Issue 1268 - Thursday 10th December, 2020

In Today's Issue

The News

FTC & 48 US states sue Facebook for abusing market power, wants Insta & WhatsApp sold off

The day many have been waiting for has finally come - 48 US states and the FTC have sued Facebook, "alleging that the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct". The FTC reckons "Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy - including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers - to eliminate threats to its monopoly". The remedy this, the FTC wants "a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things: require divestitures of assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp; prohibit Facebook from imposing anticompetitive conditions on software developers; and require Facebook to seek prior notice and approval for future mergers and acquisitions". 2020 is starting to redeem itself.

Twitch, YouTube and PornHub tweak the edges of their platform to try and minimise the harm they induce

Three examples today of the real world colliding with imaginary internet playgrounds at Twitch, YouTube and PornHub. Twitch will "ban lewd or repeated comments about anyone's physical appearance and expressly prohibit the sending of unsolicited links to nudity" and "prohibit streamers from displaying the Confederate battle flag and take stricter action against those who target someone's immigration status". YouTube has decided that now is a good time to ban videos claiming the US election was stolen, whilst proclaiming it has removed over 8,000 channels spreading the lie. After being rightfully shamed in the New York Times, PornHub decided child porn and non-consensual material is a bad thing. To try and stop it constantly appearing on their platform, they are limiting uploads to "only content partners and people within the Model Program", with a "verification process so that any user can upload content upon successful completion of identification protocol" next year.

100 gig fibre network is now active in Bendigo's CBD

Bendigo has one-upped Adelaide and has begun rolling out a 100-gigabit network to businesses in Bendigo's CBD. The 100 Gig network is owned and operated by Bendigo Telco, who already own a fibre optic network in the Bendigo CBD. According to a rep from the Bendigo City council, this ultra-fast network "allows us to attract businesses to relocate here that require super-fast internet, such as film post-production, advanced manufacturing and many other businesses in the new digital economy". Note however, that this doesn't let you download torrents or files from Apple or Microsoft at 10 gigabytes per second - this 100 gig network is essentially a giant LAN that you tap in to and can share files and services between each other and Bendigo Telco's datacentre. Host all your shit in the "cloud" and tap into it from your office at a max of 100 gigabit/sec. I personally love regional cities as a place to live, so the more stuff like this to attract businesses the better.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Starship test crashes on landing but Elon is still excited

SpaceX's big metal rocket called Starship SN8 mostly succeeded in a big test this morning. With fancy new Raptor engines, it went 12km up, turned the engines off and spun itself around (a "belly flop", so it can bleed off velocity as well as ensure its reusability without a massive heat shield) ready to land back on the ground. It exploded at the last second however, with Elon Musk explaining on Twitter that the explosion was due to "fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD". Good news is that SpaceX got all the data they needed and the landing was just a secondary mission. For some context, this is one of rockets NASA wants to use to put humans on the moon, and the rocket Elon plans to use to take humans to Mars.

Bargains

The End

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