By David Farrell
Zuckerberg discovers privacy
History's greatest abuser of privacy is now promising to rebuild his empire around a "privacy-focused communications platform." So said Mark Zuckerberg this week in a 3,000 word "manifesto" (manifesto is how bullshit artists pronounce "press release.")
The Z-man seems to foresee a future for the social network in which all postings are private and encrypted.
This raises a few questions in my mind.
- Since his entire business is based on the monetizing of private, personal data scraped from the skin of his users, how does this new thing make money?
- If Facebook cannot control the hateful, racist, disgusting material that now appears on its platform, how in the world are they going to control it when "end-to-end encryption prevents anyone -- including us -- from seeing what people share on our services."
I think the answer to those questions goes something like this: Like every other representation Zuckerberg has ever made about privacy, this latest manifesto will turn out to be unadulterated horse shit.
Let's remember last year when he told the oafs in Washington that he intended to abide by "the spirit" of GDPR. The following week he apparently lost "the spirit" and moved 1.5 billion accounts from Ireland to the US to avoid the consequences of GDPR. – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
Programmers try to apply “archaic radio rules about artist separation,” according to Michael Martin, SVP of programming and music initiatives for Entercom, which owns over 200 radio stations in the U.S. “Artist separation” is the idea that, say, “we only wanna hear one Ariana per hour or once every 40 minutes.” If she has five hits, adhering to this rule is no longer possible. – Elias Leight, Rolling Stone
The Canadian Media Guild, the largest local of media union CWA Canada, says it is filing with the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Canada Industrial Relations Board after a majority of BuzzFeed's 10 staff members in Toronto signed union cards. – The Canadian Press
Speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin Sunday, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said the free, ad-supported streaming service will launch with eight hours of programming, including live updates at the top of every hours. It will compete with previously launched news services offered by CBS and ABC. – Broadcasting & Cable
We might also find ourselves in a future where we are expected to pay for our privacy. People have been attached to what Samuel D. Warren and former US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis called in the 1890s “the right to be let alone,” and some may think it’s something worth paying for. Others may decide to pay because they recognize that corporate surveillance can quickly turn into government surveillance if companies are presented with a warrant or records are subpoenaed, and data stored across national borders can subject the citizens of one country to the prying eyes of another. However, not everyone would be able to afford this. – Molly Sauter, The Walrus
Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry unit has unveiled a new audio advertising format dubbed ‘sympaphonic ads’ that utilizes artificial intelligence to match the ad’s creative message with a user’s current music genre listening behavior. – Media Post
Will we ever get sick of podcasts? For more than a decade now, the aural storytelling medium has evolved in ways impossible to foresee, and major platforms like Spotify and Google are putting a ton of money behind the belief that the listening public is hungry for more. The niches are virtually unlimited; no matter your obsession, there’s a podcast for you. Love sports? You’ve got thousands of options. What about something more specific, like Britney Spears? There’s a podcast for that. Cats? Take your pick. – Lindsey Romain, Thrillist
The U.S. government has created a dark database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan leading to Mexico’s northern border. – NBC 7
Here's what it's come to:
Autonomous vehicles collect images of everyone they pass on the street.
Dozens of companies mine and sell location data from smartphone apps.
App developers give personal details to major online platforms.
Smart-home devices and digital assistants track your daily habits and have microphones.
Genetic testing services share data with app developers and drug companies. – Sarah Grillo, Axios
Disney executives have said repeatedly that they will pull TV shows and movies off Netflix and other networks and services in favour of Disney+, giving people an incentive to sign up for its new service. That will be expensive. In fiscal 2018, Disney generated $4.45 billion in licensing shows and movies, estimates Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson. Whether Disney is sacrificing all of that revenue is unclear. Mr. Nathanson estimates the Netflix deal alone to be worth $400 million. – Martin Peers, The Information
Some are solely dedicated to broadcast music and others are full packages containing news. People also listen to them online. Here is the list of the top 10 most tuned in stations around the world in 2019… - The Daily Records
What we are watching
An occasional file showing amusements I have unearthed as I compile the column.
American comedian and singer Randy Rainbow
Trump parody song “He’s in Love (and we’re all gonna die)”
Burton Cummings: “Market my Letters”
Moose Jaw's latest resident has refreshed a song written more than two decades back with a puzzling lyric that some have suggested is a possible tribute to Gordon Lightfoot, not that the folk bard ever considered his songs were free for the taking. Whatever the inspiration, BC posted on Facebook last week that the song has been remastered and can be heard on Spotify and Apple Music.
Mnozil Brass: "Lonely Boy"
Austrian septet Mnozil Brass has made a name for itself with an unusual approach to performing jazz, classical that is part slapstick and part exceptional musicianship. Here Leonhard Paul teams up with his bandmates in a Pythonesque type skit that fully gets underway shortly before the 3-minute mark.
The brilliant mind of Hedy Lamarr as inventor
The silver screen star was also a brilliant mind in technology, including her work on an invention that helped form the basis for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.