Welcome to the first Empty Coffee weekly roundup, gathering interesting articles and news stories from throughout the week. I’m planning on publishing my favorite reads of the week each Sunday right here, with plans to expand to an email newsletter later this year. Expect five to ten links with light commentary sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy it!
- The TikTok War - Stratechery
Ben Thompson dives into the information gathering and influence capabilities of TikTok, and why we should take this situation seriously. The article breaks down the impacts of TikTok’s “algorithm” and summarizes the risks associated with a lack of transparency when a social feed is unhinged from a social network. Ben does a great job of taking this complex, multi-faceted subject and explaining it in a compelling, thought provoking manner. I’ve not personally used TikTok myself, and after reading this analysis I won’t be anytime soon.
- GoodLinks Review - MacStories
Updates to Apple’s iCloud APIs have opened the door for a new generation of “read it later” apps that don’t require servers or ongoing maintenance. This is a huge advantage when considering a service that should be inexpensive and run indefinitely. In my initial testing of GoodLinks, I’ve fallen for the ease of use and consistent user interface that gets out of the way when it’s time to read. The only thing I miss after moving from Pocket is the ability to highlight and save text snippets. Fingers crossed on future updates.
- iOS 14 Public Beta - Apple
The public beta for iOS 14 is here, and with it comes a slew of new features and tweaks. I’ve run the last several public betas and I can say, unquestionably, this is the most stable initial release yet. The widgets are a game changer and the small tweaks (no more phone call interruption) make it worth the risk for my fellow impatient techies.
- The New Bronco - Ford
I’m a sucker for boxy, body-on-frame SUVs (I’m a 4Runner guy myself). This new truck is beautiful! From the classic exterior design to the modern material user interface, Ford’s Bronco rebirth is the most excited I’ve been over a new car in years. Here’s to hoping the quality lives up to the design.
- Microsoft xCloud’s September Launch - The Verge
The next generation of gaming consoles in nearly here, and one thing seems obvious - these will be more than just physical boxes sitting under your television. Streaming gaming, allowing anyone with a browser and a controller to play, feels like the future. Personally, I've really enjoyed playing games on Google Stadia, especially pre-COVID. I'm looking forward to seeing how Microsoft’s integrated, hybrid approach to cloud gaming pushes cloud gaming forward.
Before YourStack, the best way to share the apps and services that you use was to tweet a photo of your Home Screen. YourStack takes that to the next level through social elements and Pro Tips. Developed by Product Hunt, it has a vibrant early community and evolving features. Check out my stack here.
- Who’s Behind Wednesdays Epic Twitter Hack? - Krebs on Security
You may have noticed a series of celebrities, politicians, and business leaders tweeting strange Bitcoin related scams on Wednesday. Turns out someone within Twitter let group of hackers change the emails of some of the site’s largest accounts. With such reach and influence, you have to wonder why the group used the breach for something so obvious.
- OpenAI's GPT-3 may be the biggest thing since bitcoin - Manuel Araoz
Artificial Intelligence is getting better. OpenAI released a new language prediction model that is showing promise. Manuel breaks down what makes this model different, and provides some interesting examples of GPT-3 in action. We may have just entered a new era of AI.
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!
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