David Smooke

@DavidSmooke

Where Tech Meets Geopolitics

Hello Beautiful Reader,

“Most hackers are young because young people tend to be adaptable. As long as you remain adaptable, you can always be a good hacker,” wrote Emmanuel Goldstein in Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600. Adaptability is a function of knowledge acquisition; as you read more top tech perspectives, you’ll form your own new perspectives about technology. We have some stories today that just may change your perspective on the technology industry.

I have a couple of company initiatives to share, and then we’ll jump into the top ten tech stories of the week. So if you’re a purist for the story itself, take a sip of coffee and scroll down to our top stories. As a reminder, you can always find a story in our January archives, where we order stories by most read of the day.

Want to write an open letter to the leaders of tech?

Voices change industries. When one of our contributing writers forwarded me an email from Elon Musk, saying he appreciated the thoughtful analysis of his Hacker Noon story, I thought, maybe this is an activity we can encourage... Open Letters are a way to scale this activity. Providing distribution to unheralded voices has been part of DNA since day 1. We want to get well-written and persuasive open letters in front of the eyes of many — including the person they’re addressed to. We’ve built a page to house these letters, Open Letters to The Titans of Tech, and will be giving distribution priority to high quality open letters. Please email a draft of your Open Letter to a Titan of Tech to Stories@AMiPublications.com.

Nominate someone to be interviewed for a Hacker Noon story?

I published a couple of interviews this week: From Building Crypto’s Most Popular Wallet to Starting a Crypto Hedge Fund w/ Linda Xie & Building Great Products with Manifold w/ Peter Cho. DM me, if interested in nomiting someone to be interviewed. The latter story is a part of our weekly sponsorship package. I have been working hard to scale this publication. It’s sad to see quality destinations, like The Awl, go under. RIP. If the story quality is priority #1, generating revenue is priority #1a. Consider becoming a weekly sponsor. You’ll get millions of quality brand impressions, thousands of great website visitors… and you’ll get to work with me 😜

Top Ten Tech Stories of The Week

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: Extortion, Police Raids and Secrecy: Inside The Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining World by Pirate Beachbum. This is by far the best thing I’ve read this week. Mining Bitcoin is increasingly becoming a viable line of work, but this line of work has found itself in the crosshairs of the Venezuelan government. This is the ground level (and the underground level) of where tech meets geopolitics. The identity of the interviewee is anonymous for safety.

AI STORY OF THE WEEK: Could AI Explain The Motivations of a Serial Killer? by The Next Web. The applications of artificial intelligence are fascinating… Serial killers think in uncommon ways, and they are a leach upon society. Could AI think like them? Could AI hunt them down? There’s been some impressive progress. This story is part of our TNW Partnership.

“BE LIKE MIKE” STORY OF THE WEEK: What I Learned from Cloning the Uber App by Shai Almog. Within one week, how much of Uber can be built by one developer? Turn out, most of the app’s core functionality. This exercise also provides an appreciation for the app’s intricacies and points out a few user moments where the app is lacking. Honorable mention to Google-VR-Cardboard-esque-ness of Nintendo Labo (by Rahul).

CODING HUMOR STORY OF THE WEEK: Shit Programmers Say, Translated by Stephen Cognetta. This is a follow up story to Shit Product Managers Say, Translated, and it includes entries like, ‘“Yeah that sounds great, I’ll get this done in about a week.” Translation: I’ll probably get this done within the quarter, maybe the year, but only if you ping me about it persistently.’

CRYPTOCURRENCY STORY OF THE WEEK: 9 Rules of Crypto Trading That Helped One Trader Go from $1k to $46k in Less Than a Year by Kenny Li. The author has been publishing his own journey to turn a small crypto investment into MIT tuition, but in this story, he turns research of other successful traders into actionable practices. Honorable mention to other side of the coin, “Million Dollar Trading Mistakes, For Your Entertainment and Edification” by Edward T. Giraffe.

DATA SCIENCE STORY OF THE WEEK: How To Create Data Products That Are Magical Using Sequence-to-Sequence Models by GitHub’s Hamel Husain. This tutorial builds an minimal viable product that illustrates how to to utilize deep learning to create data products from text. With some coding skills, knowledge of basic high school math and some patience, you really can analyze so much of the world.

HARDWARE STORY OF THE WEEK: The iPhone is Dead by Musings.rand(). As many iPhones have been slowing down, the new iPhone is debuting with a 4 digit price point, and iOS remains constricting to the developer, maybe Samsung taking smartphone market share shouldn’t be surprising… If you’re on the Apple vs. Samsung fence, this is worth the read. If you’re all “Apple-Apple-Apple-Rules-All” check out our preview of their HomePod.

INTERNATIONAL BLOCKCHAIN STORY OF THE WEEK: The 3 most promising public blockchain projects from China for 2018 by cryptweeter. As decentralization underlines the the strength of the blockchain, it seems a little silly to to divide projects by country… but aren’t you curious…. what are the biggest blockchain projects from China? The author makes arguments for VeChain, Matrix and Nebulas as 3 blockchain projects that will grow considerably in 2018.

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Fixed Length Iterations vs. Continuous Flow by John Cutler. This story is a thought experiment in management style and framing work: A — Figure out a meaningful goal for the next two weeks! vs. B — Figure out a meaningful goal that will take between 1 and 14 days! How do you map goals to timeframes? Can your sprint structure be improved? Lots more great product management advice from John here.

TECH INNOVATION IRL STORY OF THE WEEK: I experienced the future of retail: Amazon Go by Geek on record. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the new Amazon Go store myself, but this story about the experience in Seattle’s inaugural store is the next best thing. No checkout lines! What a powerful idea. Spoiler alert: when the author left the store, the digital receipt confirmed he had been billed correctly.

Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted.

Kind Regards,

David Smooke, @AMI

P.S. Photo credit, Hacker Noon’s Free Web Design Stock Photo Collection by Burst by Shopify. Use these photos freely on your own website and blog.

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