Best Of the Web: Apps That CEOs Use, Hair Restoration, Attention Economy Is Dead

Great selection of free articles this week. On the work front, bring Maria Kondo to your work space, weaponising your email, and what personality traits do CEOs have that others don’t (not what you expect). Health-wise a sobering article on the efficacy of anti-depressants, some myths exploded on healthy skin and are you self-actualised ?(take the quiz). A bunch of tech stories especially on the challenges big tech is facing (taxes, privacy), the latest developments in transport (car subscription models, e-scooters) and China’s massive new power grid. On the lighter side, free site to colourise your photos, what happened to man caves, the winners of Apple’s photo contest and the top celebrity podcasts. Enjoy.

Office Productivity

When a vest is more than a vest A viral Instagram account satirizes the fashion sense of finance bros, but reveals how we conceive of the professional class [the Instagram account is very funny]

Marie Kondo at Work: Can Your Office ‘Spark Joy’? At work, similar benefits [of the KonMari method) can be gained with a tidy space. “A cluttered desk is a time suck. It forces our brain to constantly re-assess what we need to do,”

Strategic decisions: behavioral diferences between CEOs and others Study where CEOs and other managers played different games found that CEOs “ cooperate more, play less hawkish and thereby earn much more than the control group”

How I’ve Made Email my Secret Weapon Good tips on how to use email better

Organizational methods of Stephen Wolfram  Founder of tech company that uses remote workers gives his working tips. Article is long, but some good bits in there on his desk set-up, use of screen sharing (rather video calls), using plastic envelopes to carry travel adapters and his filing system.

Close to half of startups jump on the AI bandwagon without the tech AI is a buzzword of choice and many new companies are simply cashing in on investor interest.

App Store

Microsoft Excel will now let you snap a picture of a spreadsheet and import it This is cool: “Microsoft is adding a very useful feature to its Excel mobile apps for iOS and Android. It allows Excel users to take a photo of a printed data table and convert it into a fully editable table in the app. This feature is rolling out initially in the Android Excel app, before making its way to iOS soon. “ Uses AI to Colorize B&W Photos It’s free and it works! (I tried it)

The best iPhone apps we’ve used in 2019 Photo app “nception” app looks cool (like the movie, Inception)

16 apps and tools that help CEOs stay productive and successful One CEO says “I use an app called Ananda to tune everything out—it uses binaural beats and tones to induce brain waves and help me zone in and focus.”

Department Of Self-Development

The Effects of Being Time Poor and Time Rich on Life Satisfaction Academic study finds that too little and too much free time could harm life satisfaction: “An overabundance of discretionary hours undermines people’s sense of productivity and purpose, leaving them less satisfied overall.”

Do you have a self-actualised personality? Maslow revisited Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has safety at the bottom of the pyramid and self-actualisation at the top. An academic has now created a test to assess where you stand. I took it and scored most highly on purpose, creative spirit and efficient perception of reality as my sources of self-actualisation.

These Are The Pre-match Emotional Control Strategies That Higher-ranked Table Tennis Players Use More Than Lower-ranked Players  Higher-ranked players more often calmed their pre-match nerves by: using physical preparation (e.g. swinging their arms and getting warmed up); using positive self-talk (e.g. telling themselves they will win); planning (e.g. thinking about their tactics); and by suppressing their negative emotions and deliberately giving off an impression of supreme confidence.

Your Romantic Partner Is Probably Less Intelligent Than You Think, Suggests New Study no comment

Department Of Health

Scientists Detect ‘Shocking’ Drop in Male Fertility, And It’s Linked Back to Our Homes there has been a 50 percent global reduction in sperm quality…[the]  sperm quality had also taken a plummet in domestic dogs…The team identified two human-made chemicals, commonly found in homes and diets, that had the same adverse effects on both human sperm and dog sperm…One was the common plasticiser DEHP, which is commonly found in carpets, flooring, clothes and toys….The other is polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PB153), which belongs to a group of industrial chemicals.  

Do antidepressants work? Sobering essay that suggests studies are not convincing on anti-depressants. Argues that the placebo effect is stronger than the Prozac effect. At the same time “If you are already taking antidepressants, you might decide to stop, but I urge caution. We have little reliable evidence about coming off antidepressants, though there is evidence that people can suffer from withdrawal.”

Decade-Long Study of Over 650,000 Children Still Finds No Link Between MMR And Autism Zero signs of any link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.  It all adds up to one of the largest studies to date investigating allegations that vaccines could be responsible for the development of ASD.

Doctors Say They’ve Permanently Cured a Patient’s HIV “These new findings reaffirm our belief that there exists a proof of concept that H.I.V. is curable.” Also read A third patient is now reportedly cured of HIV [Amazing!]

