Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State


More and more often we have to talk about the climate, about how it changes everyday life. Sudden cold weather in Texas led to catastrophic consequences, many people were left without light and heat, the prices of any goods skyrocketed. This is clearly seen even in the price of electricity, people began to receive bills of several thousand dollars for incomplete February, the price increase is insane.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. StateSpillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

The Internet is good because you can discuss anything here, but somehow imperceptibly several generations of those who made their alter ego, pure and open demagogy, have grown up. It seems what could be clearer than the electricity bill as it was and how it became during the crisis. But here the questions begin: “Why is there no indication of what the electricity was spent on, without this, nothing is clear, and nothing shows.” I have a question: do your electricity bills show how much energy was spent on an electric kettle, how much for light bulbs, how much did your TV or phone “eat”? Show me the accounts that have it all. You can not? So why then pointless questions about anything, the culture of demagoguery requires to deny the essence, and to look at the little things that do not determine anything at all?

Our civilization is built on electricity, and without it, we cannot last long enough. There will be absolutely nothing, we will be thrown back generations. Read about how people froze in Texas and how they got out of the situation.

But we need to start this issue of Spillikins with a story that began in Australia, where Facebook entered into a confrontation with the news outlets and the government. Go!


  1. Facebook’s war against Australia, removing someone else’s content
  2. Shortage of video cards and a non-standard solution from Nvidia
  3. Russian Clubhouse on Android and some statistics
  4. Beeline reported for the year, the numbers are unpleasant, but the operator began to grow
  5. Why do you need several SIM-cards on the example of a trip to Altai

Facebook’s war against Australia, removing someone else’s content

Our world has become very small, what is happening in another part of the world is quickly adopted in other countries, the experience is copied and disseminated. Perhaps this explains Facebook’s fierce opposition to the approach of Australian officials who want Google, Facebook and other companies to pay for the content that local publications create. Since Australia is an English-speaking country, content is distributed to a greater extent on the social network, focusing on local events, while you can read about what is happening in the world from various sources. The desire to support weak local media on the part of the government is easy to explain. But the method that was invented for this is at least doubtful. In Google’s case, the actual posting of the link to the news has to be paid, which sounds a little absurd. For example, I’m looking for what to see in Canberra, I go to the site of a local publication. For this transition, this publication should receive some money from Google, because the search giant used someone else’s content. I would like to emphasize that I am not going to the Google site, I am not looking at the saved page, but I am going to the site of the publication. It turns out that you have to pay for the ability to index some pages and bring people there to Google. I’m sure Kafka would have liked it unconditionally.

When officials go into areas that they understand poorly or do not understand at all, something similar always happens, and regardless of the country. It seems like it’s time to introduce a delusional metric to measure how officials work. The formula will be difficult, but the Australians have taken the lead here unconditionally, there is no doubt about that.

Both Google and Facebook took a very tough stance, but then Google announced that they would negotiate with publishers, they decided not to lose a small market in Australia. Facebook did exactly the opposite and removed all messages from news agencies in Australia, all links to them, as well as the pages of the creators of this content and even government organizations, emergency services, and so on. People came to their pages and saw that instead of the previously posted messages, they were empty.

I open the page of a popular newspaper, it has half a million subscribers on Facebook, but there is no content, there are no publications yet.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

But this is only half the story; Facebook has also banned sharing links to Australian publications. For example, I went to a newspaper website, tried to post an article on my Facebook feed, and that’s what happened.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

What does this mean for publications? They are losing their readers who followed links from social networks. The Internet has evolved so that search engines and social networks provide the lion’s share of visits to news resources. Facebook hit a sick person and cut off traffic for media both domestically and externally. Look at how the traffic of news media fell (although we are talking about all media without exception).

The first question to ask is whether Facebook has the right to do this? From a legal point of view, they are responsible for the content on their platform, they can do whatever they want with it. For example, if Zuckerberg considers cats to be evil, then all messages about cats, their images, and so on can be deleted on social networks. By and large, they are in their own right, and here no one Facebook decree. But this story is important in context, not just as reflections on a topic.

Initially, Australian officials tried to get Facebook to pay for local businesses, not very successful media. This is a curious approach, but it is impossible to perceive it as something other than aggression. The line of defense is very simple, we will discard these media as such, they will not be on our platform. There are no laws that oblige Facebook to provide its site for local publications. And if such laws appear, then the social network, in theory, can simply stop working in Australia, you can react to the situation in very different ways.

Australians are outraged that the social network has removed content on the pages of various public funds, emergency services. But I don’t see any contradictions here, they are not obliged to provide service to public or private services, this is indicated in the user agreement. Regardless of what you are doing – saving the environment, collecting money for the homeless – no one promised you to provide a site, this is your choice, where you want to be, and your risks.

