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Earnings roundup

Microsoft succeeds... and stagnates. The tech company beat fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue but issued lower quarterly revenue guidance, resulting in minimal stock movement, CNBC reports.

Microsoft beats on revenue and earnings; stock is little changed

Microsoft continues to roll on, but investors will likely start to worry if the growth in Azure, a large part of its cloud business, continues to contract. Other interesting facts: LinkedIn is apparently growing, as are Windows licenses for other computer makers. Revenue for Microsoft's own Surface products

Microsoft continues to roll on, but investors will likely start to worry if the growth in Azure, a large part of its cloud business, continues to contract. Other interesting facts: LinkedIn is apparently growing, as are Windows licenses for other computer makers. Revenue for Microsoft's own Surface products, however, contracted in the quarter. Perhaps everyone knew new products were on the way.

Zuckerberg's battle with trust

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t understand the unbanked. Not everyone is the eighth-richest person in the world. How are you supposed to use Libra if you can't afford a phone?

Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t realize other people don’t have money

What US lawmakers continually fail to see is that Facebook is a global company, just based in the US. I actually completely disagree with this article’s author and the senators quoted from the hearing. While it does seems that Zuckerberg is out of touch with the plight of the American poor, I would argue

What US lawmakers continually fail to see is that Facebook is a global company, just based in the US. I actually completely disagree with this article’s author and the senators quoted from the hearing. While it does seems that Zuckerberg is out of touch with the plight of the American poor, I would argue that his Libra solution is very well suited for poor people in developing countries across the world. “Can’t afford a mobile phone” is the lamest argument I’ve ever heard. In the US there are programs at the state and federal level to provide assistance to people who can’t afford a mobile phone. And across the world, where mobile phones leapfrogged landlines and traditional banking, people own mobiles (some “smart” some traditional) and use them to pay for everything in their daily life, completely digitally. Some people in parts of Asia and Africa have consistent access to cell phones and cell service before having access to air conditioning or clean water. The blank stares in that room are because Libra is a tool for the larger world and the common problems out there, not just what goes on in the confines of the USA

"There's underbanking because people are broke," said Rep. Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat. "I fail to see how [Libra] helps people with virtually no money. You are attempting to use technology to solve what is inherently an issue of wealth."

The fact that Zuckerberg used people’s trust in sharing their content with Facebook as a foundational reason to trust its currency is lunacy. I guess he’s been too busy isolating himself on his private island to remember the last three years of public conversation. It’s almost hilarious.

Google’s quantum leap

Google achieves "quantum supremacy." After publishing—and swiftly deleting—a paper claiming to have built a machine that could do 10,000 years of supercomputations in mere seconds, CEO Sundar Pichai finally talked to MIT Technology Review about his company's latest breakthrough.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on achieving quantum supremacy

While this is indeed a milestone (even with a little help by means of sticking to a very narrow task), it's not really relevant for the average person. It just proves in practice something computer scientists expected in theory. That we can prove it now (like what happened with many of Einstein's hypothesis

While this is indeed a milestone (even with a little help by means of sticking to a very narrow task), it's not really relevant for the average person. It just proves in practice something computer scientists expected in theory. That we can prove it now (like what happened with many of Einstein's hypothesis) is a great milestone but not very functional.

On the bright side, the milestone puts pressure on the competition, which will have to accelerate their investments.

Whether or not quantum computing will ever be something that mere humans would need on a daily basis the idea of data analysis on the scale of populations by companies would seem a valuable skill. What will Google ir any social media do if the public decides to protect their data and switch to free access

Whether or not quantum computing will ever be something that mere humans would need on a daily basis the idea of data analysis on the scale of populations by companies would seem a valuable skill. What will Google ir any social media do if the public decides to protect their data and switch to free access systems paid for by advertising.

Putting real women on pedestals

Exceptional humans

Hearing aids are due for an upgrade. New research into the brain's sound mixing capabilities could radically improve how hearing aids work.

A new look at how the brain processes sound could radically improve hearing aids

Different from hearing aids but related: We actually have the technology to address these hearing issues in cochlear implants.

