NewsBytes Briefing: Facebook shows Australia its merciful side, and more
After successfully getting Google to capitulate and pay for news, Australia learned the hard way that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is made of sterner stuff. Facebook's Aussie news ban also wiped out critical resources involving suicide helplines and COVID-19 information channels. Australia was genuinely hurting. Zuckerberg decided that Australians had suffered enough and extended an olive branch, by rolling back the news blackout.
On another note, there seems to be no end to the suffering of Google Stadia subscribers. The service had launched the first-party game Journey to the Savage Planet in a virtually unplayable form. One would assume it would be easy to fix a game developed in-house, except Google had nuked all its game development studios on the same day it launched the buggy game.
Even as Google Stadia makes it difficult to play at home, Microsoft is making it easier for everyone to work from home. The company's professional social networking platform LinkedIn will soon allow its members to take up freelance gigs similar to Fiverr and Upwork. The only difference being that your resume and references already exist on the platform, so that should make things easier.
Remember the Apple Maps debacle that caused the forced exit of then iOS chief Scott Forstall? Well, Epic Games sure remembers as it locks horns with Apple in a year-long dispute over exorbitant App Store commissions. The intrepid video game developer now wants Forstall to testify in the legal battle. Calling upon a disgruntled ex-Apple employee as a crucial witness is a high-IQ move.
After years of audiophiles begging it to bump up the audio quality of its streaming music infrastructure, Spotify has announced its plan to introduce HiFi audio streaming. Unfortunately, the streaming service seems to be stuck in the '90s, because it's definition of high-fidelity audio constitutes CD quality. Meanwhile, competitors such as Tidal continue to offer four times the audio resolution.