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In This Issue


More advertisers leave Facebook, so Facebook says it’ll label misleading posts like Twitter

There's a fat stack of news from social media land today. Unilever and Coca Cola have joined other brands in ditching ads on Facebook due to Facebook's lack of action on misinformation and hate speech. I'm sure it's not a coincidence then that Facebook announced they're going to do a Twitter and label posts that are "newsworthy" but still full of shit. Meanwhile, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security sent letters to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Snap and Alphabet, saying they've seen posts on social media inciting people to tear down statues of racists and want something done about "removing terrorist-related content from your platforms". What a pack of delusional idiots. Read the letter, it would be hilarious if it came from the Onion, not Homeland Security.

Robocar company Zoox now belongs to Amazon for a fraction of its last valuation

The robocar game has a new player with a massive warchest - Amazon. They purchased Zoox for US$1.2b, who you might remember as being started by an Aussie who quickly moved to San Francisco and had a significant investor in one of the Atlassian dudes (I can't remember which one and don't care enough to find out). It's not all good news though, as Zoox was valued at US$3.2b back in 2018 when they last raised capital. To be sold for US$1.2b means many investors ate shit on Zoox and Amazon got a bargain. The real question now is what is Amazon gonna do with their new $1.2b baby? The announcement didn't mention anything, but if you use your imagination, automated delivery and fulfillment centre stuff would be right up Amazon's alley.

Most Microsoft stores are closing permanently with a few turning into “experience centres”

After 11 long, hard years of impersonating Apple stores, Microsoft is giving up on their bricks and mortar retail efforts. All Microsoft stores worldwide are closing down, even the one at their Redmond HQ. Microsoft is going to turn its flagship stores in London, New York, Redmond and the one in Sydney's Pitt Street Mall into “experience centres”. You'll get hands on time with Microsoft gear but ya can't buy anything. I only ever visited a Microsoft store once - in Boston's Prudential Centre while the missus was at Sephora. A latchkey kid heckled me playing Madden on a demo Xbox. I tried to explain to him that I'm Australian and have no idea how NFL works, but he didn't care. 10 minutes or so later his mum yelled at him to "stop bothering the British man" and left.

Not News

COVIDSafe’s a dud and everyone knows it except our big brained government

The Sydney Morning Herald has declared COVIDSafe a "terrible failure" in an editorial yesterday. There's been over 6 million downloads, yet "the app has not identified one close contact of a person infected with COVID-19 who had not already been found through manual contact tracing". There's probably a huge list of reasons why this is the case, but a pertinent one for us nerds is that the damn app doesn't even work. It's publicly stated by the DTA that COVIDSafe doesn't do its job properly when an iPhone is locked and considering the iPhone has about 50% market share in Australia, that's a big problem. A problem that goes away if Apple & Google's tracing method is used, but the government stubbornly refuses to use it (the deputy federal CMO said "no way we're shifting to a platform that will take out the contact tracers"), even though the UK and Germany changed their minds and are using the Apple/Google developed contact tracing solution instead.


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