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D&T Issue 28

Urban Ladder, Resilience docking on ISS, 100 D3 Visualisations and designing to save people from themselves

Hello! Its Wednesday again. It always feels like a great time of the week, almost like a weekend till you realize you got tricked again, much like every week. Well, a lot of Europe is now again talking about 4-week workdays. That’s gonna teach them Thursdays. No one’s gonna take them Thursdays seriously.

Anyway, here’s the Wednesday dossier that you rave about:

Interviewed here, prolific geologist and math soothsayer Peter Turchin talks about his assessment of the fabric of our society, where it is heading and how wrong we are to assume the worst is behind us. Peter Turchin uses math to study human history and predict its future. Heavy, but fantastic read.

As Nielsen Norman put it, “A mental model is based on belief, not facts: that is, it’s a model of what users know (or think they know) about a system such as your website.” Applying mental model principles to product design can provide clues for building user connections, empathy, trust, and brands, even for products that are not well known. The article provides a case study of some popular apps and the application of mental models in its design. Also, a must-read is this compilation of insights and mental models from the same house.

While designing experiences for the user, one thing we sub-consciously do is also to design to save users from their own mistakes, insecurities, and ignorance. From Undo options to duplicate entry points and volume warnings, there are checks in place to help users with a way out. The article discusses some important approaches in this regard and how they operate to make the user more comfortable.

Recently Reliance purchased Urban ladder for a humble sum of money compared to how much the company had raised and considering the fact that it was in profits. Well, profits aside, some businesses, especially in home furnishing etc need more than profits, they need to cash to operate. Further, as Aditi Shrivastava points out in her report, Urban Ladder made quite a few mistakes reacting to wrong market trends and responding late to the ones that mattered. This report is brief, astute and quite informational on the for a short read.

Crew-1 is the first of 6 crewed missions that NASA and SpaceX will operate as part of Commercial Crew Program, whose objective is to make access to space easier in terms of cost. As part of the mission, 4 astronauts and Baby Yoda. docked into the ISS on Monday onboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
Meanwhile, things were not smooth sailing for European launch provider Arianespace when its rocket carrying two satellites failed,making it a second major failure of this particular type of rocket within the last two years.

Airbnb is filing for a billion-dollar IPO. From its filings, it claims to have posted losses for the first two quarters of the year and profits this quarter as bookings rebounded. Its however doesn’t seem like its new efforts around Experiences took off. Here’s a look at some lingering questions surrounding the IPO.

It is exactly as I wrote in the title. No fluff. I have been looking into d3 lately and this was a phenomenal find. A lot of these are of course Observable demos by Mike Bostock.

Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne had bet against John Preskill that information that once hits a Black Hole vanishes forever. This was one of the biggest paradoxes in Physics since it violated the principle of Unitarity in Quantum Mechanics. This principle essentially states that a present always holds information of its past. Turns out information does escape black holes.

A worthy bookmark, this is an evolving collection of tutorials for developers and learners in ML/DL to understand how ML features are actually deployed into production code. Additionally, this aims to do everything with open source stuff. Seems super practical.

I will admit, there’s some bias in me mentioning two of my favourite individuals here. But hey everyone loves either of them talk. This is a new podcast series by the two on Gatesnotes. In the most recent podcast, they discuss the drastic change in the world post-Covid. The next one is scheduled to be about the inevitability of inequality. Yes, you were not alone when you thought starting a podcast would be nice during the lockdown. Bill thought so as well.

Btw, I think it is time to get the cat out of the hat. Not sure if that’s a phrase. Point is, we are gonna let more people know about D&T soon. Stay Tuned!!

Have a great life.

Canvs Club