/ Weekly Takeaways

The GOP sets its sights on Google, China is considering creating its own internet and the complicated state of digital design

Google's CEO tries to explain their lack of bias to the US government

Donald Trump has been expressing concern over Google's news bias for last few months, culminating in congressional hearings with Google's CEO Sundar Pichai.

This is now the second major hearing with a tech monolith in this quarter alone - with both Facebook and Google explaining how their technology works and no clear outcome from the government. Get the full story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/technology/google-conservatives-washington.html

Key Takeaway

Lawmakers (not just in the US) are having a very difficult time figuring out if they should be regulating tech monoliths, and an even harder time understanding how they work. With the median age of these specific lawmakers being 57, it's unlikely that any of them have risen to their rank with any deep knowledge of tech, let alone current tech. This is posing huge problems as they struggle to wrap their heads around issues like fake news, bias, and personal data safety.

Ultimately - this means we likely won't see any solutions here, and maybe that's a good thing for now.

China may be creating a second internet

In the past few months Google has been in talks with China about re-entering their market (https://www.cnet.com/news/report-google-suppressed-an-explosive-memo-about-its-chinese-search-engine/). In light of this and the rapid growth of Chinese tech giants like Alibaba, Eric Schmidt (Google's former executive chairman) has spoken up about fears that other countries may embrace China's version of the internet. Specifically in its way of fire-walling public data and preventing citizens from global information access. This is a very worthwhile read: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ex-google-ceo-an-internet-with-chinese-rules-is-coming-your-way/

Key Takeaway

The internet has made a massive impact in the way that we connect with humans in other countries and realize that we have more in common with each other than we might have thought. People born after the internet was invented would likely have a hard time understanding the significance of the hotline that was created to connect the British, Russian and US governments. You couldn't tweet out your intent, or extend email invites like you can today, nor could you get a pulse on a country's beliefs or attitudes without visiting the place.

Separating the world into different communications systems would be devastating and push us back to the cold war.

New digital tools are too complicated for most digital producers

Framer X is the newest tool to come out on the market - launched as a beta last week, Framer's claim to fame is that it provides unprecedented control over digital prototypes and faster time to market.

The problem? To make use of many of its core features, you need to be one part Designer, one part Developer, one part User Experience.

Key Takeaway

With digital products getting more complicated, so too have the job descriptions and expectations of the digital community. The digital divide is now no longer just a function of which generation you grew up in, it's becoming even more niche and divided as we expect digital products to remain cheap to build and yet more complicated in feature set.

We're seeing the digital divide now across every level of life, from the laws that protect us to the way we connect with other humans, all the way down to those who create digital platforms.

The GOP sets its sights on Google, China is considering creating its own internet and the complicated state of digital design
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