Issue 13

Kevin Rose
Apr 1, 2017 · 5 min read

Welcome to a previous issue of The Journal. To get the latest issue delivered to your inbox, once a month, sign up for the newsletter here.

Hi all,

I’m heading to Japan in a couple weeks (Tokyo & Kanazawa). I’ll be posting a bunch of live video and pics to my Instagram. Hope you can tune in, should be some fun nights.

Have a great month,

P.S. — Check out my important note on sponsored posts at the end of this issue.

This cartoon explains why Elon Musk thinks we’re characters in a computer simulation

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You’ve likely seen the video where Elon Musk entertains the idea that we’re living in a simulation. This illustrated comic on Vox does a great job of laying out his argument.

Slightly related: I’ve been down the rabbit hole trying to explore the idea of perception. Most people forget that our entire reality is rendered and created in our heads. Everything you perceive is a product of you. Meaning, the chair in the empty bedroom next door is not sitting there as you would visualize it in your head, rendered in full color like a picture. It’s only “visible” to any perceiving beings with perception hardware (a brain/photoreceptors) to visualize and construct that it’s a chair. So what does it look like when you’re not in the room and without anyone perceiving it?

Cartoon: We’re characters in a simulation (Vox — 7 min read)

Video: I test drive the first oven to use AI & computer vision to identify and cook my steak

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The June Oven’s hardware sounds closer to a self-driving car than an oven. It uses a quad-core Nvidia processor, camera, thermal probe, and integrated scale in tandem with AI and computer vision to identify and cook your food. It’s without a doubt the most ambitious smart oven built to date.

Note: I unfortunately only had one afternoon with the June Oven, so it hasn’t been through my thorough multi-week review process. That said, if the steaks I cooked are any indication, this is going to be a great device.

June Oven demo video ($1,495)

The apps I use for work

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Phil P. writes:

“Kevin, I’d love to see a list of the Apps that you use at work. Calendar, storage, project management, etc.” ~Phil P.

Thanks for the email, Phil. Here is my list:

Storage, documents, email, spreadsheets: G Suite
Mobile email: Gmail
Calendar (MacOS & iOS): BusyCal
Contact management: Full Contact
Team communication: Slack
Project management: Basecamp
App prototyping: InVision
Design: Sketch
Screenshot sharing: CloudApp
Team password management: 1password
Functionality flowcharts: OmniGraffle
App analytics: Firebase
App downloads & reviews: appFigures
Todo & Notes: Reminders & Notes app (iOS default)
Email and document proofreading: Grammarly
Mobile document scanning (save as PDF to Google Drive): Scannable
Document signatures: Hellosign
Conference calls: UberConference
Audio editing: Logic Pro X
Video conferencing: Hangouts
Encrypted chat & calls: Signal
Newsletters: Mailchimp

Video: Hong Kong’s architecture of density

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A must watch: stunning video showcasing photography by Michael Wolf.

Michael Wolf, Hong Kong (Video: 5:30)

Video: How the inventor of Mario designs a game

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If you’ve played Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, or Donkey Kong, then you are familiar with the creations of Shigeru Miyamoto.

In this short video, Mr. Miyamoto explains some of the game design principles that led to his biggest hits.

Mr. Miyamoto interview (Video: 5:54)

New album from SOHN: Rennen

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I’m a huge SOHN fan. Never heard of him? Put some headphones on, right now, then start here (video). It’s going to be fun to watch this artist evolve over time, a lot of raw talent and potential here.

Genre: electronic, ambient
Rennen (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play / my favorite track)

A note on paid placement & sponsored stories

A few people have written in asking how they can advertise or “purchase a story” in The Journal. This is something I take very seriously and wanted to address.

I believe in full transparency around paid posts. If something is paid, it should be labeled as such. To date, I’ve never received any compensation (paid or otherwise), from a brand or ad agency, for posting any product or service in The Journal. If the product exists on Amazon, I do link it with an affiliate code, because this doesn’t impact the consumer’s purchase price and the funds come from Amazon, not the company.

There have been several times I have given away a product (e.g. Blue Bottle Coffee & Fruition 100% Chocolate bars), in those instances, the product was donated for the giveaway, but the placement was not paid. I chose to feature them because I believe in the products. If there is ever a product in which I’m an investor (owning equity in the company), I will state it as such, as I did in the case of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Will I ever take advertising? Not right now. Eventually, when the list grows to a large enough size, I’ll consider a clearly marked sponsored post per newsletter. This would allow me to hire additional video and research help, improving the end product for you.

This newsletter recommends quite a few products and services, so I wanted to clear this up. Jeopardizing my reputation over hidden paid placement is short sighted and obviously not worth it.


I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.
~Alan Watts (1915–1973)

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The Journal by Kevin Rose

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