Issue 588

Thursday, 1st March 2018

In This Issue


Spotify to go public on the NYSE

Spotify is going to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange. IPOs themselves aren't that interesting for us non-financial people, but what is interesting is the stuff about the company an IPO makes public. Spotify makes $5b/yr in revenue, but doesn't turn a profit. Daniel Ek, Spotify's co-founder, owns 25% of the company - he will be filthy rich when the IPO happens, as will Sony Music, who own 5.7%.. Europe is Spotify's biggest market (37% of its customers are there). On average, each user listens to Spotify for 25 hours a month. Spotify admit that Apple has a big advantage, as Spotify needs to pay Apple a percentage of every subscriber it gets via the App Store, but Apple doesn't need to pay anyone for every Apple Music subscribers it gains. Plus the fact Apple could, if they want to, just ban Spotify from the App Store. That's certainly a risk, even if it's a small one.

Atomwaffen neo-Nazi group banned from YouTube & Discord

I love feel good stories like this - YouTube and Discord have kicked out more Nazis. The Neo-Nazi group "Atomwaffen" now has to find somewhere else to peddle their hate, after multiple reports about them in ProPublica, Vice and The Daily Beast got enough traction that YouTube and Discord had to do something. Never mind the fact that these groups are a piece of piss to find with minimal digging and if YouTube or Discord really cared, they'd be proactive and booted out all these bastards much, much earlier.

Google turns Hangouts into a Slack competitor & Microsoft tweak Teams to better compete with Slack

Google has turned Hangouts into a Slack competitor. Hangouts Chat now supports "instant messaging across devices between workers, including group conversations. It also allows users to integrate widgets to access data from other corporate software in a chat window". So yeah, pretty much Slack, but by Google. In a case of excellent timing, Microsoft's Teams, which was released a while ago as a Slack competitor, got an update today too. You can now invite guests to your team, so they don't need to be user in Active Directory. There will be a free version of Teams too - no Office 365 sub required. Looks like everyone wants a slice of the fancy IRC action!

Facebook lets business pages post job ads in Australia now

Facebook has job ads now. After a trial in the US & Canada, it's rolled the feature out to 40 other countries. I can't find a list of those countries, but I'd be shocked if Australia isn't on there. It's basically the same as the Marketplace where you can buy and sell stuff, just for jobs instead. If you've got a job to list, you post it up on your page and people fill in the application form hosted by Facebook. You can even ping people on Messenger about their job application. Just another attempt by Zuck to trap you in shit stained blue walls of Facebook. I wonder if Seek are worried about this development? I've noticed a lot less good stuff on Gumtree since Facebook introduced Marketplace.

10 operational IT systems in the ACT are obsolete, but it's ok as there's a virtual bubble protecting them

Probably not news to anyone with the slightest of experience in government IT, but the ACT is running 10 systems on unsupported operating systems. "Systems that remain on unsupported servers include the land titles business system, endoscopy reporting system, medical transcription system and e-development business system." - all of those are vulnerable to hacks because the OS they're running on no longer gets software updates. The ACT plans to decommission them all by July 2018, but until then, they've installed the "Trend Deep Security agent" that creates a "virtual bubble around a vulnerable system" (their words, not mine). Err, ok, good luck with that hack proof bubble.

Not News, But Still Cool

Unions reckon bringing staff in-house will result in fewer govt IT disasters

The Community and Public Sector Union and the Australian Council of Trade Unions have a solution to all the IT project stuff-ups the government keeps making: stop outsourcing it all. By not having in-house staff capable of rolling projects out, mistakes are repeated as the government departments aren't savvy enough to know when they're getting ripped off by the outside vendors they're now almost 100% reliant on for operating IT projects. There's no pride, no accountability, no culture of success. The unions say this, not really because they care about IT project success rates, or saving tax payer dollars, but because it gives people stable, full-time jobs. It's just icing on the cake that IT delivery improves too.

Bill Gates is not a fan of cryptocurrency

Bill Gates' latest Reddit AMA features an interesting hot take on cryptocurrency. He reckons due to the anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies, that they've "caused deaths in a fairly direct way". People using them to buy drugs, that in the past according to Bill, they would not done because doing so was difficult compared to the ease of the dark web. You can check out the full AMA here. It's not tech related, but you should absolutely read the Gates Foundation's 2018 Annual Letter. It's insightful and honest as to the problems facing the world and how Bill & Melinda have gone so far in tackling them. They admit that their approach hasn't always been the right one.

Cheap mice, 75" 4K TV, 400GB microSD, Xiaomi laser projector, 65" OLED, Kogan Mobile & Telstra plans