It's a packed newsletter, so no clever intro. Well, that and I stayed up too late watching the Sharks and Warriors.
Photo: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images
As Mark Zuckerberg filled in the details of his new, privacy-oriented vision of Facebook at the F8 developers conference Tuesday, the CEO left out a key episode from the past: Long before Facebook's pivot to privacy, the company pivoted to make everything more public.
Why it matters: There's a reason Facebook's new "digital living room" where you are "free to be your true self" sounds familiar, Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes. You've already been there, if you were one of the hundreds of millions of people who used Facebook before roughly 2010.
Flashback: Facebook's original superpower — and the reason so many users flocked to it from the untamed wilds of the wider web — was that it gave you an assurance of semi-privacy and a respite from the anonymity that fueled so much online conflict.
Driving the news: Today Facebook is doing everything it can to encourage users to shift their messaging to smaller private groups, move their communications behind a veil of encryption, and assure them that it's safe to just "be yourself" on its network.
Yes, but: When Facebook shifted away from privacy a decade ago, it planted a field of landmines that started exploding in its business path over the last 2 years.
The catch: Today Zuckerberg is promising users a newer, better experience rooted in privacy — but he's not talking about how Facebook's current 2 billion-plus users get there from here.
The bottom line: Zuckerberg may believe that he succeeded a decade ago because the public-oriented Facebook he built succeeded in creating a powerful, rich company that's still growing today.
Oculus' Sean Liu announces pre-orders for the Rift S and Quest headsets. Photo: Facebook
While much of the focus at Facebook's F8 conference was on the changes it's making to the core platform and its messaging apps, its moves in virtual reality highlight a new wave of products coming to market.
Why it matters: The last coming of VR fell far short of estimates. HTC, Valve and Facebook's Oculus all have new and improved hardware, but it's unclear whether consumers and content developers are ready to take another plunge.
Driving the news:
Our thought bubble: New hardware is nice, but it's hard to see the consumer market, in particular, taking off until we get a convergence of affordable, powerful headsets and content.
Some prominent names from the mobile world have teamed up to form Bond Mobility, an e-bike startup that's announcing funding later today.
Details: Former Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster is Bond's chief business officer, while prominent analyst Horace Dediu is a co-founder and chief strategy officer.
The bigger picture: Bond enters an already crowded micromobility market filled with bike-sharing and scooter startups. To stand out from the pack — and compete against Uber-owned Jump — Bond is betting on a fast, dockless e-bike capable of traveling up to 30 miles per hour.
What's next: McMaster says the company hopes to operate in Silicon Valley, Southern California and a few other West Coast cities.
Two more lawmakers have joined a Senate effort to craft a bipartisan online privacy bill, but the group still seemed far from releasing legislation as they huddled on Tuesday.
The bottom line: Congress isn't going to move quickly on this issue, even if lawmakers are facing pressure to preempt state privacy measures like the one that goes into effect in California next year.
Details: The Senate Commerce Committee will host a hearing about consumers' privacy expectations Wednesday, featuring Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon and Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer.
The hearing follows a closed-door meeting Tuesday evening of the group of panel members trying to write a bipartisan bill.
What they're saying: "We're just in the early stages, but I think in terms of this kind of a big undertaking, in terms of legislation, [we're] probably in a pretty good place," Thune said. "It's Senate speed, you know?"
Yes, but: Even if a bill preempting state laws manages to get to 60 votes in the Senate, the passage of legislation in the House is far from guaranteed.
Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne have donated $30 million to UC San Francisco to establish a center to study the causes of homelessness and the best means of reducing and alleviating it.
Why it matters: It's believed to be the largest private donation toward research to combat homelessness and comes as San Francisco struggles with a growing housing crisis amid skyrocketing rents.
What they're saying: San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who opposed that measure, praised Benioff's donation. In a statement, she said...
“Preventing and ending homelessness requires innovative solutions that can be replicated regionally, statewide, and nationally..."
“No one city alone can address homelessness, which is why this initiative by Lynne and Marc Benioff and UC San Francisco will be a great tool for helping us here in San Francisco and in cities all over confront one of our greatest challenges.”
Of all the takes on the upcoming "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie, I think this was my favorite.