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. 

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@taylorjmims: Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Applications Expected to Relaunch Next Week

The Small Business Administration has announced that Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applications are expected to reopen at the end of next week, after failing to launch on April 8…

When the administration announced the opening date for the grant applications, they assured venues that funds would be awarded later in April. The SBA has not commented on whether or not that timeline has been interrupted by the delay….  

For more information on when the application portal will re-open, the SBA recommends independent venues follow the administration’s Twitter account.  

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@TheAmaraReport: A $16 billion COVID-19 rescue program for music venues fails to launch

[Editor Charlie sez: It almost makes you think that Live Nation is waiting for the competition to die off and then cherry pick the venues they want to buy out of bankruptcy.]

Thousands of performance venues thought last week would mark the end of a long wait for rescue funds from a federal program designed to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.

They were wrong.

The Small Business Administration opened the program — a $16 billion initiative meant to offer grants to concert halls, theaters and museums — on April 8, but shut down the application portal hours later, citing technical glitches. An SBA spokeswoman said Friday the agency was working to test the application portal’s functionality, and aiming to reopen it by the end of next week.

“We know this funding is urgently needed now and are doing all we can to reopen with the greatest amount of certainty as possible,” the spokeswoman said….

Jobs figures reflect the hardships facing the industry. While employment in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry has increased this year, Labor Department data show there were still roughly 708,000 fewer jobs in the sector during March 2021 than in February 2020, just before the pandemic accelerated in the U.S.

“Every day, every hour that ticks by is one day closer to death, and that is the case for many venues across the country,” Stephen Tyler, a managing partner at Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City, said of the grant program’s delayed opening.

Revenue at Tower Theatre, a concert and events space that holds about 1,000 people and shows films, was down 95% between March and December 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, Mr. Tyler said.

“If this goes on long enough, it is absolutely realistic that this could crush this whole segment of the industry. Candidly, we’re right at the end,” he said.

Read the post on the Wall Street Journal

@ddayen: Arts Venue Closures Likely After Months-Long Delay in Federal Grant Program #saveourstages

A critical $16.25 billion grant program to sustain thousands of small creative venues that haven’t been able to open since the pandemic began has yet to deliver a cent of relief four months after passage, due to delays and faulty technology at the Small Business Administration (SBA). A website constructed to take grant applications closed last week after only four hours online, because of constant crashes and an inability to intake documents. It has not been restored and there’s no timetable for its return….

The disastrous situation is an example of how passing a bill is only the beginning of the policy process. Too many pundits have skipped right ahead to measuring President Biden for Mount Rushmore based on one piece of emergency legislation. But he will likely rise or fall on implementation; if beloved music venues and theaters close across the country because the SBA can’t manage a functioning website, all the legislation in the world won’t matter. 

Read the post on The American Prospect

@MikeElk: Flawed Approach Sunk Amazon Union Drive, But Birthed National Movement

Today, the union drive at Amazon in Alabama, which drew unprecedented political and media attention, was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. 

Last month, as we stood in the parking lot of Amazon’s warehouse and spoke with 32-year-old Ashley Beringer about her take on the Amazon union vote, it became apparent to us then why the union was headed for defeat. 

“I guess I’m more so against it because I don’t know much about [unions], I’ve never had to deal with unions until now,” she said. 

Read the post on Payday Report