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💡 Weekly: September 30, 2022

New gear from Amazon, Optus breach still a confusing mess, plus a host of news updates and juicy articles to enjoy.

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
6 min read
💡 Weekly: September 30, 2022
Photo by Dylan Hunter / Unsplash

After some queries, I'll also make all Premium posts free through November to build a clear sense of what people will get for their subscription. I'll use this time to also write some foundational content around my big thoughts on the state of the industry and the future of tech and media ecosystems.

High Resolution podcast

Xbox’s brilliant accessibility strategy explained
Learn what drives the Xbox team’s passion for accessibility in an interview with Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility.

A great chat by Chris for the High Resolution podcast with Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility at Xbox. Really insightful on the way Xbox has been approaching accessibility within its platform and the extended benefits of serving those who can really use the extra features.

Brain Food

Darth Vader’s Voice Emanated From War-Torn Ukraine
As the conflict raged, Ukrainian tech workers at Respeecher hurried to bring back James Earl Jones’s legendary voice for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This Controversial Artist Matches Influencer Photos With Surveillance Footage
‘The Followers’ uses artificial intelligence and facial-recognition technology to comment on the surveillance state
Flooded with AI-generated images, some art communities ban them completely
Smaller art communities are banning image synthesis amid a wider art ethics debate.

New toys

Amazon Official: Introducing Halo Rise - Bedside Sleep Tracker with Wake-up Light and Smart Alarm Introducing Halo Rise - Bedside Sleep Tracker with Wake-up Light and Smart Alarm : Sports & Outdoors
Introducing Kindle Scribe (16 GB), the first Kindle for reading and writing, with a 10.2” 300 ppi Paperwhite display, includes Basic Pen :
Introducing Kindle Scribe (16 GB), the first Kindle for reading and writing, with a 10.2” 300 ppi Paperwhite display, includes Basic Pen :

Amazon released a bunch of new gear this week. The Halo and Scribe really stood out for me as the most interesting. Smarter sleep tracking with a nice light-based alarm feels great. And a Kindle that is also a note-taking tablet? Yes, please.

Big news

Optus cyber-attack: company opposed changes to privacy laws to give customers more rights over their data
In its submission to Privacy Act review telco said giving people right to erase personal data would involve ‘significant’ hurdles and costs

There's so much we still don't know, but there's a lot of problems at both a government and corporate level around how much data is sitting around due to retention mandates and/or companies arguing that it's just too hard to clean up user data.

It's been a mixture of understatement and hyperbole from many angles around this breach. But knowing which is which yet is still awfully difficult.

DALL·E Now Available Without Waitlist
New users can start creating straight away. Lessons learned from deployment and improvements to our safety systems make wider availability possible. Sign up Starting today, we are removing the waitlist for the DALL·E beta so users can sign up and start using it immediately. More than 1.5M use…
Podcasters Are Buying Millions of Listeners, Raising Questions About Marketing Tactics
The podcast networks that are actively mining downloads in the mobile game space are doing so through an intermediary company, called Jun Group

This is a massive scandal for the podcast industry. Feels like it's on the wrong side of the fine line between 'clever new paths to discovery' and 'pump those numbers'.

A message about Stadia and our long term streaming strategy
We’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.

One of those deeply euphemistic headlines that buries the fact Google is closing Stadia. The fact they're refunding all software and hardware bought through Google Store is a solid way to maintain confidence that you can go on the journey and not be left in the lurch if things don't work out.

Google has definitely gained a lot of valuable new tech through building this game streaming project. Stadia might be dead but the tech will appear in many different places in the years to come.

Brave browser to start blocking annoying cookie consent banners
The Brave browser will soon allows users to block annoying and potentially privacy-harming cookie consent banners on all websites they visit.

Cookie consent banners are a mess of dark patterns and obnoxious interruptions. But they're also a helpful step forward compared to 'cookies everywhere'. If Brave can get the balance right here to essentially say yes/no on your behalf to the right cookies that let websites work without the interruptions it's a path forward for letting users set defaults for wherever they go online.

Call on Meta to provide reparations to the Rohingya community
Inspiring people against injustice to bring the world closer to human rights & dignity enjoyed by all.

"The Rohingya community are determined that Meta be held accountable. Showkutara, a 22-year-old living in Cox’s Bazar, says “Facebook must pay. If they do not, we will go to every court in the world. We will never give up in our struggle.”

Announcing the all-new Substack Reader for web
Revenge of RSS

Obviously we've left Substack, but it offers a great reading experience and now it also lets you add RSS feeds. So if you miss Byteside on Substack, you can add us to your Substack Reader!

(I still love Feedly as my RSS reader of choice, but more options is a win for all.)

Good tweets

Art & CultureOptusAmazon

Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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