This is the lil tech news you need to know for the week commencing March 1, 2021.
🚀 Stuck the Landing
SpaceX stuck its biggest rocket landing yet when its Starship SN10 prototype touched down in one piece on its test landing pad in Boca Chica, TX this week.
The 400 ft tall Starship prototype launched on 3 Raptor rocket engines to an altitude of 10km, cut engines, and “belly flopped” down to about 1km before relighting its engines to perform a flip-and-land maneuver. If it sounds cool, it looks way cooler.
SN10 did experience a rapid unscheduled disassembly (read: 💥) shortly after landing, but SpaceX wasn’t counting on recovering the craft in the first place, so it’s not totally surprising.
Our take: This was the most exciting moment in the Starship storyline so far. We can’t wait to see what kinds of space-faring activities become old hat in the Starship era to come.
🍪 The Cookie is Dead, Long Live the Cookie
Google announced a privacy-forward decision not to replace third-party cookies–used to track and target individual users as they browse the web–with any other form of individual-level tracker.
Google had previously announced its intention to do away with support for third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser as of 2022, but the new announcement takes its position a step further.
First-party cookies, like those which allow sites to keep you logged in even after you close and reopen your browser, will still be supported.
Our take: It goes without saying, Google’s ad targeting capabilities are as good as they come. Advertisers won’t miss out on much by targeting users based on other factors besides tracking individuals around the web. Users will get a slightly more private internet experience. It’s a win-win, and a step in the right direction for the web at large.
🇦🇺 Pony Up
Australia passed a new law requiring tech companies to pay publishers in order to display their content in user feeds. Google and Facebook, the two biggest targets of the legislation, reacted… differently.
Google started adapting relatively quickly, announcing publisher deals before the law officially took effect. Facebook (for a brief period) banned news articles from being found or shared by all Australian users. 😳
Facebook ultimately capitulated and returned news to its users’ newsfeeds.
Our take: We’d understand if there were confusion at Facebook and Google about having to pay while their platforms were already promoting visibility of publishers’ content and referring revenue-generating traffic to their articles. However, insomuch as the changes don’t negatively impact users or small businesses with news sharing features, amicable arrangements between big tech and publishers are just good business.
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