Web Excursions 2021-08-28

How the pandemic changed the way we consume news; how dual-booting works on modern versions of macOS; what has Politico done right on its way to be a 1 bn media; the brouhaha around ARM China; Why are hyperlinks blue.


How the pandemic (sort of) changed the way we consume news

  • Covid-19 news and a new perspective on news avoidance

    • We even began using a new word — doomscrolling — to capture the mesmerizing continual intake of fear- and despair-inducing news on our devices.

    • Both studies used remarkably similar methods — open-ended qualitative questionnaires conducted early in the pandemic — to study news consumption patterns during the pandemic.

    • the formation of news habits.

      • whether a major disruption to everyday life could change news habits or form new ones, and what factors could help determine whether that happened.

      • those for whom the pandemic continued to obtrusively affect their daily lives were more likely to develop new, increased news habits.

      • Social contexts had an effect as well: Those whose friends and family were discussing the pandemic more often were more likely to stick with new news habits.

      • Emotions played a major role, too, but more ambiguously.

        • Pandemic-induced anxiety led to both less and more news consumption in different cases, and

        • emotional investment in the news more generally led to new habits.

      • Ultimately, people needed more than just a disruptive event to change their news habits;

        • they needed consistent practical and emotional rewards from consuming Covid-related information to give it staying power as a routine.

    • patterns of news avoidance prompted by the pandemic and its interplay with news consumption.

      • news avoidance is not necessarily problematic,

      • it’s a thoughtful, strategic part of news consumption more broadly, not its irresponsible or anti-democratic opposite.

  • Research roundup

    • the concept of Valuable Journalism

      • emphasizing what people experience in news as truly meaningful and valuable — rather than what is recognized as “important” or “quality” or “popular”

      • can be manifest in three key ways: learning something new, gaining recognition, and enhancing mutual understanding.

      • “six virtues of audience attentiveness”: accuracy, sincerity, listening, hospitality, being a good friend, and keeping a proper distance.

    • What happens when people are exposed to a single, seemingly never-ending news topic for weeks, months, or years?

      • how Swiss news consumers experienced the ceaseless coverage of Brexit in 2019.

    • Even for journalists who ostensibly adhere to professional codes of impartiality, they often stay true to the partisan bounds of the organizations they are writing for

      • a dynamic arises that structurally prefers contributors whose publishing histories ideologically align with a publication’s own.

      • There is evidence to suggest that many readers and viewers actually assume the reverse: that journalism is driven by political interests or a desire to make money.

    • a three-part look at the nature of news sources — how they have changed (or not) in the digital era as well as in the recent pandemic period.

    • to what degree do journalists rely on new types of sources? And, if so, are these sources verified in new kinds of ways

      • digital sourcing did not open the gates for alternative voices.

        • Moreover, digital sources are verified less than non-digital ones and are mentioned less often in final publications.

        • this was because of “the traceable footprints of digital sources that can protect journalists against future attacks, thus making these sources reliable.”

      • until journalists overcome a “familiarity paradox” that leads them to prioritize longstanding elite sources, it is unlikely that technology alone will lead to meaningful widespread change in democratizing news sourcing.

    • How much of it is aggregation versus other types of so-called “original reporting,” and how have things changed over time?

      • newspapers and digital news sites, once quite different from each other in sourcing habits, are increasingly behaving like the other

      • while “non-mediated attributed speech” (i.e., interviews) remains the most widespread form of evidence, it has become less and less common over time

      • “The result is a news text that is more visibly assembled from other published texts.

      • Given this greater distance from evidence, journalistic claims of originality are more contested than in the recent past.”

    • how sources were used in coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic

      • the dominance of political sources across countries and platforms reinforcing a longstanding orientation toward elites as well as a strong role for the state in influencing pandemic-related news.


