The big 4 tech companies raked in huge profits during the pandemic
ACCC releases draft of news media bargaining code
The Perseverance rover is on its way to Mars
The National Film and Sound Archive re-opens tomorrow with a new exhibit
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Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook all posted their Q3 2020 results, a day after their bosses were grilled by Congress. What a coinkydink hey? The news here is that they all made out like bandits, with over US$28b in profit combined - despite record low economic indicators (take your pick, wage growth, unemployment, etc. etc.) thanks to the pandemic. Their success is totally disconnected from society's success. Once upon a time if a business did well, we at least had the benefit of people getting jobs out of it and maybe a bit of taxation. With these gigantic tech companies that isn't happening and we are going to be all worse off for it.
A draft of the mandatory code for bargaining between Facebook/Google and news businesses has been released by the ACCC. The code aims to address "acute bargaining power imbalances between Australian news businesses and Google and Facebook" - what are they bargaining on? Google/Facebook paying News Corp, Nine or whoever for the privilege of having a photo or headline on their site that links to the content. This was supposed to be voluntary but Google and Facebook refused to give a cent to these grubs, preferring to remove those features for Australians. The media companies went running to the government and here we are. Everyone in this scenario sucks. I hate them all and wish nothing but ill will towards them.
NASA's Perseverance rover its currently on its way to Mars after a successful launch this morning. It'll take 6 months to get there and when it lands it'll spend around 2 years zooming around conducting its mission to "seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth". This thing is loaded with some amazing gear to investigate Mars. Perseverance will have the first operational microphone on Mars (the other two attempts failed) so we can listen to what's happening there. Landing with Perseverance is a little helicopter called Ingenuity that'll demonstrate the first powered flight on Mars and be capable of flying 90 seconds a day. However, the craziest feature of Perseverance has to be the ability to collect and store rock samples for later collection by a future "Mars Sample Return" mission. Literally a geo-cache on Mars!
The National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra re-opens on Saturday with a new exhibit called Hive, where you can "test your knowledge of Australian culture with our NFSA trivia game and immerse yourself in the personal stories of NFSA experts in a truly special lifesize interactive experience". The centre of the exhibit is the Storywall where NFSA staff will show off pieces of the NFSA collection. Video Preservation Specialist, Richard Vorobieff is one of those staff members and wants to remind us "of the urgent need to digitise hundreds of thousands of hours of television, radio, music and more, before they're lost forever". It's not a massive exhibit, but I really love what the NFSA does and wish I could drive up to Canberra to check it out, alas, COVID-19 means I can't cross the border into NSW.
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