Looks like we broke the world — to the moon!
17 May 2019
🎵 Blue moon, you saw me standing
alone with a trillion other humans 🎵
When Jeff Bezos woke up one morning and finally realised that we’ve accidentally spent many decades pounding the earth into toxic mulch, he did what any other sane multi-billionaire would do: he announced that we should move to the moon.
Wow, Jeff, the moon, you say? Please, tell me why this is a good idea. The gist of Jeff’s points:
- You can stay on earth with limited resources — like a loser — or come to the moon and the rest of the solar system where the resources are somehow unlimited. (Are they? are they unlimited? What resources? Are craters a resource?)
- If we focus on production and growth (the two most important things ever) we can have a thousand Mozarts and a thousand Einsteins. (like… for a weird genius army?)
- Let’s try getting to a trillion humans — that would be totally chill. (I can’t think of anything more chill than that, Mr Bezos)
- It’s safe, warm, and cosy up there (right okay but is it?)
- Anyone is welcome as long as you can afford it (thank god; I hate looking at the poor as much as the next person, yuk).
Not gonna lie, Jeff… that makes a lot of sense. Cannot wait for Blue Origin
Chris Hughs also agrees that Facebook is like, not that great
The co-founder of Facebook has come out against Facebook in this giant “oops my bad” New York Times article. He explained that he regrets that as college students they did not somehow realise that Facebook would grow to gargantuan proportions and Mark Zuckerberg would get to bond-villain levels of power.
Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government […] Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered. Chris Hughs, New York Times
Right okay. I’m sure we all agree that one human should not have that much power? Facebook, as we’ve seen, has the power to influence elections so is it me or is this as close to a private dictatorship we’ve ever been?
Anyway, unlike Elizabeth Warren, Chris Hughs actually has some ideas about how breaking up Facebook might work (but not that many… and it’s a pretty long article):
- Make Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp three distinct companies again. And quickly, before they merge together even harder.
- Stop Facebook from acquiring anyone else for many, many years. Give someone else a chance to flourish, for goodness sake
- (he did not say this, but I think the sentiment is there) The power Mark has should be spread across like, ten people.
Chris Hughs mentions that he also regrets not saying anything sooner. You know, now that he’s sold all his shares and hating Facebook is in this season.
Dev conferences: over. Future: predicted
Before we start to lose our shit over what the Facebook ‘privacy pivot’ might actually look like, I think it’s a good idea to remember that this pivot wouldn’t be necessary if they hadn’t been so terrible up until now. F8 was over a while ago, so I did cover a wee bit about it here, but let’s just break it down a bit more:
Facebook’s F8 key points:
- An emphasis on groups: so that it’s more about intimate and niche communities, and less about that ‘town square’ feel. This makes a lot of sense, and quite honestly I don’t use Facebook for anything other than groups. Building communities is a nice idea — I hope this actually works well.
- End-to-end encryption: I don’t… we already had that didn’t we? Why would you not already be using that?
- Stories: non-permanent interactions that disappear after a short while. Seems super private, but how do we know they won’t just keep the metadata? It’s going to be a while before we can trust again…
- Interoperability: as well as being the most annoying word to say and type, this is the intention to make Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook work seamlessly together. So if anyone wants to break up Facebook please hurry.
Microsoft Build key points:
- Cortana can now hold a conversation: okay but does anyone even want to talk to her, and does the world really need another virtual assistant?
- Windows Terminal: seeing as most devs use Windows (lol) they’ve finally improved the command line. Pop the reasonably priced sparkling wine 🥳
- Something with Minecraft and AR: sounds nice
- [fill in later]: sorry but the Microsoft Build key points are just a buffer zone between the Google and Facebook ones. An evil sandwich, if you will.
Google’s I/O key points:
- Incognito for maps: wow, YES finally they realise that following your every move is creepy as fuck, god.
- Auto-deleting data: already available for web and app activity, and coming soon for location data. Again, I am not fizzing with gratitude because it’s sort of too little too late and it’s hard to trust a large corporate entity which has so far thrived on collecting (and not deleting) data.
- Lots of new AI stuff: including the improved Google assistant, who you’ll be able to ask all kinds of inane crap such as ‘what’s the traffic like to my best friend’s house?’ or ‘should I watched Game Of Thrones? Would I even like it?’. The Google assistant would just ‘know’ this stuff. To know this stuff I guess you’d have to, I dunno, give it lots of data about yourself? Mmkay guys…
So just let that last point about AI sit while you read this quote from the CEO himself
We always want to do more for users, but do it with less data over time. Sundar Pichai
Georgia Iacovou is the lead content writer at Metomic. Feel free to email her at email@example.com