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Big Revolution - Back in the saddle

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Welcome to the first all-members newsletter in over a week. I've now returned from my time off and I'
 
May 7 · Issue #413 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to the first all-members newsletter in over a week. I’ve now returned from my time off and I’m back in the saddle. Let’s roll…
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Microsoft’s developer conference Build has played host a bunch of announcements that strengthen the company’s position as a cloud platform provider and home of top-class tools for developers. There’s a roundup of the biggest news here.
  • Consumer-facing announcements from Build included a Grammarly-like feature coming to Microsoft Word Online. ‘Ideas’ is designed to help you improve your writing.
  • Israel responded to a cyber-attack by Hamas with an airstrike. This is the first time such a blending of cyber and conventional warfare has occurred.
  • Amazon reportedly wants to partner with some US publishers to help them expand overseas. The aim of the eyebrow-raising project is to expand Amazon’s affiliate links programme, according to Vox.
The big thought
Peloton's treadmill – is it built with user privacy in mind?
Better tech reviews for the modern age
My former colleague Natt Garun did something interesting in her review of Peloton’s new ‘connected treadmill’ exercise machine: she added a section about data privacy.
“It’s worth considering some potential privacy risks when you invite an internet-connected gadget into your home,” Garun writes. She then goes on to list the types of data Peloton can collect, and what information Peloton class instructors can see about you.
She then offers advice about steps you can take to protect your privacy when using the Peloton Tread: “If you are concerned about potential attackers, you can put a privacy cover on the camera portion just like you would on laptops, and unplug the machine or dedicate a Wi-Fi network / use a smart plug for the Tread that you can turn off after your workout.”
This is refreshing. Most reviewers don’t address privacy concerns raised by the gadgets and apps they cover. There’s a good reason for that – most users simply didn’t think about it until recently, and many still don’t. But now data privacy and security are a more salient issue than ever before, tech reviewers now have a duty of care to their readers to mention it.
Journalists won’t necessarily know for sure what happens to data collected about their readers by the companies they cover, but they can at least ask the question to those companies, and point out any potential holes in the official line. At least they’ll have equipped their audience with information they can use to make their own decisions. Hopefully, it will make the tech companies think more about how they communicate the privacy of their products, too.
If we’re all going to be more secure online, we all need to do our bit – tech reviewers included.
One big read
Inside Microsoft’s surprise decision to work with Google on its Edge browser Inside Microsoft’s surprise decision to work with Google on its Edge browser
Not only is Microsoft rebuilding its Edge web browser into a less-‘Googley’ version of Chrome, Google is helping them do it.
One big tweet
The media isn’t always down on Facebook these days. Publications across Europe have run fluffy pieces about the EU ‘election war room’ at Facebook’s Dublin base.
Jelle Prins
Facebook invites journalists to see how they are battling fake news ahead of the elections.

Doesn’t look like these employees are actually working… all screens show the same thing 😂

Is it all staged & is FB basically generating fake news to improve their image? 🙊 🙈 https://t.co/edFiwb3Eyd
9:48 AM - 6 May 2019
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with more. It’s good to be back in the swing of things.
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