Best Of the Web: Trending Google Searches Of 2018, Things That Won’t Exist in 25 Years And Optimal Exercise Duration

Facial recognition tech has entered music concerts, China has the largest telescope dish on earth (0.5km wide), a depositary of start-up pitch books and a breakthrough in cancer detection are some of the tech/science stories I feature. On the culture side, I have “Instagram sitters” (!) for when you go away, how K-pop is influencing global fashion and Puma’s dorkiest shoe ever. Then there are lists of best TV shows of the year, strangest facts and Hollywood winners and losers. And there’s much much more so make sure to scroll all the way down. Enjoy. 

Hipster Watch

See what was (Google) trending in 2018 for search: World Cup, Avicii and Mac Miller (American rapper), for people: Meghan Markle, Demi Lovato, for actors: Sylvester Stallone (!), Logan Paul (internet celeb) and Pete Davison (controversial comedian) and for movies: Black Panther, Deadpool 2 and Venom. Also, in the US, most trending “what is”: Bitcoin, racketeering, DACA. And most common “where is” Villanova University (won basketball championship), Croatia (!), Parkland Florida. In the UK, most trending “what is”: bitcoin, GDPR, ibex (question in a gameshow – it’s a wild goat). Most trending “how to”:  watch Fury vs Wilder (boxing match), floss dance and watch champions league final.

The story behind a Montreal church’s ‘Hipster Nativity’ scene It was only a matter of time.

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you  “Enjoy your city trip without digital stress,” Ibis says in a message translated by Google. “Our social media sitter takes care of your Instagram profile so you can explore the city in peace.” Just what I was looking for…

Streaming Isn’t Everything, and Blu-Rays Are Back to Prove It First it was vinyls now it is DVDs. Apparently, there streaming quality is not as high as DVD, there are gaps in what films are offered and some people simply like to hold something real before watching.

Big Brother Ministry

Taylor Swift tracked stalkers with facial recognition tech at her concert “Swift’s facial recognition system was built into a kiosk that displayed highlights of her rehearsals, which would secretly record onlookers’ faces….”

Amazon may want to identify burglars with facial recognition tech A patent application, which was made public, describes how a network of cameras could work together with facial recognition technology to identify people, and respond accordingly. Hmmm

Google personalizes search results even when you’re logged out, new study claims A study, albeit from competitor DuckDuckGo, finds that Google search results can vary significantly

The Hack of 100 Million Quora Users Could Be Even Bigger Than It Sounds Because Quora allows users to sign in with Facebook or Google and it’s possible that personal information from one of those networks also made it into the wrong hands. 

The biggest takeaways from the huge trove of Facebook emails that just leaked Enough to provide fodder for Social Network Part 2

10 worst password offenders of 2018: Do better, Kanye West and Nutella  Kanye West showed that his iPhone passcode was set to “000000” in front of a room full of TV cameras broadcasting around the globe. Another one was that  the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that they were able to guess Pentagon passwords in just nine seconds, and that many weapons systems were protected by default passwords that could be found with a basic Google search.

Denmark’s Tax Agency Targets 2,700 Nationals for Hiding Bitcoin Trades But I can use Bitcoin losses to offset other gains?!

Futures Commission

25 Things that Won’t Exist in 25 Years Includes Zoos, keys, NFL (!), and hand-held smartphones

Deep-learning technique reveals “invisible” objects in the dark Looks like deep neural networks may be used to illuminate transparent features such as biological tissues and cells, in images taken with very little light. Can be used to reduce X-ray exposure for the same quality of image.

Amazon aims to open checkout-free Go stores in office lobbies There is no escape from Amazon

The State of Technology at the End of 2018 A good discussion on the virtuous cycle business model of Google: superior search = more users = more advertisers = more data = more profit etc. Argues that consumer (tech) market is stagnant, enterprise market is thriving and internet era is here to stay (along with the likes of Google – ie it will not be disrupted like Microsoft was in the 2000s).

Science in longform: Favourite feature stories in 2018 Fun to read over the holidays. Includes first experiment to dim the Sun, the rise of traditional Chinese medicine and an internet of animals

China’s place among the stars Nestled amongst the karst mountains of southwestern China lies a gargantuan spherical dish that fills a valley — the world’s single largest radio telescope.

Tech Origin Stories

The Friendship That Made Google Huge Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet.

“When you get that wealthy, you start to buy your own ***{nonsense}”: The Miseducation of Sheryl Sandberg Harvard Business School invented the “leadership” industry—and produced a generation of corporate monsters. No wonder Sandberg, one of the school’s most prominent graduates, lacks a functioning moral compass.