In Australia, app downloads of news publications have skyrocketed, as there all the information has remained intact, you can read familiar news. And this is also an option for how you can get content. In this story, everyone is the losers, since Facebook is losing part of its audience, as well as advertising placements, the local business will clearly not now promote its goods and services on this site. A lot of negativity regarding the actions of the social network. But the inhabitants of Australia do not gain anything either.

Interestingly, all of a sudden, the fight against Facebook has become a political affair and may turn the necks of more than one politician. The Australian prime minister said Saturday that Facebook has returned to talks with officials, which is a good sign. At the same time, Facebook has not changed its position in any way. It is important to understand that Canada wants to use the Australian experience, and for Facebook, liberalization in Australia will become a role model for any country in the world. Facebook’s tough stance is aimed at winning at any cost, and if the company slows down now, problems will arise all over the world, one after another. This is a question of the future for a social network, how it will work and make money.

Emotionally, I do not like that Facebook in one fell swoop removes someone else’s content and does not even allow it to be saved. This is an excellent demonstration that absolutely nothing belongs to you in other people’s services (when deleting Instagram for misconduct, you also cannot download your photos, you can say goodbye to them). And here a lot has to be changed, to create clear, simple rules so that users can take their data, since they belong to them at least by formal characteristics. We need a mechanism for any services and social networks, it must be enshrined in law. Today there is a freeman here, each service creates its own conditions.

The story of the confrontation between Facebook and the Australian government is key for the market, depending on the final decision or compromise, what will happen in other countries directly depends. I do not like the approach of either one or the other side, they both look flawed. But this is another case where the dependence of many people and businesses on a service that was created in another country and can set its own rules of the game is well demonstrated. What do you think about it?

Shortage of video cards and a non-standard solution from Nvidia

The rise in the value of bitcoin has led to the rise of almost all cryptocurrencies, look at how the price of bitcoin has changed.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

The standard story is that video cards disappear from sale with the rise in the cost of cryptocurrencies, and their prices rise before our eyes. This season, all video cards have been swept away, they are ready to buy at a cost three times higher. It got to the point that retail swept away all expensive gaming computers, and only for the sake of the video cards that are inside.

For Nvidia, this deficit is a huge headache. On the one hand, your products are in demand, but then the same bitcoin drops, and the market is flooded with used video cards, which break the production and sales of the current generation. And at first glance, nothing can be done about it.

Nvidia’s approach has always assumed that the company can create versions of its video cards for mining, a few years ago the first such solutions differed from mass cards in one detail – they did not have a video output. But it was impossible to buy such products in the retail market, they were sold to a limited number of partners. Now the company is ready to supply such solutions to everyone, more precisely, partners will produce their own solutions. The line was called CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor), as before, there is no video output. The performance of the line is given, the two older versions will appear in May, the first two in the coming weeks.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

For ordinary video cards intended for players, the possibilities for mining will be limited by half. And it is also a solution that will alienate miners from playing cards. The approach aims to divide markets and make consumption conscious. This will avoid the secondary market for video cards and make it smaller. And at the same time make money on mining products (there is a different level of service support, this is a separate topic).

Will this approach be able to solve the problem with the shortage of video cards and their high cost? Definitely not. But it will be possible to alleviate this situation at least partially. We live in a wonderful new world, where the properties and qualities of a product can often be changed remotely and to suit your needs. It’s like with batteries in Tesla, the full volume is locked in the software, and you can buy all of it remotely. Physically, the battery is the same everywhere, but it is not available for everyone.

Russian Clubhouse on Android and some statistics

Descriptions of the social network Clubhouse come from each iron, we discussed it last week, and I did not plan to return to this topic, but everything turned out differently. To begin with, there is no client for Android, and it is not known when it will appear. And then a programmer from St. Petersburg appears, who creates such a client in one day. It is clear that there are flaws in his program, but he quickly corrects them. The main thing is that Clubhouse appeared on Android. Although the main thing here is that a person who is outside the project quickly figured it out and released an unofficial client. This is the level.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

If you use the client on Android, then you do it at your own peril and risk, no one guarantees that you will not be disconnected for violation of the user agreement. Therefore, conduct experiments if you are not sorry to lose access. I tried it, the client works, the account pulls up.

Now a few words about what they started doing at the Clubhouse. people are monetizing the social network with might and main, someone is selling places in rooms with celebrities, someone is trying to wind up a subscriber counter. But on the whole, a friendly atmosphere remains, although there are noticeably more people. On Saturday at 12 I have a room about literature and books, the conversation turned out to be surprisingly interesting. This Saturday we chatted for four hours (I managed to do a lot of things in parallel), I collected myself a sickly reading list. But I repeat that all this takes a lot of time, speaking eats up time before our eyes.

