From the Sydney Morning Herald in Austrailia…

Written by Michael E Dehn

Founder and CEO of Metro Pulse a continually running enterprise since May 1980.

April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023
TechnologyTim Biggs
Happy Friday! This week Twitter’s blue tick saga continued as a new competitor emerged and we checked out some of the most likely leaks and rumours surrounding Apple’s iPhone 15.
You may have heard some buzz this week about Bluesky, the latest alternative to the increasingly doomed-looking Twitter. But is it any more likely than the rest to take off? Mastodon didn’t catch on in a major way, although it had been growing slowly and continues to do so following its brief bout of super-popularity. Hive and Cohost fell fairly flat. Substack’s Notes is great for some, but you’ve also got to be in to newsletters.
Part of the hype around Bluesky comes from the fact that it was actually spun out of Twitter and is funded by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Like Mastodon, it’s designed to be federated, meaning it can act as a giant open-source web connecting many communities, but unlike Mastodon it seems pretty simple to sign up for. Most people are happy to sit in the default community (although you do have to sign up to a waitlist before you can join).
As a fairly new platform it isn’t super polished. There are no DMs, no blocking and the terms and conditions aren’t clear enough. But the thing that makes Bluesky exciting is it doesn’t have the same self-serious vibe that most other Twitter alternatives (and plenty of other social media) have. People aren’t talking about stocks and news and Elon Musk over there, they’re making goofs and being weird like the Twitter of old. Even Dril is there. Not a bad foundation.
 What to watch for
Microsoft is now rolling out an update for Windows 11 that makes the Phone Link app compatible with iPhones. It should reach all PCs by mid-May. Once you’re updated, pairing your iPhone and Windows via Bluetooth will let you make and receive phone calls through your PC, read and reply to phone messages (including iMessages) straight from your desktop, as well as see your notifications as they come in. It seems a bit more limited than the Android version, but could grow over time.
Google knows exactly what you want: another app for podcasts. The company already has Google Podcasts, but it’s now also adding access to shows via YouTube Music, presumably in an effort to compete with Spotify. One cool feature is you will be able to switch between audio and the video YouTube version if there’s one available, without losing your place. The YouTube Music update has rolled out in the US, with wider availability to come.
Amazon has pushed out an update to its biggest and priciest Kindle, the Scribe, with a number of much-requested features. Curious timing given the recent launch of the competing Kobo Elipsa 2E! The Scribe can now receive .doc files directly from Microsoft Word for marking up on the reader and can adjust contrast on PDF pages which were often too dark. There’s also a new notebook overview and editing screen, and the ability to display two pages at a time in landscape mode.

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