Top 5 tech stories, and other news

Because of time pressure, trying something new this week.

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

🌐 Online version. 👉 Be sure to subscribe, if you were sent this newsletter.

In this edition

💻 Apple MacBooks reviews; Amazon Pharmacy; another Senate hearing

🎧 Yubo, a successful audio/video-chat for teens from Europe; Everyone hates Fleets

💬 Other tech, media, gaming, audio & podcasting news

🦩 FUN FACT: I usually manage to send out this newsletter Thursday in the morning. But whenever I get caught up doing other things, I have to send it later in the day, and surprisingly, the open rate drops to half (~30%) of what it is usually (+60%). Anyway, thank you for being a subscriber and reading this newsletter.

👻 BONUS: My latest column for The Fix titled The content struggle: Long game vs. short term gain.

Top tech stories, briefly

This is not a new format, I am just super busy this week and wanted to give you the best possible overview in a short time.

1️⃣ Apple Macs with M1 chip reviews dropped. As I wrote last week, Apple made big promises, and turns out the company turned out to be right. Especially the new MacBook Air with M1 is now, without doubt, the Mac-to-buy for most people. If not for the underwhelming webcam (which is also the problem with Dell’s XPS 13), The Verge would give it 10/10 on its review.

2️⃣ Amazon launches Amazon Pharmacy. In the US it is letting customers order prescription medications for home delivery, including free delivery for Prime members. It is the biggest move yet into the pharmacy space from the retail giant

3️⃣ Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. You know the hearing was not newsworthy when The New York Times covered it like a sports match with a bunch of stats of who asked what. The only thing worth mentioning was what CEOs think of the addictiveness of social media. Jack Dorsey said social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be addictive, on the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg told Senate the research is 'inconclusive'.

4️⃣ A successful social media app from France gets €40 million in a new funding round. You probably never heard of Yubo, the European social app tailored to teenagers and young adults. Created by 27-year-old Sacha Lazimi in Paris, it now has more than 40 million users, does not have ads, algorithms, likes or follows, and manages to grow and earn revenue. Keep an eye on this one.

5️⃣ Twitter introduced Fleets and Twitter hates them. Just give us editable Tweets, we already have stories everywhere else.

📸 by Apple

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In other news, briefly


🤑 Instagram cautiously considers paying publishers. [Axios

⚔️ SquareSpace is coming for Substack, maybe. The service introduced an option for exclusive paid newsletters, podcasts, and videos. [SquareSpace]

⚔️ Substack is coming for Slack, maybe. The service is testing a forum-like feature to help writers create communities. Smart move. [Substack]

💔 Not everyone loves Substack. [Columbia Journalism Review

🎥 Wonder Woman 1984 will be released on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters, December 25. Great, though there is no HBO Max in Slovakia, so you better bring it to HBO GO as well, AT&T. [The Verge]

📜 And here is a list of studies I have yet to make time to get to:

📜 A special shoutout to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, you guys destroy my free time 😂 here is a roundup of studies they published since the end of September and are filling up my “to read” folder:


🎧 Four journalists experiment with a kid-friendly podcast to inform under-12s about the news. []

🎙️ Apple Podcasts now competes with Spotify for web embeds. Apple Podcasts introduced the option this week and unlike Spotify, you do not need a desktop app to get the embed, you can simply visit the Apple Podcasts Marketing Tools. You can embed an episode or the whole show. [The Verge]

🗣️ Why podcast websites are critical? Podpage, a service that offers easy and quick to build podcast websites hosts twice a week a 60 minutes free webinar. [Podpage]

🔊 Sound beaming is a thing. A new device puts music in your head, no headphones required. [AP News]


👾 Video games can be good for your mental health, a study suggests. It probably depends on which games though, and how long you play them for. [The Guardian]


These Tweets made me laugh out loud:

(Seriously, I would react the same way, if my colleague did this to me.)

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