Tech news

Facebook Whistleblower Testifies Before Congress

Frances Haugen

Episode 1835

Saying that Facebook's lack of proper policing is a subject of severe concern, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress this week. Haugen says that Facebook isn't doing enough to self-regulate what content appears on the social media site Haugen also says that Facebook's algorithms are designed to increase user engagement, by boosting dopamine in the brain. Much like a drug. This makes users want to stay on, no matter how bad the experience can be.

Leo isn't sure that government regulation is the answer though, in lieu of the first amendment. 

Increased Demand for Products During Pandemic Causing Port Backup

 Port of Los Angeles

Episode 1833

Nearly 150 container ships off the coast of the Port of Los Angeles are waiting for entry to offload their cargo, in spite of increased efforts to clear the backload. Some are quarantined with crew infections of Covid, but mostly, it's the Port of LA straining to keep up with unprecedented demand. Ships are being docked and unloaded at record speed, but the ships just keep coming, prompting a backlog that isn't going to abate any time soon.

Expose Proves Social Media Is Bad for Teens, and Facebook Knows It

instagram

Episode 1833

A magazine expose came out this week that says that social media is bad for teens, and makes their melancholy worse. And Facebook knows it. Leo wonders if this could be part of the reason why the social media giant killed their Facebook for Kids this week. Meanwhile, Facebook just keeps doing what they're doing, which includes proof that they seek to addict people to the platform.

Apple Declares Victory After Judge Rules in Epic Case ... BUT

Fortnite

Episode 1827

A judge ruled in favor of Apple in the Epic app store lawsuit, causing Cupertino to declare victory. In the lawsuit, Apple pulled Fortnite from the app store after the software company pointed mobile users to their own site to buy tokens to play the game. So Fortnite will not return to the app store. HOWEVER, the judge also said that Apple must allow for alternative forms to purchase outside of the App Store. So while Apple won, Epic got what it wanted anyway.

Start Dialing All Ten Digits Now, It's Coming in October

FCC

Episode 1824

Starting October 24th, mobile phone users will have to dial all ten digits, even for local calls.  Leo says there's a good reason for it, as the FCC wants a suicide prevention hotline number of 988 (like 911). But to do this, the entire phone system has to be updated, and that will require all telecommunications carriers to handle ten-digit dialing. 988 will go live in July of 2022.

Google Play Store Generated Over $11 Billion in Annual Revenue

Google Play

Episode 1824

According to a finding during the app class action lawsuits in court, Google's Play store enjoyed an annual revenue of over $11 billion, $8 billion of which was profit. That's largely due to taking 30% of all app fees as their cut. Leo says 30% looked at first as a good deal since both Google and Apple handle the front end. But as the class-action lawsuits reflect, app developers think that Google is taking too big of a cut.