Weekly RoundUp Series November 2020

Dinakaran Sankaranarayanan


Weekly RoundUp Series November 2020

Interesting articles that I read for the week ending 29th Nov,2020

After skipping for a week, a delayed publishing of all interesting articles I read for the week ending 29th November, 2020

1. A Twitter Thread on Gorilla taxes

“If you’re a Startup trying to compete with a Megacorp—the 800-pound Gorilla in the space—you need to understand the tax inherent to being a Gorilla And then you need to make that tax work against the Gorilla—with your product’s positioning & features A thread on Gorilla taxes”


2. The AWS outage that impacted the IOT enabled door bells and webcams from functioning

“Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s internet infrastructure service that is the backbone of many websites and apps, experienced a multi-hour outage on Wednesday that affected a large portion of the internet. The service has been nearly fully restored as of 4:18AM ET on Thursday morning, according to Amazon.”


3. How 99$ vest made Patagonia a billion-dollar brand

Remember Silicon Valley where Jared wears a vest. That is one of the popular choice for leaders and VC’s in Silicon Valley. The Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Vest is by far one of Patagonia’s most popular products. It’s also one of its most divisive.


I can literally dig this comment on the youtube video .

“Wait, the food Michelin is the same Michelin of the tires ? lmao I thought it was a common last name or something”


5. Netflix’s Keeper Test

“Hastings admitted the “Keeper Test” could be intimidating to some executives. Indeed, co-author Meyer wrote about one Netflix director who hadn’t unpacked their boxes after one year on the job. Hastings said the “test” is no different than what any professional athlete deals with facing a career-ending injury on every play.

“We have to hire the psychological type that can put that aside and who aspires to work with great colleagues and that that’s their real love, is the quality of their colleagues or the consistency of that, versus the job security,” Hastings said.


6. Competing in the age of AI .

“The age of AI is being ushered in by the emergence of this new kind of firm. Ant Financial’s cohort includes giants like Google, Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent, and many smaller, rapidly growing firms, from Zebra Medical Vision and Wayfair to Indigo Ag and Ocado. Every time we use a service from one of those companies, the same remarkable thing happens: Rather than relying on traditional business processes operated by workers, managers, process engineers, supervisors, or customer service representatives, the value we get is served up by algorithms. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, refers to AI as the new “runtime” of the firm. True, managers and engineers design the AI and the software that makes the algorithms work, but after that, the system delivers value on its own, through digital automation or by leveraging an ecosystem of providers outside the firm. AI sets the prices on Amazon, recommends songs on Spotify, matches buyers and sellers on Indigo’s marketplace, and qualifies borrowers for an Ant Financial loan.

The elimination of traditional constraints transforms the rules of competition. As digital networks and algorithms are woven into the fabric of firms, industries begin to function differently and the lines between them blur. The changes extend well beyond born-digital firms, as more-traditional organizations, confronted by new rivals, move toward AI-based models too. Walmart, Fidelity, Honeywell, and Comcast are now tapping extensively into data, algorithms, and digital networks to compete convincingly in this new era. Whether you’re leading a digital start-up or working to revamp a traditional enterprise, it’s essential to understand the revolutionary impact AI has on operations, strategy, and competition.”



Interesting articles that I read for the week ending 15th Nov,2020

1. WTF is Commercial Open Source Software?

“The majority of Commercial Open Source Software companies have built their business model in a way that allows them to capture part of the value that is delivered by their open-source core product, by offering commercial versions of their products, alternative license options, or add-on proprietary software. While their success still fundamentally depends on their open-source core technology.


2. OTT censorship on the cards - It was good while it lasted?

“Films have to be cleared by a censor board; print media and TV news have self-regulatory bodies like the Press Council and the News Broadcasters Association, and commercials adhere by the Advertising Standards Council (ASCI). Further, TV programming came under the ambit of the Cable Networks Regulation Act.

That situation will change now, with the I&B ministry now getting the power to regulate policies dictating, if needed, what should be shown or uploaded online and what should not be. While the immediate thought would be that this order is aimed at OTT providers like Netflix and Amazon and their brand of web series’ featuring copious amounts of violence, nudity and coarse language, the sweeping scope of this new law reaches much further, into the very foundations of a free media. In one stroke, virtually all content available on the internet, not just web serials but news and opinions, now come under government monitoring. I&B ministry officials were quoted saying this new order is an enabling mandate to enforce ‘greater discipline online.”


3. Capping on the 30% market share in UPI - UPI Stifling innovation

“The NPCI claimed the cap will help address risks emanating from the overload of the payments infrastructure and protect the UPI ecosystem from monopolies, but there’s been some push back from Google Pay and PhonePe, which currently occupy over 80% UPI market share together. Critics of the new policy claim it will only stymie innovation in the UPI space and complicate matters for consumers in the long run. There are also questions about how it will work for the apps that go beyond UPI payments, as most of the bigger apps do. But beyond that, there is a feeling that this unprecedented move could change the whole UPI game altogether.”


4. BigBasket Data Breach and importance of Data Classification

“A report by IBM revealed that out of 17 countries surveyed, the cost of data breach resulted in a loss of $3.92 million on an average. The loss incurred in case of a data breach extends way beyond financial losses. It results in possible data theft, causes loss of millions, in some cases billions of private records and sensitive data, affecting not only the organisation but also individuals whose information may have been stolen. Hence, it goes without saying that organisations must have strong data protection techniques in place. One of the major techniques is data classification.

Data classification is a process of organising data by relevant categories for efficient usage and protection of data. It helps data security, compliance, and risk management. Experts advise that companies must invest in strong data classification policy to protect their data from breaches.”


“Hum to Search is a new fully machine-learned system within Google Search that allows a person to find a song using only a hummed rendition of it. In contrast to existing methods, this approach produces an embedding of a melody from a spectrogram of a song without generating an intermediate representation. This enables the model to match a hummed melody directly to the original (polyphonic) recordings without the need for a hummed or MIDI version of each track or for other complex hand-engineered logic to extract the melody. This approach greatly simplifies the database for Hum to Search, allowing it to constantly be refreshed with embeddings of original recordings from across the world — even the latest releases.”



Interesting articles that I read for the week ending 8th Nov,2020

1. Adapting Search to Indian Phonetics

“These new customers are different from the previous set of urban customers. They have strong connections with their regional and cultural aspects, which influence their purchase needs. They prefer the use of their regional languages and dialects for communication and are largely less proficient in English. Hence, we decided to improve our way of understanding search query tokens to help serve these customers better.”


2. AWS to build second data center in India in Telangana

“The investment illustrates the opportunities Amazon, which has poured more than $6.5 billion into its India operations to date, sees in the world’s second largest internet market.”


3. WhatsApp UPI is launching officially

“The launch of WhatsApp’s payment services marks the culmination of a long journey that included court cases, and concerns over data localisation as well as the risk of monopoly of the ubiquitous app, which has over 400 million users in India.”


4. Skill is not the same as talent

“If we cared enough, we could learn. If we cared enough, we would practice. And if we cared enough, we’d show up again and again until the skill was ours. “Talent” is an insult to anyone who has ever developed a skill. It’s yours if you want it.”


5. The Tech Behind “Watch Hotstar, Watch your friends!”

“It’s friends and families that make live sports more entertaining with their custom live commentary. This year, we’ve launched a “‘Watch with Friends” feature, which is essentially a video chat along with match. Now you can watch live matches along with your friends and families and share each every moment of the action with them!”