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Big Revolution - Shock of the old

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Welcome to today's Big Revolution. It's long than usual today, so let's get cracking... – Martin
 
August 14 · Issue #170 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to today’s Big Revolution. It’s long than usual today, so let’s get cracking…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • Alphabet’s DeepMind A.I. has been found to be as good as trained professionals at spotting eye diseases, in tests at a London hospital. This could help speed up diagnosis, removing the bottleneck of limited human availability.
  • Switching off Google’s ‘location history’ doesn’t stop the company recording your location for its own ends, the AP has found. To me, this doesn’t seem that surprising, but I can understand why some may think 'location history’ is a universal location recording toggle.
  • YouTube is paying stars to use and promote its newest features, Bloomberg reports. The move comes in the face of stiff competition from Twitch and Facebook for online video celebrities.
  • Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz reportedly plans a new fund to boost diversity in tech. The fund is apparently raising up to $15m from black celebrities. Instead of paying itself management fees to run the fund, Andreessen Horowitz will donate this money to nonprofits to boost the black community’s investment in tech.
  • The days of Facebook being a traffic goldmine for publishers are not coming back, an exec from the company reportedly told a group of publishers recently. The language used raised some eyebrows.
  • You’ll have to wait longer for group FaceTime calls. The feature has been removed from the latest betas of iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave. Apple says the feature will not be available when the operating systems launch (expected next month), but will be added later in the year.
The big thought
Sunrise became Microsoft Outlook's mobile calendar
Shock of the old
It struck me yesterday that I haven’t started using a new app or piece of technology in months. This is highly unusual for me, and it’s got me wondering – have I changed or have the kinds of tech I need in life just become more stable?
I’ve noted before in this newsletter how mobile phones have become too boring, but the same could be said for tablets, and even apps. There was a time when I’d download several new apps per week, but now app store new releases have settled into a calm period where games still have plenty of new ideas, but utilities and productivity apps just aren’t that exciting anymore. They’re good – just in a stable and boring kind of way.
A look at Product Hunt most days will show you that there are plenty of niche utilities and developer tools to get excited about if that’s your thing. But the days of groundbreaking, slick new apps from small startups that change the way you organise your life – the Sunrises and Sparrows – seem long gone.
Weirdly, I’d say laptops are probably the most interesting field right now; especially Microsoft’s Surface range of hybrid laptop/tablets. It’s just a shame Apple seems left behind on this front.
Personally, I’ve got my eyes on a Google Pixelbook. Yes, it’s a Chromebook. But with the ability to run Android apps, and as we’ve seen in the news above, potentially Windows 10 too, it’s growing more appealing by the day. I’ll hold out to see if they announce a new one this autumn first, though.
There’s still tech to get excited about – just perhaps not as excited as a few years ago. That’s only natural – once people find things that work well, there’s less need or desire for constant innovation. But I do miss the days of non-stop novelty.
One big read
Here's What The New NHS App Will Look Like - And Why It Could Have Been So Much Worse Here's What The New NHS App Will Look Like - And Why It Could Have Been So Much Worse
The UK’s National Health Service is set to offer a major new app to its users. This article looks at the difficulties of designing digital services for an enormous healthcare organisation.
One big tweet
Following on from the news above, Netflix needs to make this…
Casey Newton
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but it’s Azealia Banks breaking into entrepreneurs’ homes and roasting them on Instagram

cc @netflix
10:27 PM - 13 Aug 2018
That’s all for today...
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