Face and Body Shop

The science of male and female hair restoration – how to protect, enhance, and restore the appearance and health of the hair and scalp I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but it sounds interesting. The podcast is Peter Attia’s , who interviews Alan Baumon (the hair specialist), and is very credible in his interviews and guests.

Seven myths and truths about healthy skin includes “the amount of water you drink does not directly affect your skin.”, “eating a high fat diet is unhealthy for many reasons, but it doesn’t cause acne” and “several skin conditions have been shown in scientific studies (see below), to be worsened by life events, possibly via stress hormones including cortisol”

What Happens When a Plastic Surgery Trend Dies? The collective attention span of the aesthetically minded is at an all-time low, and it’s all Instagram’s fault. [frightening]

7 Exercises to Stretch and Strengthen your Calf Muscles “Your calf muscles are most likely a little weak and really tight. Here are our favorite stretches and exercises to take care of them.”

Your City Is Full of Ways to Get an Incidental Workout The next time you run for the bus only to watch it pull away, don’t despair. Take a moment to catch your breath and look on the bright side: At least you snuck in a quick HIIT workout.

Money Worries

America’s Professional Elite: Wealthy, Successful and Miserable The upper echelon is hoarding money and privilege to a degree not seen in decades. But that doesn’t make them happy at work.

Children, Unhappiness and Family Finances: Evidence from One Million Europeans “Children then raise happiness as long as they do not lead to difficulties in paying the bills. Even so, not all children are equally correlated with parental life satisfaction. We first find that child age matters. In particular, younger children (those aged up to ten) appear to make parents happier, but the presence of young teenagers less so….Having children raises the happiness of married people compared to those who have no kids. The married and those who live together, whether or not they had children, are everywhere significantly happier than those in the other categories with or without children.”

Everything About Finance Distilled Into A Short List includes “spend less than you earn”, “take free money when offered: company, government, etc.”, “Know what you own, i.e. avoid complex investments”

A Harvard professor says most of us overlook a simple way to be happier because it costs money “Exchanging money for more free time can make us happier. Specifically, using money to buy ourselves out of negative experience  like washing and folding laundry or cleaning house.”

This $12.5 Million Bugatti Is the Most Expensive New Car Ever  Bugatti is only making one of them

At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever Zuckerberg was 23 when he made his first billion. Jenner makes it from her Cosmetics line.

Global Traveller

2019’s Most Sinful States in America Unsurprisingly Nevada is #1

History of Singapore in ten dishes. Includes  Laksa, Kaya Toast and Fish-Head Curry [Yum]

The 33 Best Trips of 2019 Colombia comes out on top [article more geared to US travellers]

Say goodbye to the MetroCard and hello to OMNY The MTA announced this week that the long-awaited contactless pay system that’s set to replace the MetroCard will be integrated into the system beginning this spring.

Best cherry blossom events in Tokyo From TimeOut: “Get your sakura fix at these cherry blossom-themed events and food promotions around the capital”

This map shows where Londoners are moving to The percentage of tenants who moved house within the same postcode area is represented by the red circles, while the thicker and thinner black arrows map out the two most popular moves from that area to other areas…. Not only did south-east London have the highest proportion of people staying in the area when they moved, it was also a destination for renters leaving pretty much everywhere else (even NW, on the other side of the city). Naturally, it’s also the capital’s cheapest postcode area.

Department Of FANGS

YouTube is heading for its Cambridge Analytica moment Several major advertisers suspended their YouTube campaigns after a report that pedophiles have latched onto videos of young children.

Counter-histories of the Internet “Joy Lisi Rankin’s book positions itself as a corrective to what she calls “Silicon Valley mythology,” …Her subjects are, instead, “the students and educators who built and used academic computing networks, then known as time-sharing systems, during the 1960s and 1970s.” Around their stories, Rankin “develop[s] a history of the digital age that emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and community”

Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information You’ve probably never heard of many of the data firms registered under a new law, but they’ve heard a lot about you. A list, and tips for opting out [see picture at bottom of email to get worried. Thankfully the article also describes how to protect your data)

The attention economy is dead The problem is attention doesn’t scale. There is only so much time in the day to be advertised to; ads themselves are becoming less effective, because they’re now everywhere.. But Fortnite might have the answer…Fortnite is, above everything else, a place to hang out with your friends.

“Men Are Scum”: Inside Facebook’s War on Hate Speech The company blew it on privacy and fake news. Can it do better against trolls and racists? An exclusive embed with Facebook’s shadow government.Also can be read with  The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America  [fascinating reads]

Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook’s future is private messaging “I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms,” Zuckerberg wrote Wednesday. [An apparent pivot, FB does own Whatsapp]

France targets Google, Amazon and Facebook with 3% digital tax The French government introduced a digital tax on Wednesday aimed at internet companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. The 3 percent tax will apply to the French revenues of big tech companies. An EU-backed effort to pass a 3 percent tax on the revenues of internet companies failed last year.

