Squiz Today / 01 February 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 1 February
Is what mega-star Ariana Grande's latest tattoo says in Japanese characters. It's a mistake, of course. It was meant to say ‘7 rings' in honour of her latest single. Or maybe it's one of those viral social campaigns and we can expect to see her fronting next summer's Barbeques Galore ad campaign...
FACEBOOK DELIVERS WHILE APPLE THROWS PRIVACY STONES
After the year it’s had, investors assumed the brace position yesterday for the release Facebook’s financial results for 2018. But it wasn’t bad. The number of people who logged into its site at least once a month was up 9% to 2.32 billion people. Annual revenue was up 30% on 2017. And its profit rose 39% on the previous year to more than A$30 billion. Not bad at all for a company that was under the pump for spreading 'fake news' and high-profile privacy breaches. "We've fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues,” said founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. But Facebook’s not out of the woods when it comes to privacy…
INTRIGUING. DO TELL...
Apple went in hard against Facebook yesterday accusing it of breaking the rules with a research app that allowed Facebook to keep track of users’ online activities. Apple said that’s spying, while Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg said it was done with users’ consent. Apple responded by cutting off Facebook’s access to the apps and updates it’s working on internally, which is an issue for Facebook’s engineers. It’s the latest escalation in the tech companies’ ongoing feud.
DO WE NEED SOCIAL MEDIA ANYWAY?
There’s a study for that… Researchers at Stanford University and New York University worked with almost 3,000 Facebook users to get them off the social media platform for four weeks. The result was:
• An overall reduction in online activity, which led to increasing ‘offline activities’ like actually talking to people.
• Reduced factual knowledge about the news, but also a reduction in “political polarisation”.
• Increased wellbeing.
Sure, you might get an hour a day back, but how would you know that it was the first day of school for the kid of that person you haven’t spoken to for a decade?
SQUIZ THE REST
OVERHAULING THE BASIN
No, we’re not talking about a bathroom renovation… but rather the Murray-Darling Basin that provides water to 3 million Australians in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Oz and generates about $19 billion in agricultural commodities. Yesterday, the SA Government released the report of its Royal Commission into the management of said water resource, and there wasn't a lot about the way the river system is being managed that it likes. The fundamentals of the management plan are flawed because politics, not science drove it, the Commission found. And officials are breaking the law in the administration of the plan, it says. The federal Water Minister David Littleproud said compliance has improved. It comes as concerns over river health have hit the news.
And while we have you… The banking and financial services Royal Commission hands its report to the Morrison Government today. The report will be released publicly on Monday.
SAUDI CORRUPTION PROBE ENDS
It was controversial leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s broom that swept through the ranks of the privileged for more than a year. The rounding up of hundreds of princes, tycoons and business chiefs was seen as a signal that a new approach was coming. Then there was the Jamal Khashoggi killing, but we digress… With many losing their high-powered positions and jobs for alleged corrupt activities, pundits say it was important for the crown prince to draw a line under the purge to convince investors that it's safe again to invest in Saudi Arabia.
NAPOLEON FACES HIS WATERLOO
The family operation that is Aussie makeup business Napoleon Perdis has been put into voluntary administration after attempts to find a buyer failed. Administrators are going to work out if the business, its 56 stores and arrangement with Priceline can be sold or if it needs to close. For now, it remains open. It was just a few years ago that Perdis was on top of the world with revenue tipping over $100 million and promising international deals. Now no longer involved in the daily running of the company, it's been a big journey for the son of Greek immigrants who owned a classic takeaway in Sydney's west.
BRRR, THAT'S COLD…
The polar vortex that is freezing swathes of America’s Midwest and Upper Plains lived up to its name. Some of the pictures are incredible. Reports say at least nine people have died as a result of the extreme cold weather.
THE ODDS AREN’T TOO BAD…
Next time you’re thinking about heading into the water at the beach and thoughts of sharks cross your mind, put them aside. Scientists have done a lot of work looking at this, and they're not as prolific as we might think. Although you should maybe rethink your 135th swim...
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
The life and times of a personal shopper at Barneys, the upmarket New York department store for the world's rich and famous. It's a fabulous gig, and more than slightly eye-opening if this account is anything to go by…
And at the other end of the retail spectrum… Articles on this coat keep coming up in our social feed. It might be an algorithm thing, or maybe there really is an ongoing buzz about it. Anyhoo, in +30C heat, it's weird to contemplate that winter is coming…
“You can do this,” said Special Olympian Amy Bockerstette to herself as she lined up to take on a challenging hole at a tough golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona with a couple of top pro players. And she did, making par. This video is pure joy.
SQUIZ THE DAY
10.30am (AEDT) - Test Cricket - Australia v Sri Lanka - Canberra
4.00pm (ACDT) - David Cup Tennis - Australia v Bosnia & Herzegovina - Adelaide
ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, December
Start of febfast
Iran marks the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy and start of the Islamic Revolution
US set to suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
Anniversary of the decision to locate Australia's capital between Sydney and Melbourne (1899)
Pope Francis visits Abu Dhabi
Isla Fisher's birthday (1976)
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