Discover more from Sree's Sunday Note
Six Months with Elon, the Boss Baby
Assessing where we are and where we go from here.
“Painting of Elon as the Boss Baby” by DALL-E, the generative AI art tool from OpenAI. Sree’s newsletter is produced with Zach Peterson (@zachprague), with the Digimentors Tech Tip from Robert S. Anthony (@newyorkbob). Many thanks to our sponsor, Armory Square Ventures
🗞 @Sree’s Sunday #NYTReadalong: The readalong will return on April 16 with guest Brian Stelter. You’ll find three years’ worth of archives at this link (we’ve been reading print newspapers out loud on social for 7 years now!). The Readalong is sponsored by Muck Rack. Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
🎯 NEW BROCHURE! Our company, Digimentors, works to increase the digital footprint and impact of companies and nonprofits around the world. We do this via digital and social consulting, as well as virtual and hybrid events production. See our updated brochure (would love your feedback). Get in touch (no project too big or too small): email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d rather chat, here’s my Calendly.
TWITTER WAS NEVER PERFECT — NOTHING IN LIFE IS. But in the six months that Elon Musk has owned the platform, he’s made it worse in every imaginable way. And many ways I couldn’t have imagined.
A year ago, I shared 10 predictions and thoughts about what would happen in a Musk-owned Twitter:
Every item has come true and, in some cases, I understimated how bad things could get by many orders of magnitude. eg, I was worried that Twitter workers would no longer have the option to work remotely forever. Instead, more than half of them lost their jobs forever. We can debate how big any of the big tech companies should be, but what upsets me the most is the lack of humanity in any of his actions.
Musk had a BBC interview this week, filled with his usual mix of half-truths and full-lies. But the media, which he accuses of being hostile to him, ate up most of what he had to say, including the fact that Twitter “is breaking even.”
My friend Mike Murphy (@mcwm) had a great response to the coverage:
Because I have so much to say on Musk (two other essays are here and here), one of his fanboys said, “Oh you are just upset because you’re losing your blue check.” Well, Mr. Fanboy, I was not verified for the first eight years I used the platform, despite some nice folks thinking I should be:
But I won't be leaving, as I've not left Facebook. I want to stay and fight from the inside. For now. Here's what I wrote about FB last year: "It’s a utility. We don’t boycott our local power company when it screws up - we force it to get better, more useful and safer for everyone."
I am still here. For now.
BTW, do you know about the Enough Musk Spam subreddit? Best antidote to all the crap Musk posts on Twitter. Also, a way to get translations/explanations for even posts that seem innocuous but aren’t.
We’ve been writing a lot about AI recently, and plan to continue to do so. Thank you so much for your thoughtful notes and comments on this crucially-important topic. If you have any stories to share about how AI is affecting your life, send Sree an email email@example.com!
A Message from Armory Square Ventures
The Armory Square Prize just announced seven finalists for its inaugural award.
The ground-breaking award, sponsored by Armory Square Ventures, is the first of its kind worldwide. The jury brings together award-winning specialists in South Asian and non-South Asian literary translation.
As part of its deliberations, the jury considered several factors including the quality of the translation, the significance of the original work, and the degree of underrepresentation of the language in the US publishing market. The winner, to be announced next week, will be published by Open Letter Books. For more, see “12 Things to Know About the Armory Square Prize Shortlist,” a reference guide to the works, authors and translators the Armory Square jury selected.
DIGIMENTORS TECH TIP: Hisense Mini LED TVs Score High with the NBA, Aim Low in Pricing
By Robert S. Anthony
Each week, veteran tech journalist Bob Anthony shares a tech tip you don’t want to miss. Follow him @newyorkbob.
As the warmer weather approaches, the possible excuses for staying home and watching television decrease precipitously. Nevertheless, Hisense, the number two TV maker in North America, hopes its newest Mini LED 4K TVs will encourage some of us to linger inside a little longer.
At a recent New York press event, Hisense celebrated its status as the new TV and home appliance partner of the National Basketball Association by showing off its newest TVs and projectors, including its U Series premium 4K smart TVs, all of which come with the company’s proprietary ULED display technology and Mini LED backlighting.
“We focus on performance, on quality and on value,” said David Gold, CEO of Hisense USA, at the press event, held near Madison Square Garden. Gold noted that Hisense, a China-based TV maker with a large manufacturing plant in Mexico, had worked hard to keep prices as low as possible and to include the Mini LED technology once available only in higher-priced units in its U6K Series, which start at less than $500.
LED TVs have small LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that shine white light through LCD (liquid crystal display) pixels, which filter the light to create the appropriate colors on the screen. By using higher numbers of smaller, more efficient Mini LEDs, TV makers can improve both lighting and contrast.
In order to display black, the LCD pixels in an LED TV block as much light as they can, but can’t block all of it, thus resulting in blacks that sometimes appear dark gray. The Hisense U Series TVs offer “local dimming,” a feature that turns off the Mini LEDs in the zones where the image should be dark, resulting in deeper blacks. The more local dimming zones, the more accurate the overall video image.
The Hisense U6K Series TVs provide up to 600 nits of brightness and up to 200 local-dimming zones, depending on size, while the mid-range U7K Series adds game-friendly video features and offers up to 1,000 nits of brightness and up to 500 local dimming zones.
The top-of-the line U8K Series, which Gold modestly described as “the epitome of premium entertainment,” provides up to 1,500 nits of brightness and up to 1,000 local dimming zones in addition to complementing its stereo speakers with a built-in subwoofer and two additional upward-firing speakers.
The new Hisense U Series 4K smart TVs include Google TV and will be available this summer in sizes from 50 to 85 inches—maybe in time for the NBA Finals.