Quick Takes, March 28th

Part of a series of simple internal newsletters I did for a client, posted here early 2015 but back-dated to the original dates.

Amidst the recent buzz for “Full Stack” Startups, Martin Spindler reminds us that “the stack” is actually made up of multiple layers of infrastructures, all moving at different speeds. Some are “shearing layers” and it’s vital to take them into account when creating products and services dealing with hardware and infrastructure. —On "Full Stack" Startups

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An excellent contrarian take on Turkey’s Twitter block. How, according to the author Zeynep Tufekci, Erdogan does not really think he can effectively block social networks but is actually on a campaign to demonise them. In slowing down adoption he thinks he can keep his supporter uninformed long enough to keep his job. —Everyone Is Getting Turkey’s Twitter Block Wrong

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The economic situation of young Europeans is dramatic in many countries and growing worse. The latest indicator: the very high proportion of them who now have to stay at home, much later and sometimes even with their own kids. “One of the most comprehensive social surveys of 28 European countries reveals on Tuesday that the percentage of people aged 18-30 who were still living with their parents had risen to 48%, or 36.7 million people, by 2011.” —The Dependent Generation: Half Young European Adults Live With Their Parents

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"A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention." An overview of a rare study comparing multiple diets. The conclusion isn’t revolutionary, but important. —Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food

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“[T]he molecular system, known as Crispr, is being used to make genetically engineered laboratory animals more easily than could be done before, with changes in multiple genes. Scientists in China recently made monkeys with changes in two genes. […] Scientists hope Crispr might also be used for genomic surgery, as it were, to correct errant genes that cause disease.” —A Powerful New Way to Edit DNA

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Solar-powered drones, stratospheric balloons, WhatsApp and zero-rated free. The expensive, visionary and in some ways worrying ways that Google and Facebook are trying to be the first to bring cheap (or even free) internet access to the next 5 billion…to lock them in as users. —Facebook and Google’s Race to Zero

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Although the future impact of this specific app might be overblown, this is still a very interesting look at the first two real-world, wide-scale implementations of mesh networks. Powerful technology long-hoped-for by networking geeks which might finally be on its way to broader adoption. —How an Under-Appreciated iOS 7 Feature Will Change the World

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He’s straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. Fauja Singh is 103, runs daily, ran a marathon at 100 and has a serious fetish for suits, ties and shoes. “And that’s what keeps me alive. One day I will be running, and the earth will claim me back and it will be wonderful. How can you be scared of something like that? But that day is still a little further away.” —Run on, you Crazy Diamond