GE's massive wind turbine; Section 230 in the crosshairs

Tesla misses goal; Flash is dead; And more in this debut issue of Autofill

🚀 Welcome to issue 1! In this debut post of Autofill, I want to thank you for joining me on this journey! There’s so much going on with tech and how it impacts our lives, from the phones we love to use, to the policy that shapes our choices. It’s a lot to keep up with. I’m hoping Autofill will help you easily access the content that you need to know.

🏷 You’re reading this issue of Autofill for free today. Subscribe to receive access to all issues both in your inbox and online. You’ll also gain access to the comments section, the full archive, and subscriber-only posts.

🗣 As a reminder, new issues are delivered Monday - Thursday at 4:30PM Pacific. Have feedback or thoughts on how to make Autofill better? Let me know.

🎯 1 important thing: Section 230 in the crosshairs

If you’ve been following tech news lately, you’ve heard of Section 230. Passed in 1996 as part of the Communications Decency Act, Section 230 protects websites from lawsuits if their users post something illegal. Here’s a great explainer from The Verge.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) crafted Section 230 so website owners could moderate sites without worrying about legal liability. The law is particularly vital for social media networks, but it covers many sites and services, including news outlets with comment sections — like The Verge. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls it “the most important law protecting internet speech.”

Section 230 is often misinterpreted, as some members of congress and the president want you to believe that it protects media companies such as Twitter or Facebook. It does, but Section 230 goes beyond this.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Section 230 “makes it possible for sites and services that host user-generated speech and content to exist, and allows users to share their ideas—without having to create their own individual sites or services that would likely have much smaller reach.”

Why this matters

  • Section 230 makes it possible for us to share posts through social media, write on our blogs, and it protects our freedom of speech online. Without it, the web would be a different place, as media sites would likely be forced to moderate our posts.

🌬 Winds of change: GE’s massive new wind turbine ‘upends industry’

A new massive wind turbine designed by General Electric is larger than two football fields from end to end and is upending the wind power industry, according to the New York Times. “The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago,” notes the Times. “A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.”

Holding tech accountable on racial equity

In response to Black Lives Matter, numerous tech companies acknowledged the need to address racial equity, and vowed to do so. The list includes Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Amazon—all companies that have been under pressure to further diversify their workforce.

Since setting racial equity goals, companies have made strides, but are still often criticized for not doing enough to create a more diverse workplace. The Guardian looks at each company’s progress, where they’ve succeeded and where they can still improve.

Good to know

📱 Reviewing the iPhone 12 mini (briefly)

As much as I love iPhones, I held off for years before upgrading from my iPhone X. Why? I wanted a smaller iPhone.

Thanks to Apple’s new iPhone 12 mini, my wish was fulfilled this fall when my 12 mini arrived. So does it live up to my expectations?

For me, the iPhone 12 mini is the perfect iPhone. Yes, it’s smaller but it doesn’t feel small. In fact, it feels great in my hand and the screen is beautiful, as we’d expect from Apple.

Spec-wise, the features are in line with the larger iPhone 12, so getting the smaller size doesn’t mean sacrificing specs.

It’s my favorite iPhone to date. My only fear is that Apple will not continue the mini line and I’ll be left wishing for a small phone again sometime in the future.

Want more in-depth iPhone 12 mini reviews?

Have an article you’d like to share? Let me know and I may include it in a future issue of Autofill.

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