Power Struggle

Dwaiter Weekly


April 22, 2021


The Global Tech Backlash

Around the world, nations are moving simultaneously to limit the power of tech companies with an urgency and scope that no single industry has experienced before, the New York Times reports. The latest actions have pushed the industry to a tipping point that could reshape how the global internet works and change the flows of digital data.


Co-creator of Adobe and the PDF Passes Away

Charles “Chuck” Geschke, a co-founder of Adobe who helped develop the PDF, has died at age 81, The Verge reports. Geschke worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he met John Warnock. The pair left Xerox in 1982 and founded Adobe, whose first product was Adobe PostScript, the programming language that helped boost the desktop publishing industry.


Your Brain on Zoom

It's not your imagination: Research by Microsoft has found out that constant video calls do increase your stress and brain noise, TechCrunch reports. Another recent study, published by Stanford University, shows that “Zoom fatigue” is disproportionately suffered by women.


New from Apple: AirTags and Much More

Apple's "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday launched the highly anticipated AirTags alongside the new M1 iMac and iPad Pro, Apple Insider reports. AirTags offer users the ability to track items directly from within the iPhone's Find My app. The circular trackers can be affixed to commonly misplaced objects. Apple also announced a subscription podcast service that steps up its competition with Spotify.



Soon, Humanity Will Get Hacked

To date, hacking has exclusively been a human activity—but not for long, writes security technologist Bruce Schneier in Wired. His recent report outlines how artificial intelligence will eventually find vulnerabilities in all sorts of social, economic, and political systems, and then exploit them at unprecedented speed, scale, and scope.


Figma Unveils a Multiplayer Whiteboard 

FigJam, a simple tool for brainstorming, is the next step toward Figma’s vision for a multiplayer internet, Protocol reports. A whiteboarding app, FigJam is a freeform place for teams to just hang out and try stuff together. It's free to use through the end of 2021.


How Design Patents Were Weaponized

In 1842, the U.S. patent office registered 14 designs, including a bathtub and a “corpse preserver.” It now handles 35,000 a year. The Guardian explains how big tech transformed this once sedate world into a corporate arms race.


Why Subtractive Solutions Are Better

People often limit their creativity by continually adding new features to a design rather than removing existing ones. That's because the brain favors additive solutions over subtractive ones, Scientific American reports. Yet solutions that involve subtraction turn out to be better alternatives.


Google Meet Gets a Refresh

A year after making Google Meet free for everyone, the company is refreshing the videoconferencing service, CNet reports. Starting next month, the redesign will give users more control over highlighting the content seen on their screen, Google said in a blog post. That includes repositioning, hiding or resizing your own video feed.


Thinking Out Loud

Talking to yourself can really annoy other people, but don't feel too bad if you can't break the habit. The Next Web reports that a group of Italian researchers recently programmed a robot named Pepper to “think” out loud so that users can understand what influences its decisions. They found that the robot was better at solving dilemmas when it used self-dialogue.

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