The alternative social media platform Rumble recently bought out another platform for creators called Locals. Rumble is a YouTube-like platform and Locals is aimed more at the alternative blogging community, including names like Scott Adams and Dan Bongino. I don't think this will be a long-term successful merger for a simple reason, and that is money. To be fair Locals is an alternative to Patreon, a platform that will nuke your account if it doesn't like your politics as evidenced by a long list of conservative commentators being axed without warning.

– That said, if you want to be included in the Scott Adams community, you will need to chip in a yearly fee of US$70 (2,300 baht). Dan’s community will cost you $50 per year. Each community is priced similarly and will soon add up to large numbers if you want to belong to multiple communities. Contrast this with Blaze where I pay $70 for membership per year. This gives me access to Steven Crowder, Dave Rubin, Glenn Beck, Ezra Levin and a bunch more for a single fee.

– When you do a comparison of platforms like Blaze, the Daily Wire and others that provide people and services to Locals, then it makes little sense to pay so much for each individual. Of course, all of this pales in comparison to pay as you play products like Raid Shadow Legends where you need to spend thousands upon thousands to get past certain points in the game.

– Theoretically, if you post content on YouTube and have enough subscribers, then they will pay you. As a watcher, you need to watch ads and these seem to be increasing in frequency. In one recent example, I had to watch a 14-second advertisement to watch a 37-second clip. This is one reason I watch as much as I can on platforms like Rumble. For the time being at least, it is an ad-free experience unless you count those in the content itself as sponsors. Of course, in the modern world, if you don’t have the right politics then no matter how many viewers you have you won’t get any money.

– So, are you a meta? Meta is the new brand for the Facebook family. In Hebrew, the word is very close to the one for death and during the announcement you could see a death metal poster in the background. Just sayin’. With the bad press Facebook has been receiving from both sides of the US political aisle, Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement from a virtual set that touted exercise tools. Does this indicate they want more people to get back into the real world? The memes immediately came out and one had cleverly rebranded Mark as a Beta. Meta basically means stuff about stuff as in metadata. In Greek, the word means after which may have been what they were really looking for, ie, the thing after Facebook.

– In other Facebook or Meta news, the facial recognition system will be disabled soon. They will keep developing the technology under the “Responsible Innovation Framework” but with rules and regulations around such technology still unclear and the technological issues of detecting darker faces, Facebook has decided to turn it off. It has still been acknowledged that in a small set of cases, it is a good technology to use so expect it to make a comeback at some point.

– Yahoo has finally shut down its operations in China. It turns out that doing business in a place like China is difficult, restrictive and with over 600 million cameras tracking everything people do, lacks privacy.

– In perhaps an attempt to maximise shipping potential by the sender, Australian customs have found cocaine inside an incoming PS5. Of course, the unit could have been picked out for examination because to get one of these you need to win a lottery and that was enough to pique custom’s interest.

– If you’re looking forward to that new iPad then you will have a long wait as the part shortages have diverted resources to the iPhone 13. Interestingly, European suppliers have not reported any problems meeting iPad demands so far but that could just mean sales are down in that area. In the US, they are missing out on all kinds of technology as hundreds and hundreds of cargo ships are sitting unloaded offshore.

– While we are in the future, a self-driving taxi got itself stuck at an intersection in Chandler, Arizona, while it had a passenger. When the support team rolled up, it drove away and pulled over again blocking a three-lane road. Joel Johnson, the passenger, recorded this on his phone for all to see. When the car drove away yet another time, it finally pulled over for the roadside assistance team to take over. I’m still not convinced we will see driverless vehicles in any numbers anytime soon.


James Hein is an IT professional of over 30 years’ standing. You can contact him at jclhein@gmail.com.

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