Kabul 2.0

Dwaiter Weekly


August 26, 2021


Technology Now Powers the Taliban

Wikimedia Commons

During their reign in the 1990s, the Taliban banned the internet. Now they use social media to threaten and cajole the Afghan people, in a sign of how they might use technology to consolidate power, the New York Times reports. The decision to embrace, rather than reject, technology also was a key to the movement’s survival and eventual retaking of Afghanistan, Bloomberg reports.


The Chip Shortage's Vicious Circle

There's a shortage of semiconductors in part because of, well, a shortage of semiconductors. Axios reports that the main problem during the first half of the year was a dearth of wafers; now, the problem is assembling those wafers into integrated circuits for circuit boards. Assembly equipment is in short supply because the equipment, too, needs chips.


The Promise of a Flexible Microprocessor 

Researchers have developed a microprocessor built on plastic rather than silicon—and they say it could enable smarter food labels and supply chain management, Scientific American reports. The microprocessor consists of thin-film transistors on a substrate of flexible, high-performance plastic rather than rigid silicon and is cheap to build. It's not a high-performance processor—the chip in the original iPhone back in 2007 is 14,000 times faster—but it’s designed for applications that don’t need that level of performance.


Slow by (Bad) Design

Lousy productivity getting you down? It might not be your fault; the culprit could be your software, Fast Company reports. According to a new research paper, for which nearly 200 design teams and dozens of frontline workers were interviewed, the enterprise software used at work is slowing us down, and for all sorts of reasons, from individual components of the UI to the workflows.



OpenTable Partners with Clear on Vaccine Card

OpenTable is partnering with Clear to add the airport security specialist’s digital vaccine card for proof of vaccination at restaurants, Fortune reports. Many major cities across the U.S as well as countries across the European Union have begun to mandate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before entry for indoor dining.


UI Designed for Voice 

The word “interface” typically is associated with the graphical user interface. However, a new, more natural way for customers to interact with their digital tools is emerging: voice. Web Designer Depot looks at what designers need to think about when designing for voice UI.


Is Your Startup Idea Any Good? 

Think you have a brilliant idea for a startup? You may have done the preliminary market research and spoken to many potential customers, and received positive feedback. But how do you really know that the idea is the seed of a great company? Figuring this out is no easy task, writes Shirish Nadkarni, author of "From Startup To Exit: An Insider’s Guide To Launching And Scaling Your Tech Business," on Inc.com.


A Security-Alert Startup Is Now a Target

Sara Wahedi’s Kabul-based startup offers streamlined security-related information. Wahedi tells Rest of World that her team is working around the clock monitoring and providing security updates across the city. But the nature of their app also makes it a target.


Immersed in Van Gogh

"Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience," which pairs works by the famed 19th-century artist with 21st-century projection technology, has begun a limited run in Buffalo. Images from more than 300 artworks that span the career of the Dutch impressionist painter flow into one another across four walls, three canvases in the middle of the room and onto the floor, the Buffalo News reports.


Complex Brew

A team of German scientists who analyzed over 400 commercial beers from 40 countries has identified at least 7,700 different chemical formulas and tens of thousands of unique molecules, according to a recent paper. And they did it with a new approach that can analyze a sample in just 10 minutes. "Beer is an example of enormous chemical complexity," one of the scientists told Ars Technica.

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