google

Business Insider
"Over 70% of the videos flagged by respondents came through YouTube's suggestion algorithm — an effect that's impossible to study because the algorithm is a closely-guarded secret at Google. That means YouTube users aren't primarily finding misinformation through search, but through YouTube feeding users those videos."
Hosting disinformation is bad enough, but actively recruiting people—at scale—is awful.
Plausible
"Google has been pushing sites to use AMP for years and continues to recommend it as “the majority of the AMP pages achieve great page experiences”. But for websites that are optimized for speed, their AMP pages are often slower than the regular pages."
Very happy to see this.
CNN
iOS users must now give explicit permission for apps to track their behavior and sell their personal data, such as age, location, spending habits and health information, to advertisers. While many apps have allowed people to manage or opt-out of this for years, it's typically buried deep in user settings and wordy privacy policies.
Nice.
Washington Post
"But the staggering rise in their gains contrasts with the economic devastation of millions of Americans, amid soaring unemployment and evictions, drawing attention to issues of inequality and distribution of wealth. In fact, the $360 billion increase in top billionaire wealth approaches the $410 billion the U.S. government is spending on the latest round of $1,400 stimulus checks, passed with the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package this week."
huh, it's almost like they should pay more taxes to help out the struggling country their businesses operate in.
SFGATE
"’What the federal government and states are doing is reasserting a fundamental rule for all American business: You cannot simply buy your way out of competition,’ Wu wrote. ‘Facebook, led by its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has taken that strategy to a smirking and egregious extreme, acquiring multiple companies to stifle the competitive threat they pose.’"
This is good. [via Slashdot]
New York Times
"Google agreed to help Facebook have a better understanding of who would be shown the ads by helping the company identify 80 percent of mobile users and 60 percent of web users, the documents said. But several other partners said they had little such help understanding who was being shown ads."
What’s a little shared personal user data between monopoly pals?
Wired
"The business choices of internet platforms have enabled an explosion not only of white supremacy but also of Covid denial and antivax extremism, which have variously undermined the nation’s pandemic response, nearly sabotaged the presidential election, and played a foundational role in the violence at the Capitol. A huge industry has evolved on the platform giants to raise money from and sell products to people in the thrall of extreme ideologies."
Also, their monopoly power means no meaningful alternatives can exist for businesses who want to advertise or people who want to socialize on platforms that act ethically.
The Markup
“We will prioritize pages with great page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as we rank the results,” Google said in a blog post.
This is amazing. The AMP experience in Safari on an iPhone is terrible. AMP doesn’t even do well the thing it set out to do. Add in the way Google HOSTS those pages causing domain confusion and you get a total mess that has only been adopted because Google has monopoly power. Making efficient pages is a good goal but AMP in its current form can’t die soon enough.
NBC News
"The new rules, an expansion of YouTube’s existing hate and harassment policies, will prohibit content that “threatens or harrasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate,” the post read."
Never too late to do the right thing. I do wish services had consequences for spreading so much misinformation and harassment for years.
cnbc
"The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers."
Findings! This all sounds promising but I’m skeptical that we’ll see meaningful change. That monopoly power has been very useful to the government.
The Markup
"“As a search engine, Google’s mission is to quickly direct searchers to great information, wherever that information is, as Page went on to explain. At that time, that generally meant to direct people from search results to websites. As search technologies have developed, that’s not always the best way to assist people.”

She did not answer questions about whether those changes present the search engine with a conflict of interest."
It's a meritocracy! Google just happens to make all the best things. AND they decide which things are best. Win-win.
siipo.la
"Since most of the time WebP is used alongside JPEG fallback, by using WebP you will essentially double your storage costs with little benefit."
ah-HA! Unless all of your images < 500px you don't get a big benefit moving to WebP when you can use MozJPEG for encoding.
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