Voluntarily sharing informative posts from unaffiliated sources.

  • 101 Posts
Joined 5 months ago
Cake day: January 16th, 2024


  • Summary:

    • Boeing sales tumbled in May, with only 4 new plane orders and no orders for the 737 Max for the second straight month
    • This compares unfavorably to Airbus, which reported net orders for 15 planes in May
    • Boeing also saw Aerolineas Argentinas cancel an order for a single Max jet
    • Boeing’s stock fell 3% in afternoon trading
    • The poor sales results follow weak figures in April, when Boeing reported 7 sales with none for the Max
    • Boeing hopes the slow pace reflects a lull before the upcoming Farnborough Airshow, but the company is facing issues like the FAA capping 737 production and allegations of production shortcuts and falsified inspection records
    • Despite the recent slow sales, Boeing still has a huge backlog of over 5,600 orders

  • Summary:

    • Nintendo has discontinued support for X (formerly Twitter) integration on the Nintendo Switch console.
    • The reason for pulling support is likely due to pricing changes to the X API, which now starts at $42,000 a month for enterprise customers.
    • Microsoft and Sony also removed X integration from their consoles (Xbox and PS5/PS4) last year, but didn’t specify the reason.
    • Slack, a communication platform, also pulled support for X integration due to the API updates impacting its functionality.
    • Console gamers will no longer be able to connect directly with X, despite the X Gaming account claiming that its “partnership with Nintendo remains strong” in a now-deleted post.

  • Summary:

    • Meta (Facebook and Instagram’s parent company) will start using Australians’ social media posts and activity dating back to 2007 to train their artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
    • This policy update will take effect on June 26, 2024.
    • Only users in the European Union and the U.S. state of Illinois can currently opt out, due to AI protection laws like the GDPR.
    • Many Australians were unaware of this policy change and expressed concerns about privacy and the impact on artists’ livelihoods.
    • Artists like Sara Fandrey and Thomas Fitzpatrick are worried this will negatively impact their work and the creative industry.
    • Experts explain that while this may not be copyright infringement, it poses a threat to artists’ economic assets and business models.
    • Advocacy groups have launched complaints against Meta in the EU, and some users are migrating to alternative, artist-run social platforms like Cara to avoid AI-powered content generation.

  • Summary:

    • A survey by BambooHR found that some US companies implemented return-to-office (RTO) policies in the hopes of getting workers to quit.
    • 52% of respondents prefer working remotely, while 39% prefer working in an office.
    • 37% of managers believe their organization enacted layoffs because fewer employees than expected quit during RTO.
    • 25% of VP and C-suite executives and 18% of HR professionals admit they hoped for some voluntary turnover during RTO.
    • 22% of HR professionals said their company has no metrics for measuring a successful RTO.
    • 28% of remote workers fear they will be laid off before those working in the office.
    • 45% of people surveyed whose companies have RTO policies said they lost valued workers.
    • 28% said they would consider leaving their jobs if their employer enacted an RTO mandate.
    • The survey found that remote and in-office employees spend an equal amount of time working (76% of a 9-to-5 shift).
    • In-office workers spend around one hour more socializing than remote workers, while remote workers spend that time on work-related tasks.
    • 32% of managers said one of the main goals of their firm implementing an in-office policy was to track employee working habits.
    • 48% of respondents said their work results have improved since returning to the office, and 58% said they have a stronger professional network.

  • Related:

    The platform does not pay according to a per-stream rate, but rather puts all the revenue from subscribers and ads into a giant pot, and divides that share according to their respective “streamshare.” Under this model, artists are estimated to receive between $0.003 to $0.005 per play.

    That’s about to change. Beginning early next year, Spotify will only pay royalties to artists whose tracks have been streamed 1,000 times in the past 12 months, effectively locking out the smallest artists from the “streamshare” pot. The money that would have been paid out to these small artists — which Spotify said amounts to $40 million a year — will instead go to “those most dependent on streaming revenue.”

