🏠 The Death Of The Free Web?
Google is on the attack
Gm. I knew I was getting old when I stopped looking forward to new music being released. That changed last week with the drop of Travis Scott’s new album Utopia. It’s not at the Astroworld level, but it’s so much better than Drake’s latest album. Lord knows I needed this.
The Web Environment Integrity Scandal
If you’re chronically online like me, you might have noticed some noise about “Web Environment Integrity” (WEI)
Written by a team of 4 Googlers, WEI would provide websites with an API telling them whether the browser and the platform it is running on that is currently in use is trusted by an authoritative third party (called an attester).
Basically, it would allow websites to kick you off if they don’t find you trustworthy.
In theory, WEI would create a more secure internet by verifying that everybody is actually made of flesh and bones. And that would undoubtedly be great. Who wouldn’t want an internet with less spam, less social-media manipulation, and less phishing?
But, in reality, “secure internet” could very well translate to “un-free internet”.
As WEI’s many critics point out, WEI likely comes with a host of side effects:
It could effectively make ad-blocking impossible.
It would obstruct many existing uses of the Web including assistive technologies, automatic testing, archiving, and search engine spiders.
It would likely lead to a Web dominated by the few tech giants that control the attesters. In other words, you’re going to play by Google, Microsoft, and Apple’s rules, or you’re not going to surf the Web.
In summary, WEI is a big step down the enshittification curve and might turn our beloved internet into one big centralized walled garden.
Does web3 fix this?
Why should I care? Do you care about being able to do what you want when you want on the internet? Then you should care about WEI.
More Big Tech Earnings
Big Tech earnings season continued this week with Apple and Amazon both reporting results.
The lone member of the $3T club didn’t have a great quarter:
Revenue of $81.8B, beating expectations of $81.69B but down 1% from last year and the third consecutive quarter of declining revenue.
iPhone revenue of $39.67B, lower than expectations of $39.91B and down 2% from last year.
Mac revenue of $6.84B, beating expectations of $6.62B but down 7% from last year.
iPad revenue of $5.79B, lower than expectations of $6.41B and down 20% from last year.
Services revenue of $21.21B, beating expectations of $20.76B and up 8% from last year.
Maybe we’re witnessing the birth of a new category of company: Apple-As-A-Service (AAAS).
Amazon, on the other hand, had a quarter to remember:
Revenue of $134.4B, beating expectations of $131.5B.
Amazon Web Services revenue of $22.1B, beating expectations of $21.8B.
Advertising revenue of $10.7B, beating expectations of $10.4B.
It’s Amazon’s biggest earnings beat since Q4 2020, and the stock market rewarded them with a 10% gain in after-hours trading.
What a day for the fighting Bezos’s.
The Bottom Line: Big tech is slowly making a comeback, but the same can’t be said for Apple’s hardware products.
What else is going on?
Stat: 68 miles: Elon’s Boring Company has received approval to dig a 68-mile tunnel network under Las Vegas. Do you think they’ll build a casino down there?
Rabbit hole: Cultivating A State Of Mind Where New Ideas Are Born (Less Wrong)
🤑 FUNDING FRIDAY
If you want a boring list of startup raises, look away now. If you want the 3 coolest raises of the week, then you’ve come to the right place.
🎁 FINAL JEOPARDY!
This Final Jeopardy! question stumped every contestant. Can you get it right?
Clue: This machine was invented in 1929; the government began buying them to help prevent any more in a series of Army Air Corps fatalities.
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💉 DOPAMINE HIT
Don’t even try to gatekeep my slay.
"Chronically Online Girls"
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FINAL JEOPARDY! ANSWER
The flight simulator.