This isn’t the space race you are looking for…

Some big news in the world has been the apparent de facto space race for billionaires. Former Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin CEO Richard Branson are trying to race to space. This comes in the shadow of Elon Musks endeavours with SpaceX.

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A scarier and more private Cold War

In case you’ve been cooped up raging against the news over COVID-19. Here’s something that you might have missed. The Guardian published a fantastic whistleblower account of Facebook’s inability to properly police it’s own policies.

You can read it here. Sophie Zhang was a low level employee who’s job it was to police fake engagement on the site. Essentially when someone tries to boost their own profile through getting fake likes to game the algorithm. She was let go under less than auspicious circumstances as outlined in the article.

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And to top it all off…the LCBO is broken…

Protip to the powers that be. If you’re going to declare a crown corporation an essential service during a pandemic, make sure it’s equipped to handled the pandemic!

This week, we all got the surprise (not a surprise) announcement that Ontario schools would be shut down indefinitely post our current April Break. This in the midst of a shutdown or lockdown or whatever it’s called now. We’re told to shop curbside primarily, most retail stores are closed to indoor browsing. Restaurants are limited now to only curbside pick up. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open. Amongst those essential businesses is the LCBO.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking “Hey, great, I’ll just stock up on some of my favourite wines or craft beers and just hunker down and entertain myself and my family for the time being.” How am I supposed to order from the LCBO in these times of uncertainty? Well online of course. Just like every one else is told they are to pivot to now. You can order from the LCBO online, except for one caveat. If you’re sitting on gift cards from a birthday or from Christmas, you can’t use them.

Yep, that’s right. Every other retailer in the world enables you to cash in gift cards online for purchases. Not the LCBO though. That is too advanced for the government’s monopoly run liquor retailer. Don’t believe me? Visit the website here and try to use your own gift cards to purchase something:

Normally, this would just be a sign of a policy that would cost a company money. However, it’s a government run business. In the middle of a government mandated lockdown. This has been going on for a year now. There has been plenty of time to ensure your payment system is on par with the 21st century economy.

This has just been another inconsistent messaging mistake in a long line of mistakes from this government. How can you tell people to stay at home and use curbside for essential services like the LCBO, but not provide them with the tools to do so? This may seem inconsequential, but it’s just another example of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Which at this point, really shouldn’t be surprising to any of us.

I’m really proud of this. Give it a listen please.

If you have 40 minutes today give a listen to this week’s episode of The 905er. I’m really proud of this episode and is what we hoped to accomplish with this medium and format.

The race for social media is on…

So as it turns out the repercussions of Jan 6th are more widespread than first anticipated. The violent attempted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol has made many question, how did this happen. While the people who were responsible are being identified, there is blame also being pointed towards institutions in society. Namely, the tech and social media giants out there.

And they are aware of the situation as well. Notably, the race by Google and Apple to pull down the right wing platform Parler. Followed by the move by Amazon to pull it’s hosting of the platform. More interesting is the fact that a judge has agreed with Amazon. This isn’t a fight over free speech, but rather a disagreement between private entities. It is telling to find that in recent months, all the social media platforms have discovered they’ve had the ability all along to police activity on their platforms.

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An Interesting Point of View on the Matters of Free Speech and Social Media

Found this on Twitter this morning:

Definitely some interesting points to debate. I do believe that Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg of the world need to step up better. Adhere to their own guidelines that have been posted for all to participate in. Donald Trump’s take down should’ve happened years ago. His behaviour on Twitter and Facebook definitely violated their terms of service.

I hope that a lesson has been learned by both companies that trying to twist their own rules around to permit violators of their platform’s rules to stay on is a futile gesture. Only time will tell.

When you’re ahead of the curve…

The last 24 hours have shown quite the development in a few episodes we’ve covered on The 905er. I highly recommend you click on the link to go through our episodes if you haven’t already to get caught up. But we’ve had follow up developments and supplements on three episodes we’ve produced in the last day or so. Click on the link below to subscribe and listen on your favourite podcast app:

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Podcasting needs to change in Canada

For the last three months, I have been busy building my new podcast The 905er into a viable enterprise. I have been working with a colleague, Roland Tanner on this. Neither of us had experience creating podcasts, nor marketing them. However, like any good entrepreneur, that hasn’t stopped us from diving in head first.

We have learned quickly a lot of this new media industry in Canada. Mostly as to how there doesn’t seem to really be one. According to one estimate, there are approximately 850,000 podcasts out there right now. With that number you must be saying, Joel you’ve just contradicted yourself. Normally I’d agree, however there is another statistic that we’ve observed since beginning this venture.

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