Big Tech &
Meet Adam Mosseri, the new head of Instagram (2 minute read)
Adam Mosseri, formerly in charge of Facebook's Newsfeed, is now in charge of Instagram. Instagram's founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are leaving the company due to conflicts with Mark Zuckerberg, but Kevin Systrom will continue to oversee his own transition out of the company, hiring heads of product, operations and engineering. It is unclear what this will mean for the direction of Instagram, but the speculation is that Mosseri will be more amenable to Zuckerberg's desire to increase cross promotion between Instagram and Facebook.
Netflix Is Planning a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure 'Black Mirror' (3 minute read)
Netflix is developing a slate of specials that will let viewers choose the next storyline in a TV episode or movie. These include one episode in the upcoming season of dystopian sci-fi show "Black Mirror" to be released in December, as well as several new series based on video games and a few childrens shows. While interactive shows have never really become popular, one industry insider says "The time is right for interactive TV to become a mainstream experience".
World's First Lion Cubs Born Using Artificial Insemination (2 minute read)
Scientists have successfully used artificial insemination on lions for the first time, yielding two healthy new cubs. This is great news because the African lion is considered "vulnerable" while the West African lion subpopulation is considered critically endangered and the Asiatic lion is considered endangered. The African lion population is estimated to have decreased from 1.2 million in 1800 to 18,000 in 2018. This tool is essential to keeping the species alive, and may also be tweaked to be usable on other large endangered cats like cheetahs.
Google Maps (App)
Google Maps is releasing integrations with Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music this week.
Travellers refusing digital search now face $5000 Customs fine (1 minute read)
New Zealand's Customs and Excise Act is now in effect, allowing New Zealand customs officials to demand travellers give up passwords, pin codes, etc. to access their electronic devices as long as they have a "reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing". It also allows customs officials to forcibly seize and forensically search a person's electronic devices as well as fine them $5000 if they don't comply. New Zealand's Council for Civil Liberties spokesperson Thomas Beagle believes that this new law is a violation of personal privacy, pointing out that "they don't have to tell you what the cause of that suspicion is, there's no way to challenge it."
Internet, social media use and device ownership in U.S. have plateaued after years of growth (2 minute read)
According to Pew Research, the shares of U.S. adults who say they use the internet, use social media, own a smartphone or own a tablet computer are all nearly identical to the shares who said so in 2016. 95% of people have cell phones, 89% have internet, and 69% use social media. The number of people who own a desktop or a laptop computer actually dropped from 78% in 2016 to 73% today, while the number of people with tablets increased from 51% in 2016 to 53% today. For better or worse, it appears that adoption of most of these internet technologies has plateaued in the United States.