the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). This system is an old (from an evolutionary point of view) part of the brain.


Title: The China Cultural Clash

The article asks and reiterates that China has been unfairly using (abusing?) tech from the US, and attacking it when feelings got hurt.

“Whoever was controlling the Great Cannon would use it to selectively insert malicious JavaScript code into search queries and advertisements served by Baidu, a popular Chinese search engine.”

With international trade (WTO), the democracy didn’t spread equally as well.

“China is not simply resisting Western ideals of freedom, but seeking to impose their own.”

Technology can be a force for good, but also multiply the control a state has.

“The documents, revealed by the Guardian for the first time, lay out how ByteDance, the Beijing-headquartered technology company that owns TikTok, is advancing Chinese foreign policy aims abroad through the app.”


Title: Democracy in Poland Is in Mortal Danger

Is Poland following Hungary (and Turkey)? It seems that way as things are going. The US is pushing in the wrong direction. Hmm…


Title: Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn’t Help Himself.

So yeah, let’s just leave it with this quote “President Trump doesn’t interpret his abandonment of America’s faithful and intrepid Kurdish ally as betrayal because he can’t even understand why betrayal is a vice. It’s like trying to explain color to a person born with no eyesight.”


Title: Google and Ambient Computing

Google is coming into your house. They are switching from organising information, to actively helping you be productive: “to “be helpful” Google needs to be everywhere, which by extension means the company needs to be trusted.”

A way to capture this idea is with ambient computing, always being there, always available. And not dependant on a single device (or price).


Title: Muddy America : Color Balancing The Election Map – Infographic

A very interesting graph of how Americans voted. Do scroll down to see the breakdown.

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