The thing that particularly struck me though was the way he handled contract workers like (some of) the kitchen staff, cleaners, etc. These people don't work for Facebook and he had zero obligation to them, yet he paid all of their wages for the full length of the pandemic just so they could stay afloat.
If it were just about the money, I doubt he'd have done this.
From his statement it sounds like he really believed people would accept the pandemic’s restrictions as a “new normal” and this would leap-frog humanity into the virtual world for good.
I am a highly cynical and pessimistic person and even I knew this wasn’t happening. People around the World were literally risking their lives and their loved ones for a little physical connection. Our generation, it turns out, is still very human centric and we are still ultimately social beings, not just social minds. Maybe kids born into YouTube, who are now coming of age, will be different, yet I still would not bet 11 thousand lives on it.
Other people kept working their blue collar jobs at mines and oil pads as if nothing had happened. Once I was on the mine sites, there was no indication of anything different. No masks or any other BS.
My 'rona experience was totally different than the wfh keyboard careers.
90% of the work they do is purely defensive. The offensive work targets bad actors and foreign governments/militaries, compared to other countries intelligence services that also engage in economic espionage.
In a perfect world they wouldn't need to exist at all. But we don't live in that world.
They don't work within the bounds of the law and constitution, and thus their mission is bad by my simple definition. I don't need to know what they do in secret.
You know what they say, "if they cheat with you, they cheat on you too". A liar is a liar. If your job involves seeking people's trust in order to betray it, you're not very smart if you think your boss wouldn't betray you.
So what has your research on this uncovered?
That is what Denmark is trying to find out:
It is wrong, and there has to be better ways. I don't remember the exact procedure, but NSA didn't need much clearance to spy on any American citizen.
They also basically have zero real congressional oversight.
And just because 90% of what they do is purely defensive doesn't make the 10% any more acceptable (x key score, data mining, hooking into Google, etc.)
You have literally no idea whether that’s true. Even if you somehow did, you couldn’t prove it here.
You could be right—but your assertion has zero credibility.
Strong "trust me bro" vibes.
Hand-waving and baseless assertions don't contradict the fact that it conducts activities against it's country's most basic founding principles and laws.
This regrettable line of argument is in line with blindly defending the police in spite of all the police murders, abuse, and outright corruption.
Analysts stealing nudes isn't the mission.
Facebook's failures were always with business morals and product direction, and it's the latter that they really really screwed up on this time with the attempt to turn their cash cow into TikTok and the investment into the metaverse.
TLDR: by KLOC Google might have more, but arguably Meta's have more impact.
Huh? Like Gates and Musk, he's not even a highly skilled developer, even less a hacker.
I first heard it used to traditionally describe computer security whizzes like Kevin Mitnick, Diffie & Hellman, Robert Morris (Morris worm) etc. But apparently the last ~15 years it's just a compliment for the next random corporate grifter who has 0 technical experience and is just in for the $$$.
However Gates definitely deserves the title, he had helped make some significant contributions a few years before or right after dropping out of Harvard by co-authoring a paper in complexity theory next to a very prominent name in the field.
Certainly, some of what they hacked on might be related to security. Or maybe they wrote little games. Or threw together a curses-based interface to the Unix shell. Or some other cool utility.
As I recall, there was a concerted attempt to distinguish between people who exploited security vulnerabilities (aka "crackers") from people who could quickly build these useful things ("hackers").
I feel like the modern use of hacker (ala "hackathon") is actually pretty well in line with the usage I grew up with.
I found this article (I only skimmed it and didn't look for counter evidence, sorry)
Strange because Mitnick puts most of his exploits down to social engineering, not technical prowess.
But then taking anything a self-confessed social engineer says about themselves at face value is obviously problematic.
Still, I prefer having someone like Kevin in mind when saying the word instead of any other desperate "growth hacker" that is trying to mislead VCs with their trite ideas that will forever change tech the way we know it.
>I blame Eric Raymond and to a lesser extent Dave Winer for bringing this kind of schlock writing onto the Internet. Raymond is the original perpetrator of the "what is a hacker?" essay, in which you quickly begin to understand that a hacker is someone who resembles Eric Raymond. Dave Winer has recently and mercifully moved his essays off to audio, but you can still hear him snorfling cashew nuts and talking at length about what it means to be a blogger . These essays and this writing style are tempting to people outside the subculture at hand because of their engaging personal tone and idiosyncratic, insider's view. But after a while, you begin to notice that all the essays are an elaborate set of mirrors set up to reflect different facets of the author, in a big distributed act of participatory narcissism.
If we aren't talking about computer security, hacker imo would be someone with remarkable technical/scientific contributions. Indeed, there may be some personal bias for math hackers (cryptographers, theorists) but then their skillsets with the respective programmer ones converge.
