Hard Numbers

90,000: The "Yellow Vest" protests are catching on in western Canada where fuel fears come in a different form, namely low prices hurting domestic oil producers and their employees.


A Facebook group for protesters, Yellow Vests Canada, drew 90,000 members in its first two weeks.

14,000: President Trump announced this week that ISIS has been "defeated" in Syria and that US troops will soon be withdrawn from that country. The plan continues to draw criticism from a number of US lawmakers, including Republicans, in part because the US military reported recently there were still as many as 14,000 ISIS militants in Syria as recently as June and a similar number in neighboring Iraq.

2008: As of yesterday's close on Wall Street, the Dow and S&P; 500 are on track for their worst yearly performance since 2008. We can't remember what happened that year, but it must have been bad.

1: A calendar that features only pictures of Vladimir Putin is the #1 best-selling 2019 calendar in Japan. Because the Japanese love Putin? Doubtful. Because Russian bots are brainwashing Japanese holiday shoppers? We're not going there. Because the Japanese love kitsch? That seems more likely.

The 10-year challenge might actually be an attempt to improve facial recognition technology.

It's Tech in 60 Seconds with Nicholas Thompson!


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

"Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." So said Winston Churchill in November 1947, a time when Soviet Communism was beginning to offer the world a new alternative.

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My high school history teacher Dr. Cohen once told me, as we shuffled through the school cafeteria, that computers would one day make socialism viable. Given that the Soviet collapse had already happened, and that Super Nintendo still seemed vastly more magical than anything you could put on your desk, this seemed far-fetched.

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WHAT WE'RE WATCHING

Syria ISIS attack A suicide bombing in Syria claimed by ISIS killed 14 people including four Americans this week. Two questions we'll be watching: Will this attack impact the pace of President Trump's ordered withdrawal of US troops from Syria, and is the bombing part of a broader ISIS strategy to launch a wave of new attacks as US troops depart?

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