I'm a cochlear implant user (Cochlear, if you're familiar with implant processor companies) and we have features to help us better hear in loud or busy situations mentioned

Different from hearing aids but related: We actually have the technology to address these hearing issues in cochlear implants.

I'm a cochlear implant user (Cochlear, if you're familiar with implant processor companies) and we have features to help us better hear in loud or busy situations mentioned in the article, like the "cocktail party."

We have "Beam," for my implant microphone to specifically focus on one speaker and where my processor lowers the sound of distracting background noise, best for a one-on-one conversation at a crowded restaurant. And we have "Scan," where I can open my implant microphone's focus to hone into about 1-3 people I'm facing, for casual conversations with friends in a loud setting and where multiple people are talking (sort of an "expansion" of the "Beam" setting).

There are other features I haven't mentioned——My audiologist and I can place these settings on certain "programs" (I have four of them on my current processor) and I can toggle between them anytime I'd like. I use the features here and there when they may come in handy.

I had no idea loss of hearing can increase incidence of cognitive decline, like dementia. I also never realized that scientists still do not understand quite how the brain chooses which voice to concentrate on and listen to in chaotic or layered auditory environments (bar, sporting event or cocktail

I had no idea loss of hearing can increase incidence of cognitive decline, like dementia. I also never realized that scientists still do not understand quite how the brain chooses which voice to concentrate on and listen to in chaotic or layered auditory environments (bar, sporting event or cocktail party). I take a lot of my day for granted.

Marking 30 years of the web

The Steve Jobs speech that made Silicon Valley obsessed with pirates. In the early 1980s, Steve Jobs delivered a speech to Apple employees that included a metaphor about pirates. Since then, startups and tech companies have embraced the tale, while simultaneously misinterpreting it.

The Steve Jobs speech that made Silicon Valley obsessed with pirates

It's a tale as old as time: scrappy, innovative outsider becomes the establishment, and the ethos that helped make them that way becomes warped by copycats. The phrase is a perfect microcosm for the tech industry as a whole.

Great article. There is an investor-fueled myth that being a “pirate” is required. Surely, no one gets to define new categories without challenging the status quo. But pirates will be more effective if they can scale like the navy... that’s where the big returns come from.

I’ve had the opportunity

Great article. There is an investor-fueled myth that being a “pirate” is required. Surely, no one gets to define new categories without challenging the status quo. But pirates will be more effective if they can scale like the navy... that’s where the big returns come from.

I’ve had the opportunity to advise some startups and have seen the gamut of overly ambitious with no execution to the opposite end of purely tactical with no bigger ambition. Neither extreme is the place to be over the long term.

But from a cultural perspective, I agree, perhaps new symbols are needed to enable a culture that challenges rules while respectful of individuals...

Jobs was being literal about pirates. According to Wikipedia Jobs misled Atari, lied to Wozniak so he could rip him off and broke laws selling blue boxes to phone phreaks.

Lying stealing greed and a willingness to break the law sounds like a pirate.

Don't understand the confusion.

Technology has opened different doors that make this happen. Remember Napster? It opened the door to music subscriptions and looking at music distribution in a different way, while breaking nearly all the rules in the industry.

To me, Jobs understood the Sillicon Valley ethos long before it became

Technology has opened different doors that make this happen. Remember Napster? It opened the door to music subscriptions and looking at music distribution in a different way, while breaking nearly all the rules in the industry.

To me, Jobs understood the Sillicon Valley ethos long before it became mainstream. He was one of the original pirates, before it became cool to want to break the way things have worked. I suppose there’s an allure to the notion of being iconoclastic, and Jobs inspired that within Apple’s walls.

White House under pressure

US tech grows globally

Snapchat is finding new life outside the US. Parent company Snap posted its third-quarter earnings report this week, which revealed that it added 7 million new daily active users. The bulk of the new users, 5 million of them, are from new, burgeoning markets.