Startup Pitch Decks – Airtable Universe Slightly surreal to see past pitches – and fascinating.

Department Of Self-Development

The Dark Horse Path to Happiness A study on people who follow untraditional paths to a good life (dark horses) finds they share two major themes: they focus on accomplishing the things that matter most to them, and they don’t compare themselves to others or conventional definitions of success.

How I got a promotion, ran a marathon, and saved 20% of my income this year Clearly the writer is an under-achiever, but leaving that aside, her secret seems to be to focus on systems rather outcomes. For example, set up an auto-payment of 20% of your income to a savings account.

How Camille Herron Set a 24-Hour Running Record On her in-race eating/drinking: “I was alternating vanilla and raspberry-flavoured Clif Shot energy gels every 30 minutes. Between that I was sipping sports drinks and soda—but, yes, I also had a beer late in the race.”. Now that’s what I missing!

Department Of Health

One test to diagnose them all: researchers exploit cancers’ unique DNA signature Yet to be tested on humans, but will soon be. The test requires a tiny amount of purified DNA to be mixed with some drops of gold particle solution. By simply observing the colour change, it is possible to identify the cancerous DNA with the naked eye within five minutes.

A new review looks into the optimum exercise intensity, type and duration for boosting moodLooks like between 10min-30min of anaerobic exercise (like weights) is best to boost your mood.

Just How Clean Is That Stethoscope? A new hospital study finds that stethoscopes are laden with a wide range of bacteria. 

Acne study reveals genes for hair follicles are partly to blame That blight from our teenage years could be treated! New study found that many of these genetic variants influenced the formation of hair follicles, making it a significant but previously unknown risk factor in developing acne. This could lead to new treatments.

Corner Of Social Ills

Opioid Nation “The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, up from some 64,000 the previous year and 52,000 the year before that—a staggering increase with no end in sight. Most involved opioids”. Searing account of the epidemic, the ineffectiveness of the current remedies and the bad behaviour of big pharma.

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations “Standing at either end of a platform, one might detect a small square LED panel emitting a pleasant, deep-blue glow. The panel might be dismissed as a bug zapper. But these simple blue panels are designed to save lives. Operating on the theory that exposure to blue light has a calming effect on one’s mood [which helps prevent suicide]”

America’s Epidemic of Empty Churches Religious communities often face a choice: Sell off the buildings they can no longer afford, or find a way to fill them with new uses.

Shocking Maps Show How Humans Have Reshaped Earth Since 1992 Generated from satellite data, the maps track losses and gains of land used for agriculture, forests, urbanization, and more.

Fashion Department

Puma is reissuing the dorkiest shoe ever made A 1986 “computer” trainer is re-issued. It can track your steps!

K-pop’s popularity is starting to shape fashion worldwide Brands like Chrome Hearts and Moschino saw a spike in searches after K-pop stars wore them.

Why the future of luxury fashion is on WhatsApp and WeChat, this start-up believes Millennial-focused Threads Styling allows users to shop what they see on social media – via chat

Founder of chat commerce start-up says the two most important things for a millennial are curation and convenience

Why Puffer Jackets Are at the Centre of Korea’s Class Divide Another Korea fashion article – apparently the choice of puffer jacket determines where you stand in the social pecking order.

Entertainment Section

The 20 best TV series of 2018 Includes The Good Fight, Atlanta and Pose 

The 9 biggest Hollywood winners of 2018 and 5 losers who wish this year never happened Disney and Marvel Studios topped the box office this year, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson proved that he’s the biggest movie star in the world. Meanwhile, Claire Foy (of “The Crown”) starred in three box-office bombs, and Kevin Hart butchered his chance at being Oscars host.

The Winners of the Information Is Beautiful Awards for 2018 A deserving winner in the “Most Beautiful” category was an awesome animated view of US immigration’s “tree rings”

A List of Weird Facts Includes:” From the time it was discovered until now, Pluto hasn’t completed a single orbit. And it won’t for another 160 years.”, “Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were college roommates” and “Male giraffes will headbutt female giraffes in the bladder in order to make them pee, so that they can smell their urine and determine if the females are in heat.”

The Best Sad Movies On Netflix Right Now Feel like crying? Then watch “Revolutionary Road”, “Cinema Paradiso” and “Blue Valentine” amongst others.

Here are our writers’ picks for the best video games of 2018 I’m not into video games, but on case you are, the game of the year is Red Dead Redemption 2. .It’s for: “action-adventurists who enjoy western themes, detailed open worlds, and a moving story.”


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