Summary of “How China rips off the iPhone and reinvents Android”

Many experienced Android users in the West who try out Chinese phones, including reviewers here at The Verge, often find themselves unable to get over an immediate stumbling block: the software.
These were unlocked versions of each company’s new flagship phones that went on sale through Google’s Play Store, and their biggest feature was a lack of features; they ran a version of Android completely devoid of their manufacturers’ software customizations.
To put it another way, Chinese Android phones don’t really run superficial skins like TouchWiz; they run whole new operating systems that happen to support Android apps.
Unlock a Xiaomi phone, and you’ll see snappy animations, clean visual design, and overall far less cruft than you’d expect from such a comprehensive overhaul of Android.
Many of these phones apply techniques to brighten faces and smooth out skin, and I asked Xiaomi’s Wang Qian, who works on MIUI’s photo software, to what extent the company considers users outside China with these features.
Software optimizations mean that with the exception of Google’s Pixel phones, OnePlus is the only company that can touch the iPhone in terms of responsiveness and smoothness.
What is true today is that not all Chinese phone software is bad. And when it is bad from a Western perspective, it’s often bad for very different reasons than the bad Android skins of the past.
Yes, many of these phones make similar mistakes with overbearing UI decisions – hello, Huawei – and yes, it’s easy to mock some designs for their obvious thrall to iOS. But these are phones created in a very different context to Android devices as we’ve previously understood them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Drink Seltzer, Live Forever”

That’s to say nothing of the inescapable LaCroix memes, customized LaCroix can generators, unaffiliated, slogan-emblazoned LaCroix t-shirts, self-referential Tumblr LaCroix flavor controversies, and, should one have stumbled upon the #livelacroix hashtag, lots and lots of crowdsourced content of beautiful millennial LaCroix drinkers doing beautiful millennial things, like eating breakfast in bed while wearing a hat.
The seltzer boom seems unlikely, as far as trends go: Outside of Borscht Belt slapstick, seltzer has few cultural connotations, and the major brands don’t advertise through traditional channels.
As a Vox article from 2016 noted, LaCroix’s marketing “Highlights its fashionable users, who make it clear that it’s popular to both drink LaCroix and talk about it. And so more fashionable people talk about and Instagram their cans of LaCroix, and more people find out about it, and the cycle continues.”
While LaCroix’s aspiring Instagram models use seltzer as a component of a Hollywood story, a blank screen for its drinkers’ dream-factory self-projections, Polar’s #feelgoodmoment hashtags tend to lead to shots of BU undergrads posing in a Star Market.
In an age of personal branding, online self-realization, and individualized versions of truth, LaCroix could take on any qualities of its consumer.
LaCroix’s over-filtered Instagram models and Polar’s fluorescent-lit college students show two different types of artifice in the service of creating a personal brand.
You can tell by how aesthetically flattened the platforms are: Your Facebook page, if you stand a few feet back, is virtually indistinguishable from LaCroix’s or Coca-Cola’s or your elementary school best friend’s or Kendall Jenner’s.
The LaCroix backlash has already begun, most predictably in memes that depict its earnest hashtaggers as vapid, self-absorbed, and maybe worst of all, basic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Climate Change Paper So Depressing It’s Sending People to Therapy”

Photo by VICE.What if I told you there was a paper on climate change that was so uniquely catastrophic, so perspective-altering, and so absolutely depressing that it’s sent people to support groups and encouraged them to quit their jobs and move to the countryside?
“Climate change is going to fuck us over. I remember thinking, Should I just accept the deep adaptation paper and move to the Scottish countryside and wait out the apocalypse?”.
Professor Jem Bendell, a sustainability academic at the University of Cumbria, wrote the paper after taking a sabbatical at the end of 2017 to review and understand the latest climate science “Properly-not sitting on the fence anymore,” as he puts it on the phone to me.
“Jem’s paper is in the main well-researched and supported by relatively mainstream climate science,” says Professor Rupert Read, chair of the Green House think-tank and a philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia.
“Emerald requested the author correct their blog post to reflect the facts. This request was unfortunately ignored. The post continues to imply the paper was rejected because it was deemed too controversial. The paper was not rejected, and was given a Major Revision due to the rigorous standards of the scholarly output of the journal.”
Bendell’s paper appears to have hit a unique nerve, especially given that the average scientific paper is estimated to be read by only three or so people.
She had read the IPCC report warning that the world is nowhere near averting global temperature increases, as well as the 1,656-page National Climate Assessment on how climate change is now dramatically affecting our lives-and then she read Bendell’s paper.
Reading the paper, she says, helped to crystallize her increasing uneasiness about the pace and scale of climate change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Female Chef Making Japan’s Most Elaborate Cuisine Her Own”

