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Big Revolution - Riding the tech roller coaster back up (a little)

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Welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution. Here's what I've been reading... – Martin
 
May 29 · Issue #93 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution. Here’s what I’ve been reading…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Move over GDPR, there’s a new law looming. Lobbyists for big tech firms are trying to soften up even stricter EU legislation on data collection. The New York Times explains how ePrivacy is worrying those who make money from data collection – and the unintended consequences it could unleash. “Tech industry groups and their supporters argue that ePrivacy’s consent requirement and other provisions are so onerous that they would hinder innovations like smart cars, which automatically transmit safety information back to the manufacturer.”
- Elon Musk has his eyes on Mars, but Jeff Bezos’ space ambitions are a little closer to home. His Blue Origin company has plans for a colony on the Moon. He envisions “countries working together in a “lunar village” and combining their strengths rather than testing them against one another,” TechCrunch reports.
- Latest from the crypto wild west: ‘smart trading assistant’ startup Taylor says it has been hacked and has lost all the funds it raised from its ICO.
- Street performers in London will be able to take cash payments under a new partnership between the city and iZettle. I wonder how many people will take advantage of it, given that even contactless payments are a much more involved process than just throwing cash in a hat.
The big thought
Riding the tech roller coaster back up (a little)
Tech news is pretty depressing these days, isn’t it?
Back when I first started writing about technology, the industry was full of wide-eyed optimism about the brave new world of social media and mobile apps. Every day brought an exciting new release from a startup or big tech firm, and it was fun to ride the wave and track how everything seemed to be getting better every day.
And then suddenly, tech journalism changed. Its enthusiasm waned as we saw a tide of awfulness descend on what we’d once found so exciting. 
Gamergate; culture wars played out through social media hate campaigns; social media firms struggling to deal with abuse from individuals, groups and even nation states; almost daily disclosures of company security breaches; consumer hardware weaponised into botnets; the rise of toxic self-entitlement in Silicon Valley… the list goes on. The tech world suddenly seemed a whole lot less fun.
And the public’s appetite for tech news changed, too. Once you could get big traffic numbers writing about the coolest new app of the week, but now scandals, crimes and bad behaviour got the clicks. 
From Uber employees to Elon Musk, the tech industry has asked in the past couple of years why the media spin is increasingly focused on the worst impacts of tech. Tech journalists will argue that they’re simply redressing the balance for years where far too much technology coverage was unquestioningly positive.
And maybe more bad news is a positive thing. Political news focuses on the bad because that’s where the scrutiny is needed. Journalists should be examining the worst behaviour of the tech world – that’s a public service. And ‘this app just got a minor new feature’ isn’t exciting news anymore, anyway.
But tech is doing a lot of good in the world, and the media doesn’t need to fawn over tech giants and startup culture to reflect that good news. Hopefully, tech journalism will soon feel it’s served its penance for past over-enthusiasm and stop being quite so depressing. Keep up the scrutiny, but bring back a bit more of the enthusiasm.
One big read
I'm Not (Overly) Concerned About Smart Speaker Security, And You Shouldn't Be Either I'm Not (Overly) Concerned About Smart Speaker Security, And You Shouldn't Be Either
A decent assessment of why the security concerns about Amazon’s Echo (and by extension, Google Home) are probably overblown. It certainly reassured me – for now.
One big tweet
I recommend you click through and read this tweet with the accompanying image.
Jim Waterson
What if
The future of journalism
Now the Facebook traffic has gone
Is
Repeatedly republishing news stories
About supermarket opening times
To stay at the top of Google News https://t.co/02F47iXj2g
11:56 AM - 28 May 2018
That’s all for today...
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