Zuckerberg's 2018 resolution: fix Facebook
Every year, Mark Zuckerberg makes a public New Year's resolution to do something new. We've had everything from a book challenge to him building a home assistant bot — but 2018 is different, with Zuckerberg resolving to fix Facebook.
The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do -- whether it's protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.
My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues. We won't prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we're successful this year then we'll end 2018 on a much better trajectory.
For those following along at home, Facebook is under immense pressure for the influence it played in the U.S. election, and its part in the world in general. As people become increasingly skeptical of technology companies, Facebook appears to be high on the list of companies the world at large struggle to trust (but continues to use).
It's fairly jarring that one of the most powerful people in the world needs to resolve to spend a year fixing Facebook, but admirable that he understands the challenge at hand: it isn't going to be easy. I also suspect it's genuine, and that he has some sort of idea already of how to 'fix' it.
Zuckerberg choosing this challenge doesn't seem like so much of a choice, but an understanding that he has no other option. If Zuck announced he was going to learn to cross-stitch in 2018, he'd probably have been blasted for not caring enough about what's going wrong.
It'll be interesting to see how Facebook goes about improving sentiment. One of the longest-standing complaints is that the service is now overwhelmingly about the news and other updates, rather than friends, and Facebook is already testing banishing brands to a separate News Feed — which might be a great start.
Either way, with more than two billion eyeballs using a Facebook property every single month, the company's reach is larger than any government. It has an obligation to investigate the consequences, and it risks a turning tide of public opinion if it doesn't change the narrative soon.
Intel's CEO sold stock after learning of flaw
This looks suspicious as hell: Intel's CEO sold millions in stock just days after the company learned from Google about a fundamental processor flaw across its products for the last twenty years.
It's circumstantial at best, but Intel hasn't been able to offer any explanation except ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ as to why he would suddenly do so now:
Intel financial filings showed that the stock sales were previously scheduled, Krzanich scheduled those sales on October 30. That's a full five months after researchers informed Intel of the vulnerabilities. And Intel has offered no further explanation of why Krzanich abruptly sold off all the stock he was permitted to.
Ah, the technology industry. Anyway, The Wall Street Journal reports today that Intel struggled with plugging the security holes for over seven months, and isn't confident in the solution even today — Google notified them all the way back in June.
Most interesting from that piece, Intel was kind enough to give some companies the heads up, but others that it didn't have an existing relationship with (like DigitalOcean) were caught off-guard over the weekend:
Josh Feinblum, chief security officer of cloud-computing provider DigitalOcean Inc., learned of the vulnerabilities late in the weekend from peers. He said he has been patching his systems as rapidly as possible and has been satisfied with the results so far.
Lots of little details have been trickling out over the last 24 hours, and I expect it to continue as the picture becomes clearer. Most interesting is that Google has developed an alternative to Intel's patch that it's using on its own cloud service, which appears even better as it has zero performance impact, and that almost all of Apple's devices are affected.
Given Intel's size and market dominance, I imagine this will be nothing more than a blip on the company's performance long-term. There's almost nowhere else to go, as AMD continues to play catch-up and Intel actively uses price pressure to squeeze them out of the market.
Cryptocurrencies are making new billionaires
Here's a wild story about a company that created a cryptocurrency called Ripplecoin which, if it continues at this pace, has made its CEO as rich as Mark Zuckerberg.
Nintendo Switch is now the fastest selling console ever
No device in the last few years has given me as much satisfaction as the Nintendo Switch. It does what it's supposed to perfectly, has killer first-party games, and feels like magic. I'm not a Nintendo person at all and it blew me away -- I just hope they can keep up the great release schedule.
Spotify hits 70 million subscribers
A convenient time to announce to the press a positive growth point is just before your IPO data comes out.😬