Dear Google, please make your assistant more ‘personal’

Talk to anyone who owns an Amazon Echo and they’ll soon tell you about how they find themselves having an odd fondness for Alexa - I can’t be the only one who often adds “please” and “thank you” to my commands.

BBC News, January 26, 2017 at 11:24AM

Glad to know I’m not the only one who says ‘please’ after every command to Google 🙂

But as long as Google forces you to bark “Okay Google”, Google Home will surely fail to become a personal assistant. It will be an assistant, sure, and a very good one at that. But it won’t be personal.

Despite being a regular voice-command user on my Nexus phone, I couldn’t agree with this more.

Fruit = Sugar + whole lot of good stuff!

Don’t get the idea that because the sugar composition is the same in fruit and cake, they’re interchangeable.

For one thing, fruit offers good stuff like vitamins, antioxidants and water, while candy and desserts are nutritionally void.

Fruit also tends to have less sugar by volume. Half a cup of strawberries: 3.5 grams of sugar. Half a cup of strawberry ice cream: 15 grams.

Plus, whole fruit has a lot of fiber, which actually slows down your body’s digestion of glucose, so you don’t get the crazy insulin spike (and subsequent crash) that candy causes.

That also means your body has more time to use up glucose as fuel before storing it — as fat.

Is Sugar From Fruit Better For You Than White Sugar?, January 24, 2017 at 03:23PM

Why successful messaging apps are so scarce..

the most important feature of any messaging service is whether or not your friends are on it: if they are, your service can be very barebones (like WhatsApp), or technologically weak (like LINE, in my estimation), and it won’t really matter; however, if you’re friends are not on it, your service can be super full-featured and highly-differentiated (again, like LINE) and it won’t matter. The trick is to not just add users, but to add users by group, so that they have a reason to use the app from day one.

Stratechery Daily Update 2017-01-26, January 26, 2017 at 04:13PM

Religion & Extremism v/s Diversity

The Hope:

She fears that India is moving towards extremism, and I try and tell her that we are too diverse for one person to rule the discourse.

Most Indians are still fairly secular: Kalki Koechlin, January 23, 2017 at 12:28PM

The Alternative:

… we are looking for a religious identity in India now, and what that did to Pakistan.

Facebook & the Media

Facebook’s advertising, though, doesn’t just run against journalism and other professionally produced content: it runs against baby pictures, small businesses, cooking videos and everything in between. Facebook may be everything to the media, but the media is one of many types of content on Facebook.

Stratechery Daily Update 2017-01-12, January 23, 2017 at 12:33PM

Team Trump vs GOP

The true believers share views that run counter to the Paul Ryan-wing of the GOP on everything from immigration and infrastructure spending, to bullying corporations. They are anti-“corporatists” who want to methodically destroy conventional conservatism.

Trump 101: What he means by “America first”, January 23, 2017 at 03:44PM

… it isn’t over yet.