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Big Revolution - For you, and only you

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Thank you all for helping me hone this newsletter with your feedback. I've taken a lot of it on board
 
March 13 · Issue #16 · View online
Big Revolution
Thank you all for helping me hone this newsletter with your feedback. I’ve taken a lot of it on board to create the format you see here today. Tomorrow, it officially launches. Here’s hoping the feedback from the wider public matches the positive sentiment from you lot!

Big things at SXSW
Apple has acquired magazine subscription service Texture
- Apple’s Eddy Cue was onstage to discuss the company’s original content strategy. ‘Quality over quantity’ is the key phrase (so don’t expect Apple to buy Netflix). Coinciding with the appearance, Apple announced is has acquired Texture, a kind of ‘Spotify for digital versions of print magazines.’ A portion of Apple’s customer base will absolutely love this.
- The premiere of VR epic Ready Player One wowed critics. It sounds like it’s got a big dose of that classic Spielberg magic. There’s always one, though - io9 has this less hyperbolic assessment of the movie.
Big things you need to know today
- The Trump administration has blocked a deal that would have seen American tech firm Qualcomm acquired by Singapore’s Broadcom. The reason? America wants a strong stake in the future of 5G connectivity. As TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton writes: “Washington’s concern has been that a Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm would mean that America’s only player in the 5G race would be eliminated through budget cutting, leaving China to monopolize a key technology standard for a generation.” Business aside, that’s also potentially a national security risk.
- Autonomous flying taxis are set to go into testing in New Zealand. The company behind them, Kitty Hawk, is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page.
- Spotify wants its users to help improve the quality of data about its songs.
- Uber is set to massively expand its Uber Eats food delivery service. It plans to launch in 100 new cities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year.
- In a rare occurrence, a tech startup has won a UK government contract. Adzuna will build a new job search platform. It’s proof not all these deals have to go to giant, clunky IT contractors.
The big thought
Confusingly, this is a picture of a SoundCloud embed
Entertainment for you, and only for you
I was interested to read about Sheldon County, a podcast that is generated automatically for each listener. No two listeners will ever get the same experience, from what is essentially a giant spreadsheet and a text-to-speech generator, coupled with some clever code to make it all make (some kind of) sense.
The project reminds me of the BBC’s ‘Perceptive Media’ experiments, which use inputs like the time, weather, and user’s location and preferences to personalise a TV or radio show.
Will we ever prefer these kinds of variable media to traditionally 'authored’ experiences, where everyone watches and hears exactly the same thing? 
There’s a long way to go, but I think there’s a definite role for things like Sheldon County in the future. Despite being different for everyone, the code that creates it is still 'authored’ by a human. Just like video games, even if we don’t get exactly the same out of this kind of media, it can still be an enriching, shared experience.
Will a future Spielberg or Tarantino be a coder?
One big read
Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet
The New Yorker has an interesting, lengthy piece on Reddit’s identity crisis, as it wrestles to balance its free speech mantra with increasingly toxic behaviour on subreddits like The_Donald.
“How do we fix life online without limiting free speech?”
One big tweet
Sadly, this would probably work…
Christopher Mims 🎆
Today Apple is worth $920 billion. The only thing they have to do to become the world's first trillion dollar company is put the word "blockchain" in a press release
8:48 PM - 12 Mar 2018
That’s all for today...
Tomorrow, Big Revolution officially launches. See you then!
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