The Mandarin-and-Cantonese Edition Monday, January 14, 2019

Apple HomePod Comes To China At $400 Amid iPhone Sales Woes, by Rita Liao, TechCrunch

What separates the new model is that it supports Mandarin, the official language on Mainland China and Cantonese, which is spoken in Hong Kong and China’s most populated province Guangdong.


The question is how many Chinese shoppers are willing to shell out 2799 yuan, or $414, for the Siri-controlled speaker. A host of much cheaper options from local giants are available, such as Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, Xiaomi’s Mi AI and several models from Baidu.

Apple Music No Longer Allows HomePod And iPhone To Play Different Music On Individual Accounts, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Music is no longer allowing subscribers to play different music on a HomePod and iPhone without a family account.

Liberation from Guilt

‘Inbox Infinity’: Is Ignoring All Your Emails The Secret To A Happy 2019?, by André Spicer, The Guardian

Inbox infinity seems a great way of dealing with the endless deluge of emails. It stops you wasting your time endlessly dealing with emails. It also can; a liberation from the guilt and anxiety that our inboxes often inspire. But it does not come without risks. Neglecting emails may make you seem unprofessional. Colleagues and friends may think it is a sign that you don’t care. It could even cut you out of crucial communications. But for some, it really is the only practical option. After all, how can anyone deal with 500 emails when there are only 480 minutes in the average working day?

Why I Didn't Answer Your Email, by KJ Dell'Antonia, New York Times

It is possible that I will answer your email later, in a few hours, or in a few years, maybe when I am 57, and I will be so happy to have your email. We will trade words, and those words will again seem so real to me, a whole world in my laptop, where I live, sometimes, because there is so much that is seductive in there, where time moves fast and yet never moves at all. I will take my laptop outside and I will sit among the trees, listening for the voices of children who are no longer home, and I will answer your email.

It is also possible that I will not — that I, in fact, will never answer your email. If that is the case, if the people and the places and the things around me still press upon me with more urgency than your email and so many others, I hope that you will forgive me. I have already forgiven myself.

Algorithms Should Contribute To The Happiness Of Society, by Arjan Haring, Towards Data Science

We do not believe it is necessary to measure all of the things all of the time. We must always remember that data is just there to help us answer questions. And it is up to human creativity to ask these right questions. We believe instead that sets of interesting, well-designed experiments will be able teach us more than any Orwellian state will learn.


File Transfer Apps For Mac In 2019: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, by Nathan Alderman, iMore

Among paid apps, Transmit stands head and shoulders above the rest. If you're in a cash crunch, though, ForkLift 3 offers most of Transmit's finer points at two-thirds of its cost. And if you just need a free, simple way to move files from point A to point B, ForkLift 2 beats all contenders in its class.


Writing Things Down (How To Know What To Do Next), by Taylor Campbell, Manythingsblog

Feeling uncertain? Write down your concern. Write down the counter. Question the counter. Continue until it’s obvious what to do.

No Boss? No Thanks. Why Managers Are More Important Than Ever., by Nicolai Foss & Peter Klein, Aeon

In dynamic environments, decisions become highly time-sensitive, and ‘democratic’ decision making is inefficient when each decision affects another. Often the knowledge about who should do what to coordinate responses to changes in the environment resides within the management team – who therefore should make the decision. Indeed, it is exactly because of more dynamic environments, greater time-sensitivity, a need for expert decision making and a focus on internal alignment that we see top management teams expanding at the same time as companies have been delayering.


An Egg, Just A Regular Egg, Is Instagram’s Most-Liked Post Ever, by Daniel Victor, New York Times

Please don’t expect any of the following to make sense.

But on Sunday night, a photo of an egg, orange and lightly freckled, beat out Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement as the most-liked Instagram post ever.

When Chinese Hackers Declared War On The Rest Of Us, by James Griffiths, MIT Technology Review

GitHub and Tibetans like Lobsang Sither were among the first victims on a new front in China’s war on the internet, launched by a new breed of censor determined to go after the country’s enemies wherever they might be, using whatever means necessary.


Many thought the internet would bring democracy to China. Instead it has empowered government surveillance and control beyond Mao Zedong’s dreams. Now, the censors are turning their attention to the rest of the world.

Bottom of the Page

Little things that annoyed me:
1) The magic keyboard keeps sliding on the table when I am typing
2) Bluetooth devices -- keyboards, earphones -- that take a long time to connect
3) Software bugs
4) Life itself.


Thanks for reading.