🤔 Wiser! #112 — what’s happening in tech that you should know about!

Rick Huckstep
9 min readFeb 13


About Wiser!

Wiser! is for everyone who wants to know what’s happening and what’s coming next in BigTech, emerging tech, innovation, and strategy. I make sense of the business stories that are significant, interesting, and, most importantly, worth understanding if you want to know what’s happening and what’s coming next in tech.

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Brand Strategy Collection

Snapple uses ChatGPT to engage with customers

For the past 20 years, Snapple has defined the fun in their brand with RealFacts, which are facts printed on the underside of the bottle cap. Now, instead of the marketing team coming up with little gems like “beavers can hold their breath underwater for 45 minutes,” the Dr Pepper brand is giving customers the chance to make up the facts…using ChatGPT.

Learn more here…

1. Google and the “illegal monopolisation” of the digital advertising market

For all it’s huff and puff, the US government has been lack lustre when it comes to regulating BigTech over the past two decades. Now, the DoJ appear to be up for the challenge and have set their sights high with the break-up of Google as their goal. This is no small task. Google have an army of high paid lawyers at their disposal, many more than the DoJ have on their side.

But, the DoJ has the law and the case rests on their ability to prove Google broke that law. If they succeed in breaking up Google, it could have a profound impact on the Internet as we know and use it today. Because Google is everywhere, for now at least!

Continue reading the article ($)

2. Hermès wins trademark case against MetaBirkins NFTs

A nine-person jury ruled in favor of Hermès in a trademark case against NFT artist Mason Rothschild. The jury found that Rothschild profited from Hermès’ goodwill by designing NFTs based on the fashion house’s Birkin bags. The court awarded Hermès $133,000 in damages. The jury also determined that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution did not protect NFTs. The case sets a precedent for NFT creators and builds the framework for intellectual property law relating to digital creations.

Read more…

3. Amazon’s advertising business is bigger than YouTube

🤔 Amazon is a digital Adtech giant, generating $8.7 billion more in revenue than YouTube in 2022 ($37.7 billion vs. $29.2 billion.)

Amazon Ads is built on the back of its third-party marketplace business. This is where independent sellers use Amazon’s infrastructure to sell to consumers. These sellers pay Amazon a fee to use its services (e.g. warehouses) which gets recorded as “Third party seller services”. These same sellers also pay Amazon to promote their products so customers can see them at the top of search results.

Continue reading and see the chart.

4. One in four humans on this planet use Facebook every month

One in six use the Facebook family of apps EVERY DAY! Think about that for a moment. There is no other organisation, nation state or religion in the history of humankind that has matched Facebook’s reach or influence. Here’s The Thing: even though it’s a publicly listed company, Facebook is effectively controlled by one man, Mark Zuckerberg. He has the ability to influence and impact more people in the world than any other person in the history of persons. The 2 billion dollar question is: Should we be worried by that? Are you?

Read more…

5. Sint Maarten’s to adopt cryptocurrency as the antidote to the US Dollar

The Caribbean island nation of Sint Maarten has been exploring ways to use cryptocurrency to boost its economy and improve financial inclusion. The move is part of a larger initiative to move away from its reliance on the US dollar and create a more stable economy. Now, the Sint Marrten government has begun exploring the potential of using the Tron cryptocurrency. The government is also working on a regulatory framework for the use of cryptocurrency, which would include provisions for taxation, consumer protection, and anti-money laundering.

Read more…

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6. For how much longer will Twitter be “Twitter”?

Elon Musk is wasting no time in turning Twitter inside out and upside down. Hell bent on changing the business model to subscriptions, Musk’s latest changes include 4,000 character tweets, paying content creators for content and incorporating the Tweetbot news feed into Twitter Blue. At this rate, Twitter will look more like Medium than Mastodon.

Read more…

7. The UK takes one step closer to a digital pound

The Bank of England and the UK Treasury are exploring the issues involved with creating a CBDC, aka Central Bank Digital Currency. Judging from today’s poorly informed press coverage, there’s a lot of educating to be done here if consumers are to be using “digital sterling as an alternative to cash by the end of the decade.”

Read more…

8. Can flirting in a virtual reality chatroom stop someone from cheating?

This is the interesting suggestion from a research team in Israel. The research hinges on a simple question: whether flirting with a “seductive” virtual agent, in this case, a VR bartender, would either help or hinder their real-life monogamous relationships. Here’s the thing: the social scientists believed it would help and that flirting with a seductive VR character can help fend off infidelity. The team conducted experiments where participants strapped on a VR headset, entered a virtual bar, and chatted up the (simulated) bartender. The researchers observed that a little bit of virtual temptation works like an anti-cheating vaccine.

Read more…

9. Nokia uses virtual reality to connect distant breweries around the world

Nokia is collaborating with an Australian university to create a 5G-connected microbrewery using Metaverse technology. Nokia established two labs in 2022 involving joint experiments in which they brew beer and alter the procedure, the temperature, the timings, the volumes, the recipes, using Metaverse technologies. The purpose is to develop new beers in a virtual world which they can then imitate in the the real one.

Read more…

10. Metaverse CEO says ChatGPT is speeding up the timeline for emulating dead people

“The AI is progressing extremely fast,” Somnium Space CEO Artur Sychov, whose company is currently working to develop a “Live Forever” mode for robot avatars in its “virtual reality world,” told Motherboard. “Honestly, it is progressing faster than even we anticipated.” Their “Live Forever” feature will allow users to create an interactive version of themselves which can be interacted with after their death. This technology is being developed as a way for people who have passed away to remain connected with their family and friends through a digital presence.

Read more…

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🎙️ Episode #18: Google antitrust, ChatGPT, Avatar, and a new dodo

In the latest episode of the podcast, Rick and Shaun discuss why the US Gov is suing Google. Plus: how we know that ChatGPT’s success was a surprise, the un-extincting of the Dodo, movies, what’s with World Stats and some tech news.

🎧 Listen now on Spotify:

👓 Read the Big Tech Little Tech newsletter here.

Tech Headlines and Stories

⚖️ DoNotPay did not happen: An AI robot lawyer was set to argue in court until real lawyers shut it down. This is the story, aka stunt, of a British man who planned to have a “robot lawyer” help a defendant fight a traffic ticket.

It was the subject Shaun and I discussed on this episode of the Big Tech Little Tech podcast.

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🤔 Wiser! Newsletter

Wiser! is a weekly newsletter that makes sense of what’s happening and what’s coming next in the tech economy. From disruptive technologies, like blockchain, crypto and artificial intelligence, to emerging trends, like Web3 and the Metaverse. Plus there’s a big focus on BigTech and the impact of social media.

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Rick Huckstep

I help decision-makers and professionals make better decisions. Using simple and engaging language, I make sense of what’s happening in emerging tech.