    According to Spotify, artists generally don’t pocket the earnings from tracks that have under 1,000 streams anyway, because they don’t meet the labels and distributors’ minimum withdrawal amount. The company also says it does not make any additional money under the new model. But musicians have said they feel the model is “putting a number on art," and industry experts said that this change essentially makes Spotify the arbiter of which artist is deserving of payment.

    There has to be a way for multibillion-dollar companies to both keep music accessible and appropriately compensate musicians — especially fledgling, independent ones.

    Spotify will stop paying anything at all for roughly two-thirds of tracks on the platform. That is any track receiving fewer than 1,000 streams over the period of a year. Tracks falling under this arbitrary minimum will continue to accrue royalties – but those royalties will now be redirected upwards, often to bigger artists, rather than to their own rights holders.

    This sounds incredible, but there’s nothing to stop it. And their primary business partners – the three major labels – are cheering the change on because it will mean more money in their pockets.

  • Summary:

    • Spotify has announced another price hike for its subscription plans in the United States.
    • This price increase comes shortly after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sparked outrage among music fans and creators by claiming that the “cost of creating content is close to zero.”
    • Many musicians and music fans condemned Ek’s comments, arguing that music is not just “content” and that it is costly and time-consuming to create.
    • Despite the backlash, Spotify is increasing its standard Premium plan by $1 to $11.99, the Duo plan by $2 to $16.99, and the Family plan by $3 to $19.99 per month.
    • Spotify claims the price hikes are necessary to invest in and innovate its product features, but this reasoning is questioned given Ek’s “content” cost comments.
    • Spotify is less vulnerable to customer churn compared to TV/movie streaming services, as users are less likely to switch music streaming providers due to the hassle of rebuilding playlists and losing personalized recommendations.

  • Summary:

    In the past, you could bypass the sign-in requirement by choosing ‘Offline Account’ or ‘Sign in with a local account instead.’ However, Microsoft removed this option in recent years, meaning you would need an active internet connection to create a Microsoft account for a new Windows 11 install.

    Some users discovered that they could bypass this requirement by using the following blocked email addresses: [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected], and then typing in a random password. While this would let you fall back to proceeding with an offline account until recently, it now results in an ‘Oops, something went wrong’ message, which will return you to the same email input screen.

    Thankfully, there remains another way to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. When you’re at the log-in screen, you can hit Shift + F10 and type OOBE/BYPASSNRO, which will let you create a local account instead if you do not have an internet connection (so disconnect the internet for this). However, non-tech-savvy users will likely not know this, so many would likely end up creating another unwanted online account.

    This is just one of the controversial steps Microsoft has recently been taking, like including ads in the Start Menu, nagging Windows 10 users to upgrade, or adding a watermark if your PC does not support AI features.

  • Alternative to Instagram:

    • Pixelfed (Ad-free, privacy friendly, open source and decentralized)


    Pixelfed is a free and open-source image sharing social network service. The platform distinguishes itself from other image sharing services through its decentralized architecture, meaning user data is not stored on a central server. It uses the ActivityPub protocol, allowing users to interact with other social networks within the protocol, such as Mastodon, PeerTube, and Friendica. Pixelfed and other platforms utilizing this protocol are considered to be part of the Fediverse. The network is made up of several independent sites that communicate with one another, which is roughly comparable to e-mail providers. The parties involved do not all have to be registered with the same provider, but can still communicate with each other. Thus, users are able to sign up on any server and follow others on the other instances.

    Much like Mastodon, Pixelfed implements chronological timelines without content manipulation algorithms. It also aims to be privacy-focused with no third party analytics or tracking. Pixelfed optionally organizes its media by hashtags, geo-tagging and likes based on each server. It also allows audiences to be distinguished in three ways and on a post-by-post basis: followers-only, public, and unlisted. Like several other social platforms, Pixelfed allows accounts to be locked, when followers must be pre-approved by the owner.