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Big Revolution - Internet at the (slow) speed of life

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Welcome to Friday's Big Revolution. Let's dive straight in... – Martin
 
June 22 · Issue #117 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s Big Revolution. Let’s dive straight in…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Popular YouTubers will soon be able to charge subscriptions. The $4.99 ‘Channel Membership’ won’t be essential to view channels, but will give those who pay a bunch of perks like exclusive livestreams, extra videos, or shout-outs. The option will soon be available to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, US channels with 10,000 subscribers will soon be able to offer merchandise sales through YouTube.
- NASA has revealed a plan to prepare for the threat of objects from space crashing into Earth and wiping us out. I think we can all agree it’s good to have a plan for that kind of thing.
- Twitter has made its first company acquisition in two years. The good: buying startup Smyte will allow Twitter to handle problems with online abuse and spam better. The bad: It instantly cut off all of Smyte’s customers. That leaves the likes of GoFundMe, Musical.ly, TaskRabbit, Meetup, 99 Designs, and Zendesk having to find new solutions to deal with their own problems with antisocial online behaviour.
- Intel’s CEO has been forced out of the company following an investigation into a “consensual relationship with an Intel employee” that violated company rules. Many are criticising the harshness of the move, but boards are understandably twitchy about any wrongdoing these days.
The big thought
Internet at the (slow) speed of life
For years, it felt like the internet gave us superpowers. Freed from the shackles of ordinary life, we could do things faster and more efficiently, and with almost anyone in the world that we wanted to. 
Legislation has gradually caught up with the internet age, and we’ve now reached the point where the hippy idealism of internet pioneers has finally been snuffed out. 
In the USA, net neutrality is dead, meaning big corporations can buy their way to priority service from the small cabal of big ISPs. And now the US Supreme Court has ruled that states can collect sales tax from online retailers. This could harm thousands of small e-commerce outfits and part-time sellers. Big retailers will probably be fine.
In Europe, the proposed new copyright rules threaten to stop the viral spreading of culture through memes, in the name of killing piracy.
Not all of these laws are awful. GDPR may be messily implemented right now, but its heart is in the right place.
These examples, for all their good and bad points, have the side effect of making the internet more complicated and less ‘free.’ The internet is slowing down to the pace of normal life. It’s not losing its wings, but it is having them clipped.
As countries take differing approaches to issues like data privacy and copyright control, we’re likely to see the internet divided into regional buckets. Companies will have to rethink their service to offer it in each region, and we’ll end up with a balkanised internet offering little of the freedoms with knew up to now.
I’ll miss my superpowers.
One big read
How Twitter Made The Tech World's Most Unlikely Comeback How Twitter Made The Tech World's Most Unlikely Comeback
Two years ago, Twitter was being written off as a failure. Now its stock price and active user numbers are on the rise, thanks to a focus on news, live events and faster product development. Oh, and a bit of luck.
One big tweet
Casey Newton
Horror movie idea: you hit play on a fresh episode of your favorite podcast, and then someone you know sees you on the train and starts talking to you
12:18 AM - 22 Jun 2018
I can relate. Travel time is podcast time!
That’s all for today...
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