Weekly RoundUp Series October 2020

Dinakaran Sankaranarayanan


Weekly RoundUp Series October 2020

Interesting articles for the last week of the month

1. Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

Oh my !!!

“Apple now receives an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion in annual payments — up from $1 billion a year in 2014 — in exchange for building Google’s search engine into its products. It is probably the single biggest payment that Google makes to anyone and accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple’s annual profits. That’s not money Apple would be eager to walk away from.”


2. The luck vs skill debate: What if generating luck is actually a skill?

“Can you succeed consistently from only hard work or from pure serendipity? Are some people inherently lucky or unlucky? Can luck be a skill? “


3. Google’s new logos are bad

“But sometimes they do something so senseless that it is incumbent upon anyone who cares at all to throw the company’s justification in its face and tell them they blew it; The last time I cared enough was with Google Reader. Since I and a hundred million other people will have to stare at these ugly new icons all day until they retire them, maybe making a little noise will accelerate that timeline a bit.”


“Are you the kind of person who has very specific cravings? Maybe when the mood hits, you don’t want just any kind of Indian food—you want Chicken Chettinad with a side of paratha, and nothing else will hit the spot! To help picky eaters satisfy their cravings, we at zomato have recently added enhanced search engine capabilities to our restaurant aggregation and food delivery platform. These capabilities enable us to recommend restaurants to zomato users based on searches for specific dishes. We power this functionality with machine learning (ML), using it to extract and structure text data from menu images. To develop this menu digitization technology, we partnered with Amazon ML Solutions Lab to explore the capabilities of the AWS ML Stack. “


5. Unintended consequences of using Machine Learning for translation, featuring Amazon Sweden

“Many products on Amazon Sweden came from auto-translated listings on other Amazon marketplaces, but has unfortunately resulted in many wrong, sometimes comical, and even offensive Swedish translations”


6.Marriott fined £0.05 for each of the 339 million hotel guests whose data crooks were stealing for four years

“Your name, address, phone number, email address, passport number, date of birth, and sex are worth just £0.05 in the eyes of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which has fined Marriott £18.4m after 339 million people’s data was stolen from the hotel chain. The fine was imposed as a regulatory punishment for the 2018 Starwood Hotels megabreach despite Marriott not accepting liability for wrongdoing. Although the attack was originally thought to have exposed half a billion records in the chain’s guest reservation database, later investigations revised that figure downwards.”


7.How My Boss Taught Me to Think Like a Leader

“If you’re a leader, stop giving your team all of the answers and start asking them more questions. Yes, it will take more of your time upfront and it will likely be uncomfortable (maybe even painful) for both of you. But, it will also cultivate high-performing, empowered leaders in spades.”



Interesting articles for the week ending 25 th Oct 2020

1. Uber’s Self-Driving Car Killed Someone. Why Isn’t Uber Being Charged?

Interesting point of view.

“Autonomous vehicle design involves an almost incomprehensible combination of engineering tasks including sensor fusion, path planning, and predictive modeling of human behavior. But despite the best efforts to consider all possible real world outcomes, things can go awry. More than two and a half years ago, in Tempe, Arizona, an Uber “self-driving” car crashed into pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, killing her. In mid-September, the safety driver behind the wheel of that car, Rafaela Vasquez, was charged with negligent homicide.

Uber’s test vehicle was driving 39 mph when it struck Herzberg. Uber’s sensors detected her six seconds before impact but determined that the object sensed was a false positive. Uber’s engineers tuned the software to be less sensitive to unidentified objects in order to achieve a smoother ride. Uber also disabled the vehicle’s factory-installed automatic emergency braking system, which likely would have prevented the accident, in order to accurately test the capability of its own automated driving system. But Uber is not a defendant in this case.”


2. The Goldilocks Rule to habit formation

“The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right”


3. Focus Super Powers with Nir Eyal

Podcast conversation with Nir Eyal.

“You can always buy growth for your company. What you can’t buy is engagement. It has to be designed into the product.” NFX partner James Currier talks with Nir Eyal, former instructor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and author of the bestseller, “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.” 2013 His latest book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” 2019 is out now. Nir walks us through his frameworks for product building, focus, traction, and building a culture centered around speed and growth”


4. State of AI, 2020

Good summary of all things, AI

“Now in its third year, the State of AI Report 2020 features invited contributions from a range of well-known and up-and-coming companies and research groups. The Report considers the following key dimensions: Research: Technology breakthroughs and capabilities. Talent: Supply, demand and concentration of AI talent. Industry: Areas of commercial application for AI and its business impact. Politics: Regulation of AI, its economic implications and the emerging geopolitics of AI. Predictions: What we believe will happen and a performance review to keep us honest.”


