Box of Amazing: Cows wearing VR make better milk  
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering emerging technology, trends and extraordinary articles, hand picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Editor's Note
Welcome - if you love Box of Amazing, please forward this email. If you don't love Box of Amazing, please unsubscribe. 

My recommendations for this week:

1. Inside the Fall of WeWork Link
2. The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius Link
3. 8 Psychological Tricks of Restaurant Menus Link
4. Alexa’s voice can now express disappointment and excitement Link
5. Big Tech's Big Defector Link
6. The FDA Cracks Down on CBD Link
7. The Butter Thesis Link
8. Glass half-full: how I learned to be an optimist in a week Link
9. 26 Favorite Books of High Achievers Link
10. Five Lies you have been told about Leftovers Link

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. The Annihilation of Retail through AI
"AI and broadband are eating retail for breakfast. In the first half of 2019, we’ve seen 19 retailer bankruptcies. And the retail apocalypse is only accelerating. What’s coming next is astounding. Why drive when you can speak? Revenue from products purchased via voice commands is expected to quadruple from today’s US$2 billion to US$8 billion by 2023. Virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing are converging with artificial intelligence, drones, and 5G to transform shopping on every dimension. And as a result, shopping is becoming dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized… a top-to-bottom transformation of the retail world."  Link
2. How Facebook looks for bad stuff
"The company has been training its machine-learning systems to identify and label objects in videos—from the mundane, such as vases or people—to the dangerous, such as guns or knives. Facebook’s AI uses two main approaches to look for dangerous content. One is to employ neural networks that look for features and behaviors of known objects and label them with varying percentages of confidence"  Link
3. The State of European Tech in 2019
An Excellent data store and a treasure trove of information on what's happening the UK and Mainland Europe.  Link
4. Humans put into suspended animation for first time
"Doctors have put humans into a state of suspended animation for the first time in a groundbreaking trial that aims to buy more time for surgeons to save seriously injured patients. The process involves rapidly cooling the brain to less than 10C by replacing the patient’s blood with ice-cold saline solution. Typically the solution is pumped directly into the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Known formally as emergency preservation and resuscitation, or EPR, the procedure is being trialled on people who sustain such catastrophic injuries that they are in danger of bleeding to death and who suffer a heart attack shortly before they can be treated. The patients, who are often victims of stabbings or shootings, would normally have less than a 5% chance of survival."  Link
5. New VR Interface Enables "Touch" Across Long Distances
"The new patch is a type of haptic device, a technology that remotely conveys tactile signals. A common example is video game controllers that vibrate when the player’s avatar takes a hit. Some researchers think more advanced, wearable versions of such interfaces will become a vital part of making virtual and augmented reality experiences feel like they are actually happening. “If you take a look at what exists today in VR and AR, it consists primarily of auditory and visual channels as the main basis for the sensory experience,” says John A. Rogers, a physical chemist and material scientist at Northwestern University, whose team helped develop the new haptic patch. “But we think that the skin itself—the sense of touch—could qualitatively add to your experience that you could achieve with VR, beyond anything that's possible with audio and video.”" Link
6. Rethinking McKinsey
"When businessmen talk to partners of McKinsey, the high priests of management consultancy, it is like Catholics going to confession. They reveal all. They expect confidentiality. And whether or not it changes behaviour, the act itself is good for the soul. In this era of corporate unease, over everything from the next recession to climate change, executives are lining up at the confessional. But McKinsey, too, has some soul-searching to do. Its industry, estimated to be worth $300bn, is, like those of its clients, being transformed. And as its most revered—and hermetic—standard-bearer, it is under more scrutiny than ever before."  Link
7. Boston Police Robot Dogs
"Massachusetts State Police has been asked to explain how it is using robot dogs, by a civil liberties group. The police force has spent the past three months testing "Spot" robot dogs alongside some of its officers. The robots, made by Boston Dynamics, are believed to have helped with several live incidents as well as training scenarios. The American Civil Liberties Union wants details about how and where the robots were being used."  Link
8. Cows wearing VR headsets might produce better milk
It's not just humans who can benefit from VR. Moscow-area farmers strapped modified VR headsets to cows to see if it improved their mood -- and, of course, their milk production. The project subjected cattle to a simulated summer field with colors tuned for the animals' eyes, giving them a decidedly more pleasing landscape than a plain, confining farm. And yes, the headsets were adapted to the "structural features" of cows' heads so that they could see properly. It appears to have worked, at least on a basic level. The first test reduced the cows' anxiety and boosted their overall sentiment. While it's not certain how well this affects the quality or volume of milk, there are plans for a more "comprehensive" study to answer that question.  Link
9. Tim Berners-Lee is going to save the Internet
"“I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater,” Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, told the Guardian. “If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.” Link
10. The Cryptoqueen Scam
"Ruja Ignatova called herself the Cryptoqueen. She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. Then, two years ago, she disappeared. Jamie Bartlett spent months investigating how she did it for the Missing Cryptoqueen podcast, and trying to figure out where she's hiding." Link
This email contains the ten most important stories that I have read this week. 
You can get my long list of recommended reading by following me (@rahim) on Twitter.
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Box of Amazing is a personal project that I first started in 2017 to help curate quality articles for myself to fine-tune my reading around emerging technologies and the future. I now send this out by email every Sunday to whoever wants to receive it. The newsletter consists of ten great articles (topical recommended reading) and ten stories (what's amazing!). Box of Amazing now has thousands of readers spanning the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo and across multiple industries including strategy consultancy houses (McKinsey to Bain), from all the FAANG companies (Facebook to Alphabet), from startups to scaleups, from unicorns to brand new companies as well as people just interested in staying ahead of the game. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about the emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. If you have been forwarded this email, you can sign up at boxofamazing.com - it's free.

Thank you for reading

- Rahim

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