Collecting user data is a competitive disadvantage

Warren Buffet is famous for identifying the need for businesses to have "moats" and "walls" around their profit-centers to keep competitors out, and data-centric companies often cite their massive collections of user-data as "moats" that benefit from "network effects" to make their businesses good investments. Read the rest

Tumblr is for sale...again

Verizon wants to divest itself of Tumblr, having squandered much of the goodwill that made the platform so beloved by creating literally the stupidest censorship regime in the history of the internet; Tumblr became part of Verizon through the sale of Yahoo's media assets, and is part of a group Verizon dubbed "Oath" because everyone who encounters it ends up swearing. Verizon has admitted that it made a stupid, multi-billion dollar mistake when it bought Tumblr and its sister companies. (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest

Nest's "ease of use" imperative plus poor integration with Google security has turned it into a hacker's playground

40 years ago, antitrust law put strict limits on mergers and acquisitions, but since the Reagan era, these firewalls have been dismantled, and now the biggest companies grow primarily by snapping up nascent competitors and merging with rivals; Google is a poster-child for this, having only ever created two successful products in-house (search and Gmail), with all other growth coming from acquisitions and mergers. Read the rest

Moderators for large platform tell all, reveal good will, frustration, marginalization

Alex Feerst, Medium's head of trust and safety, conducted a long, wide-ranging interview with senior content moderation staffers with experience at Dropbox, Google, Facebook, Reddit, Pintrest, and many unnamed platforms; the interview is very frank and reveals a group of people with a deep, real-world commitment to protecting users as well as defending free speech. Read the rest