Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ The huge marches around the country will undoubtedly energize the anti-Trump movement for months to come.
Comment: Some pro-Trump publications have emphasized minor violence, either around the marches or the inauguration. Yes, that happened, but that misses the larger point. These were massive demonstrations, organized quickly, and they had virtually no violence.
◆ This is an actual NBC headline: “Analysis: Russia’s Mideast Actions Show Bid for Superpower Status”
◆ A more serious report in the NYT: “Russia Signs Deal for Syria Bases”
◆ China’s consumer sector is sluggish and likely to get worse, says Gordon Chang in Forbes.
Chinese consumption grew in absolute terms in 2016 but fell as a percentage of gross domestic product.–Gordon Chang
Comment: Chang offers interesting, critical comments. To them, I would add one obvious problem: Chinese statistics are not trustworthy. They are tilted toward what the regime wants. So, when they show bad news, the news is really bad.
◆ Tesla putting second-generation autopilot into Model S and Model X cars It says it has done so since October. It also says it will limit “autosteer” to 45 mph. (The Verge)
Comment: The pace of AI in automobiles is staggering and, over the next 5-10 years, will lead to major changes in passenger transportation, public transit, and trucking.
◆ Tech giants Amazon and Google battle to be first in voice recognition Google Home versus Amazon Echo, which launched two years earlier.
Why should Google care about Amazon? Because voice is seen as the next big field for computer interaction, and the home is a far better environment for voice detection than the great outdoors. Research company Gartner reckons that by 2018, 30% of all interactions with devices will be voice-based, because people can speak up to four times faster than they can type, and the technology behind voice interaction is improving all the time. –The Guardian