My latest Weekly Digest on things that have caught my eye in the last seven days. Ten items, including two films, a brilliant streaming series, a musical drama, two music pointers, a few science items, and a cybersecurity article.
This week’s post has seven items plus one awful film, one good film, and five new music pointers! The music pointers now have both Apple Music and Spotify links.
Now on HEY World. My Weekly Digest with pointers and commentary on things that have caught my eye in the last week. This week’s post has four items plus six new music pointers! An some of those music finds are song of the year contenders 😊
Hot off the press: “Ian Robinson’s Weekly Digest – 26th February 2021”. This week’s issue has 8 items, plus a list of the books I’m currently reading. No new films or music pointers this week! (Apart from two embedded playlists in one item.
I binge-watched Season 2 of Dickinson this week. The finale was released today. Both seasons are so good. It takes the 19th-century source material and imbibes it with 21st-century themes. I realise now that the themes from the 1850s are much the same as today. If you haven’t seen it, then I can highly recommend it. It’s worth the cost of an AppleTV+ subscription on its own. Looking forward to Season 3!
The show inspired me to read some of Emily Dickinson’s poems. I bought a copy of The Folio Society’s Selected Poems last year when watching Season 1 and started reading it this week. I’ve never really been into poetry. And that’s still the case! I’m about a third of the way through the selection in the book. So far only the only one that’s grabbed me is this one about the exultation of going to sea (and other things, no doubt). Still, even if the poems don’t speak to me, they obviously speak to Alena Smith, and they inspired her to create the TV show. And that’s great news for all of us who get to watch.
It also inspired me to buy a Stephen Fry book on how to write poetry. Something that passed me by in school. I can’t recall if that’s my fault or the fault of my school. I suspect the former as my school was excellent.
The music that peppers each episode is fantastic. This article in Rolling Stone discusses how the tracks are chosen. If you are on Apple Music, there is a playlist with the songs from Season 1 and another for Season 2.
In June 2020, as millions of Americans protested against systemic racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd – a killing described by many as a modern lynching – the proposal that some military bases be renamed after someone other than white supremacists prompted a tirade from Trump. He tweeted that they were “Monumental and very Powerful Bases”, “Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations” that “have become part of a Great American Heritage”, a “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom” – in brazen denial of the fact that they had started a war over slavery and lost. Thus for “Winning, Victory, and Freedom”, we must read “losing, defeat, and slavery”, while remembering the importance of the big lie to the Nazi propaganda machine.
In the 2020 presidential election the cult of the leader has also, for the first time in American history, been codified in the official platform of the Republican Party, which promises only to “continue to enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda” regardless of what that agenda might be. The Republicans’ current stated allegiance is not to the United States of America, but only to their own “modern Caesar”: in Trump they trust.
The Guardian reported on proposals to tax over-40’s more to pay for social care in later life. My initial thoughts on this are positive. It seems like a good idea to me. Works in Germany and Japan according to the article. Doesn’t add to burden on younger people, who already have a raw deal with rent and mortgage costs.
Doesn’t look like remote work will end anytime soon in the big tech companies. Google said their staff will be working from home until at least June 2021, as reported by Ars Technica. The same article also outlines long term plans by Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft to extend remote working. Apple followed them this week. As AppleInsider detailed.
This is fabulous. During the lockdown, an amateur woodworker from Belgium built an electric guitar from scratch using a thick wooden shelf he had to hand. This 26-minute video summarises the build. Well worth 26 minutes of your time.
On the topic of spear-phishing: it often uses social engineering techniques to get access to peoples data. Here is a short video that shows how easy it is for scammers to get your info over the phone.
Following the poor Intel results last week, and the announcement of more delays to their 7 nm fabrication process, the company announced some changes in senior roles. One notable one was the appointment of Irish engineer Ann Kelleher to lead the processor division.
We will probably never know how life started on Earth. Deep time and plate tectonics recycling the Earth’s crust will have destroyed the evidence. But it was likely via pre-biotic self-organising chemical reactions. New research summarised in Chemistry World last week shows evidence of some self-replicating molecules showing metabolism. Remarkable stuff.
This is intriguing. Algoriddim djay Pro AI – Neural Mix music app for iPad. It can extract individual vocal, melody or drum tracks from songs. And allow you to mix in different ones from other sones. Using an AI-based algorithm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the DRM protected Apple Music I have. But for non-DRM protected tracks, it is is pretty impressive.
Neotext – a new Sci-Fi fiction publisher launched this week. Their website has both new short stories, and essays about Sci-Fi and concepts from Sci-Fi. This essay by Adam Roberts on how he defines Sci-Fi is excellent.
A New York Times article with inside details of the group that got access to Twitter admin tools and used it to steal valuable and sought after twitter user names to sell. And how one of the group then sent after popular bitcoins companies and then influential Twitter users to scam Bitcoin from people. It looks like 30+ (twitter updated their estimate) of the users also had their Twitter data downloaded. That has everything in it. Not good.
Intel announced this week that they will miss their targets for their next-generation processors. Before that TSMC disclosed that they were moving to risk estimates for their 3nm chip fabrication processes next year, with full production at this smaller scale targeted for 2020. Remarkable! Apple Insider has details. Apple’s iPhone and iPad chips are made by TSMC using Apple’s designs. Mac’s due this year will also use Apple Silicon fabricated by TSMC.
Tim Hartford, who presents the BBC More or Less radio show and podcast, announced that his latest book will be published in September. It is a layperson’s guide to how statistics and other numerical data is used and abused in everyday life. It’s called How To Make The World Add Up! I’ve preordered it on Apple Books!
First, be kind – Your feedback has the power to encourage another person, or shut them down, possibly forever. Excellent advice for everyone. When giving feedback or advice, or even just your opinion. Be nice.
Nebula is a subscription video service for content creators to post educational and information videos without having to worry about ads and the vagaries of the YouTube algorithm. To surface their content. Also, as it’s not YouTube, you won’t be lead by the hand to videos showing the worst of humanity. Only $3 a month. Bargain. I subscribed. They might need to throw more server capacity or network bandwidth at it though. Time will tell, but I’ve had a few buffering issues using it. Issues that I don’t get on YouTube.
WindowSwap opens a random video taken from someone’s window in their house, apartment, or office. The videos are showing what’s happening in that place when the video recording took place. Looks to be recordings rather than live webcams. But still fascinating, and brilliant.
The EU introduced new rules for mediation between businesses and online marketplace providers. The latter include online marketplaces, social media and creative content outlets, app distribution platforms, price comparison websites, professional collaborative platforms, and search engines. In effect in the EU from 12th July. Some interesting stuff, like having to give companies 30 days notice before terminating access to a service. Some are interpreting this as Apple and Google will need to provide 30 days notice before removing apps from their app stores. A summary of the provisions is available here. The full regulations are available in multiple languages and formats here.
Conrad Wolfram has a book and project to try to update the teaching of mathematics to take heed of the fact that computers exist and can be used to enhance the curriculum. Most people in the future will have access to computational power that they can use to do calculations for them. And with knowledge engines like Wolfram Alpha, and AI systems they will often be able to ask questions in plain language. There is a sample lesson for the new maths curriculum they are developing on the Wolfram blog.