WEEKLY REVIEW  |  November 2, 2017



Is Amazon Key the camel’s nose?

For some, having everything from groceries to electronics delivered directly to their door isn’t enough—they want them placed inside the door. Luckily, for the price of a new smart camera and an annual fee, Amazon delivery drivers will now be able to enter your home to drop off goods when you’re not there. Or when you just don’t want to get off the couch. But Amazon doesn’t plan to stop at deliveries. It views the Key as a gateway to…getting through your gate. Once it’s been rolled out, the company plans to let more people in—to offer a range of in-home services to users.

Channel surfing meets couch scuba.

In the past year, 29% of the shallow-water coral in the Great Barrier Reef was killed due to rising sea temperatures. According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the situation is becoming increasingly dire. As part of its Rebooting the Reef series, CNET has put together a roundup of projects from Google, the BBC, Netflix, and Australian nonprofit New Horizons to raise awareness about the reef’s impending collapse. By allowing people to explore the world’s largest living organism in their living rooms on TV, online, or in fully immersive 360-degree virtual reality, the project aims to show the jaw-dropping beauty of the Great Barrier Reef—and what we must do to save it.


Pelaton aims to make its $2,000 stationary bike an attainable luxury.

A $2,000 price tag may seem pretty steep for an exercise bike—particularly for those that don’t have the disposable income to drop on something they can’t ride to work. To date, Peloton has reportedly raised almost $450 million in funding to build its business, and it’s now using a financing program, new advertising, and sponsorship deals to broaden its market.

Top digital marketing trends for 2018.

This post from a social media marketing consultant highlights his key takeaways from HubSpot’s INBOUND17 conference—and what it portends for 2018. From the crazy open rates for Facebook Messenger campaigns to the march of the chatbots to AI for optimizing subject lines and email send times, social media is becoming, well, less social. And it’s all the more reason why his final point may be the most critical of all.


Why Steve Jobs’ buildings will be his most tangible legacy.

When it came to design, Steve Jobs was…opinionated. Some would contend that, for many years, Apple was more of a design house than a computer company. But his attention to detail didn’t stop with the products his companies made, or the quality of the rendering for Pixar’s films. It went down to the arrangement of the bathrooms and even the door handles of the offices in which his employees worked. A mind-blowing 2012 New Yorker piece on the psychology of groupthink used Jobs’ buildings as case studies and highlighted how Jobs was, “a fanatical believer in the power of space to enhance the work of groups.” While the iPhone and MacBook may be largely unrecognizable in a matter of years, structures like the Pixar headquarters in Emeryville and Cupertino’s latest Apple HQ mean Steve Jobs’ buildings may be his most tangible legacy.

CurveUps are flat sheets that automatically transform into 3D objects.

Take a second to ponder this: a piece of paper can be folded into literally any conceivable three-dimensional shape. For years, many believed this to be true, but it took an 18-year-old Canadian PhD student to prove it. In 1999, Eric Demaine published a paper that blew open the field of computational origami. Demaine went on to become the youngest MIT professor in history, and in 2017 he and Tomohiro Tachi announced a universal algorithm for folding origami shapes. Their Origamizer software uses the algorithm to make it “readily computationally implementable” (i.e., it’s a computer program that lets you do it without understanding the more than 60-page long proof). Using their work, in 2010 scientists developed self-folding robots and now, with new materials, researchers have created “CurveUps,” objects that can “self-transform, moving from 2D to 3D without any external influence.” Is that mind-bending enough for you? How about this: these very same principles govern the way the structures of your brain—and everything from proteins to galaxies—take shape.


Top tech influencer: Kara Swisher.

The self-proclaimed “grumpy lady of tech” is a career-long technology journalist for outlets including the Wall Street Journal. A co-founder of Recode, Swisher is known for her insight—and whimsy—to her 1.27M followers on Twitter. From bleeding-edge tech to current events, Swisher’s take is always a key data point.


Another Hole in the Head film festival

San Francisco’s “horror, sci-fi, dark fantasy and exploitation cinema” festival? ’Nuff said.

San Mateo Harvest Festival

Food, tunes, crafts, and art, San Mateo–style

Pinot Days San Francisco

Over 80 artisan winemakers from every domestic Pinot Noir region will pour…

Oakland’s First Fridays Block Party

First Fridays in Oakland is rightfully renown. Check out the food, Oakland-made craft beer and spirits, and open galleries. Get off at 19th St. BART and step over to Flora for a “Carter Beats the Devil.”


Bring the heat: tips for adding spice to cocktails.

From DIY chile infusions to Ancho chile spirits, adding a little heat to your cocktails can be pretty straightforward. But just like the potent potables to which you add them—use your judgement when you consume them. But then, you’re here for the recipe. Behold: the Thai chili-infused “Carter Beats the Devil” from Oakland’s incomparable Flora restaurant.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Hunter S. Thompson