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Big Revolution - Tech CEOs: stop playing at being Steve Jobs

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Welcome to Friday's Big Revolution. Enjoy! Don't forget, you can always reply to this email if you ha
 
August 10 · Issue #166 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Friday’s Big Revolution. Enjoy! Don’t forget, you can always reply to this email if you have any feedback or want to share any news or ideas for possible inclusion in a future edition.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
  • Macs can be hacked over Wi-Fi. “It would be possible for a well-funded, motivated attacker to exploit the flaw if they were looking for a way onto Macs,” reports Wired. The latest version of MacOS fixes the issue, so upgrade if you’re on an earlier version.
  • Gamer-focused chat app Discord will start selling games. The beta version of the store, available only in Canada for now, can be seen as a tentative step to take a shot at Steam’s chokehold on the PC gaming market.
The big thought
Not every tech CEO can, or should, be Steve Jobs. Credit: Matt Buchanan
Hey tech CEOs, stop playing at being Steve Jobs
Yesterday, as gadget watchers awaited Samsung’s mega event to launch its Note 9 handset, I saw someone tweet about the event having had ‘pre-show entertainment.’ Sigh.
Do we need these events anymore? They stopped being exciting around the same time phones settled into a offering little more than a steady stream of incremental updates each year. The 'look at our new stuff’ show format pioneered by Steve Jobs back in 1984 at the launch of the Mac, and honed by… well, Steve Jobs, actually, in 2007 with the historic first iPhone event, has run out of steam.
These events are now tired parodies of themselves and should be put out to pasture. Even Apple struggles to get it right these days. Its WWDC event this year offered a bunch of small tweaks to its operating system, stretched out over two hours. Why did they bother? Because everyone expects an event, and Apple has to deliver one, even if it’s not got much to show right at that point.
I like Nintendo’s approach of doing regular online video broadcasts to announce news. If other firms took that approach, it would give them a lot more scope to try new ways of telling their stories and promoting their new products. They could still have live 'events,’ just in a different way.
The main thing the 'product launch in front of an audience’ format does these days is give tech CEOs a chance to play at being Steve Jobs for a couple of hours, and they come off looking worse for it. Enough. Let’s move on.
One big read
“What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created a Monster “What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created a Monster
It’s not the first time we’ve seen a headline like this, but this time it’s about the long-term impact of the gig economy, and it’s written by Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler.
One big tweet
Max Read
facebook has a bad habit of saying things that you usually associate with terrifying industrial conglomerates and shady military contractors, such as, from today's "hard questions" post: "we’re not bound by international human rights laws"
6:50 PM - 9 Aug 2018
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow for a weekend format edition of Big Revolution.
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