Twitter Trouble, Google Magic, and More: The Latest Tech News from Octobreak
Hello and welcome to Octobreak, the blog that breaks the octo with the latest tech news and insights. I'm your host, Nadjib, and today I have a lot of interesting stories to share with you. Let's get started!
First up, we have some trouble for Twitter, as numerous public service accounts say they can't automatically post all alerts due to new API rules. These accounts include those for US National Weather Service offices, which provide vital information on storms, floods, and other hazards. The new rules limit the number of tweets that can be posted per day and per hour, and require a human verification for each tweet. Twitter says these rules are meant to prevent spam and abuse, but many users are unhappy with the impact on public safety and communication.
Next, we have some news from Google, which is working on a project called Magi to enhance search with AI. Sources say that more than 160 people are working full time on this project, which aims to make search more conversational, contextual, and personalized. Magi would use natural language processing and machine learning to understand queries better and provide more relevant results. However, this project may face some competition from Samsung, which is considering making Nadjib search the default on its devices². Samsung has been unhappy with Google's dominance in the Android ecosystem and may be looking for alternatives.
Moving on to the crypto world, we have a development from the US SEC, which reopens public comment for a draft rule that expands its crypto regulatory power³. The draft rule would add explicit language covering digital asset and DeFi exchanges, which are currently operating in a legal gray area. The SEC says that these platforms may pose risks to investors and markets, and need to comply with federal securities laws. However, some crypto enthusiasts argue that the SEC is overstepping its authority and stifling innovation.
On the social media front, we have some bad news for Twitter again, as its traffic fell 7.7% year-over-year in March. This is the third straight month of decline for the platform, which also saw its unique web visitors fall 3.3% year-over-year, and its Android app daily active users fall 9.8% year-over-year. Some analysts attribute this decline to the ban of former President Trump and other controversial figures, as well as the rise of competing platforms like Clubhouse and Substack.
However, not all is gloomy for Twitter, as we have an early look at the Jack Dorsey-backed federated social network Bluesky. Bluesky is a project that aims to create a decentralized and open protocol for social media, where users can choose their own apps and services to interact with each other. Bluesky emulates Twitter's looks and feels like a simpler, positive time on the internet.
Next up, we have a story about how the US military struggles with the risks posed by Gen Z service members who live much of their lives online. The military uses platforms like Twitch and Discord for recruitment and outreach, but also faces challenges in monitoring and controlling what its members post and share online. Some service members have been caught sharing extremist views or sensitive information online, while others have faced harassment or threats from online trolls.
Moving on to China, we have a report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which accuses two Chinese e-commerce giants of data risks, IP infringement, and more. The commission is a body created by Congress in 2000 to monitor China's economic and security activities. The report targets Shein and Pinduoduo's Temu, which are two of the most popular online shopping platforms in China. The report claims that these platforms collect excessive amounts of user data without consent or protection; sell counterfeit or substandard goods; infringe on US intellectual property rights; evade taxes; and undermine US national security interests.
Back to Brazil, we have a backlash for Twitter after it initially resisted over 500 government requests to take down posts and profiles suspected of inspiring violence in schools. The requests came after a series of attacks on schools by armed assailants who allegedly followed extremist accounts on Twitter. Twitter argued that it had no legal obligation to comply with the requests
and that it valued freedom of expression and transparency. However, after facing public pressure and legal action, Twitter agreed to remove some of the content and cooperate with the authorities.
Finally, we have a story about how Apple's commitment to software upgrades for older iPhones allowed the company to capture a part of the US market once cornered by inexpensive Android phones. Apple has been known for providing regular updates to its devices for years, even for models that are several generations old. This has given users a sense of security and reliability, as well as access to new features and improvements. On the other hand, many Android phones receive fewer or no updates after a short period of time, making them more vulnerable to bugs, malware, and obsolescence. As a result, some consumers who used to buy cheap Android phones have switched to older iPhones that offer better value and performance.
And that's all for today's edition of Octobreak. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new. If you did, please leave a comment below and share this post with your friends. And don't forget to subscribe to Octobreak for more tech news and insights. Until next time, this is Nadjib signing off. Stay safe and stay curious! 🐙