How Niki Nakayama’s kaiseki restaurant became a highly coveted reservation in L.A. In 1965, the legendary Lyonnais chef Paul Bocuse, who had just earned his third Michelin star, travelled to Japan.
The most prominent American kaiseki restaurant is n/naka, a small Los Angeles establishment owned and run by the forty-four-year-old Japanese-American chef Niki Nakayama.
Where Nakayama radiates creative energy, Iida is steady and direct, and she quickly assumed a role as the protector of Nakayama’s vision, taking over aspects of managing the restaurant that Nakayama had neglected.
One recent morning, as I sat with Nakayama and Iida at their sunny kitchen table over a breakfast of miso soup, rice, pickles, and an onsen egg, Nakayama recalled her time working at the inn.
Nakayama hoped to open a kaiseki restaurant in L.A. Her family, who had agreed to provide funding, worried that kaiseki was too exotic for L.A. diners, and urged her to consider a more conventional restaurant.
Nakayama recalled, “They were obviously Japanese, obviously businessmen. They saw us”-Nakayama and her female sous-chef-“And they took a pause. I remember they turned and looked at each other and were, like, ‘Let’s go.’ And they left. And me being me, of course, in my mind there was a mental middle finger going up: ‘Don’t come back.’ But I carried that feeling with me: ‘This is why people don’t take me seriously-because I’m a woman.'”.
Nakayama’s original blueprints for n/naka called for an open counter between the kitchen and the dining room, as in many Japanese restaurants, where a few lucky diners could sit and be served, kappo style, directly from Nakayama’s hands.
When Nakayama first met Iida, through OkCupid, she marvelled: Iida was also Japanese-American, had also grown up in Arcadia, and was also-improbably-a sushi chef.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Problem With Nostalgia”

One familiar nostalgia exercise happens when people – whether they were alive back then or not – lazily compare the best of the past with the worst of the present.
New York City in the late 1970s is largely remembered as a time when the legendary disco Studio 54 attracted a glamorous crowd who danced and partied with abandon.
The era of dazzling club “Celebutantes” was also a time of yuppies, gentrification, ’round the clock networking, and Madonna’s relentless, take-no-prisoners drive to make it big – an act of tunnel vision I witnessed up close.
The big-haired era brought some deafeningly bombing movies and possibly the four worst sitcoms of all time: Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, ALF, and She’s The Sheriff In music, Phil Collins’ droning “Sussudio” was a low point, along with Bobby McFerrin’s chirpy “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and the fraudulent schlock of Milli Vanilli, the pop duo who were as dubbed as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain.
Today, the people who complain that New York has lost its edge generally either live in high-rise co-ops or moved to far-away cities where you get a terrace and a garage.
The old edge wasn’t all fabulous and the new edge isn’t all gone, but it’s easier for some to reduce all that to a nostalgic yelp of “I love the ’80s!”. * * *. Nineties nostalgia is all the rage right now, with sitcom reboots, musicals based on movies from Pretty Woman to Clueless, and various small-screen crime reenactments.
It’ll be time for the inevitable aughts revival – followed, of course, by the teens – when we’ll have parades in the street to commemorate the rise of important cultural icon Paris Hilton, as well as the emergence of the scintillating Kardashian clan, when in actuality they steal whatever brain cells are left in us after mind-crushing days spent reading Facebook posts about Adam Levine’s tattoos and Roseanne’s meltdowns.
Michael Musto is a weekly columnist for NewNowNext.com and a freelance writer for outlets from the New York Times Styles section to the Daily Beast.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Recycling Is Broken”

The recycling industry-which operates with next to no federal guidance despite processing a quarter of America’s waste-is in an existential struggle to chart a new path forward for itself.
Most of us think of recycling as a service our city provides, but in reality it’s a business.
The effect on the U.S. recycling business was, as one industry expert put it, like an “Earthquake.” Mixed paper and plastic exports to China plunged more than 90 percent between January 2017 and January 2018, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Anne Germain, Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the National Waste and Recycling Association, an industry trade group, told me that mixed paper went from selling for about $100 a ton to a high of about $3 a ton.
Ultimately, the effects have rippled back to the cities which, faced with soaring costs to keep recycling afloat, have been forced to make hard choices, whether that’s sending recyclables to a landfill or paring down the list of items they’ll accept.
McGrath said if Philly can convince residents to stop tossing plastic bags in the recycling bin, that alone would be a big deal.
Germain said public education was something the recycling industry as a whole had let slide over the years.
While a better educated public would translate to a cleaner, more profitable recycling stream, there’s also a desperate need for new manufacturers to fill the China-shaped void.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Compete. Create!”

