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  • Facebook blocks news sites, charities, government pages in Australia

    I’m Australian and we have a right wing government here, many of whose members are big Trump fans with the usual science-deriding, climate change denying, anti-minority etc.. positions.

    The primary news organisation in Australia that backs them is News Corp (of your American Fox News infamy). Here in Australia, they’re losing money hand over fist and Murdoch has long complained about Google & FB eating up "his" ad revenue. The government is concerned that their major backer’s future is clouded so decided to implement this law as a wealth transfer from FB & Google to News (and other major outlets that also happen to be friendly to the government such as Nine/Fairfax and Seven West Media.).

    Its basically extortion, FB & Google have no choice but to link to the News sites and pay the news sites for the privilege. The amount to be determined by a government appointed arbitrator. The news companies were claiming billions for their "costs", not the value they actually provide. They're demanding the right to post the articles on FB and that FB MUST PAY THEM for the privilege! As much as I hate FB, no business can operate under these conditions. In fact, they'd be insane to.

    The news organisations here are so arrogant and entitled that they’re outraged at FB and demanding it reinstate them!

    Also, no one knows more about internet traffic than FB and Google. Their ad tracking networks are all pervasive and they track even when you’re not logged into them or even a member! Can’t wait for iOS 14.5 to stop that, but this means that they know exactly the kind of traffic flows that occur and are able to predict what will happen from this action.

    To cut a long story short, FB knows that this will not materially affect them here in Australia, but it will affect the news organisations.

  • Apple Maps improvements conclude with push into Alaska, Central & Southeast US

    ArcaSwiss said:
    I don't get why Apple has their own maps. Google Maps is what I use and don't think Apples are as good
    Apple has every right to compete in whatever market it chooses and the reason they created their own maps was due to Google not bringing turn by turn navigation to iOS (back in the iPhone 4 days) unless Apple was prepared to let Google data mine users the same way it does on Android.

    Apple said no and the rest is history. For what it’s worth, I use Apple Maps all the time now and it works great for me.

    I live in Sydney Australia and just yesterday saw a sedan in my suburb with a strange pole sticking up from its roof with a large bulbous enclosure atop it that looked like it had multiple camera lenses all around it. Was so focused on the weirdness of it I almost missed the writing on the side of the car - “Apple Imagery for Maps”!

    so looks like it’s not just our American cousins who’ll be getting this enhancement!