Slightly lighter one today. There's a lot of Stuff Happening, but I gotta catch a vibe sometimes. Family gatherings and life goings-ons means I have a lot less time to gather stories and such. Not to mention last issue was uh… a lot. So. Here we go!
It's still not technically a recession
To quote the incredible Kyla Scanlon, "it's not a recession, its a vibecession."
There's been a ton of talk about the US running head-first into a recession, but that hasn't actually been true. Most metrics have been holding steady (well, metrics for economic analysts, at least) while the vibes have been pretty shitty (hence, normal people thinking shits bad)
The S&P 500 has seen a strong first half of the year, the unemployment rate is low (although people are still under-employed and underpaid), and the Consumer Price Index is lookin' aight. I mean, we're still paying way more than we were before for groceries and such, but if you see someone freaking out about a recession, that's not really accurate.
What is accurate (again, channeling Kyla) is that the economic vibes are bad, and wealth inequality is rampant while financial security for average citizens is in the dumpster.
So it's not a recession, but also, that doesn't really matter in the first place to the average person.
Porn Strikes Back
Mississippi, Virginia and Utah have all passed laws that require porn websites to do strict and invasive age verification processes for users so that THE KIDS won't be exposed to THE SEX.
Imagine: a teenager seeing porn. Can you imagine it? A world in which a teenager has saw a porn? Holy hell, we would never recover.
Now I'm not out here saying that teens should absorb the often-unhealthy depiction of sex in porn. That ain't good. But spending state resources to add invasive laws to feign caring about kids when you really just wanna ban porn is not it, my guys.
Anyway, PornHub is pushing back by blocking access to their website in states where these laws are going into effect. Pornhub is also no saint, but honestly if you think kids won't find another way to get their hands on stuff, I dunno what to tell ya.
Maybe you should just, idk, talk to your kids about sexual health instead of demonizing it because your religion says its icky.
Meta v. Twitter
As Twitter continues its death spiral, Meta is preparing to launch a new app called "Threads" in a couple of days which is forking off of Instagram and is directly challenging Twitter. They even included a slight jab at Twitter in their app store listing, saying you can "read unlimited posts" after Musk added a weird artificial limit on how many Tweets users can read a day.
Threads will reportedly eventually interface with ActivityPub, which means it will be able to talk to Mastodon servers. This has sparked a lot of debate in the Mastodon world, as some admins are planning to block Meta's new app, while others are welcoming it as an expansion of the Fediverse (the interconnected web of Mastodon servers).
This app will almost surely do fine at least. It's positioning itself as sort of an Instagram spinoff; you even keep your Instagram handle. So we'll see. It'll at least give people a place to post for folks who aren't particularly tuned-in to the broader internet and prefer to stay in the walled gardens.
Still though, Meta/Instagram/Facebook/ZUCC is still Meta/Instagram/Facebook/ZUCC, so take a second to see just how different the user data privacy information is between the upcoming Threads app and the official Mastodon app...
On this day…
On this day in 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon. Who could have predicted that not 30 years later, he would be responsible for a worldwide piss-bottle production empire, and a company that churns through human workers so quickly that they're running out of "labor supply"?