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Lauren Thomas, writing for CNBC

Effective June 1, the price of Peloton’s all-access subscription plan in the United States will go up to $44 per month, from $39. In Canada, the fee will rise to $55 per month, from $49. Pricing for international members will remain unchanged, Peloton said. The cost of a digital-only membership, for people who don’t own any of Peloton’s equipment, will still be $12.99 a month.

John Gruber

Hey, prices go up. Inflation is running high. OK. But raising the prices only for people who already paid for Peloton’s premium-priced hardware and not for people on the digital-only plan doesn’t pass the sniff test that this is about the cost of content creation. If it were really about content creation costs, they’d raise subscription prices for everyone, or, only for the people who haven’t also purchased Peloton devices that cost $2000 or more.

It’s not like $39/month was cheap. It seems transparently obvious that they’re just soaking their best and most loyal customers — the ones whose hardware purchases have tied them to Peloton. (Unsubscribe and your bike or treadmill still works, but the display becomes useless.)

Peloton is making big changes to satisfy shareholders. In the process, they’re pissing-off their loyal customers, me included. As a Peloton owner, I’m in full agreement with John’s observations regarding the price increase.

Here’s what I would like to see happen:

  1. Grandfather all existing bike customers into the current all-access price of $39.
  2. Raise the all-access price to $44 on all new bike customer who are buying the bike at the reduced price.
  3. Raise the price on all digital-only plans.

#Linked #Opinion

Samantha Subin, writing for CNBC

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk wrote in a letter sent to Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor and disclosed in a securities filing.

According to Musk, the social media company needs to go private because it can “neither thrive nor serve” free speech in its current state, Musk wrote.

“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced,” he wrote. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.”

I said this was going to get messy. If Elon does buy Twitter and take it private, it will be interesting to see how Twitter changes. I’m guessing it’ll be for the worse.

#Linked #Opinion

Maxwell Strachan, writing for Vice

The Monday filing states that going forward, Musk may “acquire additional shares of Common Stock” and “express his views to the Board and/or members of the Issuer’s management team and/or the public through social media or other channels” (which is corporate speak for tweet whatever he wants).

Heroic as it might have been for Twitter to stand up to Musk, or hilarious as it would have been if the world’s richest man simply wanted to avoid (or even failed) a background check, it seems more likely that Twitter had offered Musk a seat as a way to placate and defang him, and that Musk decided in recent days that he didn’t want to be contained.

​[…]

Free from the shackles of the board, Musk got back to doing what he does best over the weekend: posting. He wrote tweets that asked “Is Twitter dying?”, suggested Twitter removed ads and converted its headquarters into a homeless shelter, and polled followers about whether the company should “Delete the w in twitter?

Twitter didn’t want a shitposter on its board. Going forward, this is going to get messy.

#Linked

Lee Peterson:

If you’re working on your own new blog or have an existing one it’s good to write smaller posts like this one, not share on Twitter all of the time. I find that I get more engagement, grow my traffic and more importantly own my content when I simply treat my blog as I want – to share my thoughts, big or small.

Why don’t you give it a go for 30 days? Hide your Twitter app from your main home screen and add your blogging platform one instead.

This is good advice. If I have something to say I say it here. I only tweet links to what I post here and nothing more.

#Linked #Blogging

Alex Heath, writing for The Verge

A group of Facebook engineers identified a “massive ranking failure” that exposed as much as half of all News Feed views to potential “integrity risks” over the past six months, according to an internal report on the incident obtained by The Verge.

The engineers first noticed the issue last October, when a sudden surge of misinformation began flowing through the News Feed, notes the report, which was shared inside the company last week. Instead of suppressing posts from repeat misinformation offenders that were reviewed by the company’s network of outside fact-checkers, the News Feed was instead giving the posts distribution, spiking views by as much as 30 percent globally. Unable to find the root cause, the engineers watched the surge subside a few weeks later and then flare up repeatedly until the ranking issue was fixed on March 11th.

John Gruber:

It really does sound like a bug, and some bugs really are devilishly tricky to track down and fix. But it seems a bit odd that it took Facebook six months to fix this one, given how intense the scrutiny of the company has gotten for the very problem this bug made worse.

Nick Heer:

One of the things I think about a lot is why problems such as this one have basically no repercussions for the companies that create them. In this case, this bug was only made public because someone leaked the internal report, and its possible consequence was significant — Heath writes that it “impacted up to half of News Feed views over a period of months”. But it does not matter, not really. Facebook’s reputation is in the tank and it will not lose users because of this, nor will advertisers pull funds. It does not matter that Facebook increased the spread of bullshit instead of responsibly slowing it, apart from in all the subtle ways it does matter that its massive user base was increasingly misinformed.

