Benedict's
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This is a weekly newsletter of what I've seen in tech and thought was interesting. I work at Andreessen Horowitz.

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🗞 News

Fallout from the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story continues, with Mark Zuckerberg doing a round of interviews and posting ads in national newspapers. Link

Meanwhile, people noticed/discovered that Facebook Messenger on Android collects logs of who you send SMS messages to and who you called. Access to this is an Android OS feature that requires permission from the user (iOS doesn't let apps do this at all) - Facebook was using it as part of the data that informs the 'who you might know' suggestions. The combination of the fact that people didn't always realize they'd authorized this, or that it was authorized with the less transparent messaging on older versions of Android, and the fact that Facebook was retaining the logs, has got a lot of attention. This is a tricky one - Facebook argues it has a clear reason to do at least some of this (and there's no suggestion the data ever left Facebook), and also argues that it DID ask permission, but a great deal of what seemed normal in the past might not seem normal now. Indeed, that's the broader point, regardless of your opinion of this item in particular - there will other things that were proudly announced on stage at developer conferences a few years ago, by more than one company, that people will now reevaluate. Links: Story, FB response

Uber sold its south-east Asian business to Grab, the local leader. Uber is trying to get cash burn under control by shedding markets where it isn't and won't be the leader. Also - network effects in this space are not global. Link

Google is launching ChromeOS-based tablets for education. Chromebooks have worked well in (US) education, mainly due to the ease of manageability (Android tables are more or less dead outside the ultra-low end, meanwhile). Adding tablets seems like a natural extension, but the details get a little complicated. There are few dedicated touch-based apps (especially compared to iPad), but Google is now adding support for running Android apps to ChromeOS (though those are mostly designed for phones not tables) - but this makes them less easy to manage. Meanwhile, Apple has an education event tomorrow.  Link

🔮 Blog posts

"Why the outrage?" Link

Mother Jones on what Cambridge Analytica did and didn't do in the USA. Link

China's face-scanning craze. Link

Conversely, the ML digital forgery problem. Link 

Wired on GDPR. Link

Apple is winning mobile gaming (?) Link

😮 Cool things of the week

Ikea's AR assembly manual. Link

The turntable orchestra. Link

📊 Statistics

Mobile data in Zimbabwe. Link

 
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