Joe Hindy / Android Authority
📞 Good morning! Read on for a throwback to phone pranks… almost a reminder of when we used to answer the phone rather than assume it was a spam call!
YouTube’s new stuff
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
YouTube’s video player is getting some new features, and small changes like this tend to reverberate around the world of YouTube and change how videos are made and consumed, so let’s take a look, via TechCrunch.
Main change: “Most Replayed”
- The first one is that YouTube’s web player and mobile apps will now highlight the “most replayed” portions of videos.
- This is via a graph, and it’ll show you where people have gone back to watch something again: a highlight, or the juicy part of the video, or just the main portion of an explainer without all the intro and outro stuff.
It looks like this:
- See that faint graph above the red timeline bar? That popularity graph shows you which parts of the video have been replayed most.
- In the above video, Google’s own I/O 2021 video got a lot of replays towards the end. I checked, and that’s where Google showed Project Starline actually being used in real life (apparently, anyway). I guess that’s useful?
- (Ahem, apparently a well-known pr*n site brought this in first. The comments told me this!)
- There are some arguments both ways here: It might make some creators lose watch time as people skip through videos; or, it might make unnecessarily long videos that are intentionally stretched out more bearable to skip through.
- It may also hurt creators that work with sponsors to explain some new product or service, often in the video itself somewhere.
- I simply don’t know if YouTube thinks potentially hurting its creators is okay, but the thinking seems to be: We’ll do anything to head off TikTok and make videos shorter/faster to watch.
Other new stuff:
- YouTube is also doing loops, which it has mentioned previously: the idea being you can continuously watch a portion of a video over and over, say three seconds of a bicycle stack or something.
- And, the company with two billion monthly users, also dropped a teaser that it will (vaguely sometime “soon”) start an experiment that “will allow users to seek the exact moment in a video that they want to watch.”
- No word on how or what that means, but there’s a little more.
📁 Huawei launched its Mate XS 2 foldable globally, but it’s priced at €1,999 (about $2,100)! That’s …a crazy price? It’s about €600 more expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold 3, though you get a case with it at least… (Android Authority).
👉 Amazon refreshes Fire 7 tablet with USB-C, plus upgraded processor, RAM, and battery life. It’ll cost $10 more at $59. (Android Authority).
🎧 Sony announces $200 LinkBuds S with ANC and lightweight, comfort-first earpod design, but the donut is gone (The Verge).
😬 Ol’ Musky has had a meltdown after Tesla was removed from S&P 500 Environmental, Social and Governance Index (ESG) in its annual re-balance, calling it “a scam” and “weaponized by phony social justice warriors”. S&P Global explains in a blog post, pointing out though Tesla “may be playing its part in taking fuel-powered cars off the road, it has fallen behind its peers when examined through a wider ESG lens,” noting manufacturing “claims of racial discrimination and poor working conditions,” and “its handling of the NHTSA investigation after multiple deaths and injuries were linked to its autopilot vehicles,” and more (S&P). Musk tweeted a lot, and announced he’s joined the Republican party. The problem seems to be that ESG is more than just “E.”
✅ CNN is making a documentary about the fall of HQ Trivia: At one point, more than 2.3 million people were playing the game simultaneously (Engadget).
🚢 A big ol’ Japanese ship traveled 790km autonomously, including undocking and docking between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay: not bad for a ship 95m in length (Nippon Foundation).
🧖♂️ “ELI5: Why is it so difficult to desalinate sea water to solve water issues?” (r/explainlikeimfive).
Throwback to …phone pranks?
Wired reports there’s a Hacktivist site that …lets you prank call Russian officials:
- “To protest the war in Ukraine, WasteRussianTime.today auto-dials Russian government officials, connects them to each other, and lets you listen in to their confusion.”
- The group behind it has cobbled together “5,000 Russian government phone numbers, both landlines and cell phones, including members of the Russian military police, staff of its parliament, even Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB.”
- It’s taken three months to come to fruition.
- Now, the site looks to be killed by interest! It currently doesn’t resolve; probably because of all the attention it received as people try to log on.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.