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The week that was

Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy
I spent last week in San Francisco where I joined work colleagues to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of SmartNews. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Lots of fascinating discussions as we look ahead. How do you define “quality journalism” algorithmically, stuff like that.
The talk of the town was a column published recently in The Atlantic and while no one would disagree that San Francisco has seen better days, there is open debate on if this truly a failure of progressive politics or developer-friendly politicians.
While I did not have the time to visit Alameda, my home for 15 years, I did have some time to watch the Celtics get trounced by the Warriors, twice. Since moving to NYC, I have shifted my allegiances to the grittier, in-your-face style of East Coast basketball but acknowledge Steph Curry and his team are a modern day marvel.
Here’s what else happened last week,

From last week's stumble around San Francisco's North Beach
From last week's stumble around San Francisco's North Beach
A software engineer at Google raised concerns that one of their artificial intelligence algorithms had reached sentience. He was put on administrative leave by the company. The ensuing debate over whether the transcript of the AI proved sentience or not became a Turing test of our own understanding of technology.
A 180,000 square meter autonomous cargo ship completed the 33-day voyage from the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal and into a port in South Korea using AI to determine the optimal route for fuel efficiency and distance.
The Nonhuman Rights Project lost its plea to free Happy, an elephant in the Bronx Zoo, who they argued was being unlawfully imprisoned. Extending habeas corpus to animals “would call into question the very premises underlying pet ownership” stated the majority decision. We also learned that Grumpy, who arrived with Happy in 1977, died after a confrontation with other elephants in 2002.
Microsoft retired their Internet Explorer web browser after nearly 27 years of continuous updates. The entire world has moved on to more modern browsers including Microsoft’s own Edge browser. All except for the Japan Pension Service that still requires Internet Explorer to function.
Joe Maddon, manager of the Los Angeles Angels, shaved his hair into a mohawk to motivate his team during a 14-game losing streak. The team never got to see it though because the GM fired him in-person at home before he could report to work.
An Alabama man, heartbroken at the sudden death of his fiancee in a car crash, was arrested for placing flowers at her graveside. The fiancee’s father, who did not approve of the marriage, reported him for littering.
Overheard in NYC
“Basically what I say, is wait two or three days. No response is a response.”
“It is what it is. You at least got a polo match out of it.”
Free whipped cream! Anyone want any free whipped cream? - garbage man as a his truck is busting up some garbage bags, spewing out days-old sour dairy foam.
🍦
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Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy @iankennedy

Highlighting the best of the rest. Quirky news stories from the week prior.

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Ian Kennedy : New York City