5. Did Microsoft do all this to win Developers’ hearts?

“In the last few years, Microsoft made me Wow many times. I feel like they are steering deep into the developers’ community. Even though I am still a Java guy, I like the direction Microsoft is heading towards and couldn’t help but respect and love.The following are such milestones with wow factor. They might not be in the order of their release timeline, just a random list of changes that I could recollect.”


6. How to reframe a binary question?

“If you want to cultivate a growth mindset, you need to change the questions you ask. Next time a binary question or a false dilemma comes up in the team, try to transform it into an adaptive question or solution-neutral problem statement. We often underestimate how a little effort can go a long way”


7.What will it take to build an Atmanirbhar App Store

“Do we really need one? Or can we make one? After google announced that all apps selling digital products will be mandated to use google billing (and pay 30% cut to them), there has been a movement by some Indian startups to reign in Google’s unjustified move. Their demand includes an independent App store made in India for India.”


That’s all for this week


Interesting articles for the week ending 18 Oct 2020

1. Now you can search for a song just by humming it to Google. Sounds cool, right?

I did try it a couple of times and it did work :)

“Google is adding a new “hum to search” feature to its search tools today that will let you hum (or whistle, or sing) the annoying song that’s stuck in your head, and then use machine learning techniques to try to identify it.”


2. 25 years of Gartner Hype Cycle

“A chap called Mark used his COVID lockdown time to create a video representation of data scraped from 25 years of technology assessments from the Gartner hype cycle. Great to see how technology matures, and just how long something can be stuck in the ‘about to happen’ stage.”


3. How to waste your career one comfortable year at a time.

This one hit close to home.

“I recently saw this tweet asking people about their career’s most expensive mistake. The most common one was people staying too long at their jobs and not switching sooner. I’ve seen people make this mistake over and over. Hell, I’ve made this mistake myself. Change can be scary. It requires you to get out of your comfort zone. But, in my experience, staying too long is one of the worst mistakes you can make in your career. “


“Due to the energy, resources, and growth of the data infrastructure market, the tools and best practices for data infrastructure are also evolving incredibly quickly. So much so, it’s difficult to get a cohesive view of how all the pieces fit together. And that’s what we set out to provide some insight into. We asked practitioners from leading data organizations: (a) what their internal technology stacks looked like, and (b) whether it would differ if they were to build a new one from scratch.”


5. API’s VS SDK’s - What’s the difference?

“What is an API? What is an SDK? How are they related and enable users to streamline their cloud application development workflows? In this lightboard video, Nathan Hekman with IBM Cloud, answers these questions and much more while providing a real life scenario which explains the difference and similarities, and ultimately how the two technologies can work together to allow you to spend less time connecting/configuring a cloud service, and more time coding and actually using the service in your app.”



Interesting articles for the week ending 11th October,2020

1. IBM splitting up the company into two to focus on the cloud business.

“International Business Machines Corp is splitting itself into two public companies, capping a years-long effort by the world’s first big computing firm to diversify away from its legacy businesses to focus on high-margin cloud computing.”


2. AppStore regulated by Government? Deciding between Big Tech monopoly and Govt, it is a hard choice.

“India government is reportedly planning to develop its own App Store to end the duopoly of the mobile ecosystem by Google and Apple. In recent weeks, several start-ups and app-makers have been voicing concern over Google’s policy, which made it mandatory for all developers to give 30% commission for all billings on apps registered on the Play store.”


3. TO-DO list is common. But have you tried To-LEARN list?

“Most people maintain a to-do list —a list of tasks that need to be completed in a day, week or month, typically organised in order of priority. An effective to-do list can make a huge difference if you want to do your best work every day.

The same concept of crossing your most important things off your list can be used for learning anything — from skills to books.

You probably have some of the things you want to learn on your long to-do list. To increase your knowledge faster, create a separate to-learn list for everything you want to learn. “


4. Management Flywheel - Fixing the small issues and making the small win

“The Flywheel” is a popular startup analogy, and is best described in this classic writeup. The flywheel is heavy and painful to start, and starts off slow, but as it gathers momentum over time it goes faster and faster. Turning around a team feels like getting this flywheel spinning. Most managers who see a team in a rut can quickly detect many things that are going wrong. But it’s the response to these problems that distinguishes the great ones.”


5.Succeed in a negotiation yet save the face of your counterpart

“What exactly is face? In their classic work on politeness, Penelope Brown and Stephen C. Levinson define face as “the public self-image that every member of a society wants to claim for himself/herself.” Put differently, face is how people want to be perceived and connected to identity and dignity. When it comes to negotiation, it is about both sides preserving their and their organizations’ reputations.”