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Big Revolution - The smartest TV is a dumb TV

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Welcome to today’s Big Revolution, The format is a little different today, for one day only. Back to
 
July 6 · Issue #131 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to today’s Big Revolution, The format is a little different today, for one day only. Back to the normal, easier-to-scan approach tomorrow.
– Martin

Big things you need to know today
Facebook labels part of Declaration of Independence 'hate speech'
This is the most 2018 thing that could have happened on Independence Day 2018.
Twitterrific removes push notifications and live-streaming features ahead of Twitter API change
Your favourite third-party Twitter app will be a little less great from next month. Twitterific is laying the groundwork for that here, by setting user expectations lower. Sad to see, but anyone still operating as a third-party Twitter developer knows how the company treats their kind.
Apple reportedly launching new iPhones in blue, orange, and gold colors
Fancy an orange iPhone? Apple devices have become pretty boring in the colour department in recent years, but a reliable supply chain analyst says he expects to see more colourful iPhones this year.
The big thought
How Smart TVs in Millions of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s On Tonight
The New York Times yesterday addressed the downside of smart TVs – all the behaviour tracking that goes on, often without users really being aware of it. 
Even if your TV doesn’t have anything as vile as display ads in its menus, it might be tracking what you watch and using that data to target ads to you on other devices.
“Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate they watched.
“The big draw for advertisers — which have included Citi and JetBlue in the past, and now Expedia — is that Samba TV can also identify other devices in the home that share the TV’s internet connection.”
In the case of Samba’s software, users can opt-in or out when they set up their TV. Whether they understand enough about the product to make the right choice is another question. This is a feature entirely designed for the benefit of TV manufacturers (who get a nice source of extra income in a slim-margin business) and advertisers. Consumers get nothing from it.
In a world where our gadgets keep getting smarter, TVs are one device that should stay dumb. All a TV needs to do is be really good at showing moving pictures.
It’s like ISPs – most of the ‘value add’ services they offer aren’t really necessary. They’re there as a differentiator in a competitive business, and because the ISPs don’t think they make enough money from their core offering. The best ISPs should focus on offering a great internet connection, and nothing else.
My golden rule when it comes to TVs is this: never connect your TV to the internet. Ignore the ‘smart’ features. Just plug in a Chromecast or similar device and stream video from the internet that way. 
One big read
On WeChat, rogue fact-checkers are tackling the app's fake news problem On WeChat, rogue fact-checkers are tackling the app's fake news problem
A look at ‘guerilla’ attempts to fact-check articles spread virally on messaging platforms. Lies spread this way are much harder to track than on public social media, so fact-checking has a unique set of challenges.
One big tweet
UK-based venture capitalist Eileen Burbidge isn’t on the Trump train (click the tweet to see the image). Who and who isn’t attending a dinner with Donald Trump when he visits the country next week is a topic of hot debate right now.
Eileen Burbidge
enquiry received from a diligent journalist attached... answer for any other journalist/media queries = Q1: “no”; answer to Q2 (if I had been invited): “hell no” #fuckthatshit https://t.co/Sg1ORzpT8e
5:49 PM - 5 Jul 2018
That’s all for today...
See you tomorrow for Saturday’s Big Revolution.
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