27 September 2020

Welcome back to the Week That Was series where I highlight a few things from the interwebs which I thought were interesting, noteworthy and probably worth your time.

Articles📝, Tweet(s)📱, Videos🎥, Charts 📈 all fair game with or without attendant commentary.


🎧💳 Music Sales

Music Sales



🍏⚔️ Apple v Everybody

Last month, thousands of miles away from Apple Headquarters, at two in the morning, an eccentric video game designer declared war on the Apple App Store. His name is Tim Sweeney and he is the CEO of Epic Games, maker of Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular games.

Today on the show, we meet the man trying to bring down the Apple App store. It’s a story about giant tech companies, the power they have and the price we all pay. Also… rainbow unicorns. Rainbow unicorn pickaxes, to be specific. There’s a lot of them for an antitrust story.

Spotify, EPIC Games, Basecamp and others have come together to found the Coalition for App Fairness as an independent nonprofit organization to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.


😈 Devil’s Gold

Roughly 300 miners a day climb two miles up the Kawah Ijen mountain and then descend more than 900 yards in their search for “devil’s gold.” This is one miner’s story of hard work, courage, and suffering all in the name of family


💡🧠 Insights

Bruno Wong put together a thread of comments seen on a post called “What’s an industry secret in the field you work in?”

Here are a couple:

  • “I design slot machines for casinos… don’t play slots.”
  • “I used to screen resumes for small companies. Job “requirements” are more of a wish-list situation. Never let some unchecked boxes deter you from applying - you have no idea what the applicant pool is like.”
  • “Former bath and body works associate here. The scents they “discontinue” will come back with a different name and new marketing. They’re just recycling the scents.”
  • “Vodka is really, really, really cheap to make: the glass bottle costs more than the juice.”
  • “If you’re someone who purchases bulk nuts, grains, etc. Just know that those bins are probably rarely cleaned, and even when they are “cleaned”, odds are they were just rinsed out/wiped down to look clean.”
  • “It costs about $200,000 to put your own book on the top of the New York Times bestseller list. All you have to do is buy a lot of copies yourself.”
  • “A lot of successful artists at a certain level of success do nothing more than create a concept and employ several assistants, who are either current or graduating art students, who actually make the art itself, its reproductions or both.”
  • “I’m a teacher. If you as a parent will read with your child often and early, your child will thrive in school. I’m talking daily books read together from newborn to about third grade. Every single day. No teacher can replace that.”
  • “I’m a musician. It’s not really a secret but 90% of of our revenue is from merch. In fact, a big reason bands tour as often as possible is because we can sell more shirts when we’re in front of people.”
  • “A huge portion of online reviews, ratings, social media presence, etc that you see for any given company are fake, paid for, or done by multiple accounts controlled by us. This includes a company’s Glassdoor page.”
  • “I’m a dentist. Here’s the lowdown on toothpaste. As long as it has fluoride they are all basically the same.”

Original thread


🗽📷 Lady Liberty

A rare view of the Statue of Liberty from the balcony on its torch. The exit there has been closed since 1916.

Statue of Liberty Source


🤖📜 Huang’s Law

The WSJ’s Christopher Mims acknowledges the passing of Moore’s Law and attempts to coin a new one in the age of AI.

“The rule that the same dollar buys twice the computing power every 18 months is no longer true, but a new law—which we named for the CEO of Nvidia, the company now most emblematic of commercial AI—is in full effect”

Huang’s Law: Describes how the silicon chips that power artificial intelligence more than double in performance every two years. While the increase can be attributed to both hardware and software, its steady progress makes it a unique enabler of everything from autonomous cars, trucks and ships to the face, voice and


📸💣 Kodak & The Bomb

Kodak detected the first atomic bomb before anyone else figured it out. Then they made a deal not to tell anyone


🦠🧼🖐💦⚕ Greenzone


Postpandemic Pontification 💼

McKinsey 📄commissioned a survey of business executives around the world in June 2020.

The results confirm that the crisis is accelerating some workforce trends already underway, such as the adoption of automation and digitization, increased demand for contractors and gig workers, and more remote work.


McKrecovery 1


McKrecovery 2


McKrecovery 3


South Korea UBI 💶

The 📝debate on universal basic income has gained momentum in South Korea, as the coronavirus outbreak and the country’s growing income divide force a rethink on social safety nets.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung noting basic income “will be a major topic in South Korea’s next presidential election”.


Infection Risk 😷

Transmission Risk


Transmission Vectors ➡️

Snapshot of where folks are reporting getting infected

Transmission Vectors


🗿📄 Origami


Origami (detail), Kumi Yamashita, Japanese paper & single light source, 2011


🌌🌟 Galaxies

The Hubble Legacy Field (STSCI-H-p1917a-f).

More than 7,500 Hubble Space Telescope observations taken over 16 years stitched together. The scale of what’s being seen is truly astounding - as you realise each pinprick of light is an entire 100 Billion+ star galaxy.


You can zoom into 🔭the full resolution picture here for the full effect

Full Hi-Res. 1.19 GB 25500x25500 image available here


👀✨ The Gaze

“We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.” - Alan Moore, Watchmen

🗺️ Oh…and one more thing

I posted a smaller, grainier version of this some time back - thought this higher-res one was worth a relook.




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