Mozilla News Beat, February 26, 2021
Welcome to the Mozilla News Beat, a glance at the internet news of the week in order of best-to-worst. Enjoy!
“If I stay very still….she can’t see me.” That must be what this dog is thinking. Watch as this pupper insists on following its owner. We’ve never seen a dog with a better “Me? Why, I’m not doing anything” face.
Hey, it’s us. We unveiled an updated version of Firefox this week and this release is about cookies. No, not chocolate chip-filled treats but the files websites leave behind on your computer which can track you. Now, Firefox will partition users’ cookies into separate cookie jars using what we call Total Cookie Protection, so sites have trouble tracking you all across the web. Yum.
A Neutral Net
This one’s a big win for internet users in California. A U.S. federal judge will allow the state to implement its net neutrality law, meaning internet service providers will not be able to slow down or speed up specific sites and services based on how much consumers are willing to pay. The next challenge? Passing a net neutrality law that cover the entire country, not just individual states.
Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.
Daft Punk splitting might be one of the saddest stories this week but it’s a great excuse to reminisce about the duo’s legacy. Part of that legacy: Daft Bodies. Samantha Cole over at Motherboard reminisces about the internet dance trend in the pre-TikTok era.
News Block Lifted
Facebook and Australia have reached an agreement. Previously, Facebook played hardball with Australia’s competition commission by blocking all Australian news content. Now, Australia’s government has updated their ask, offering Facebook more time to negotiate deals with publishers. In a blog post, Facebook promised to spend $1 billion over the next three years to support the news industry going forward.
What's Up With WhatsApp?
Are you one of the WhatsApp users who stuck around even after the company issued its infamous terms of service update? Well, if you’ve been using the app but putting off accepting the new terms agreement, Facebook (WhatsApp’s parent company) has got some news for you. Starting May 15, users who don’t accept the new ToS will eventually lose the ability to read or send messages from the app.
Look Me In The Eyes
Alexa may be listening to me everywhere, but at least it can’t see me wherever I go, right? Wrong! Reviews of Amazon’s new product, the Echo Show 10, are starting to hit the web and reviewers have mixed feelings about the standout feature: a screen (plus camera) that tracks you around the room and swivels to face you. Next you’re going to tell us that Amazon is giving Alexa arms and legs, it’s like you all want a robot apocalypse or something!
Unions And Amazon
Amazon is actively fighting an effort among employees to unionize. Employees have found anti-union messaging in ads on Twitch, T-shirts the company has passed out and even bathroom stalls. So when Amazon told workers in Alabama to use a specific new mailbox to cast their union ballots, it felt suspicious. “If the mailbox isn’t about the union election,” says Amazon worker Derrick Medlock, “then why wasn’t it there before?” Amazon has said the US Postal Service installed the mailbox.
Face The Facts, Facebook
“Mark personally didn’t like the punishment, so he changed the rules.” In a new report from BuzzFeed News, internal documents and interviews with 14 Facebook employees paint a picture showing how the company’s policy team and Zuckerberg himself would turn a blind-eye to harmful content spread by right-wing pages despite warnings from experts.
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