Snapchat is finding new life outside the US

Netflix’s quarterly report showed that the bulk of their growth Q3 was also outside of the US. Aside from the day-to-day business struggles of a giant silicon-valley funded company, US consumers need to take note that they may be playing second fiddle before long when it comes to their favorite brands and Apps

Positive signs for Snap, but I still think it’s going to be a massive test for them to compete for ad revenue against Instagram and now TikTok. It’s great that they’re experimenting and finding new users outside of the US, but without new revenue streams, I can’t see how they get to profitability anytime

Positive signs for Snap, but I still think it’s going to be a massive test for them to compete for ad revenue against Instagram and now TikTok. It’s great that they’re experimenting and finding new users outside of the US, but without new revenue streams, I can’t see how they get to profitability anytime soon. Hope I’m proven wrong though, as they’re one of the few social sites constantly taking risks and trying new things.

India's coal addiction

What makes coal so dirty? It’s a crucial question, given that without cutting its use drastically, the world won’t hit its greenhouse gas emissions targets. Quartz reporter Akshat explains the trouble with the sedimentary rock, which India uses for 55% of its energy. ✦

The science of what makes coal so dirty

Coal's many sins shouldn't be used to forget the value it has offered to humanity. Coal powered the industrial revolution and it continues to pull people out of poverty in much of the world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, coal helped create the carbon-based branch of chemistry we call "organic chemistry,

Coal's many sins shouldn't be used to forget the value it has offered to humanity. Coal powered the industrial revolution and it continues to pull people out of poverty in much of the world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, coal helped create the carbon-based branch of chemistry we call "organic chemistry," which I studied to gain my PhD from the University of Oxford. Organic chemists have won one in five of all Nobel Prizes in chemistry awarded over the last 120 years.

Coal is typically just carbon when taught in chemistry class. I had no idea that in reality, it contains so many other elements (mercury, cadmium, etc). The coal scientist Akshat quotes sums it up nicely: “coal is the most complex solid we’ve ever found and analyzed”.

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The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

The Shady Link Between Sunscreen and Your Health

Read more on Outside Online

From Our Members

  • The article sheds a different perspective which is not mainstream: stepping out to light reasonably without sunscreen is good. Makes sense. We should be open to explore more any subject to get to know the right picture.

  • This is a great, in-depth look at the some of the shady (lol) science behind sunscreen recommendations.

    I had always thought that some of these guidelines were so strict because both the FDA and AAD know that people don't really use sunscreen; stricter guidelines were thought to encourage people will

    This is a great, in-depth look at the some of the shady (lol) science behind sunscreen recommendations.

    I had always thought that some of these guidelines were so strict because both the FDA and AAD know that people don't really use sunscreen; stricter guidelines were thought to encourage people will use SOME protection to avoid burns, not to stop them from going outside.

    I'm also disappointed this doesn't look at the differences between UVA and UVB exposure; my understanding was that the two types of radiation have different effects on the skin, and I wonder if they'd have different effects on blood pressure, too.

    I also think Jacobson overlooks how severe melanoma and basal cell carcinomas can be, and fails to account for lifestyle factors that may affect someone's longer life expectancy if they do develop basal cell carcinomas. Also, the life expectancy of early humans was probably too short for them to realistically develop any kind of cancer, let alone skin cancer.

    All that said, Jacobson does a lot of things right: He does a great job pointing out that the USA has some of the strictest guidelines for sunscreen, which were written exclusively for white people, and are likely bolstered by a marketing push for people who want to sell sunscreen. And, I'm more inclined to trust his reporting because of his conclusions: Sunburns are dangerous, especially in kiddos, and each of us should make our own decisions about the risks of sun exposure.

    TLDR A really interesting, well-reported, thought provoking read on the state of sun protection.

  • This is a dangerous bit of advice to link blood pressure reduction to time in the sun. As someone who lost their father to skin cancer and have had numerous personal scares with it, the best advice is to be incredibly careful with sun exposure. There’s safer ways to improve your blood pressure - yoga

    This is a dangerous bit of advice to link blood pressure reduction to time in the sun. As someone who lost their father to skin cancer and have had numerous personal scares with it, the best advice is to be incredibly careful with sun exposure. There’s safer ways to improve your blood pressure - yoga, meditation, sleep and balanced diet. We are living in a time where most people never have their skin checked and we’re finally seeing some progress on skin cancer awareness.

  • I think a lot of people are going to see this and say "sunscreen is a racket!" and that's a bad takeaway.

