🤨 Tech companies won’t stop the leaks

The week's biggest stories are the ones coming next week

👋 Welcome to FWIW by David Tvrdon, your weekly tech, media & audio digest.

In this edition

  • New products coming next week: new MacBooks and Pixel 6

  • Netflix calls Squid Game its ‘biggest ever series at launch’, also has a Chappelle problem at the moment

  • Synthetic voice technology can make you speak any language

This week in leaks 😅

First, a few stories from last week to set the stage:

  • Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show [Reuters]

  • Facebook clamps down on its internal message boards [NYT]

  • Pixel 6 leaks: Five years of security updates, ~$749 and $1,049 price tags [AT]

Last week, I focused on the latest Facebook scandal that started with a whistleblower taking a bunch of documents and leaking them to press to make a change.

This week, it was reported Facebook has cracked down on internal discussion forums. It will make it harder to leak, nevertheless, it won’t stop anything. If you loose the trust of you employees they will find a way.

I can’t stop laughing on this one line from the NYT story linked above: In July, the communications team shuttered comments on an internal forum used for companywide announcements, writing, “OUR ONE REQUEST: PLEASE DON’T LEAK.”

Also this week, a Reuters investigation (linked above) revealed what many have suspected for a long time - the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoff goods and also manipulated search results to boost its own product lines in India. And we know about it because of leaks.

If you run the biggest companies in the world and use nefarious practices, chances are you employ people with conscience that will talk about it. Thankfully.

With the upcoming Pixel 6 event where Google was supposed to reveal all the splashy new things its smartphone is capable of doing, we know probably everything there is to know. Thanks to leaks.

Google is the one company that has seen early on it cannot contain product leaks so it leaned in and now is publishing product pages “by mistake”.

Lastly, Theranos is a good example of how leaks saved lives. The founder is on trial currently.

Leaks are here to stay, no matter how much tech billionaires wish people would just shut up. And this has been your week in leaks 😅

⌚️ Apple Watch Series 7 review: Bigger screen, faster charging. [The Verge, MKBHD]

🔋 iPhone 13 Mini and 13 Pro Max battery life: If you need your phone to last, you have to get a bigger phone. [The Verge]

📉 Apple will produce 10 million fewer iPhone 13 units this year due to the prolonged chip shortages. The company had expected to produce 90 million new iPhone models in the last three months of the year. [Bloomberg]

💻 Apple is expected to release new versions of its MacBook computers and maybe other products. The event, with the tagline ‘Unleashed,’ is expected to take place on Monday Oct. 18. [WSJ]

😅 Ahead of next weeks official Pixel 6 launch (Oct. 19), the true flagship phone from Google, we know almost everything about it due to leaks. Also, Google may announce “Pixel Pass“, a kind of unified Google subscription along the same lines as Apple One but only for Pixel phones. [9to5Google, Ars Technica]

🙃 A catchy story of how Facebook’s outage has people rethinking about how they make money online. Surprisingly, no one talked about alternatives, people just seemed sad they lost a few hundred bucks. [CNBC]

  • RELATED: How the Facebook outage crippled businesses and communication around the world. For much of the world, when Facebook goes out, so does the internet. [Rest of World]

💸 Elon Musk just added $11 billion in wealth, dominating the world’s richest list ($223 billion). Bezos is still No. 2 ($191.6 billion), though the gap with Musk is widening. [Bloomberg]

💰 Note-taking app Notion is now valued at $10.3 billion after the latest $275 million investment. It has more than 20 million users. [Forbes]

₿ The U.S. is now the top destination for bitcoin miners, beating out China for the first time. As of July, 35.4% of bitcoin’s hashrate – an industry term used to describe the collective computing power of miners – is in the United States, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. That’s a 428% increase from September 2020. [CNBC]

  • SEE ALSO: El Salvador's bitcoin experiment a month later: adoption is small, technical problems have plagued the government’s cryptocurrency app. [NBC]

🎞 Canva announces Canva Video, a suite of video editing tools now part of its free tier. Really looking forward to start using this. [TechCrunch]

📈 Netflix calls Squid Game its ‘biggest ever series at launch’. 111 million viewers tuned into the series during its first 17 days. Have to confess, really enjoyed it. [The Verge]