Facebooks problem is not a failure of technology, nor a shortcoming in their AI filters. Its problem is its shitty business model. Profits chiefly from engagement and virility. Fuck Facebook!

#Linked #Facebook #Opinion

The pros and cons of iOS sideloading

Tim Hardwick, writing for MacRumors

European lawmakers have provisionally agreed upon a new law that would force Apple to allow user access to third-party app stores and permit the sideloading of apps on iPhones and iPads, among other sweeping changes designed to make the digital sector fairer and more competitive.

​[…]

The wording of the legislation has yet to be finalized, but once the language is in place, the European Parliament and the Council will need to approve it. The regulation must be implemented within six months after its entry into force. Digital competition chief Margrethe Vestager said today that she expected the DMA to come into force “sometime in October.”

Should the Digital Markets Act go on to become law, Apple will have to make major changes to its ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ platform to accommodate the requirement to allow for non-App Store apps. Apple said it was “concerned that some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users.”

Apple is also facing similar legislation in the United States, with U.S. House lawmakers in June introducing antitrust bills that would result in major changes to the tech industry if passed.

The pros and cons of iOS sideloading

Read more...

According to The New Times, “the salad days of Facebook’s lavish employee perks may be coming to an end. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told employees on Friday that it was cutting back or eliminating free services like laundry and dry cleaning and was pushing back the dinner bell for a free meal from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to seven company employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity.” And the employees are pissed.

Well, isn’t that a fucking pity! I guess nothing last forever.

According to Protocol, “Meta company spokesperson Tracy Clayton confirmed the changes, describing them in an email as more reflective of “the needs of our hybrid workforce.”

#Linked #Facebook

Ming-Chi Kuo

According to Apple's rules for naming iPhones, the four new 2H22 iPhones could be called iPhone 14 (6.1”), iPhone 14 Max (6.7”), iPhone 14 Pro (6.1”), and iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7”).

John Gruber

​If Kuo is correct, starting next year, Pro and non-Pro iPhones will be differentiated by their chip performance, too, and I would expect that to remain the case year after year. That makes sense to me — it’s true for Apple’s “Pro” models in the MacBook and iPad lineups.

If this rumor is true, why wouldn’t most users opt for an iPhone 13 for less money? I sure would.

#Rumor #Linked #Apple #iPhone

Kashmir Hill, writing for The New York Times

When my colleague and I reported on this, experts we spoke with were of two minds about Apple’s attempts to prevent nefarious use, with some saying the alerts were inadequate and others praising the company for unearthing a larger problem: widespread surreptitious tracking, usually done with devices that don’t notify a person of their presence.

I decided to examine both claims by planting three AirTags, three Tiles, and a GPS tracker on my husband and his belongings to see how precisely they revealed his movements and which ones he discovered.

If you enjoyed the above story by Kashmir you may also enjoy this one Life Without the Tech Giants, Goodbye Big Five. The story is a couple of years old but it’s just as pertinent today as it was when she wrote it.

This is a story of how, over six weeks, I cut them out of my own life and tried to prevent them from knowing about me or monetizing me in any way—not just by putting my iPhone in a drawer for a week or only buying local, but by really, truly blocking these companies from accessing me and vice versa. I wanted to find out how hard it would be—or if I could even do it—given that these tech giants dominate the internet in so many invisible ways that it’s hard to even know them all.

It’s not just logging off of Facebook; it’s logging off the countless websites that use Facebook to log in. It’s not just using DuckDuckGo instead of Google search; it’s abandoning my email, switching browsers, giving up a smartphone, and living life without mapping apps. It’s not just refusing to buy toilet paper on Amazon.com; it’s being blocked from reading giant swaths of the internet that are hosted on Amazon servers, giving up websites and apps that I didn’t previously know were connected to the biggest internet giant of them all. 

People have done thought experiments before about which of the “frightful five” it would be hardest to live without, but I thought it would be more illuminating, if painful, to do an actual experiment: I would try to block a tech giant each week, to tell the tale of life without it. At the end of those five weeks, I’d try to block all of them at once. God help me.

#Privacy #Security #Linked

Chris Hladczuk posted a great thread to Twitter highlighting easy-to-use but often overlooked Google search techniques. Some of these may be familiar to experienced tech users, but there will most likely be some new ones as well.

Chris Hladczuk, Twitter thread

If you use it right, Google is the most powerful tool in the world. But the truth is most people suck at it. Here are 8 Googling tips that you probably don't know.

#HowTo #Linked