Web Excursions 2021-05-24

Alibaba’s Winning Cloud Formula Is Coming Under Pressure - WSJ

  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported last week that cloud computing revenue grew 37% in the quarter ended March 31 from the same period a year earlier, the slowest quarterly growth since it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

  • The company said the slowdown was due to the loss of a major Chinese internet client’s international business due to “non-product related requirements.”

  • That client was ByteDance Ltd., the owner of the social-video app TikTok, which terminated a deal to store its international data on Alibaba Cloud, some of the people said. When ending the relationship, ByteDance bought servers from Alibaba, they said.

  • The moves reflected Beijing-based ByteDance’s desire to handle its own fast-expanding cloud-computing needs

Your Monday Morning Report: UFOs, On the bright side: Swan rescue

“U.S. intelligence agencies are expected to deliver a report on “unidentified aerial phenomena” to Congress next month, sparking renewed interest and speculation into how the government has handled sightings of mysterious flying objects — and if there's any worldly explanation for them. NBC News

UFO stands for “unidentified flying object.” The US Navy prefers to refer to such objects as UAPs, or “unidentified aerial phenomena,” rather than UFOs. Washington Post

Many on both sides express concerns about national security:

Editorial Board, Bloomberg: Such incidents are potential national-security threats, yet pilots seem reluctant to discuss them for fear of being stigmatized.

Jazz Shaw, National Review: Come on… if nothing else, we’ll find out that the Russians have massively leapfrogged us in technology. Either way, wouldn’t you like to know?

Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner: As directed by Congress, as with this report, Director Haines and the intelligence community have an obligation to provide people with the best assessment of the available information.

Others on both sides express skepticism:

Andrew Follett, National Review: The U.S. government has a long history of letting the public imagination run wild with extraterrestrial conspiracy theories to divert attention from classified projects or accidents.

Jason Colavito, New Republic: Behind the creamy pages of high-end magazines and the marble columns of the Capitol, the media elite and Congress are being played by a small, loosely connected group of people with bizarre ideas about science

Still others on both sides urge us to focus on more immediate issues facing humanity

Happy Blurpthday to Discord, a Place for Everything You Can Imagine

  • The old logo was horizontally asymmetrical — something our Design Team’s been waiting years to fix.

    • Small details such as “Clyde lives within a bubble” and “not symmetrical” can be deceivingly restrictive when creating new interface elements, art assets, and even merch items.

  • We went from lots of circular shapes to what’s basically a :) and eventually refining the more squared-off shape that you’re seeing today.

  • We’ve also freed Clyde from being stuck in his bubble, and he’s very excited about it.

  • The old antennas look a bit more like shoulders now.

    • sharp little antennas didn’t translate well when printed on different types of materials,

    • or when printed on really small surfaces such as a pin.

Aukey kicked off Amazon following fake reviews allegations [Update]

Top accessory manufacturer Aukey has been kicked off Amazon following a massive data breach that detailed a pay-for-play scheme in which manufacturers would pay customers for positive reviews. Tomtop and Mpow were also implicated in the scheme.

互聯網考古

「互聯網考古」作業精選,作者均為本課程的學生。作業的主題是研究一個已經關閉/停止運營的網站,從網站的興衰折射中國內地的媒介與社會變遷。

播撒或守护一粒好种子|020

本学期我的本科课上的学生们写的几篇作业——他们记录的是如今已经关闭或转型的一些中国网站。页面中间的前7篇是今年的学生写的,后7篇是去年的学生写的。今后每年开课的时候,我也都会请学生继续写下去,争取建成一个小小的资料库。