Facebook Dumping Podcasts, Amazon Adding Thousands More SoCal Employees; Rivian Gets Incentives for New EV Plant in GA; Android Firefox Now Auto Switches Sites to HTTPS

After just about a year, Facebook is killing off their podcast business. They will pull the plug after June 3rd, according to bloomberg.com. The social net will also end their short-form audio feature, SoundBites. Facebook has been really pushing its reels feature, feeling the heat from TikTok, which is exploding and remains the top downloaded social app in the world. In addition to the short videos, Facebook plans to push online shopping and metaverse events. Note that while the company’s killing off podcasts and Soundbites, it’ll integrate Live Audio Rooms (for hosting Clubhouse-like chats) into Facebook Live, allowing users to decide whether to go live with just audio or streaming video, too. 

Amazon has announced that they are adding 2,500 corporate and tech jobs in several of its Southern California locations. Geekwire.com reports that 1,000 of the jobs will be at their new office space in Santa Monica. Those hires will be brought on next year. There are going to be 800 more positions in Irvine, and another 700 in San Diego. Roles include software development, engineering, game design, user experience and more across such Amazon teams as retail, games, operations and Amazon Web Services.

EV maker Rivian, which is building EVs in their Illinois factory, has secured about a billion and a half worth of incentives for its planned second EV plant in Georgia. Electrek.co says the new plant is expected to cost about $5 billion. It will be a massive plant, running some 20 million square feet in the buildings, and they will also build a test track and adventure trail. Since Rivian had planned to start construction in summer of 2022 and to be building cars by 2024, things are right on track to meet that goal. 

For the 100th version of Firefox, Mozilla has added HTTPS-only connections for all websites you hit, provided they have HTTPS. According to androidcentral.com, the new release will also add an option to organize your browsing history on Android and iOS. The new Android mobile browser also has also picked up new wallpapers. BTW, the wallpapers will also be available on iOS late this week. On desktops, Firefox is adding subtitles and captions to picture-in-picture mode. This comes in handy, particularly for users with hearing impairments. The feature will initially work with Youtube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and other websites that support WebVTT format.


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