This is how my intros would sound if Horrific/Terrific was a piece of B2B SaaS: 👋 Hi there, [name]! 💃 We're so glad you're enjoying our product! The more emojis we use, the more relatable we are, even though we are a b r a n d 🤡
Speaking of highly irritating sales tactics: imagine if I got paid to write Horrific/Terrific? Good content takes time. Time is money. Money is pizza 🍕. Do the right thing and buy me some pizza in exchange for good content.
And now to overclock your mind with industry gossip: this week was good! Again?? 👍. Two good weeks in a row; it's like being on druuuuuugs.
- Someone finally flung Richard Branson into space, and then decided to bring him back??
- Neutralise the net!
- The largest ransomware gang has DISAPPEARED — now we can all relax
- A correction to something I wrote last week about Audacity
🚀 Bless Richard taking a ride in his expensive toy
Let's start off with something light: an entitled white male billionaire rode one of this own spaceships into 'the edge of space' earlier this week. The edge of space sounds cooler than it is. It's the part of space that Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos's pawn in this dumb space race) argues isn't really space at all (because it's too close to Earth). They say 'one of the benefits of using Blue Origin' is that you will get to go into real space. Blue Origin is yet to launch anything yet, just FYI.
Anyway, while those billionaires were arguing the semantics of what space is, this woman in Tibet is selling PSUs for mining Bitcoin. Technology really does touch all of us.
📡 Internet Bullshit Provider
In 2015, the Obama administration brought in some net neutrality rules and things were going just fine. But, during the Orange Is The New Fuckwit years (Trump admin), this was all undone. Well, now that it's another wrinkly old man's turn to be in charge (that Biden guy), the US might be getting net neutrality again.
The absolute dumb-fuck of an FCC chairman who took away the rules in 2017 did so because apparently net neutrality is 'heavy handed micromanagement'. While I understand he wanted to hide the real reason, calling it micromanagement of any kind (no matter how heavy the hand) indicates a gruesome misunderstanding of what net neutrality is.
If anything, net neutrality is the most hands-off internet ever: under these rules, the internet would be delivered to you without data caps, bandwidth limits, or silly subscription tiers. No one is micromanaging anything. You just GET INTERNET.
Without net neutrality, you get some approximation of this subscription hell:
In my reality, an 'internet service' is just setting 'the internet' to 'on' in your house. But apparently it's a collection of products in a subscription package. The way I see it, your internet service provider should just provide you with internet and not charge extra for you to make video calls or stream Media Content (my favourite show).
Obviously ISPs hate net neutrality, because 'no net neutrality' is their entire business model: instead of just delivering internet they put fake limits on it and charge you. Don't even get me started on data caps; that thing that never used to exist but that we've accepted into our lives even though they serve no purpose besides making money.
Anyway: all of the above was a ranty build-up to my main point 👉 net neutrality is good and I would like some please.
🤨 Ransom... where?
Prominent ransomware gang REvil have disappeared — all their websites are down. REvil are the ones who attacked some meat a while back. People are quoted in MIT Technology Review saying things like 'oh maybe they're retiring because they have enough money' or 'maybe the government finally shut them down'.
Now, even though these quoted people are experts and have spent their lives staring at ransomware attacks happen, I think they're wrong. No one who behaves out of greed has ever had 'enough money'. No government has ever 'shut down' anyone like this — governments are crap, and a group as prominent as REvil are devious and unforgiving. One expert sent this rather cocky tweet:
Why is the assumption that everything is cool? Why are people not predicting wide-spread horror and destruction? That's what I'd do! Anyway, I'm happy the ransomware baddies are gone too — hopefully they aren't just quietly planning the attack of a life time.
😬 CORRECTION → Audacity is not spyware
Last week I wrote about how the open source community were getting up in arms about Audacity tracking telemetry and other data — my argument was that all software does this. My good friend Ellie told me I was wrong, and she is right (about me being wrong — confused yet?). Basic key points about me being wrong:
- I don't know enough about the open source community to provide this level of commentary, I'll try harder next time
- There are people who put energy into using software that actually doesn't follow your every move so obviously they would call Audacity spyware... because it is.
- I called this article 'measured' even though it contains this horrendous sentiment:
Jim Salter on ARS Technica
👆 I do not agree with this crap — as someone who is still reading, you probably understand why.
Sorry that I did not check my sources properly. I really rushed this piece of research. People are telling me I am their main source of tech news and this scares me. Please turn to the real journalists out there. Or consider donating to me so I can genuinely spend more time on Horrific/Terrific. I love writing this newsletter and would like it if it was good!