Now about the statistics in Russia for this social network. I looked at the operators’ data, in a week there was a rise in consumption of Clubhouse, in Russia there are just over 220 thousand people on this social network. But something else drew attention to itself: in Moscow, on average, a social network user sits for about four hours. And that’s a lot! That being said, it’s interesting to see what these users have stopped doing. Can you guess? It turns out they stopped watching YouTube. Before Clubhouse, they watched YouTube on average 2.5 hours a day. But now there has been a switch, it is impossible to watch video and listen to conversations at the same time. Before that people had free time that they needed to fill with something, now they do it with the help of the newfangled network.

A few more interesting touches. In many rooms, the organizers began to directly violate the rules of the network and record everything that happens, so that later they can arrange it in the form of podcasts. There have been no precedents of what will happen in this case. Therefore, one can only guess, but, most likely, there will be no persecution.

extracurricular reading:

Beeline reported for the year, the numbers are unpleasant, but the operator began to grow

I missed the events that you can come to and communicate directly with people. Therefore, I went to the financial results of 2020 from Beeline with great enthusiasm, we discussed many topics separately, which you will see in different materials on the website. But the actual results were negative in almost all aspects, look at the table.

I read a dozen publications, each of them discusses these numbers, somewhere the colors thicken, somewhere the tone of the narrative is neutral. I discussed with Beeline CEO Alexander Torbakhov when the company hit bottom. The figures that he uses say that the maximum fall was in May 2020, then all indicators are gradually increasing. But by the end of the year, of course, we see a drop when comparing year to year. If we take into consideration the best month, then it was December, this month the company has grown in comparison with the previous year, the same trend continued in January and February.

There is always a stereotype of perception, a train that stretches behind each of the operators. In the case of Beeline, the company has not invested in the development of the network for many years, now it does it at a double speed and is noticeably increasing in quality. But people perceive “Beeline” as an operator whose connection is not very good, do not feel the desire to return to it, they have already been there. And this process stops a noticeable growth, it will stretch for many years, this cannot be avoided. And all this time “Beeline” must demonstrate the improvement of the network, the offer of competitive services and prices.

One of the questions that clearly causes irritation is when and to what extent did Tele2 overtake Beeline in terms of subscriber base? The answer sounds without equivocation, there is no audited data about it, so you can say anything you want. And this is true, since Tele2 does not report on anything publicly.

Looking at the screens with the presentation, I caught myself thinking that I have a professional deformation.

Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State

Black and white design, noticeable font – all this is perceived by me as the style of “Tele2” and nothing else, here it is perceived as an alien element. This obviously does not look like an Easter egg, unless we assume that someone from Tele2 has penetrated the slender ranks of the Beeline. I will not describe the opinion about the results of Beeline in all details, but I will briefly note that the fall really slowed down (I do not believe that it has reversed). Tele2 is stepping on its heels, but it has not yet become larger than Beeline, so the latter has time to fix everything.

Why do you need several SIM-cards on the example of a trip to Altai

We went on vacation to Altai with children, forgotten impressions of the airport, which is also packed with people, the number of flights in Russia is off the charts. It’s great that we have such a big country, planes and people have a place to go. My experience of traveling in Russia is quite varied, but I never wonder what I will face in terms of communication. I have three SIM cards (MTS, MegaFon, Beeline), the main one is from MegaFon. In large cities, there is not much difference between operators, they all work, they differ in speed. We have completely forgotten what an operator’s coverage map is for a big city, since they all seem to be the same and there is a connection everywhere. Arriving in Gorno-Altaisk, I measured the communication speed, look at the results.


Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. StateSpillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State


Spillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. StateSpillikins # 630. Facebook vs. Australia, Company vs. State


Not the ultimate dream, but you can live. Another thing is that, driving away from the city, you immediately come across the fact that the mobile Internet can disappear altogether. And then “MegaFon” in my case was completely out of business, there was no connection in the house where they stayed. And this explains why I have several SIM cards, why they are important when traveling around the country, and I almost never find myself in a situation where I miss something.

Since the vacation has just begun, I cannot share a large number of impressions yet, but look at a few photos, it is very beautiful here.

There will be more impressions next week (I hope, completely positive), every day I plan to travel long distances, tomorrow I will march almost 800 kilometers by car.

PS We have a long weekend, as well as a holiday on which I would like to congratulate you, if you think it’s appropriate. The issue turned out to be short, to some extent even unusual. But the week was such that, on the one hand, I managed to do a lot, on the other hand, it is not yet possible to talk about it publicly.

Successful week, quality rest, gain strength and try to be positive!

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