    I think this author could have done a better job of contextualizing absolute and relative risk. Most people don't understand the difference and it's a key difference.

    Doubling the risk of something

    I think a lot of people are going to see this and say "sunscreen is a racket!" and that's a bad takeaway.

    I think this author could have done a better job of contextualizing absolute and relative risk. Most people don't understand the difference and it's a key difference.

    Doubling the risk of something sounds soopa scary, and it might be! But it's not if doubling is 2% from 1%.

    The other thing I don't like about this article is that it only talks about three health interventions: sunlight, sunscreen, and meds. But diet, activity, stress, genetics, and alllll sorts of other things are just as - if not more - impactful on health outcomes.

    It's a false dichotomy that does a disservice to the research at the core of this thesis. This researcher is not saying "stop wearing sunscreen" he's saying "moderate sun exposure is a part of a healthy lifestyle".

  • Still looks like there’s a ways to go on this but it’s an interesting counter view

  • This is a very interesting story. Strange to think that so few of us noticed that the sun has become the enemy while sunscreen and vitamin sales have going through the roof. Millions of years of evolution versus the cultists who take it upon themselves to “save everyone”...

  • I KNEW IT.

  • There’s an added element to how this advice has played out for women. This article made me feel particularly betrayed by dermatologists who over the years treated minimal sun exposure--the kind that comes from liking to do outdoor activities in the summer--as a self-destructive impulse that not only

    There’s an added element to how this advice has played out for women. This article made me feel particularly betrayed by dermatologists who over the years treated minimal sun exposure--the kind that comes from liking to do outdoor activities in the summer--as a self-destructive impulse that not only risked my health, but, maybe worse, would make me look old.

    Overall, I found this article to be a fascinating roundup of research that has been bubbling up for years. I agree with Phoebe and Katherine that the message isn’t, and shouldn’t be, never use sunscreen, but rather don’t fear the sun and also try not to get burned.

  • They’re trying to kill us! Is it made in China? I won’t put anything Chinese in my mouth

  • I see the biggest health problem is the lack of Vitamin D that we get from the sun. D is important for our immune systems. So if people are going to be extreme about avoiding sun exposure there should be

    warnings on sunscreen

  • Important for two reasons: 1. The sun is our friend; 2. We know nothing; 3. But that’s not a reason to discount climate science; 4. I know, that’s more than two things. Sorry.

  • The sun can be good for you too—especially if you're a person of color with a much lower risk of skin cancer

  • Maybe this is why I feel so good after a day of being out in the sunshine!

  • Yup

  • Fantastic article that shows, once more, how dangerous it is to be overly deterministic about life and nature in general. I love how some doctors say sun isn't necessary because we have drugs to solve the problems we generate due to low sun exposure...

  • Science seems to always think it is smarter than nature and nature keeps winning.

    We as humans somehow think nature is out to hurt us and we need to protect ourselves, but sometimes we just need to see ourselves as animals that are here to be in nature.

    Yes, sometimes we need to protect against certain

    Science seems to always think it is smarter than nature and nature keeps winning.

    We as humans somehow think nature is out to hurt us and we need to protect ourselves, but sometimes we just need to see ourselves as animals that are here to be in nature.

    Yes, sometimes we need to protect against certain elements but the sun is here to allow us to live and not trying to kill us.

  • Good news for Florida. Soak up the sun and live healthier.

  • This is why science is so important and yet we must continue to ask questions. For example, does it matter if we supplement with vitamin D if D-protein carriers are not adequate?

  • SUN = LIFE

  • I always knew sunscreen was a LIE!

  • This makes a whole lotta sense and looking at how nature works - and reminding ourselves that we are actually part of nature - I find myself enjoying a bit of midday sun with "guns out" as often as I can. Using the pomodoro method for work, I spend one pomodoro outside - and my caucasian skin has not

    This makes a whole lotta sense and looking at how nature works - and reminding ourselves that we are actually part of nature - I find myself enjoying a bit of midday sun with "guns out" as often as I can. Using the pomodoro method for work, I spend one pomodoro outside - and my caucasian skin has not turned tomato yet. It's actually also a nice break 😎

  • Interesting