Issue 1273 - Thursday 17th December, 2020

In Today's Issue

The News

Texas & other US states sue Google for being an advertising monopoly

Texas has sued Google for "anticompetitive conduct" in the advertising market. The state accuses Google of "abusing its market power to rig auctions for placing ads and drive up online advertising pricing" and "striking up a secret agreement with Facebook to avoid competing with each other's ad-tech businesses". It's another one of those things where the details are super confusing and requires heaps of background knowledge about the ad industry to properly understand. From what I've read, the beef seems to be around ad exchanges and that Google rigged them for Google to win auctions. You can read the full complaint here if you're keen to learn more.

Facebook takes out full-page ads trying to pitch iOS 14 privacy improvements as bad for small businesses

Speaking of advertising companies masquerading as technology companies - Facebook is having a big full-page newspaper ad sook about Apple's changes to default privacy settings in iOS. The headline reads "we're standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere", like Facebook gives a flying fuck about what would help small businesses, and goes on to explain that the 10 million businesses that use Facebook to find new customers will be stunted by Apple prompting users to give permission for Facebook to do its thing. I guess they have to try something to protect their filthy racket but throwing out small businesses as some sort of virtue Facebook is protecting is hilarious.

Bitcoin hits new record, 000 calls get GPS, Chang'e 5 returns home, Twitter kills Periscope, someone guessed Trump's Twitter password & Intel's new SSD is a ball tearer

So much news that doesn't need an explanation today, so here you go:

Something I Saw On The Internet

AltaVista would have been 25 years old this week if it was still alive

Tedium has yet another delicious article about an obscure topic only a handful of people give a shit about, but those people (i.e: me and probably you) love it. This time it's a little history about AltaVista on its 25th anniversary - a search engine I used all the time before Google was a thing. I had no idea it was basically a marketing thing to show off how powerful Digital Equipment Corporation's fancy Alpha CPUs. At the time of its launch in 1995 and as late as 2000, AltaVista was a clear generation ahead of competitors, but Digital's corporate culture was incapable of leveraging it to be a proper internet company. I wonder what 2020's interent would look like if AltaVista & Digital took advantage of their early lead.


The End

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