YouTube is a garbage fire. Google is mean. We are victims.

New Scientist magazine has named YouTube a garbage fire that is best shut down for the public good. It claims that Google, which owns YouTube, is using special algorithms to get viewers hooked on YouTube, allowing Google to rake in more money for ads:

It is working hard to sculpt its users into the ideal audience for video adverts. And the ideal audience is one that can’t look away. Ever.

I don’t know why NS is upset about this situation. Regular TV has been doing this for decades. Big studios spend millions of dollars on huge departments whose job it is to keep you glued to that chair in front of your TV.

NS claims that the random selection/suggestion of YouTube videos expose viewers to ever more extreme content. That may be true but it is the user who must click on the thumbnail to view the video. Sure, some people can get lost in a rabbit hole by following the suggested videos but using common sense will prevent this from happening to you.

NS is portraying viewers as hapless victims, unable to withstand the lure of click bait videos or extreme content, thus repeating the lament du jour: we are all victims and the Big Bad Tech Companies are making us do things we don’t want to. Google is mean and robbing me of my safe space.

Your freedom is just a mouse click away. Close that window if you think Google is manipulating you. Shut down your Komputer and settle down in front of your TV and binge-watch the latest, highest rated (by Rotten Tomatoes) TV show instead. Or play with your smartphone, or your tablet, or your video game, or your digital camera, or your web-aware microwave oven, or your digital pet/spouse/sex doll/pizza/garden hose/fridge/watch/shower or whatever gadget is lit/dope/in/hot at that particular moment. Just make sure your alternate activity includes interacting with electronic gadgets and precludes interacting with real humans in real time and in real physical space. That’ll show Google who’s boss.

Or read a book. Oh, wait, I have a Kindle for that.

After 25 years adoption of complex digital technologies remains slow

The McKinsey Global Institute recently published Twenty-Five Years of Digitization, a report offering insights to help business leaders navigate this still relatively new digital world.

McKinsey quantified the pace of digitization in the U.S., Europe and China, and found that, on average, all three economies have achieved only around 20% of their total digital potential. Adoption of complex digital technologies remains slow. One of the reasons cited for this is that:

The typical observation is that technology takes time to spread globally; for instance, it took more than 40 years for the first car to be used in most countries. In general, however, the adoption rates of new technologies have decreased significantly in recent years with the newest technologies only needing a few years to diffuse in all countries. What is more crucial for the impact of technology on productivity is the integration of that technology into new workflow and business practices.

In other words: the problem is us. You and I simply aren’t adopting new technologies fast enough. Makes you wonder how the world can still go around while we remain stuck in our ways.

Think before you share!

Misinformation, that is.

Purveyors of disinformation—content that is intentionally false and designed to cause harm—are motivated by three distinct goals: to make money; to have political influence, either foreign or domestic; and to cause trouble for the sake of it.

Those who spread misinformation—false content shared by a person who does not realize it is false or misleading—are driven by sociopsychological factors. People are performing their identities on social platforms to feel connected to others, whether the “others” are a political party, parents who do not vaccinate their children, activists who are concerned about climate change, or those who belong to a certain religion, race or ethnic group. Crucially, disinformation can turn into misinformation when people share disinformation without realizing it is false.

Samsung, Apple Exiting China for India, Vietnam

Samsung to close key assembly base in Guangdong, while Foxconn may cut production of iPhones. Samsung is said to be in the midst of shifting production to Vietnam and India. It opened arguably the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing facility on the outskirts of New Delhi last year, with an annual output of 120 million units when fully operational. Zhengzhou, known as the “iPhone city”, is also grappling with falling exports and revenue. Foxconn already has sufficient capacity outside China to accommodate all production of Apple products at least for the US.