htxt.africast – Google versus Australia

As the first month of 2021 continues to drag on we have another edition of the africast ready to go as we discuss the implications – and the slippery slope – of Google threatening to pull Search out of Australia.

Before that, however, let’s talk about some news.

First up is the new Raspberry Pi Pico, a departure for the Raspberry Pi Foundation as it aims to make a microcontroller instead of a tiny computer. The Pico is more of a breakout board for a custom chip that the foundation designed to meet its needs of lower power consumption and relatively powerful computing. With the Pico already available for very little money, even here in South Africa, it will be interesting to see what can be accomplished with it.

Next up is several big videogame houses receiving fines in Europe for geoblocking shenanigans. It’s a complex issue that, at the end of the day, has not really touched sides as the companies received fines that are miniscule compared to how much money they bring in. Valve, for example, can probably recoup its €1 624 000 fine with a few hours of sales on Steam.

Finally for news it’s LG and an internal memo seems to indicate that the company will pull out of the phone game. The reason for the potential decision is down to the South Korean firm slipping down the ranks as far as top mobile vendors go. This is sad for the industry, but not unexpected because, really, do you know a single person who uses an LG phone right now?

Our main story this week is a row between the Australian government and how Google operates especially when it comes to search results, advertising and news. It has lead to Google, in not so many words, threatening to leave Australian without access to the most common Google Product, that being Search. The fight here is still ongoing but we discuss the dire consequences that could come from it both for Google and regular citizens in Australia and the world.

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[Image – CC0 Pixabay]


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