Dual-booting macOS: Disk structure and Recovery

  • There are three basic schemes for making your Mac boot between two or more versions of macOS:

    1. Install each version of macOS on a separate physical disk.

    2. Install each version on the same disk, but in separate containers.

    3. Install them altogether in the same container.

  • Apple has recommended the third scheme,

    • which has the great advantage that the two systems share the same free space within a single container, providing maximum flexibility.

  • When an Intel Mac boots, it does so using the latest firmware installed.

    • In the example of 11.4 and 11.5.2, that will be the firmware installed with 11.5.2, and that remains even if the 11.5.2 system is removed from that Intel Mac.

  • M1 Macs are different again, as their recoveryOS is provided from a single container on the internal SSD, regardless of the version of macOS running.


Politico is being sold for more than $1 billion; here are some of the smart moves it made to get there

  • Politico, the inside-the-Beltway news site so many love to hate, is now a billion-dollar company.

    • German media conglomerate Axel Springer SE announced it was buying the whole operation

  • Some of the (many) things I think Politico has done right over the years as a business.

    • Some of these ideas are available to nearly any news organization;

    • others only make sense for an outlet that’s targeting a very particular audience or working a very specific beat.

  • Making your money in Business Class, not Coach

    • In 2010, rather than a paywall, Politico launched Politico Pro,

      • an almost completely distinct service aimed at people with real money: trade groups, lobbyists, defense contractors, banks, health care conglomerates, and the like.

      • With high-value, minute-by-minute updates —

      • often on inside-baseball subjects too boring for the broader audience to be interested in —

      • Politico Pro took the premium-research business into the digital age.

    • When you can sell a few subscriptions for $10,000/year, there’s much less need to sell a lot of $100/year ones.

    • Fully half of Politico’s revenue now comes from Pro, a product 99.9% of its readership will never see.

  • Remembering unfashionable revenue streams

    • The people who had the power in politics weren’t spending their days online yet.

    • its free D.C.-only print paper was still driving 60 percent of its total revenues.

  • Betting on email newsletters

    • Politico was one of a relatively few news outlets that built its own app for the BlackBerry —

      • a full three years after the iPhone had launched!

    • Because the BlackBerry was the only phone approved for use by government employees at the time.

    • Politico Playbook, its morning newsletter, launched in June 2007, promising “a handy, BlackBerry and Treo-friendly peek at the news driving each day.”

    • Look back at its first issue today and you’ll see something that looks an awful lot like the morning emails you can get from any top news publisher.

    • It didn’t take long for Playbook to become the email “the White House wakes up to.”

  • Expanding geographically and tactically

    • Politico has long been willing to buy smaller editorial companies that it thinks align with its core product.

    • It’s also expanded geographically, both abroad (that Europe product, a new franchise in Canada) and down into the states (California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts).

    • They haven’t all worked;

    • But their willingness to expand the models they’ve proved out into new markets is relatively unusual among traditional media companies

  • Pushing talent to feel entrepreneurial

    • A lot of the news startups that have followed it carry a decent amount of Politico’s DNA.

  • Learning from the web around you

    • A new player in a crowded space needed to differentiate itself

    • Politico differentiated on speed and scoops.​


The Semiconductor Heist Of The Century | Arm China Has Gone Completely Rogue, Operating As An Independent Company With Inhouse IP/R&D - by Dylan Patel - SemiAnalysis

  • In the joint venture, Arm Holdings,

    • the SoftBank subsidiary sold a 51% stake of the company

    • to a consortium of Chinese investors for paltry $775M.

    • This venture has the exclusive right to license Arm’s IP within China.

  • Within 2 years, the venture went rogue.

    • Recently, they gave a presentation to the industry about rebranding, developing their own IP, and striking their own independently operated path.

  • This firm is called “安谋科技”, and is not part of Arm Holdings.

  • In 2020, Arm and a handful of the investors agreed to oust Allen Wu, the CEO of Arm China.

