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πŸ”₯ Human face of technology #12

American technological corporations vs. Europe; plastics out of sugar; the history of iPhone; city bikes; the life of ISIS terrorists; the USA withdraw from the Paris climate pact; marijuana can reverse brain ageing.

TECH

πŸ₯‘ Amazon acquired Whole Foods, one of the biggest quality-food store chains in the US. It's a really interesting market – on the one hand, food stores deal in essential commodities, but, on the other hand, consumers find those commodities really significant. Beyond acquiring a solid distribution channel and access to consumers, suppliers and sales outlets in great locations, by buying out this great brand, Amazon solved the problem of: "Do I really want Amazon to pick out my avocado?".

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Massive global online services have become a political issue. American Internet corporations dominate the media market, influence election outcomes, process vast amounts of data about citizens, collaborate with governments, and raise profound concerns in Europe. How is Europe going to react?

πŸ˜† The never-ending battle between the enthusiasts of using tabs for indentation and their space-utilising peers has been one of the most heated conflicts in the history of programming. StackOverflow carried out a study whose results indicate that space-indenting programmers earn more.

🍏 Scott Forstall – the man responsible for the earliest versions of iOS – told the story of how Apple made iPhone and how he found working with Steve Jobs. A great interview from Computer History Museum.

🚲  The Chinese company, Mobike, that runs dockless city-bike services is about to launch its services in European cities. I believe that this business model is the perfect model for city bikes – docking stations create unnecessary friction between the consumer and the bike. No docking stations mean that the cities will face a new problem – lots of bikes scattered around. It is a problem they will need to deal with just like they deal with illegally parked cars.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬ University of Bath's researchers have created biodegradable plastics from sugar and carbon dioxide. It is yet another step to curbing the crude oil extraction levels.

πŸ”‹ China invests heavily in Li-Ion batteries. They want to remain the market leader and plan on expanding the manufacturing capacities of their factories to 120 GWh a year by 2021. Just for the sake of comparison, Tesla's Gigafactory's capacity is 35 GWh a year. Cheap electric cars are coming.

πŸ“± The mobile Internet is still growing rapidly. The recent estimates say that we have reached more than 4 billion mobile Internet subscriptions globally.The number is set to double by the end of 2021. In comparison, there are only one billion fixed-line Internet subscribers around the world. Within the mobile market, the Middle East and Africa are bound to witness the biggest growths.

🍎 June saw Apple's latest WWDC, where the company unveiled a lot of new things: new computers, a new iPad, and the Siri-powered HomePod. What I found the most interesting, though, is ARKit – a set of tools that will enable developers to create AR-powered apps. Even before the official release of iOS 11, developers have shown that the results of using ARKit can be exciting.

SOCIETY

πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί The European Union has abolished roaming charges across Europe – great news for summer!

☠️ KickassTorrents' founder, Artem Vaulin, spent some time in a Polish jail. When on his way to Iceland with his family, Vaulin was detained during a stopover in Warsaw.

πŸŒ€ Germany is considering linking EU-fund payments to respecting the rule of law. Germany wants the EU to be able to freeze funds if a country does not respect EU agreements.

πŸ”₯ President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement. The leaders of the biggest technological and financial corporations have opposed this decision. The Agreement was signed by 197 countries. Climate change does not only mean that seaside towns will be under threat – it also means mass migrations from the South to the North. Some places in Iran and Pakistan have already seen temperatures go well over the 50-degrees-centigrade mark, and the average temperatures grow every year. Poor access to drinking water is said to have been one of the causes of the Syrian civil war.

πŸ€  Marijuana has the potential to reverse brain ageing. In the experiments of Bonn and Jerusalem-based scientists, old mice would exhibit increased brain vitality if administered small doses of THC (marijuana's active compound).

CULTURE

🌎 The New York Times ran an investigation on how one piece of fake news spread from a Russian parody website to Fox News in seven days.

πŸ–Ό Samsung is now selling TVs that look like paintings. Beautiful.

πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™€οΈ Russian spies create fake profiles of attractive women on Facebookand send friend invites to American soldiers. Then they patiently wait until a soldier reveals some classified information. This method is so simple, yet so effective.

😯 Meditation can cause anxiety, involuntary twitching, insomnia, a sense of detachment from reality, hypersensitivity to light and sound, and compulsive revisiting of childhood traumas.

πŸ“Έ Based on the personal photos found on smartphones and some other documents, BBC journalists recreated the lives of the three terrorists whose bodies were found on the river Tigris.

PIC

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