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Big Revolution - A flying warehouse delivering our fears by drone

Welcome to Wednesday's newsletter. Today I'll be sitting around a table with a bunch of other people
April 3 · Issue #388 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Wednesday’s newsletter. Today I’ll be sitting around a table with a bunch of other people to judge some awards. One of the most interesting bits is seeing where the judges disagree. There’s no ‘correct’ answer and the debate is always fun as we try to come to a solution we can all live with. But first! Let’s dig into today’s newsletter.
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Google has shut down Inbox and Google+, as it promised. Included in the Google+ wipe were the pages of its top executives, wiping away much important history about the company. Let’s hope the Internet Archive grabbed copies.
  • Iran is being blamed for a cyber attack on UK infrastructure. Sky News reports that both private and public sector organisations were affected by the December 2018 attack, which saw personal data stolen.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has raised a new $2bn fund, and it’s no longer a traditional VC firm. Its 150 staff are to be registered as financial advisors, allowing the company to better diversify its portfolio beyond startups into fields like cryptocurrency speculation.
The big thought
Definitely not a real thing.
A flying warehouse delivering our fears by drone
“This right here is borderline dystopian,” a now viral tweet posted at the weekend says. The video attached to it shows an ‘flying warehouse’ dropping drones out of its underside, presumably heading off to deliver packages. Amazon’s logo is emblazoned upon the side of this slow-moving, sky-hogging monstrosity.
In the past couple of days I’ve seen it shared time and time again with people expressing their alarm at the sight. The only problem? The video is a fake, produced with CGI. Amazon has in the past filed a patent for a flying warehouse, but it’s nowhere near sending one up into the skies.
Now, I have no doubt that some people sharing the video knew it was fake, but many didn’t, and I personally haven’t seen anyone sharing the video while explaining it’s not real – just people debunking it in replies.
The video is so shareable because it speaks directly to our fears about the increasing domination of big tech companies, about the decline of small retailers, and about the pace of technological change.
But it’s on all of us to stop misleading information spreading if we value a society that is informed by reality and not myths. If Amazon really was showing off a flying warehouse, would it not be all over the news?
The only recent news about Amazon in the air related to the poor safety record of the cargo planes it uses, so I don’t think we have to worry and airships and drones any time soon.
One big read
YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Let Toxic Videos Run Rampant YouTube Executives Ignored Warnings, Let Toxic Videos Run Rampant
Bloomberg takes a deep look at how YouTube let its platform turn toxic as it put engagement stats beyond a safe, high-quality experience.
One big tweet
Benedict Evans
The best blog posts are often things that seem totally obvious to you, with no fresh insight, and that you write in 20 minutes - but other people don’t know it, or half-know it, or have never seen it explained properly.
5:11 PM - 2 Apr 2019
This is 100% true. Also, if you discover something new to you that was supposedly obvious, share it – in my experience you’ll find many other people never realised it either.
That’s all for today...
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