    • He was ousted for using his position as the CEO of Arm to attract investments in his own firm, Alphatecture.

    • Removing Allen Wu has proven to be very difficult.

      • Despite a 7-1 vote by the Arm China board, the company seal was still held by Allen Wu.

    • Despite formally being fired, Allen Wu has remained in power.

      • He ousted executives that were loyal to Arm.

      • He has even hired security paid for by Arm China that reports to him.

      • This security has kept Arm out of the Arm China offices.

  • Arm has retaliated by halting the transfer of any new IP.

    • The latest CPU IP Arm China has is the Cortex A77.

    • Not sent over the wall are Neoverse server CPUs; many new developments in CPU, GPU, NPU, and fabrics; and the Armv9 instruction set.

  • This leads us to the present on Aug. 26, 2021,

    • where Arm China held an event at which they formally declared their independence.

    • They proclaimed that 安谋科技 is China’s largest CPU IP supplier.

    • It was born from Arm, but is an independently operate, Chinese owned company.

    • they also announced new IP which was independently developed. It is called the XPU line.

安谋科技-中国智能计算生态领航者

安谋科技(中国)有限公司(“安谋科技”)是一家独立运营、中资控股的合资公司。过去十余年,安谋科技及前身Arm公司中国子公司积极开拓,赋能了国内年产值过千亿人民币规模的芯片设计产业,拉动了下游年产值过万亿人民币规模的智能科技产业生态。

安谋科技(中国)有限公司 - 企查查

1 A ARM Limited 大股东, 实际控制人 47.3285% 3128.6478 2016-12-21 - 
2 Amber Leading (Hong Kong) Limited Amber Leading (Hong Kong) Limited 香港 36.0009% 2379.8375 2016-12-21 - 
3 宁波梅山保税港区安创成长股权投资合伙企业(有限合伙) 宁波梅山保税港区安创成长股权投资合伙企业(有限合伙) 私募基金 13.3008% 879.2486 - 深圳安创科技投资 
4 ARM Ecosystem Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited ARM Ecosystem Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited 香港 1.6983% 112.266 2016-12-21 - 
5 TL1016 Technology Limited TL1016 Technology Limited 香港 1.2000% 79.3259 2016-12-21 - 
6 宁波梅山保税港区安谋投资管理合伙企业(有限合伙) 宁波梅山保税港区安谋投资管理合伙企业(有限合伙) 0.4715% 31.1685 - 深圳安创科技投资 

Arm China Has Gone Rogue | Hacker News

dylan522p:

  • Author here, there is a Singaporean investor as well, but they have deep Chinese ties. I agree with your assessment. Allen Wu is an American citizen too, but loyal to China with deep CCP contacts.


Why are hyperlinks blue? | The Mozilla Blog

June 8, 1993 – Cello Beta

Cello was created at Cornell Law School so that lawyers could access their legal website from Windows computers.

There it was! Our hyperlink style, except it wasn’t a hyperlink, it was the heading. Our “link blue” had never shown up in user interfaces before 1993, and suddenly it appears in two instances within two short months of each other in two separate browsers at two different universities being built at the same time.

September, 1993 – Mosaic Ports

By September, a port of Mosaic was released to the Macintosh 7.1 operating system. I was able to locate a screenshot of this version which included a blue hyperlink which is the first visual evidence of the color blue being used to denote a hyperlink.

So why blue hyperlinks?

  • For color contrast? Unlikely.

    • If we look at the contrast between black as a text color, and blue as a link color, there is a contrast ratio of 2.3:1,

    • which would not pass as enough color contrast between the blue hyperlink and the black text.

  • both inspired by the same trends happening in user interface design at the time. My theory is that Windows 3.1 had just come out a few months before the beginning of both projects, and this interface was the first to use blue prominently as a selection color, paving the way for blue to be used as a hyperlink color.

  • The real reason why we have blue hyperlinks is simply because color monitors were becoming more popular around this time.