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Feb 2, 2022 8 min read

Ꙫ Wiser! CatchUp #3 | In Case You Missed Anything!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Wiser! Catchup #3: A month's worth of news, analysis, insights and information from across the Tech Economy. Includes BigTech, Social Media, the Metaverse, Web3, Crypto, Bitcoin and AI (amongst other things).



TikTok continues to set the pace in the attention economy, especially with Gen Z. In this issue I look at what Instagram are doing in response. Plus

  • the madness of NFTs (considering nobody could spell N-F-T a year ago)
  • finally, we saw the end of the Blackberry (a story of interest for older people)
  • the origins of the iPhone (as it approaches 15th birthday)
  • And stories about racial bias at AirBnB, Google and MetaFacebook in trouble with regulators in France, Intel apologises to China and the ex-"Silicon Valley's 1st female unicorn" Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty.
⚡Madness of NFTs, Instagram, TikTok and RIP Blackberry
Wiser! #54: Instagram needs to change as TikTok sets the pace. Plus the madness of NFTs, the end of the Blackberry and the origins of the iPhone. Plus more...


The iPhone had its 15th birthday, which is pretty amazing when you think about how much has changed because of it when 15 years doesn't seem very long in the grand scheme of things! Plus;

  • I reported how crypto scammers had had a record year for taking digital money off people last year;
  • How Kazakhstan has become the number 2 nation for Bitcoin mining;
  • Reese Witherspoon is apparently big into NFTs and the Metaverse, as are Ralph Lauren;
  • plus updates on Oculus VR sales, Facebook's patent to analysis images and Google's plans to put tiny radars in your car to sense when you're moving.
Apple’s iPhone, Crypto scams, Kazakhstan’s Bitcoin mines and Google
Wiser! #55: the iPhone is 15; Crypto scammers had a record year in 2021; Kazakhstan is number 2 in Bitcoin mining; Reese Witherspoon is in the Metaverse, so are Ralph Lauren; plus Google.


Unsealed papers in the US anti-trust against Google revealed the extent of their collusion with Facebook. And it was damning! Plus;

  • how much does Roblox exploit kids?
  • the UK Gov spent half a million on influencing public opinion against End-to-End Encryption
  • Microsoft's acquisition of Activision is going to be the largest tech deal in history
  • plus updates on El Salvador's foray into Bitcoin, Peloton in trouble, and Amazon opens its first physical store in California.
Google & Facebook; Roblox & kids; Microsoft & Activision
Wiser! #57: Unsealed papers in the US anti-trust against Google has revealed the extent of the collusion with Facebook. Plus: how much does Roblox exploit kids? UK Gov spending half a million on public opinion over E2EE and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.


This was the Birthday Issue as Wiser! celebrates its first birthday: The lead story was about BigTech and the record amounts they spent in 2021 on political lobbying and acquisitions. Plus;

  • More on El Salvador buying the dip and President Bukele posting a meme of him working for MacDonald's (as the price of BTC continues down)
  • A disturbing story about Replika, not just an AI cure for loneliness
  • More on Microsoft's acquisition of Activision and strategy for the Metaverse.
  • Plus Google's AR headset, MetaFacebook's AI supercomputer and the Fed sits on the fence over a CBDC for the dollar.
BigTech Spending, El Salvador, Replika and Microsoft Activision
Wiser! #58 - The Birthday Issue!: BigTech spent record amounts in 2021 on political lobbying and acquisitions. Meanwhile, El Salvador continues to buy the dip. Replika is an AI cure for loneliness and Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is all about the Metaverse.

w/Special Features

10 Tech Tools for Building a Newsletter

10 Tech Tools for Building a Newsletter
TechStack: There’s a lot of tech that goes into putting a Newsletter together, building a website, managing the membership, promotion and social media. And that’s before you’ve written anything! Here are 10 tools I use to run Wiser!

#52: One Year Wiser

One Year Wiser! (2021 in review)
Wiser! #52: A year in review. A round-up of some of my favourite stories and themes from the 175,000 words written in the first year of the Wiser! Newsletter.

w/Insights: Premium Content

The following articles from the Insights Series are exclusive content for paying subscribers to the Wiser! Newsletter.

🚀 Tech Economy Trends, Predictions, Questions and Some Answers
Wiser! #53 (Premium): As we end one year and start another, it’s a great time to reflect, consider and make a few stabs in the dark about what’s to come.

#56: AR, VR, Wearables: Apple's market opportunity

AR, VR, Wearables: Apple’s Market Opportunity
Wiser! #56 (Premium): Apple dominates the Wearables market with the Number 1 Watch and Airpods. But if Apple are to ring the $4 trillion bell, they are going to need new products. Next to come is a Mixed Reality Headset and then a pair of AR glasses.

#59: Is Spotify a platform or a media company? (p.s. don't shoot the messenger)

Is Spotify a platform or a media company?
Wiser! #59 (Premium): Joe Rogan has kicked up a shitstorm for Spotify, which begs the question about responsibility for content moderation. Meanwhile, competition for attention from Apple Music and TikTok threatens Spotify’s market leadership.

w/Never Miss An Issue!

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Essays are short-form articles on specific and relevant topics of the moment. They are free to access. Here are the latest ones...

BigTech’s Record Spending on Lobbying and Buying up its Competition
Wiser! Essay: BigTech spent record amounts on lobbying and buying up its competition in 2021. Meanwhile, the FTC charged with regulating the Tech Economy has a limited budget and a mountain to climb.
Google and Facebook accused of collusion to create unfair advantage
Wiser! Essay: Unsealed documents in the anti-trust lawsuit against Google has revealed a 2018 agreement with Facebook to collude to fix prices and unfair advantage to Facebook.
How Gary Vee made $90 million in 90 days from NFTs
Wiser! Essays: Gary Vee had never heard of NFTs 9 months ago. But he spent 50 hours understanding what it was, drew 10k sketches and sold them for $91m in 90 days.
UK Gov launch PR campaign to change BigTech’s approach to End-to-End Encryption
Wiser! Essay: The UK Government has been amongst the most vocal when it comes to opposing BigTech’s use of End-to-End Encryption. Now, they are about to spend over half a million £s on a media campaign to persuade Facebook users that its a bad thing.
TikTok, teenage girls, eating-disorders and the curious rise in Tics
Wiser! Essay: a billion people watch short videos on TikTok every month, but what are they about? New evidence links TikTok to harmful content on eating disorders and a disturbing rise in Tics amongst teen girls.

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