Article says his paper on it was published in 1979, which was 43 years ago. I wouldn't call that 'a few years back'. I interpreted your comment as he took a break from his philanthropy to come up to an efficient solution to the problem like 3-5 years ago.
> However Gates definitely deserves the title, he had helped make some significant contributions a few years back by co-authoring a paper in complexity theory next to a very prominent name in the field.
Gates definitely deserves the title, he had helped make some significant contributions a few years back by co-authoring a paper in complexity theory next to a very prominent name in the field.
Pick a different line of attack if you want to slag Gates; there are several others to choose from.
Anyway, you don't join Ticketmaster for anything approaching morality. Snakes eat snakes.
He's repeatedly betrayed user trust, and eventually what goes around comes around.
Facebook came within a whisker of establishing themselves as the central communications hub for the planet. They ruined their own business from greed. Grew it huge (instead of long steady growth) and it has collapsed.
It would not have been a good thing if they became "... He's repeatedly betrayed user trust, and eventually what goes around comes around. " so we are all better off, probably.
I hope the story of Zuck and FB become business school lessons on "greed is bad and will destroy you". Not what they taught me at business school (I was there in 2008) but they should have
Early Facebook was very good at this! I used their ads platform a lot in 2009-10 to raise engagement for a small non-profit that I was helping. The Facebook experience was simple, easy and great value for the money.
And then the ads ecosystem gradually got "optimized." Our nonprofit still kept using it for a while, but it was clear that the focus no longer was in providing great experiences for us -- or our intended audience. Pricing went up; as did efforts to steer me into packages that worked better for FB than me. It was as if someone said: "Stop creating 2x the value you capture. Move toward 1.01x"
FB made many billions over the next decade. But it drained the ecosystem's goodwill. Old-economy industrial giants usually took 80-100 years to paint themselves into this corner. Kind of amazing that FB has done it in less than 20.
They lied to content creators about how much money could be earned by switching to video on FB. This bankrupted multiple businesses, including Collegehumor and FunnyOrDie: https://twitter.com/adamconover/status/1183209875859333120?l...
You can fool some of the people some of the time...
No, incompetence and naivety.
They were young, dumb and all from the same college/upbringing.
People are multifaceted. I'm sure he is good to
his employees, like people are describing, but that ain't it.
Of course, for those immediately impacted and hurt/angered by his actions I certainly wouldn't blame anybody for venting.
But it would be much more productive to talk about "thing Zuck did good" or "thing Zuck did bad."
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks.
Sheryl was given credit for creating current facebook culture. Before Sheryl employees had unaudited to your private photos for example. Are you going to say she deserves no credit and we better credit the boys instead? If not then she must accept any failures that come from that culture.
You have no idea of what "sexism" is.
Google was the next to up the ante in mid-2000s with things like daycare, a ball pit, food, drycleaning. All equally mind-blowing to the populace who expected a workplace would have an elevator, and a coffee machine nobody refills.
Food might have been okay by 90s standards, but was pretty mediocre overall until ~2010 when they started redoing all the cafes to have a higher quality food. Still, it was slightly subsidized but not free and many, many employees went offsite or brought food from home.
There was a "coffee pool", where you joined to contribute a dollar or something a week and someone would buy the supplies.
At big companies there were often food trucks. Also a cafeteria, which probably sucked. There might also be a small library where you could hang out and read relevant trade journals.
Didn't he lie to congress, waste tens of millions of dollars on legal defense for himself and repeatedly turn a blind eye to human trafficking, voter manipulation, the spread of hate and division, genocide and more? He swept studies under the rug that show that his platforms directly led to increases in teenage suicides.
This man is not a good guy just because you feel he's nice to some people. People he depends on at that.
Not defending Zuck here, would just like to read about that if possible.
He might have lost Costco and their low margins, but he picked up an army of high-margin D2C sympathizers who have been shown to be generous with their money (if the cause is right).
This is legal fiction that has no bearing in the kinds of subjects that it often gets brought up in. Simply put, those responsible for a company (e.g. officers of a corporation) have a fiduciary duty towards its owners (e.g. the shareholders), and it means that the owners would have legal recourse against the officers if they were provably pissing money away on things that don't benefit the company at all.
That latter part is a high bar and critically does not mean that they are, for example, legally required to prioritize quarterly profits over the long-term success of the company or to pay employees as little as possible, as is often mentioned. It just means that officers must take action that furthers the interests of the company in the way that they prudently and reasonably see fit.
Obviously this isn't a legal requirement, but pretty much every CEO would be out of a job if they choose country over company. Shareholders are generally not interested in furthering national geopolitics.
