New York Times: A Global Tipping Point for Reigning in Tech Has Arrived

China fined the internet giant Alibaba a record $2.8 billion this month for anticompetitive practices, ordered an overhaul of its sister financial company and warned other technology firms to obey Beijing’s rules.

Now the European Commission plans to unveil far-reaching regulations to limit technologies powered by artificial intelligence.

And in the United States, President Biden has stacked his administration with trustbusters who have taken aim at Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Around the world, governments are moving simultaneously to limit the power of tech companies with an urgency and breadth that no single industry had experienced before. 

Read the post on the New York Times

@Rahulshrivstv & @kamaljitsandhu: India bans [Another] 47 Chinese apps; over 250 more under [government review] for user privacy violation

[Editor Charlie sez:  The TikTok meltdown continues…]

India has banned 47 apps of Chinese origin in the country, nearly a month after banning 59 Chinese applications. Sources have told India Today TV that the 47 banned Chinese apps were operating as clones of the earlier banned apps. The list of the 47 Chinese applications banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will be released soon.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has banned 47 apps which were variants and cloned copies of the 59 Chinese apps that were banned in June. These 47 banned app clones include Tiktok Lite, Helo Lite, SHAREit Lite, BIGO LIVE Lite, and VFY Lite, news agency ANI reported.

India has also prepared a list of over 250 Chinese apps, including apps linked to Alibaba, that it will examine for any user privacy or national security violations, government sources told India Today TV. The list also includes Tencent-backed gaming app PUBG….

Today’s decision follows after a high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, as border tensions continued in Ladakh after a violent, fatal face-off between the Indian and Chinese armies. The government said these apps were engaged in activities that were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India.

Read the post on India Today

@halsinger: As the Revolving Door Swings: Big Tech could be forestalling platform regulation in a stealthy way

Through a LinkedIn email, I learned that a recent staffer on the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee was recruited by Amazon’s public-policy arm this month. I took to Twitter to express my dismay, and quickly learned that another staffer on the Senate Judiciary Committee was recruited by Facebook’s competition policy arm in May 2020.

These two staffers are now working for the tech platforms, and presumably against my ideas, after having heard my ideas in a private setting.

It is important to note right here that I have no beef with these fine folks.

But  I do.

Read the post on The American Prospect.

@moonalice: Dear Joe Biden: Don’t Listen to Silicon Valley

[Editor Charlie sez: This is an open letter from Roger McNamee, musician, venture capitalist and commentators]

DEAR VICE PRESIDENT Biden,

In this moment when a pandemic, an economic contraction, and protests against racism have combined to trigger national self-reflection, you have an opportunity to lead us forward to a better America, one that comes closer to the nation’s ideals than ever before. I am one of millions of Americans looking to you for new approaches to government and leadership. We are counting on you to reject the old ways that brought us to this point….

Imagine my disappointment last week when The New York Times reported that President Obama had suggested that you work with two members of the Silicon Valley establishment, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. I know both men well. They are brilliant and very successful. Their money and expertise may be valuable to your campaign, but I hope you will not turn to them for policy guidance. They were architects of the culture and values that produced the problems….

Read the post on Wired

How Much is a Song Worth to Spotify Employees?

In case you were wondering what the value of songwriting is to Spotify, I think you can measure it pretty directly by the perks they hand out to their employees.  I’m sure creators are glad to provide the value that takes care of these folks–while they scrape for every fraction of a penny in Spotify’s many lawsuits.

Employee Benefits and Perquisites

Additional benefits received by our Swedish employees, including Messrs. Ek, Söderström, and Norström, include private healthcare, accident insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, travel insurance, and parental leave. Additional benefits received by our U.S. employees, including Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Ostroff [who has a $1,000,000 base salary], include medical, dental, and vision benefits, medical, and dependent care flexible spending accounts, short-term and long-term disability insurance, basic life insurance coverage, and parental leave. These benefits are provided to our named executive officers on the same general terms as they are provided to all of our full-time employees in the applicable countries.

We design our employee benefits programs to be affordable and competitive in relation to the market, as well as compliant with applicable laws and practices. We adjust our employee benefits programs as needed based upon regular monitoring of applicable laws and practices in the competitive market.

We do not view perquisites or other personal benefits as a significant component of our executive compensation program.

And then there’s the cash and stock, like the “Chief Content Officer” who must have line responsibility for the licensing incompetence and goal post moving:

Ostroff

Ek Covid