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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #174

July 26 · Issue #174 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its fourth year!

my story 🚀
📚 Looking for a new book to read this summer? Here are a few that I’ve enjoyed:
-Or if you’re in the mood for fiction: Delta-V
🗺 We’re thinking about leaving Chicago for the winter in search of warmer weather and outdoor activities. We’re open to suggestions on which U.S. city to consider. Please send you ideas!
someone else's words 💬
fun facts 🙌
Do you like 1990s computer interfaces? “If you are a fan of websites, web apps and portfolios which resemble desktop graphical user interfaces here is a curated list.” Try the random button on top. | learn more
Thousands of company origin stories. There’s a lot of history here! One fun one I pulled out: “1933: After an attempt to sell lighters imported from Austria fails, Blaisdell designs his own lighter, which he christens the "Zippo,” and begins manufacturing in Bradford, Pennsylvania.“ | learn more
Unexpectedly eponymous. Things unexpectedly named after people. One was very unexpected: Taco Bell! | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Read fun texts between Mayor Lightfoot and police union boss. They don’t seem to like one another. | learn more
The FBI’s interest in a Chinatown parking lot. House Speaker Mike Madigan seems to be at the center of yet another investigation, in addition to the ongoing ComEd patronage scandal. This one is thin on details, but entertaining because most visitors to Chinatown have parked in this particular lot. | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
The Slack social network. First came Slack, taking the world of chat software by storm. Then came Microsoft Teams, drawing some competitive ribbing from Slack in a full page ad in the NY Times. Then within a few years, Teams’ adoption overtook Slack’s by a wide margin. Ben Thompson from Stratechery describes how Slack plans to shift the battlefield with Slack Connect. “While Microsoft is busy building an operating system in the cloud, Slack has decided to build the enterprise social network.” | learn more
Garmin global outage caused by ransomware attack. Earlier this year I published a primer on ransomware. Garmin, famous for their GPS navigation devices, has been under attack since Wednesday. It’s taken down all their services as well as their contact center. Reading between the lines, a key challenge seems to be the attacker’s presence on the US Sanctions list, making it very illegal to pay them a ransom. | learn more
The new standard in AI language. “GPT-3, which stands for “Gaussian Process Tracking 3,” is a language processing model – or a text generator – based on Artificial Intelligence. It can predict the next word in a sentence if it is given a few words. This is a model with 175 billion parameters. To give context, its predecessor GPT-2, released in February 2019, used 1.5 billion parameters.“ Here’s an example of someone giving it the Turing test. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Invert, always invert. A short blog post with some examples of Jacobi’s maxim in action. | learn more
Why OKRs don’t work for some companies. “After many years of being a very vocal advocate for the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) technique, in the majority of companies I meet, I have stopped recommending the practice.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
NIH starting a ‘flurry’ of large studies of Covid-19 treatments. So far there are only two medicines shown to work effectively: “In clinical trials, Gilead’s remdesivir reduced the time it took patients to recover; dexamethasone, a steroid, prolonged survival in the sickest patients in a study conducted in the U.K.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Meet the company that sells your lost airplane luggage. “If you’ve ever permanently lost a checked bag, your stuff probably ended up for sale at a store in Scottsboro, Alabama.” | learn more
14 things to know about Illinois’ cannabis industry. “Illinois does not behave like any other recreational-legal state. Here’s fourteen things to know so you better understand why.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
MIT nanoparticles tag proteins to reveal disease via the breath. This is from the same lab that managed to create urine tests for lung cancer. Amazon stuff in the pipeline of science! | learn more
There’s electrical signaling between tomato plants. “The soil beneath our feet is alive with electrical signals being sent from one plant to another, according to research…” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
How both Alinea and Tock are thriving through the pandemic. This is from late May. Founder of both, Nick Kokonas, “explains his businesses’ pivots on Eater’s Digest.” | learn more
KFC teaming up to develop lab-grown chicken nuggets. Two things caught my eye here. First, this is led by KFC Russia, which is entertaining. Second, they used the term “crafted meat products”, which I hadn’t heard before. I suspect there’s a consumer challenge with something called “lab grown meat” so this is certainly a step in the right branding direction. | learn more
big ideas 📚
Matt Ridley and Naval Ravikant talk about innovation. Read on if this seems interesting: “innovation is the child of freedom and the parent of prosperity.” Available as a podcast and a transcript. | part 1 and part 2
Moneyness: dictionary money. A short article with a high concentration of new-to-me knowledge. “Nick Rowe points out that if a central bank wants to control the economy’s price level, it needn’t issue any actual money—it can just edit the dictionary every morning, announcing the meaning of the word "dollar” or “yen” or “pound” to the public. To a modern ear … the idea of conducting monetary policy by simply editing the meaning of a word seems odd. But I’ve got news for you: starting from Caesar’s time and extending into the 1700s, the sort of dictionary money that Nick describes has been the dominant form of money in the West.“ | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Venturing deeper into the crypto DeFi idea maze. Though this post is a big haphazard, it offers some interesting ideas on Open Finance (DeFi) and what the author calls Open Law. | learn more
calls to action 👇
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