Skating on thick ice

Since we’ve been here in Sweden, we’ve been listening to a classical radio station through an app on my phone. The app is free so, because free isn’t exactly free, I get ads thrown up when I activate the ad. That doesn’t bother me because I don’t see the ads apart from when I first start it up. Interestingly, today I noticed that the ad was suggesting I should download WhatsApp.

This made me pay more attention and, through the day, I noticed quite a few targeted WhatsApp ads on my phone. It’s probably just standard practice, but it does make me wonder whether Facebook is getting a bit desperate about losing users.

Is it ironic that a company which exists on advertising revenue is having to advertise itself to attract more people to target ads at?

In other technology news, I heard this morning that the Australian government is passing a bill into law that will force tech giants to include a bit of code which will indicate when users access news content. This will enable news organisations to claw in some revenue which they are losing due to poor sales of physical newspapers.

Google, one of the giants the government is aiming at, said the idea is completely unworkable, and they will have to stop users accessing the search engine in Oz. The new law will also affect Facebook, so I assume it will aim to do the same thing.

While such a move would be good for the population of Australia in a cold turkey approach to their addiction, it’s not good news for the Internet. Or information generally.

I do wonder why a simple system like they use at the Copyright Agency Ltd hasn’t been implemented. Put simply, organisations pay a standard amount to cover copyright generally. This amount is then distributed to copyright holders. Possibly I’m missing something painfully obvious preventing new agencies from working with this.

Regardless of less Draconian measures, Scott Morrison said this morning that Australia didn’t give in to threats and that his government would be going ahead with the legislation. I do wonder what sort of pressure newspaper lobbyists put on the government to get the legislation created in the first place and whether that represents a threat.

On the individual level, I can only think it will be very painful for a lot of Australians wanting to read fake news and be targeted with ads.

Mind you, it might not be as painful as my attempt to go shopping today. The once glorious snow has, gradually, turned into thick streams of ice, making the path and invisible sections of our road, treacherous.

Trolley in tow, I set off this morning. I managed to fall over three times before I turned around and came back. Mirinda thought I’d forgotten something when I walked back in. I told her that our street was a death trap.

She drove me to the Ica, so I could shop, before dropping me home, so she could go to Norrby’s for fika Friday.

She also had a piece of a goat’s cheese pie which we watched one of the young women make yesterday. Mirinda said it was delicious as long as you loved goat’s cheese (not one for Darren then). The young woman was delighted at the opinion given she’d made up the recipe yesterday.

My day was spent finishing off the Epsom College memorial. And making a casserole. While eating said casserole we listened to my Talking Newspaper interview which was fun.

Mirinda has suggested that I volunteer to do a Talking Newspaper edition for our local paper. I’m not sure I’d get through the headlines let alone the actual stories. And editing would be a bit hit and miss.

I’m thinking of adopting ‘The Skidsemester’ as my new Swedish nom de plume.

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