Serious Tech News #3: Start With A Bang

What do FarmVille and Agent Orange have in common?

Welcome to the first edition of Serious Tech News in 2021.

May we all enter this year with the same excitement as a 40-year-old former corporate stooge who joined an early stage, pre-seed round e-commerce startup: quite excited, full of suspicion, and experienced enough to know that everything can go to shit very, very quickly.

Also, 23-year-olds selling colorful shoes are now richer than you. Deal with it.


This week’s issue is brought to you by 23andMe, fulfilling tech company diversity quota since 2006. Who knew that Gareth from Growth is actually 1/16 Puerto Rican?

Flash, FarmVille, and Agent Orange

On 31 December 2020, Adobe announced they will stop supporting Adobe Flash Player, a popular web plugin used to create animations, video content, and games that might have been the trigger of your raging alcoholism such as QWOP.

The shutting down of Flash also means the end of the popular game FarmVille on Facebook. The farm simulation game was also listed as one of the 50 Worst Inventions by Time Magazine back in 2010.

When Serious Tech News reached out to Zynga, the company that created FarmVille to understand their opinion about their masterpiece being on the same list as Agent Orange, the Zynga team declined to reply.

Ye Olde Legacy Tech

When we use the words “exit” and “deal” in the same news, it’s usually about some group of people receiving a financial windfall gain. The Brexit deal, however, is about some group of people receiving bigger financial gains. So it’s slightly different.

The prolonging, yet last-minute Brexit (no relation to BREX) deal is finally concluded last week, officially making the United Kingdom not a part of Europe anymore. The world has not seen a British-European separation this dramatic, combative, and high profile since Heidi Klum and Seal’s divorce.

A puzzling aspect in the document was the mention of a Netscape, a now extinct email app, as one of the “modern email software package” (Editor’s note: you know it’s goddamn old when they call it “software package") approved to transfer DNA profile information between countries.

If you’re not familiar with all the terms, this is the global politics equivalent of putting “the father should contact the children through state-of-the-art communication channels such as a mail delivered by a Greek runner, Apache smoke signals, or Yahoo Messenger” in your divorce papers.

An Apple controversy a day…

Talking about starting the year with a bang: Apple is back on the news with yet another App Store related controversy.

A popular 6-years old popular Mac app called Amphetamine was suddenly banned from the App Store because it “appears to promote inappropriate use of controlled substances.” — similar to how Apple’s “GarageBand” promoted the rise of shitty grunge bands in Portland.

Fortunately, after an appeal from the founder, a petition, and passive-aggressive threats from Apple PR & Comms team (“Way to start 2021, Chris. Nice work. No it’s fine, we’ll take care of the backlash on the news and social media. Go get that DaNgErOuS app”), the App Review Team decided to withdraw the ban.

A source close to Apple revealed to us that before this debacle went public, the App Review team already has a plan to ban several apps for violating the same policy. Some of the apps that were in the pipeline for axing included Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm for celebrating drug dealers, Coke Studio for promoting the Colombian Cartel, and Plumber Crack for encouraging blue-collar harassment.

That’s it for this week’s Serious Tech News. If you like it, tell your friends! If you don’t like it, tell me and I’ll explain to you why you should like it.

See you next week, and #stayserious2021