I don't think that's true. Look at all the corporate action about Ukraine for an example of interest in geopolitics - lots of donations, public statements, etc. And then there's companies actually in Ukraine, or next door - when politics gets unstable enough, contributing to the stability/security of the country over the short term of the company looks like the right move. Evaluating when that point is reached is probably about as contentious as any other decision in politics.
You are required to abide by shareholder decisions at official meetings, and generally not act against shareholder interests, but there is absolutely no law stating that you must act to maximize shareholder value. (And it's a damn good thing that's the case; things are bad enough as it is.)
It's not about producing profits it's about doing what the shareholders want.
Sadly, today's layoffs were probably related to it not being just about the money then... no matter how good your intentions are, when the money runs out, it's gone.
"Fundamentally, we’re making all these changes for two reasons: our revenue outlook is lower than we expected at the beginning of this year, and we want to make sure we’re operating efficiently across both Family of Apps and Reality Labs. "
> There was a blanket "don't worry about performance, take care of your families" guarantee that honestly was an enormous help.
Yet now he is firing people based on those same performance reviews. Plenty of people I know at Facebook feel betrayed because of exactly this.
Same here. I've been doing this since before the year 2000, and can't imagine any other company I've worked for treating employees this well. In this current cycle, I was laid off from my job and my severance was zero days. The only thing I got was the mandatory WARN act time and verting of option that were worth about 2 weeks of my base pay.
Zuck's response to Covid definitely had upsides, particularly (as you mention) the continued payment of contractors even though offices were closed. There were downsides too. The "Don't worry about perf" also meant you couldn't get promoted that half and there was no recognition for better performance, which sort of sucked for people whose projects had come to fruition (where they reap the rewards of impact). Hypothetically you could get recognized in H2 2020 but in reality it didn't really work like that most of the time.
But look, the big problem with Facebook is twofold:
1. Apple's "do not track" feature really cut the ad business off at its knees. You can support that on privacy grounds but that shouldn't obscure the issue that a platform being able to do that while maintaining that benefit themselves is actually a huge problem (and it makes a big case for Apple acting anticompetitively);
2. (This is the big one) Zuck has no vision for the company. That's the core problem. Assuming pandemic growth would continue (as he claims) isn't the problem.
This first took form in response to the spread of misinformation in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Facebook decided to try and determine objective truth in posts. That's never going to work and never going to make anyone happy. Controversial topics get amplified. But labelling misinformation treats this as a content problem when it's a user behaviour problem. It's your weird uncle posting articles about chips in vaccines. The content doesn't matter. The behaviour does.
But here's the big one: Facebook has long viewed products on two axes: audience and medium. Twitter, for example, goes to a large audience. WhatsApp, small audiences. Medium is essentiaally this progression: text -> image -> video -> VR -> AR. It explains the purchase of Oculus and fits with the metaverse.
But there's literally no business case for the metaverse. Nobody wants it. Phones are convenient. Wearing headsets isn't. If we can ever build AR glasses (and that's far from a certainty) then maybe that might work but there are significant technical problems (eg matching focus, true blacks).
So 11,000 people got let go today because of bad decisions made at the very top that they had nothing to do with and no control over. Sure Zuck has lots a bunch of paper value but whether you have $100 billion or $30 billion, you're fine.
I've said this same thing a thousand times. It's not lack of content or use-cases killing AR - the tech just isn't there yet. Form factor is one of the very pressing issues. It seems inevitable that the tech will get solved, but it's not clear whether it's a couple years or a couple decades.
Less true today than yesterday. Less true tomorrow than today. Rinse. Repeat.
Could you expand on this? It's seems absolutely certain, with products like nreal Air existing: https://www.nreal.ai/air
What unsolved hurdle do you see? Heck, there were even prototypes of laser retinal projection at CES!
Drawing an opaque, dark line. Almost all these screens are adding light to an existing scene. The only way they can make black is to just not project light, which means you need to have a dark background to actually show dark.
Ever view a projector outside in a bright sunny day?
The $117.9 billion in revenue and $39.4 billion of net profit in 2021 ?
The price to earnings ratio of 9.22, which is far lower than the NASDAQ average of around 28.0 ?
And they are vaporizing all of their FCF by reinvesting into the metaverse. Or were until the stock continued to collapse.
It’s fair value here if you assume the metaverse is actually something they can monetize in a big way. Too far off for most investors
I wish there was a biotech with FB’s culture.
People were already angry on AM radio and cable "news" channels. Gerrymandering works on political maps and demographics - politicians have figured that by boxing voters into bins and away from the center, they can have their votes forever.
Truly excited to see how far they can push VR and AI.