I should say…

… this blog is no longer active. But I very much am: I now cover Amazon, e-commerce, and the gig and shared economy for the Financial Times. If you have a story tip – hit me up at dave.lee@ft.com or on Twitter – @DaveLeeFT.

Hey now, hey now – Daydream is over 

News reaches me, via Business Insider, that Daydream, Google’s VR effort, has been killed off: In an emailed statement to Business Insider, a Google spokesperson acknowledged that consumer adoption of the product was weak, and that it faced other issues. “There … hasn’t been the broad consumer or developer adoption we had hoped, and we’ve […]

Time and TikTok

Despite being utterly obsessed with TikTok, I hadn’t noticed this, per Wired’s Louise Matsakis: Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok is totally stripped of information like when a video was uploaded or the date a user opened their account. The app presents an endless stream of algorithmically chosen videos, which you swipe through vertically. But […]

‘The Pleasures of Eating Alone’

What is it the cool people on Twitter say? “I feel seen”? The WSJ’s Ellen Byron writes: Household challenges, like different schedules, account for the biggest reason people eat alone. But nearly one-third of people say they eat alone for personal pleasure, particularly millennial consumers, she says. Further eroding group dining: smaller, more frequent meals; […]

‘This article is spying on you’

I’m glad to see this piece in the New York Times, addressing the slight hypocrisy of news orgs “exposing” the proliferation of tracking cookies and surveillance-powered advertising around the web. Carnegie Mellon’s Timothy Libert writes: News sites often expose users to the same surveillance programs and data-collection companies they criticize. Even articles that explained how […]

Amazon optimised for itself – WSJ

Make no mistake, this story, in the WSJ, is a blockbuster: Late last year, these people said, Amazon optimized the secret algorithm that ranks listings so that instead of showing customers mainly the most-relevant and best-selling listings when they search—as it had for more than a decade—the site also gives a boost to items that […]

Twitter’s rather ill-advised ad campaign in San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Twitter’s advertising campaign, whereby it stenciled tweets onto the city’s sidewalks, may well have broken the law. Reporter Ryan Kost quotes Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for San Francisco Public Works: “That’s not the use of the sidewalks,” she said. “We can go and document them. If they don’t remove them […]

Hulu pulls support for Google’s VR platform

Variety’s Janko Roettgers: Hulu has dropped support for Google’s Daydream VR platform: The video streaming service quietly removed Daydream support from its Android app in recent weeks, making it impossible for most Daydream users to watch Hulu videos on Google’s Daydream View VR headset. It can’t be a good sign when the first bit of […]

Google will prioritise “original” reporting

Google’s head of news, Richard Gingras: Recently, we’ve made ranking updates and published changes to our search rater guidelines to help us better recognize original reporting, surface it more prominently in Search and ensure it stays there longer. This means readers interested in the latest news can find the story that started it all, and […]

Huawei may sell its 5G tech

Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei held a “two hour” interview with the Economist on Tuesday. In it, he shared the firm’s strategy to get its 5G tech out there: selling it to a western buyer. Per the piece: For a one-time fee, a transaction would give the buyer perpetual access to Huawei’s existing […]