Oh look, it's my favourite group of anonymous people. Your silent appreciation of this newsletter is very soothing, thank you.
This week was something I could have done without 👎. But why — WHY?
- Microsoft are forming some kind of green alliance, while wilfully ignoring how much they support fossil fuels
- Someone has attacked our meat supply...
- A quick reminder of the unyielding strength behind Facebook's grasp on society.
🍃 I was leaving space to talk about F8, but...
...so far everything from F8 has been very boring and difficult to make fun of. There's something to do with opening up the Messenger API to Instagram DMs? I'm struggling to care. Mostly it's all just an AR flex. In other words: a desperate attempt to stay relevant, because just being a good old fashioned user of Facebook doesn't cut it anymore.
I say that, but here's a fact we should all be reminded of 👉 sure, maybe you don't use Facebook anymore but their monthly active users have only been on a steady increase for a decade.
So that's 2.8 billion people logging in to Facebook itself, and 3.45 billion for Facebook products all together. So next time you hear someone say 'okay but hardly anyone even uses Facebook anymore' ask them what they are basing that on, and attack them with STATS.
Therefore we can only assume that (and this is all I do here, assume things) Facebook's recent push into AR is nothing to do with losing users, but simply making sure that never happens. Even if everyone logs out of Facebook itself forever, there are still many attractive Facebook products out there for consumers to embed seamlessly into their lives...
🥩 There's so much at steak
The other day JBS (the worlds largest meat supplier) was struck by a ransomware attack. The people at MIT Technology Review are calling this a ransomware crisis. My patience to read about the latest attacks has been getting thinner with every passing week — which suggests they are becoming more frequent. I both hate and love ransomware attacks, because...
✅ The idea that you can leave a dumb process running just to see how many vulnerable machines there might be out there is hilarious — huge faceless corporations are finally revealed to be grossly underprepared for this kind of attack, which is very embarrassing for them.
❌ As above, except the dumb process attacks hospitals, universities, food suppliers, or anything that society actually needs. BOOOOOO.
✨ Important note: the JBS attack was not like anything I just described above. It was a perfect example of an increasingly popular kind of attack that the professionals are calling big game hunting.
Your traditional ransomware approach is to throw your malicious program out into the cyberverse and see what sticks — this is just like the CD Projekt Red attack I wrote about a few weeks ago. But big game hunting is where the attackers work for a long time on specific targets, for much bigger payouts. The key is finding a huge target that will suffer greatly from any amount of downtime — they are the ones who really $PAY.
So they've taken everything I love about ransomware (the random dumbness of it all), and turned it into something that operates more like a proper business. Way to ruin everything, hackers, as usual.
⛈️ No clouds in an Azure sky, except for the computing kind
Ah, cloud computing... the magic solution to all computing problems. 'Just stick it in the cloud!' they said. But the 'cloud' is actually held together by millions of physical cables and very hot machines and probably equally hot people. It takes a lot of work and a lot of energy.
And that's why Microsoft are forming the Green Software Foundation which will seek to 'reduce the carbon emissions of software' (nice and broad) in line with the Paris Agreement. Founding partners must pay $100k in membership fees, just to make sure any small, grassroots organisations who might have been thinking about this in depth for years don't get to join.
- Azure provide cloud computing services for big fossil fuel companies like Shell and ExxonMobil and BP — and the formation of this silly foundation will not be putting a stop to that.
- Those companies are all top winners in the game of carbon emissions.
- In fact, Microsoft boast about how they can 'keep the crude flowing' with Azure, as if the only way we can switch to clean energy is by using AI to suck out and use up every last drip of of fossil fuels that the Earth can provide...
☝️ In summation: lots of B2B enterprises that say they're going to start doing something 'good' with all that power and influence they accrued by being evil — but all you have to do is look at their client base to see that it's all BULLSHIT.
🤪 Woops I forgot to talk about Build 2021 last week
...probably because it's the least exciting conference of the season, and hardly anyone talks about it (and I'm trying to fit in, here). FYI Build is Microsoft's developer conference.
The one thing I do want to speculate about is the new iteration of Windows that is apparently being tested this year, according to Satya Nadella*. Here are my ideas, in case the ones that Microsoft come up with suck:
- Macrohard Doors: it's just the exact opposite of Microsoft Windows.
- Skylights: like Windows, but more innovative, because you get to look up at the stars and think about space.
- Windows X: not even an OS; just the magic chemical that Microsoft uses in all operating systems
- Nothing: because the last good OS they made was Windows 7, prove me wrong.
*who I thought was a woman until this week, when I finally Googled his name to learn more, and was thoroughly disappointed.
That's not the worst misgendering I've ever done, don't worry. Have a great weekend x