👎 Abandonware

Second Sight retina implants now obsolete and switching off inside people’s heads | Meta’s rebrand marathon never ends | A movie ticket service that tracks your eyes while you earn crypto

👎 Abandonware

Hello NERDS — let’s jump right in.

This week was a giant heap of something I could have done without 👎. How come?

  • A tech company is in charge of your eye sight. Guess what happens next.
  • Does anyone remember MoviePass? No? Well now they’re back, and worse than ever before
  • The next stage of Facebook/Meta’s ten dimensional rebrand, indicating that they are nothing but a car of corporate clowns, trying to stay relevant

🏃 Move fast and cry in the corner

I don’t know anything more indicative of ‘the beginning of the end’ than the current acid trip of a  rebrand that Facebook is currently hurtling through right now.

On Tuesday, they had an all-hands meeting to announce some new corporate propaganda buzz words that should now be internalised by all employees:

  • Meta (that’s the name of the company)
  • Metamates (those are your happy little colleagues!)
  • Me (that’s... you)

So all together, these make a very silly corporate slogan → Meta, Metamates, Me.

Important detail: those new buzz words are in order of importance. That is to say, as a Meta employee (a ‘me’), you must prioritise yourself LAST. Why the cryptic slogan? What not just say what you mean: ‘Work, Work, (don’t) Whistleblow’.

Next question: what happens to the employees if they fail to use this ridiculous terminology? What’s its purpose, besides making you sound like an idiot and feel very sad?

Meta are also insisting that its employees ‘live in the future’ which I guess is why this company-wide meeting was held in VR, on Horizon Venues — and really, this is what it’s all about: the grueling, systematic dismantling of anything that resembles what Meta used to be (Facebook).

🙅‍♀️ Facebook were an evil company who harvested your data, destabilised democracy, and turned your dad into a flat-earther.

☺️ Meta are the stepping stone to the future, a new way to hang out with your friends, and an immersive transformative experience in general.

Of course, in actuality, scrambling to sheen over years of damage with the word ‘Metamates’ is definitely not going to enact any change at all. These strange slogans and the bizarre insistence that having meetings in VR is a good idea, both just go to show that this company have grown so big, ugly, and complex that they are now completely unable to generate any new or useful ideas — if they even did that to begin with (they didn’t).

👁️ ‘Sorry, we’re bankrupt. Go find new eyes somewhere else’

There’s a company called Second Sight who provide retina implants for those who are visually impaired. Correction: they used to provide retina implants — they have now been acquired by another medical tech company who do something else.

According to those who have an implant, this was an amazing piece of technology. Unfortunately for them, the software updates have now stopped coming, which has transformed these implants into nothing but abandonware. People have already noticed the implants quite literally switching off, thus leaving them with impaired vision once again.

If I may: this is exactly why ‘social impact’ tech companies are the absolute scum of the Earth. Firstly, they’re companies. They have a bottom line to worry about. And eventually, regulations to water down.

Secondly, they don’t have to care about their customers, because there are no rules that say you have to do that under capitalism — Second Sight spent their last two years trying to stay in business, and NOT developing their technology that people literally rely on to see 🤦‍♀️.

This little story is part of the wider assumption that, apparently, tech can save us. But we all froget about the fine print, which is: ‘only if that tech can be funded for perpetuity’. And we know it can’t. We do not have control over the The Next Big Thing in tech — even when it relates to your own healthcare.

Maybe the people who used Second Sight will see just fine in the metaverse?

🎬 Do you feel your shitty business model is slipping out from under you? Just add blockchain!

MoviePass was this weird service that offered heavily discounted movie tickets before the pandemic. In 2020 they naturally went bust, probably because of Covid, but also probably because they were literally giving movie tickets away for much less than they were worth.

Anyway, now they’re making a comeback! But how?? By harnessing the power of the two worst things: behavioural advertising, and cryptocurrency.

So the idea is, you watch ads on your phone to earn tokens, and then you can use these tokens to buy... movies. Here’s the thing: I can already buy movies without watching ads or engaging in crypto — that is literally how every streaming service works. But what do I know, right?? Here’s what the CEO of MoviePass said about it:

“Part of the direction we’re doing from a web3 perspective is this is happening only on your phone, uniquely to you, and the credits that are earned are your credits that go into your virtual wallet that you get to spend,”

Ahhh there it is — there’s the buzzword we were all waiting for: web3. At this point, ‘web3’ doesn’t even mean ‘better’ it just means: ‘a new, much harder way of doing very simple things. Also pls buy this ether, thank you’.

The argument for why these ads are somehow just ‘better’ is that they are ‘personalised’ so you won’t want to ignore them — they’re tailor-made! Aside: I’m pretty sure no one in the history of humanity has actually cared about an ad, no matter how creepily targeted. But alas, this is all besides the point, because MoviePass will use eye-tracking technology so that the app will pause the ad if you aren’t looking at your phone screen.

Well... that only reminds me of one thing:

Screenshot from Black Mirror episode ‘Fifteen Million Credits’.

Haha — GRUESOME. Thank god I know how to pirate movies.

I hope you have a cheerful weekend pals. I will be in Paris next week eating butter and looking at paintings of naked women — expect no newsletter from me. Try to cope with one week without my insights.


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