If you think that you have to compete for better jobs or more market share, you’re as wrong as I was.
If a company has a certain market share, that means you have to compete with that company to “Win” a piece of their share.
When you assume that you have to compete with other businesses or people for money, jobs or attention, you’re engaged in limited thinking.
The biggest mistake that conventional business thinkers make, is that they believe supply is limited.
Similar to how I think entrepreneurs and companies should create market share, I also believe that individual people should create a career.
Here’s the thing: Traditional companies think it’s bullshit.
Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter what others think.
If you believe in something and if you can create value, go for it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Math That Unifies the Laws of Physics”

In college I majored in math, and became curious about theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner’s question about the “Unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics: Why should our universe be so readily governed by mathematical laws? As he put it, “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.” As a youthful optimist, I felt these laws would give us a clue to the deeper puzzle: why the universe is governed by mathematical laws in the first place.
One reason is that quantum physics is based on algebra, while general relativity involves a lot of topology.
Yes, I’m oversimplifying: There is more to quantum physics than mere algebra, and more to general relativity than mere topology.
The possible benefits to physics of reducing topology to algebra are what got me so excited about Grothendieck’s work.
A student of physics once asked a famous expert how much mathematics a physicist needs to know.
Classical physics is the physics of Newton, where we imagine that we can measure everything with complete precision, at least in principle.
Quantum physics is the physics of Schrödinger and Heisenberg, governed by the uncertainty principle: If we measure some aspects of a physical system with complete precision, others must remain undetermined.
Sometimes in classical physics we can describe a system by a point in a variety.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files”

Online, you’ll find people who use hashtags like “#digitalhoarder” and hang out in the 120,000-subscriber Reddit forum called /r/datahoarder, where they trade tips on building home data servers, share collections of rare files from video game manuals to ambient audio records, and discuss the best cloud services for backing up files.
By contrast, many self-proclaimed digital hoarders say they enjoy their collections, can keep them contained in a relatively small amount of physical space, and often take pleasure in sharing them with other hobbyists or anyone who wants access to the same public data.
“Data hoarder means to me simply someone who collects and curates digital data,” said the user -Archivist, one of the moderators of /r/datahoarder, in a private message on Reddit.
Many people active in the data hoarding community take pride in tracking down esoteric files of the kind that often quietly disappear from the internet-manuals for older technologies that get taken down when manufacturers redesign their websites, obscure punk show flyers whose only physical copies have long since been pulled from telephone poles and thrown in the trash, or episodes of old TV shows too obscure for streaming services to bid on-and making them available to those who want them.
Some /r/datahoarder users acknowledge they collect files that other people might not find interesting: HeloRising, a man in his mid-30s from the Pacific Northwest, said via Reddit PM that he’s built up a collection of high-quality digital copies of illuminated manuscripts, which he said he finds fascinating but has yet to find other uses interested in sharing.
HeloRising, who has about 30 terabytes in total of data and spends five or six hours per week on the hobby, said the Reddit community has been a “Treasure trove” of useful advice and information.
Still, problem digital hoarding, where massive collections of files, inbox messages and other digital data bring stress to their owners, isn’t unheard of, including among people who already struggle with hoarding tangible objects.
Many systems don’t make it easy to find, organize and back up valuable files, while shunting more ephemeral data to the digital trash heap.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Picture of U.S. Route 50, the loneliest road in America”

Where the state of Nevada folds in half-from the elbow on its western arm at Lake Tahoe across to its Utah border-you’ll find the most direct route across the state.
The public relations director at the time saw an opportunity in the article and released a Highway 50 survival guide the same month the Life article came out, rewarding visitors to the area with a certificate of survival signed by the governor.
Highway signs touting the qualifier went up along the route at the same time, and it graduated from opinion to slogan.
Before it was known as the Loneliest Road in America, Route 50 was anything but.
According to the Highway 50 Association, the Roaring Road became so congested at times that hopeful miners and their families would have to wait days before they could access it-a Panama Canal of sorts, standing between the new frontier and the old.
That sort of isolation follows Route 50 for almost the entirety of its 400 miles across Nevada, but it’s particularly pronounced along this stretch, the 287 miles between Ely and Fernley designated by Life as the Loneliest Road. Here, you can’t count on cell service or gas stations, on places to eat or even people to wave at as you pass-anything to replace the eeriness of the hungry red desert around you.
“From an economic development standpoint, we’re not considered rural,” says Dee Helming, chairwoman of the Pony Express Territory, which works with the state tourism authority to promote the towns along Route 50.
Perhaps, thought Svold, the Loneliest Road in America isn’t so lonely after all.

The orginal article.