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9
Jul 23
Sun

Weekly Report: July 9, 2023

Observations

🧵 versus 🐦

  • I’m on Threads: @stuloh.
  • In under 5 days, Threads will have hit 100 million users. Mark Zuckerberg isn’t exactly the world’s most beloved billionaire, but in a case of the enemy of my enemy, Elon Musk is even more polarizing given his behavior over the last year. Lots of people have been looking for a Twitter replacement, but the issue with any social network is achieving network effects. This issue has plagued Twitter clones like Blue Sky, Mastodon, and Post News. And the overwhelming majority of users simply don’t care whether the network is decentralized or whatever. It just can’t be a ghost town. Threads, launching off of Instagram’s 1 billion plus user base, doesn’t have that problem.
  • The historic adoption rate is despite Threads not being released in Europe. This is likely due to the $1.3 billion fine levied by the EU in May, which essentially said that various transfers of personal data they make from the EU to the U.S. are not legal because U.S. laws render that personal data incapable of being protected to the standards required by EU law. There is a new EU-U.S. data transfer framework that is being worked out that in theory will address the issue. However, it is the third incarnation of such a framework. After the European Court of Justice invalidated the first two, it’s uncertain whether the third attempt will actually solve the underlying problems, which all stem from U.S. government surveillance.
  • I was in the European Union when Threads was launched, but I was able to sign up. That is most likely because my Instagram account was pegged as an American one. The rules around which privacy laws apply to whose personal data can be complicated, but in general you can think of the laws being based on residency (where you live), not citizenship (which country’s passport you hold).
  • It will be interesting to see how Threads fares. It feels pretty vibrant for such a new product, but we’ll see if it has staying power. I must confess, like many others, it will be a big dose of schadenfreude to see Meta successfully swoop in and take out Twitter after months of “I know better than everyone else” behavior from its mercurial owner. And then things will eventually revert back to people criticizing Meta for how slimy a company it is.

Further Observations

  • In the meantime, Twitter is suing legendary law firm Wachtell over their huge fees from having successfully defended the company from Musk’s attempt to backtrack from the acquisition. Yeah, good luck there. Apparently, the $90 million fee was composed of $18 million in hourly rates, and the remainder being a massive success fee. Wachtell is perhaps one of the only corporate firms that can charge success fees.
  • I’ve been in the miles and points game for a decade now, but I’m still learning new tricks. Here’s how to get free cruises by gaming casino status matches. There are various on ramps to this process, but the goal is to attain status at two Vegas casino loyalty programs (Caesars Diamond or MGM Gold) and go from there. With MGM Gold status, it’s possible to get an almost-free 7+ night Carnival cruise for a couple (or a very cheap one for a family). some may be offered balcony rooms and longer cruises. The free Carnival cruise can, in turn, be matched to a free Royal Caribbean cruise. You can also match MGM Gold to Caesars Diamond, which may generate additional free cruises and other benefits like free hotel nights and credits. I have almost 2 years of Hyatt Globalist status courtesy of a Bilt promotion earlier this year, but unfortunately the challenging part is actually making the time for a cruise.
  • This thread from 2008 on a body building forum defies a satisfactory description and will give you brain damage.

Articles

Reviews

  • 🍽️ Kong Hans Kælder (Copenhagen, Denmark) ✽✽
    A decent meal that met but did not exceed expectations. Service was attentive (they gave Susanne a Danish menu and me an English menu) but impersonal. ★★★
  • 🎪 Experimentarium (Hellerup, Denmark)
    Like the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but oh so much better and with exhibits for kids of all ages. Signage is in Danish and English. ★★★★
  • ✈️ SFO-CPH on SK936 (A330-300, Premium Economy)
    Solid, new hard product, but the wifi didn’t work. Service was decent for a red eye flight. We bought a couple of these inflatable seat extensions so our kids could lie down to sleep and the flight attendants seemed cool with them (not all airlines are). Flight was full. Sit on the right hand side of the plane for a nice view of Copenhagen when circling to land. ★★★★
  • 🛋️ United Club Lounge (International Terminal, SFO)
    Overcrowded, cramped lounge with passable food. You’re better off hanging out in the terminal. ★★

Charts, Images & Videos

This maths lecture, “A world from a sheet of paper” by Stanford Professor Tadashi Tokieda is very engaging:

A beech tree I passed by on a walk earlier this week

On Twitter & Threads

https://www.threads.net/t/CuP48CiS5sx/

https://www.threads.net/t/CuYcHxWOnKn/

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