- ‘Forget emoji, the real Unicode drama is over an endangered Indian script’ by Varsha Bansal for rest of world
- ‘The Taliban’s Return Is Catastrophic for Women’ by Lynsey Addario for The Atlantic
- ‘A decade and a half of instability: The history of Google messaging apps’ by Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica
Varsha Bansal writes about the conflict of preservation when it comes to the endangered Tulu script in Unicode:
For the last decade, groups of linguists, typographers, and academics have worked on competing Unicode proposals that would finally bring Tulu’s ancient script to the digital age. The latest effort began last year, when the Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, a governmental organization in Mangaluru that fights for the preservation of the language in India, submitted a new proposal that tries to capture how Tulu is spoken today. Earlier this year, Murthy and her technical partner, Vinodh Rajan, submitted a counter proposal that suggested a different path forward — they want to preserve the characters the way they appeared in old manuscripts as closely as possible.
Lynsey Addario writes about the return of the Taliban to Afghanistan and what it means for women there:
I photographed the defeat of the Taliban in Kandahar in late 2001, and returned to the country with my camera at least a dozen times in the subsequent two decades. From Kabul to Kandahar to Herat to Badakhshan, I photographed women attending schools, graduating from universities, training as surgeons, delivering babies, working as midwives, running for Parliament and serving in government, driving, training to be police officers, acting in films, working—as journalists, translators, television presenters, for international organizations. Many of them were dealing with the impossible balancing act of working outside the home while raising children; of being a wife, a mother, a sister, or a daughter in a place where women were cracking glass ceilings daily, and often at great peril.
Ron Amadeo writes a detailed history of Google’s failures in the messaging space over the last decade or so, this one is a fun read:
Google’s 16 years of messenger wheel-spinning has allowed products from more focused companies to pass it by. Embarrassingly, nearly all of these products are much younger than Google’s messaging efforts. Consider competitors like WhatsApp (12 years old), Facebook Messenger (nine years old), iMessage (nine years old), and Slack (eight years old)—Google Talk even had video chat four years before Zoom was a thing.
That’s all from me this week, bye!