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52 things I learned in 2019

Tom Whitehall – Medium – “This year I edited another book, worked on fascinating projects at Fluxx, and learned many learnings….[this is a terrific read – and I had a beloved budgie named Nigel – and the name fit him perfectly – he is missed…] [snipped from the list]

  • No babies born in Britain in 2016 were named Nigel. [Jonathan Ore]
  • Each year humanity produces 1,000 times more transistors than grains of rice and wheat combined. [Mark P Mills]
  • The maths of queuing are absolutely brutal and counter-intuitive. [John D Cook]
  • Emojis are starting to appear in evidence in court cases, and lawyers are worried: “When emoji symbols are strung together, we don’t have a reliable way of interpreting their meaning.” (In 2017, an Israeli judge had to decide if one emoji-filled message constituted a verbal contract) [Eric Goldman]
  • Harbinger customers are customers who buy products that tend to fail. They group together, forming harbinger zip codes. If households in those zip codes buy a product, it is likely to fail. If they back a political candidate, they are likely to lose the election. [Simester, Tucker & Yang]
  • A Python script, an Instagram account and quite a bit of free time can get you free meals in New York City. [Chris Buetti]
  • At least three private companies have fallen victim to ‘deep fake’ audio fraud. In each case, a computerised voice clone of the company CEO “called a senior financial officer to request an urgent money transfer.” [Kaveh Waddell, Jennifer A. Kingson]…”

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