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Queensland trial uses Spotify to slow down drivers near school zones 

Spotify is creating special songs that encourage users to slow down around school zones, as part of a trial in Queensland. 

Spotify will use the geolocation information from a user’s phone to identify when they’re within 5kms of a school zone, and sneak in a track with messages to slow down, and watch out for school crossings

The audio has been created by local Brisbane artists, and the song will slot into a playlist once the current playing song is finished. 

The trial officially launched in Brisbane on Wednesday, but will run state-wide. It will aim to cover all school traffic zones, at both primary and secondary campuses. As it’s using Spotify’s advertising insertion, the slow down tracks will only play for Spotify users on the free tier, premium subscribers will not hear the messages. 

Google News Showcase launch to go ahead after backflip amid political battle

Google is planning on rolling out a new product, called News Showcase, in Australia as soon as next month. The service aims to bundle up a bunch of news services under a single paywall, and share the revenue with publishers. 

Google first announced the product back in June last year, but pulled the launch but pulled the plug when the Media Code was first introduced, telling partners “ it would not launch until it had a better idea of how the proposed laws would affect it financially.”

The announcement that News Showcase is back comes just a few days after Google threatened to pull search from Australia, in retaliation to the code. 

Is this Google saying “take me back, i can change?” 

Twitter acquiring newsletter publishing company Revue

Twitter is getting into the newsletter as a service game, after acquiring the newsletter start up Revue. 

Revue will continue as a stand alone product separate to Twitter, but will be “closely integrated” into the service, and fees will be lowered to 5%, the same cut Substack charges for its service. 

Twitter says journalists are one of the most important groups using twitter and “are a valuable part of the conversation and it’s critical we offer new ways for them to create and share their content, and importantly, help them grow and better connect with their audience,” 

Apple fixes another three iOS zero-days exploited in the wild

Apple has released iOS 14.4, an update that patches 3 security issues discovered with its mobile operating system 

Apple has shared little detail of what the exploits could do, but did say all 3 were discovered by an anonymous researcher, suggesting the bugs may have been discovered by nefarious actors as well. 

If you have an iPhone, you should update it as soon as possible.