Department Of Transport

Hainan to ban petrol auto sales by 2030 Chinese island between HK and Vietnam with population of 9million. We’ll hear more of this type of news from all over the world.

All about that bass: carmakers seek electric car sounds for post-petrol era Makes sense, I have an electric car (Mercedes B-Class), and pedestrians can’t hear it!

Subscribe, Then Drive Volvo is the latest automaker trying to convince Americans not to buy a car.

Google Maps adds Lime bike and scooter feature to more cities globally Adds to the trend of micro-mobility (scooters, ebikes, pedal bikes) in cities

Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle has a sleek new rival that has a 200-mile range and can track everything about your rides online Harley-Davidson, the legendary American biker brand, already has plans to launch its first electric product this year (and has two other concepts in the pipeline). Other companies, like Wing, Alta and more also have models hitting the market.Now, there’s a new entrant to the race: Zero.

Electric Scooters: The Unit Economics May Spell Trouble Great article on the economics of e-scooters. 

Futures Commission

China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid A massive expansion leads to the first ultrahigh-voltage AC-DC power grid

Three Swiss Firms Complete ‘First’ $3 Mln Real Estate Transaction on Blockchain The property was also tokenised. 

The Rise of the Mega-University While some so-called mega-universities have physical campuses, they’ve focused intensely on building online programs. They’ve emphasized recruiting working adults over fresh high-school graduates.

The web just took a big step toward a password-free future WebAuthn is here to kill the password.  WebAuthn is an API that allows websites to communicate with a security device to let a user log into their service. This security device can range from a FIDO security key that you simply plug into a USB port on your computer to a more complex biometric device that allows for an additional level of verification.

Lift-off soon for China’s space station mission China has announced the imminent launch of a mission that will start the process of building a space station by 2022

Scary Corner

The Kalashnikov assault rifle changed the world. Now there’s a Kalashnikov kamikaze drone. “The Kalashnikov drone — officially named the KUB-UAV — will like [the AK47]  be simple to operate, effective and cheap … it can be guided to explode on a target 40 miles away — the equivalent of a “small, slow and presumably inexpensive cruise missile,”” [nice to know]

China develops weapon system based on microwave radar tech It works “by shooting millimeter microwaves at targets, which can cause the pain nerve under the skin to ache in a bid to effectively halt the objective’s violent actions and disperse targets”

If a nuclear bomb explodes nearby, here’s why you should never, ever get in a car Nuclear blasts create fallout, which can harm you with large doses of radiation.Cars offer little protection from fallout. A surer way to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion is to go indoors, stay put, and listen to the radio.[one for the paranoid]

What’s the Worst Trash Humans Produce? Range of experts give their opinions “We’re spoilt for choice, in trying to work out what our most dangerous trash is. The millions of tons of plastics that are circulating through the oceans…The pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants still being poured across landscapes, and that are prime suspect in the crash of insect populations worldwide? …”

Ministry Of Distractions

Octopus And Squid Evolution Is Officially Weirder Than We Could Have Ever Imagined They edit their own genes!

The Special Curse of Living on Instagram’s Favorite Street Instagrammers love the colorful homes on Paris’s Rue Crémieux. Frustrated residents want to install gates to lock them out.

The rise and fall of the man cave “Post-recession, the man cave took a turn for the worse. News coverage was no longer of average homes and average men, but weirdos with 7,600-square-foot houses and $150,000 worth of vintage car memorabilia, guns, and restored gas pumps….In 2012, a year after HomeGoods trademarked the term “mom cave,””

A comprehensive (and honest) list of UX [user experience/design] clichés Funny. For example: “You are not your user” (A reminder that you are not designing the product for people like yourself. Often used as a way to encourage more user research in a project.) “If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they would have told him faster horses” (Used as a counter-argument to the previous statement, when you start to realize you won’t have time or money to do enough user research.)

Apple Photo Contest Winners Some great shots

Department Of Entertainment

The First “Game Of Thrones” Season 8 Trailer Is Officially Here I watched the 15 minutes of the first episode and thought this was more for teenage boys. But I do hear good things about the show, so for those readers, your chance to watch the trailer.

10 Cult Sci-Fi Movies About Environmental Revenge 2006 film Last Winter comes out on top. Never heard of it. I checked and its 76% on Rotten Tomatoes

Top 30 celebrity podcasts everyone should tune in to Includes ones by Alec Baldwin, Lena Durnham and Shaq

Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction Here, on the internet, is a nowhere space, a shallow time. It is a flat and impenetrable surface. But with a book, we dive in; we are sucked in; we are immersed, body and soul. 

The Best Historical Fiction Novels Includes Kaye’s “The Far Pavillion”, de Bernieres “Captain Correlli’s Mandolin” [don’t let the Nicholas Cage movie put you off!] and Mantel’s “A Place of Greater Safety”

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