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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #346
Optimism is back
my story 🚀
i’ve been thinking 💭
There’s a lot of cause for technology optimism this week! In addition to several exciting links below, be sure to watch this video demo video of Humane’s AI Pin. I’m not sure I’m lining up to buy v1 (like I did for the first iPhone), but I’m certainly looking forward to taking it for a test drive.
Please leave a comment to share your favorite optimistic vision for the future, near or far. Links are also appreciated!
Also, a quick PSA from a techno-realist subscriber who leads a large IT organization: Beware of Quishing. Not all QR codes are safe QR codes.
fun facts 🙌
Bangladesh strikes a blow against lead poisoning. Turmeric adulterated with lead chromate has a brighter-looking gold hue that consumers equate with higher quality. Unfortunately, the extra lead causes lead poisoning that harms children and adults. Bangladesh sprang into action a couple years ago. “In less than two years, the share of turmeric samples in Bangladeshi markets that contained detectable lead fell from 47% to 0%. This elimination of lead adulteration had a near-immediate public-health impact.” ~ learn more
Recruiting neurodiverse applicants. “As corporations and organizations have become more aware of the value that neurodiverse individuals can add, they’ve devised new and inspired programs to help them get and stay hired. The resulting trend is already benefitting not only neurodiverse workers, but all employees with disabilities, and improving company culture in the process.” ~ learn more
Hacking flight credit expiration dates. Thank you, good people of the internet. “Hey everyone, I asked a while back if there was a good way to extend flight credits past the “begin travel by” date, and I think I did it, so I want to share and get some feedback from other people who have tried.” ~ learn more
oh, austin 🤠
The billion dollar bike plan. “One of the things that makes Austin special is the communal spaces where people can safely and enjoyably exist outdoors. Barton Springs & Zilker Park are community treasures; no wonder people are so sensitive about them. We must build upon this by not only creating more parks and other public spaces, but more livable, enjoyable streets and a system of trails that offer scenic ways to navigate the city by foot or bike. Don't we want that for our kids?” ~ learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Bill Gates is hot on AI agents. “Agents are not only going to change how everyone interacts with computers. They’re also going to upend the software industry, bringing about the biggest revolution in computing since we went from typing commands to tapping on icons.” ~ learn more
Millions of GPTs coming your way. You’ve tried ChatGPT, and it’s impressive. You might even have bookmarked a site that helps you pick great prompts. OpenAI’s latest announcement paves the path for an entire app store of custom GPTs with unique customization and knowledge. This is, of course, just a stepping stone on the path to an even more dramatic shift in computing. ~ learn more
Could Cruise be the Theranos of AI? I was about to take my first driverless ride when I learned that they shut down the srevice nationwide. Gary Marcus, a prominent and well-reasoned AI critic, asks what’s up? “Cruise may or may not turn out to be the same kind of story, with the same kind of collateral damage. With a very important asterisk I am about to explain, if Cruise’s vehicles really need an intervention every few miles, and 1.5 external operators for every vehicle, they don’t seem to even be remotely close to what they have been alleging to the public.” ~ learn more
better doing 🎯
The trust battery. Shopify founder Tobi Lütke offers this analogy for interpersonal relationships (and more) in his interview with Shane Parish. “If people meet each other, especially in a curated context like a company, like both of us start working here, and we both got hired, so we both ran through the gauntlet of how to be hired here, so that means we probably will trust each other, let’s say, 50% right off the bat. Then we have these interactions, we have a meeting like the one we just talked about, the combatant idea, or we just talk about an idea, we come up with something even better, we work well together. This slowly charges, right?” ~ learn more
to your health ⚕
Amazon’s new lower priced health care offering. “The current list price for a One Medical membership is $199, which gets a person access to unlimited 24/7 virtual visits. The new Prime benefit is around half off with One Medical memberships for $99 a year or $9 a month for the primary user – additional family members are $66 extra each per year or $6 per month.” ~ learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Inflammation drives social media use. “It seems that inflammation not only increases social media use, but our results show preliminary evidence that it’s also associated with using social media to specifically interact with other users, like direct messaging and posting to people’s pages. Interestingly, inflammation did not lead people to use social media for other purposes—for example, entertainment purposes like watching funny videos,” says David Lee, PhD, an assistant professor of communication in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, and the study’s first author.” ~ learn more
For the first time, the Y chromosome has been fully sequenced. “Large portions of the Y chromosome have long been inaccessible to scientists, namely on account of what’s known as satellite DNA, stretches of short sequences of nucleotides repeated over and over again. On top of that, the chromosome also contains many palindromes, sequences of different nucleic acids that are the same forward and backward, like the words “kayak” and “civic.” These, too, were once challenging to decode.” ~ learn more
A critical first step to regenerating teeth. “As detailed in a new paper published in the journal Developmental Cell, the researchers created organoids, which are three-dimensional scaffolds of stem cells that mimic the functions of organs, to secrete proteins that eventually turn into dental enamel, the hard material that protects teeth from decay or damage.” ~ learn more
big ideas 📚
Tech is going to get much bigger. Packy McCormack argues that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. “What happens when energy, intelligence, and labor get cheap?” ~ learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
dNFTs are non-fungible and dynamic. Remember that there are a ton of developers still pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with blockchain technology. “Imagine if every Tesla was tokenized as a dNFT with real-time metadata updates showing its service record, mileage, accident history, market value, and more.” ~ learn more
profiles of people 🚶
Peter Thiel is taking a break from democracy. This reporter from The Atlantic had rare access to Thiel. Why? “He wanted me to publish a promise he was going to make, so that he would not be tempted to go back on his word. And what was that thing he needed to say, loudly? That he wouldn’t be giving money to any politician, including Donald Trump, in the next presidential campaign.” ~ learn more
Bridgewater had believability issues. One of the funniest finance columnists of our age, Matt Levine, explains Bridgewater through the lens of Rob Copeland’s new book The Fund. “Copeland’s thesis is essentially that the “radical transparency” stuff is fake and Bridgewater is a pure cult of personality around Dalio, that all of the scorecards and iPad apps were just overcomplicated ways to measure who agreed with Dalio the most.” ~ learn more