  • ALSO: Netflix has a Chappelle problem. The comedian’s latest show is causing the company headaches with staff. [Bloomberg]

🎥 Apple goes to Hollywood, literally this time. The company is building two new facilities, which will reside along the border of Culver City and the City of Los Angeles and function as headquarters for the tech giant in the area. [Variety]

📺 Reading this profile of David Zaslav, the future Warner Bros. Discovery CEO , I realized how little I knew about one of the next big content kings of the world. [Vanity Fair]

🤝 Swiss media companies put their differences aside and created a single login across their news sites called OneLog. It has more then 1 million users now and will reach 2 million by 2022. [NiemanLab]

📬 The Atlantic wants to hire newsletter writers and turn their subscribers into their own. The company isn’t hiring the writers as full-time employees, but will offer them some sort of base payment with the ability to make additional money if they hit certain subscriber goals. If the writers are already selling paid subscriptions to their letters, the Atlantic wants to turn those subscriptions into Atlantic subscriptions. [Vox]

  • ALSO: Memberful, a Patreon subsidiary, launches a newsletter product to challenge Substack. While competitor Substack takes 10% of creator revenue, Memberful charges 4.9%, plus a monthly rate of either $25 or $100, depending on the pricing plan. [TechCrunch]

✅ The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is launching the Oxford Climate Journalism Network. The aim is to train journalists how to cover the topic better. [RISJ]

😮 Analysis of leaked data from Twitch: the top 1% of streamers made over half of the money paid out in 2021, three-quarters made under $120, only 5% of users have made over $1,000 this year. [WSJ]

🤔 How the FT and Times built successful subscription websites. [Press Gazette]

1️⃣ 5 ideas to help media managers succeed in the next decadeInsights from the Digital Growth Summit 2021: The Next 10 Years in News [Jakub Parusinski]

2️⃣ Why is Sweden the world leader in podcast listening? There are a few countries sitting at the top of the podcast listening ladder, but Sweden provides some useful insights into what has been driving the podcast revolution. [David Tvrdon ]

3️⃣ Tackling the Pan-European media space (and living to tell the tale)In the new episode of Media Insider, three founders share stories of building their pan-European audience.

4️⃣ The Fix’s Library: Five Books for Media ManagersBooks to help make sense of the erratic and fast-changing world of journalism. [Anton Protsiuk]

5️⃣ Academic journals adopt new business modelsReduced university subsidies and digital competition threaten their survival. [James Breiner]

[ 📬 Get The Fix newsletter delivered to your inbox every week with the latest insights, news, and analysis about the European media market. Sign up here > ]

📊 Spotify will overtake Apple in podcast listeners (US) for the first time. [eMarketer]

  • RELATED: Podtrac data says Apple is still winning the consumption share by a major leap, though Spotify is catching on in terms of unique listeners. [Podnews]

🎙 Youtube looks to hire its first executive focused on podcasts. The platform is already one of the top destinations for podcast listeners. [Bloomberg]

€ Supercast has opened their integration with Spotify Open Access. If you want to get your paid podcast on Spotify too, Supercast will help you. [Podnews]

🎧 Podcast advertising - particularly when read by the host - drives stronger brand recall punch than more traditional forms of advertisements. [Nielsen]

👅 Synthetic voice technology can help you reach audiences in their native language. If you synthetize you voice, you can use the MARVEL․ai technology to read fluently in Spanish and other 60 languages you normally don’t speak. [Sounds Profitable]

📲 NYT tests new app as a home for all of its audio journalism. [Bloomberg]

📢 You might start seeing Live Audio chat rooms on Facebook. Other audio features announced earlier this year are coming to US only. [The Verge]

❓📊 Poll: Did you like Squid Game on Netflix?

  1. Yes.

  2. No.

  3. Haven’t watched it yet.

  4. I don’t care.

🙌 Thanks. I used HandyPolls to create this poll (instructions).

Last poll results: Which is the ‘one’ Big Tech company you could not live without? Google 65%, Apple 22%, Microsoft 8%.


👀 If you like having your news curated for you - and why wouldn't you? you're reading this - then you might also enjoy What Happened Last Week. Every Monday, journalist Sham Jaff brings you under-reported world news stories, in words that you actually use. As she says herself, it's the newsletter for people who would like to read the New York Times but don't. 👉 You can sign-up here


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