Delicious Digest #20 - Bedfellows, Adversaries, and the French

A tasty newsletter of what I’ve seen in (mostly) tech & games and thought was interesting. This week: Bedfellows, Adversaries, and the French.

Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here.


😳 Must reads of the week

◼ Apple and Google are working together to enable proximity tracking on iOS and Android phones. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. Link

◼ “How to Transition Between Work Time and Personal Time”. Some simple tips, although I’d argue that “routine” and “plan” are not part of most small kids' vocabulary. Link

🗞 News

◼ Deep learning has a terrible carbon footprint. AI is everywhere – but the cost can be immense and it increasingly pushes out public research too. Link (via Marc Pestka)

◼ Speaking of AI: “adversarial t-shirt patterns” sounds like something from basically any 2000s sci-fi movie. AI is everywhere - and so will be this cat-and-mouse game. Link

◼ Disney Plus reaches over 50m subscribers, driven by quarantines and roll-out in a range of new countries. Link

◼ The “New Product Experimentation” team at Facebook has released an iOS messaging app specifically for couples. Ok, clearly, this… I mean… Well, never mind. Link

◼ “Webcams have become impossible to find, and prices are skyrocketing”. No shit. Link

◼ Google needs to compensate French news agencies for their content. You can’t have a free lunch and eat it. Link

◼ Now that’s agile development: dark_nexus is possibly the most potent IoT botnet ever. It can infect over 1300 different device running at least 12 different CPUs and has seen 30 version updates in the last three months alone. Link

🕹 Games

◼ Google Stadia is now free to anyone with a Gmail address and gives 2-months of free pro access for subscription titles. Link

Valorant, Riot’s Countstrike/Overwatch hybrid, has started its beta with an interesting twist: access was only given through hosted Twitch sessions – effectively “watch before play”. It surely helped that it broke Twitch’s single-day viewing record. Link

◼ Meanwhile, Call of Duty Warzone now has over 50m registered players since launching on March 10. Link

◼ Gaming acquisitions and investments have mostly continued unaffected in Q1 despite coronavirus. But such data is spotty at best since most deals remain undisclosed. Link

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo’s stress-reducing smash hit, has become a popular spot for Hong Kong protesters – Chinese retailers preemptively stop sales. Link

◼ Hypercasual games keep blurring the boundaries between publisher, ad-network, and game studio as Supersonic Games, a subsidiary of Ironsource, lands three titles in the Top 10 downloads. Link

◼ “The Best Games of 2020”, The Verge’s favorite games on console, mobile, and PC. Fun list. I am sure there’s a subreddit somewhere just for this article, full of thoughtful dialogue on the choices… Link

◼ “COVID-19: The state of the games industry”. Link

😋 Tasty Tidbits

◼ How puzzles are made. Trickier than I would have thought. Link

◼ “If interpreted literally, cereal boxes depict the attempted consumption of cereal by dangerous morons who have no comprehension of how to eat cereal.” Nuff said. Link

◼ A Swiss physicist applies “intuitionist maths” to alternative interpretations of classical physics that renders it indeterministic and gives a new way to look at the arrow of time. Fascinating. Link

◼ Intermittent theta-burst stimulation, basically a magnetic pulses focused on specific section of the brain, looks promising as a drug-free treatment of depression. Fingers crossed for the double-blind studies. Link

◼ French scientists have discovered an enzyme that can break down plastic for recycling within hours. Bien joué ! Link

◼ The 2020 Hugo nominees are announced. “A Memory Called Empire” is on my list already. Notably, all finalists novels are written by women. Sci-fi and fantasy used to be such a boys' club not that long ago. Link

I work for King. All views in this newsletter are personal and my own. They do not represent the views of King or ActivisionBlizzard. This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only and no investment advice. This newsletter links to other websites and information obtained from third-party sources and I cannot ensure nor verify accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.