Hello Internet Stranger! It's a trap!
Welcome to The Weekly Click. I’m your host, Sean McDevitt.
As always, The Weekly Click has been this thing I just do for fun. I hope you all get the same charge out of clicking and reading the links as I do gathering them all up for you.
Be seeing you,
Caitlin Lovinger, writing for The New York Times, has a breakdown of last Sunday’s New York Times crossword puzzle.
The constructor, Stephen McCarthy, embedded a wonderful trick centered on the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate. For the clue "The better of two sci-fi franchises," either answer works.
I am a fan of both "Star Wars" and "Star Trek," so it's nice to be able to highlight both (not to mention the friendly rivalry between the two fandoms) in one puzzle. I grew up with the second iterations of both franchises (Episodes 1-3/The Next Generation) and had a crush on both Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker and Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher when I was a teenager, so I couldn't decide which franchise I liked better!
Greg Morris, writing at his site, thinks he’s figured out the ultimate minimalist phone.
SPOILER: It’s a cellular version of the Apple Watch.
Perhaps my perfect combination would be an iPad Mini and an Apple Watch. I can't see a future where the smartphone won't dominate our lives, but I am some way to freeing myself. The Apple Watch gives me a semi-smart device when required, and the accompanying phone gives me a phone if I really need one. Which isn't frequently, it sits alone on my desk because I don't use it much. Even less now.
I would like to try this except for the part where I don’t own a cellular Apple Watch…
Here's what seems like a good "explainer" about what's going on with Russia and Ukraine. Like you, I have no idea what's going to happen there but someone — actually a lot of someones, plural — will be very unhappy.
Derek Thompson, writing for The Atlantic, explains Denmark’s decision to lift all COVID restrictions.
The author spoke with Michael Bang Petersen, a Danish researcher who led a global survey of COVID attitudes and advises the Danish government. It is interesting how the country handles the public perception of vaccinations and mandates.
In Denmark, people are in favor of vaccines, with more than 81 percent of adults doubly vaccinated, but also very opposed to vaccine mandates. There are no political parties in Parliament that are loudly advocating for vaccine mandates. When the legal framework for pandemic restrictions was formulated, there was a big discussion about vaccine mandates, but that provision was ultimately taken out. I think this is partly related to the fact that our vaccine coverage is so high, so people might feel less of a need to force people to be vaccinated. But also, research suggests that vaccine mandates might enhance what makes people anti-vaccine in the first place, like distrust of authorities and feeling like they’re being forced to do something that’s bad for them.
I hope this goes well for the country. Obviously, the kicker is the vaccination rate. If the United States had that number, we’d be opening everything up too (we already are, I know).
M. G. Siegler, writing at 500ish, has some good insight into Facebook’s disastrous week.
I’ve been around long enough where I’ve heard about “the end of Facebook” at least a few dozen times over the past fifteen-plus years — basically since the beginning of the company. Certainly since the introduction of the News Feed — the original sin and supposed end of the company, which actually was the start of a whole new era, both for Facebook and for the internet itself.
Anyway, Facebook is dying again. Except this time it actually is.
Yup. And some smart thoughts on why Meta exists.
Facebook will no longer be able to acquire what’s next in social networking, at least not any time soon. And so they have mobilized in VR and tangential fields. Again, this is why Facebook, the company, is now Meta. It’s a very explicit acknowledgment that Facebook, the product, is over. Not dead. And, in fact, still spinning off the profits required for those future bets. But it will never be the future again.
Finally, good analysis of why Facebook sucks now.
Let’s all just pause and take a step back. Is Facebook, the product, better or worse than it was a decade ago? I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it’s so much worse. Sure, there are newer features, some of which are cool. But in doing what it’s supposed to do, it just sort of sucks now. The vast majority of what I see in my feed is ads and/or content for things I’ve “liked” over the past 15 years. There’s very little “friend” content, relatively speaking. And that’s no real surprise because much of that content has moved to more private networks, namely messenger services and groups. The latter is still seemingly working well for Facebook, and honestly maybe that should be the main product/feed now? But again, that would be less good for monetization/ads!
And so round and round we go, down a drain with a clog that prolongs the inevitable. All products die given enough time, it’s just a question of if they die do to cruft creeping in, or because the North Star shifts to more monetization. Or both. Regardless, both of these open the door for something better to come along. Both of these things are pushing Facebook to get worse as a product experience, and because Facebook’s business is nearly 100 percent predicated around ads, this is all even more pronounced.
Read the whole thing.
Personally, I’m probably going to go dark on the service this year.
The long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series has finally set a release date, one Star Wars fans will recognize. Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor as the iconic Jedi Master, will release on May 25. That date, of course, is when the original Star Wars movie hit theaters.
A release from Disney shares more about what this series will entail:
The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Ten years seems like a long time, but also just about right. I do hope we move quickly away from Tatooine as I’m quite tired of seeing the desert planet in every iteration of Star Wars on television.
Also, the teaser poster looks great.
It seems the Super Bowl has not been getting tremendous ratings these last few games. If you’ve been following along this year you might know the last six NFL playoff games have all come down to the final minute, with five of those games being won on the last play. Those games have jumped up in television ratings.
On the other hand, last year’s Super Bowl fell to a 14-year low dipping below 100 million viewers. Yikes.
Tim Baysinger, writing for The Wrap, outlines the teams and what it will boil down to regarding ratings.
It didn’t help that last year’s game, despite featuring Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, was a snoozefest that was dominated by the Bucs defense. This year’s game pits the hometown Rams who get to play in their own stadium in Inglewood, Calif., against the Cincinnati Bengals and rising star quarterback Joe Burrow.
For the Bengals, it’s their first Super Bowl since 1989, while the Rams were in the Big Game just three years ago (they lost to the New England Patriots in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever).
As we’re seeing with this year’s playoff games, if it comes down to the final minute, the league and broadcaster NBC will get a Hollywood ending.
I could not care less about who wins or loses. Mostly, I’m just hoping for entertaining commercials.
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