Links and Notes

Links and Notes – Week 18, 2020

But first, some housekeeping… I apologise for the lack of recent updates. My RSI returned recently and the spring weather has been so pleasant that I’ve spent almost every sunlit hour in the garden reading, far away from my computer and the internet. But good news for the blog: England’s grey and pleasant clouds have returned. So here I am.

Jack Dorsey’s fight to survive as (part time) Twitter CEO. Vanity Fair.

Twitter is no longer just a technology company. It is used by world leaders to wage war and local governments to warn of shutdowns. It’s used by politicians to announce they are running for office, to declare they are suspending their campaigns, and to endorse other candidates. It’s where news breaks and journalists find sources. Where Trump pulls the levers of chaos and controls what will consume the nightly news or the morning headlines. During the spread of the coronavirus, it has been an invaluable place to share minute-by-minute mortality and epidemiology statistics from around the globe. Over time, Twitter has become less of a social network and more of a public utility. And yet Dorsey insists it does not need a full-time CEO.

A look at the users of /r/DataHoarder who like to archive and hoard often strange digital data. Ars Technica.

During this current COVID-19-induced finanical crisis why is Warren Buffet radio silent? Vanity Fair.

No words of optimism. No high-profile investments in troubled companies that could surely use his endorsement at this difficult time.
As for what he thought Buffett was doing, Ackman said he suspected his mentor was quietly putting his $125 billion in cash to work buying stocks. He was keeping a low profile to make sure the stocks stayed cheap while he is buying. “After he invests that $100 billion and change,” Ackman says, “he’ll let everybody know.”

Ophthalmologist’s are trying to create a contact lense which tracks blood sugar levels. Medical Xpress. “Chemicals on the contact lens bind with glucose and trigger an electrical current change…” Full paper here. I wonder how far away we are from fairly-smart contact lenses? We’ve had smart glasses via Google Glass, but they were just that tad too bulky. Contact lenses would make sense. Though I imagine they’ll never be able to be especially versatile due to the size contraints. I doubt they’ll be able to do much more than a current Apple Watch does.

The manuals for the new Air Force One will cost $84 million. The Hill. Total price estimate: $5.3 billion. Remarkable cost for just one aircraft.

400-year-old English mill is making flour again. Food & Wine. It previously just made flour for its tourists. Thanks to COVID-19 those tourists are gone now, so it’s making flour again full-time.