Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Tech Wreck

Before Clearview Became a Police Tool, It Was a Secret Plaything of the Rich by Kashmir Hill (NYT)

The facial recognition application has driven concerns that law enforcement may misuse technology, but a bigger concern may be some of its most elite non-police customers. [Link; soft paywall]

Twitter is about to become an even bigger weapon of disinformation by Mark Wilson (Fast Company)

The social networking site is testing a feature that brings ephemerality to microblogging, echoing the sort of disappearing posts common to Snapchat or Instagram’s Stories. [Link]


Democratic Republic of the Congo discharges last Ebola patient after 14 days without confirmed cases by Morgan Winsor (ABC)

While the Covid-19 pandemic is gripping attention, it would be easy to overlook the amazing news that the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to have completely eliminated Ebola, with the last confirmed case discharged from hospital this week. [Link; auto-playing video]

Covid-19 Contingencies

I Lived Through SARS and Reported on Ebola. These Are the Questions We Should Be Asking About Coronavirus. by Caroline Chen (ProPublica)

A long Q&A about best practices and interpretation of data and advisories related to Covid-19, with detailed background and explanation. [Link]

Washington State risks seeing explosion in coronavirus cases without dramatic action, new analysis says by Helen Branswell (Stat News)

An analysis of viral genomes suggests that Covid-19 has been circulating in Washington State since January, and that the recent uptick in cases is about to surge dramatically. [Link]

Community Ties

In a disaster that calls for isolation, your community will help you survive by Alissa Walker (Curbed)

Under quarantine or just disrupted by social distancing, infectious disease outbreaks force vulnerable people to rely on their communities to support them. [Link]

How Working-Class Life Is Killing Americans, in Charts by David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson (NYT)

Nobel Prize winners Anne Case and Angus Deaton detail the “deaths of despair” that are destroying communities across the US. [Link; soft paywall]

Covid Tech

Tim Cook and Apple Bet Everything on China. Then Coronavirus Hit. by Tripp Mickle and Yoko Kubota (WSJ)

Apple’s production of the world’s most popular tech products is dangerously reliant on China, with the company’s facilities and the companies that support them hyper-concentrated in the country. [Link; paywall]

The Coronavirus Is Forcing Techies To Work From Home. Some May Never Go Back To The Office. by Alex Kantrowitz (BuzzFeed)

A long-discussed shift towards remote work among tech workers may get a permanent nudge courtesy of widespread office closures designed to prevent spread of the virus. [Link]

Virus Quarantines in China Spur Tencent, NetEase Gaming Surge by Kamaron Leach and Sydney Maki (Bloomberg)

Daily average user counts have surged as Chinese consumers stay home but look for something to do, driving huge outperformance for gaming stocks in recent weeks. [Link; soft paywall, auto-playing video]

Quixotic Quests

The Miracle of Moving a Piano in New York City by Sophie Haigney (NYT)

A sort of strange New York story that makes the city what it is: incredibly challenging but filled with a can-do attitude that refuses to quit. [Link; soft paywall]

Market Mayhem

Stressed stock market may need to retest its lows before finding its footing in the coronavirus crisis by Michael Santoli (CNBC)

Equities and interest rates of plunged in response to the coronavirus, but what next for a tape that can’t seem to find a consistent bottom amidst heavy volatility? [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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