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Big Revolution - Oh Elon, Elon, Elon...

Welcome to Thursday's Big Revolution. Today you find me with the weird, but weirdly catchy, song from
May 24 · Issue #88 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. Today you find me with the weird, but weirdly catchy, song from Square’s UK TV ad stuck in my head. That’s probably because they have news today. For details of that and more, read on…

Big things you need to know today
- It’s unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block people on Twitter, a judge has ruled. No word on whether he’ll cancel the summit with North Korea to spend a few weeks manually unblocking his critics.
- Apple has signed a deal that will see Volkswagen vans turned into self-driving shuttles for its staff, according to the New York Times. The vehicles will use the autonomous vehicle tech being developed by Apple, but VW apparently wasn’t the company’s first choice of partner. Discussions BMW and Mercedes-Benz both collapsed, it’s reported.
- Meanwhile, Uber plans to develop its ‘flying taxi’ project at a new R&D centre in Paris. It’s probably better to think of these as 'tiny planes,’ but then that sounds less futuristic.
- Instapaper is temporarily switching off its service for EU-based users. The sudden move is so the Pinterest-owned service can make itself GDPR-compliant. They haven’t explained how the app is in breach of the new rules, though.
- Square has launched its Stand in the UK. The £64 device turns an iPad into a payment terminal for retailers. The company has offered other products in the country for some time, but the expansion comes at a time of heightened competition – PayPal announced last week it was buying Square rival iZettle.
- Google Trends has a fresh new look. Give it a try to see what gets people searching.
The big thought
Credit: JD Lasica, Wikimedia Commons
Oh Elon, Elon, Elon…
Elon Musk is not happy with the media. Prompted by recent reports about production line and safety problems at Tesla, he went on a multi-tweet rant about “the holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie.”
Musk says he plans to launch a site “where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication.” Gizmodo spotted that he appears to have set up a business to run that site in October last year.
The reaction has been predictable. Journalists are various shades of amused and horrified, and Musk’s fans are predictably full of support for their hero.
Me? I think Musk needs to learn to take bad press. Just because he does incredible things for the future of electric vehicles and space travel doesn’t mean he’s above criticism. If he can’t ship his cars fast enough, and if his workers are unhappy with factory conditions, and if his cars’ safety is in question, those stories need to be reported. And the way they’re reported won’t always please him.
Instead of just sucking it up and accepting that a wealthy, high-profile person like himself will be subject to criticism he can’t control, he throws a childish, patronising strop. It’s very silly, really.
As for his plan to let the public “rate the core truth” of news articles, well I look forward to his developers having to resolve the age-old philosophical debate about the nature of truth so they can write the code correctly. What this site will actually turn out to be is somewhere for people to vote up the things they agree with and downvote the things they dislike. 
Reddit. He’s invented Reddit.
One big read
How Amazon Plans To Use Whole Foods to Dominate the Retail Industry How Amazon Plans To Use Whole Foods to Dominate the Retail Industry
An interesting look at Amazon’s big push into the food market, and the strategy behind its acquisition of Whole Foods.
One big tweet
If you click the tweet below and read some of the replies, you’ll see how out of control ‘GDPR Mania’ has become – people making lots of silly mistakes they’ll regret.
David Banks
The panic over #gdpr has become a full-blown stampede. Just been contacted by a client whose gdpr compliance group has advised deleting every photo of any person on their website every two years. People need to calm down. Given barmy advice? Give me a call.
7:31 PM - 23 May 2018
That’s all for today...
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