Tech

When Disney Almost Bought Twitter

In hindsight it makes no sense for Twitter to be under Disney’s brand. It might make sense if Disney were just one brand under the ABC umbrella (as opposed to the reality of ABC and ESPN being brands under the Disney umbrella), but not with Disney as the foundation. But: maybe? Presumably a Twitter under Disney would be a very different Twitter today.

https://daringfireball.net/linked/2020/06/12/disney-twitter-bob-iger

I heard some inklings about this back in the day. I have no idea why, but I never bought into it. Disney prides itself on staying out of the absolute maelstrom that is Twitter (both good and bad). I just didn’t see them being will to own Twitter’s baggage.

Amazon Switches to Slack and Slack Switches to Amazon

Slack is partnering with Amazon in a multi-year agreement that means all Amazon employees will start to use Slack. The deal comes just as Slack faces increased competition from Microsoft Teams, and it will also see Slack migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform alongside a broader adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/4/21280829/slack-amazon-aws-partnership-amazon-chime-voice-video-calls

I always feel like stuff like this doesn’t always work out well for the smaller fish.

Flying High

After nearly two decades of effort, Elon Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, successfully launched its first two people into orbit, ushering in a new age of human spaceflight in the United States. The flight marked the first time astronauts have launched into orbit from American soil in nearly a decade, and SpaceX is now the first company to send passengers to orbit on a privately made vehicle.

From The Verge

Those suits look super spiffy too.

Shocker: Facebook Promotes Divisive Content

Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart.

“Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it warned, Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.”

That presentation went to the heart of a question dogging Facebook almost since its founding: Does its platform aggravate polarization and tribal behavior?

The answer it found, in some cases, was yes.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-knows-it-encourages-division-top-executives-nixed-solutions-11590507499

How shocking. Really. I’m shocked. Completely.

Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives largely shelved the basic research, according to previously unreported internal documents and people familiar with the effort, and weakened or blocked efforts to apply its conclusions to Facebook products.

Again, shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Anti-Vaxxers of Instagram

The problem has only escalated during COVID-19 as the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a new surge of viral disinformation and conspiracy theories, many of which are widely promoted by the anti-vaccination movement. At the same time, many of Facebook’s moderators have been unable to work and review reports of potentially rule-breaking content.

https://www.engadget.com/instagram-anti-vaxxers-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-173021562.html

I’ll never understand anti-vaxxers. Ever.

Self-disinfecting mask that works with Face ID in development – 9to5Mac

The Amazfit Aeri mask […] comes with removable air filters and will have built-in ultraviolet light emitters. By plugging the mask into a USB-C plug for a few minutes, it can disinfect itself after every use. This would allow each filter to be effective for one and a half months, according to a Huami spokesperson
— Read on 9to5mac.com/2020/05/18/self-disinfecting-mask/

I would totally buy this.