Weekly update 14

Jul 05, 2020
Apple and Facebook - stratechery:

Facebook, though, has a vulnerability: Apple.

Another vulnerability of FB ads business is the fact that it builds on social network, who depends on user engagement. Social network is also a field with ever-increasing new players with better ways to engage users: Snap, TikTok, Fortnite, and all the live streaming sites, etc. However user engagement is a finite resource so older platforms are bound to be bite off more and more chunks of users by newer ones. FB might be able to acquire its way through the moment, it might never be as lucky as buying another Instagram.

HK national security law; Population control in Xinjiang; India bans TikTok and other PRC apps - sinocism:

India can force app stores like Google and Apple to remove the apps, and I believe it can block connections from apps already installed. This is painfully ironic for the PRC companies, which have so benefited from the PRC’s Great Firewall and the banning of major foreign apps.

No damage would be severe enough to make the companies or the gov realize what they have done by blocking apps and sites. If anything they prob believe it’s the right thing to do otherwise people in China would have been brainwashed and ruined by western force. We grew up in learning that Qing dynasty collapsed in opium war because it “shut the door and only care about itself” (闭门造车); meanwhile, we are doing exactly that and feel pretty good about ourselves.

Banks Are Managing Their Stress - bloomberg:

The problem is that the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 14.7% in April, and was 13.3% in May. The stress test’s catastrophic scenario—which the Fed announced on Feb. 6, a week or so before the coronavirus pandemic started crashing U.S. markets, oops—was significantly less catastrophic than reality.

To this day it’s still mind blowing to learn that the pandemic dealt such a huge damage to US, like no one saw it coming - despite the fact it almost destroyed a major city of China, and caused the largest quarantine in size ever in human history nearly 2 months before.

Hong Kong National Security Law is in effect; CCP turns 99; Gaokao - sinocism:

The Hong Kong National Security law has been promulgated and is now in effect.

NSL happened so fast with such determined attitude. Don’t think people in mainland or hk realized how big and profound the changes can be in many aspects because of this.

The India-China Trade Imbalance - thesoundingline:

…While the volume of trade between India and China is small compared to trade between China and the US (the US imported $450 billion from China and exported it $106 billion in 2019), the relative trade imbalance is nearly identical. China exports roughly 4.5 times more to both the US and India than it imports from either. It should serve as a stark reminder that labor costs, which are far lower in India than China, really aren’t the driver of trade imbalances. Economic policy, trade deals, and industrial capacity are.

India really doesn’t have any significant leverage against China. Banning apps hurt Chinese companies and even Indians, but not the Chinese gov. It might have to rely on “the enemy of enemy” aka US, UK, etc.

India-China dispute aside, we can kiss goodbye to the claim that India is the “new China”. The cheap but efficient labor is China-exclusive. The gov basically turns the entire (poor) population into a giant assembly line. Everybody is trained to do repetitive factory work, earning more than farming, which is their old job. Another happy byproduct of factory work is the horrible mind-numbing effort it does to factory workers, making the job of “stabilizing” them quite easy. Chinese gov likes to denounce western capitalism for its “selfishly ruthless pursuit of profit”. That is just child’s play in front of this masterpiece.

晚報:港人七一「遊行」,截至五時半有七人涉違「港區國安法」被捕 - theinitium:


Rest is history.

Chaining iOS Machine Learning, Computer Vision, and Augmented Reality to Make the Magical Real - codeascraft:

Read on to learn how we made this possible using aspects of machine learning and computer vision to present the best version of Etsy sellers’ artwork in augmented reality. It didn’t even require a PhD.-level education or an expensive 3rd party vendor – we did it all with tools provided by iOS.

Implementing all these features without really writing ML models. The benefit of blackbox-like ML tools can be huge if one really understands the problem.

Hong Kong; Party turns 99; Xinjiang sanctions coming? - sinocism:

It is one thing for people who grew up in mainland China and understand from a young age what the political limits are. It is another to overnight be encased in the PRC authoritarian bubble.

Exactly. Regardless if NSL is correct or not, to execute it like this just gonna lead to inevitable clash of two different types of minds, and put HKers to suffer.

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