The Sizzle

Issue 135 - Thursday, 28th April 2017


Scott Morrison wants to tax Bitcoin and the dark web
I couldn't read much about this because the main story is behind The Australian's paywall and fucked if I'm going to pay to read that Rupert Murdoch vanity project. But Buzzfeed mentioned that in an interview with The Australian, Scott Morrison (the treasurer you dummy) said he wants to tax the "black economy" and in particular, Bitcoin transactions, which currently evade tax (even though the ATO considers Bitcoin an asset and trading it incurs CGT). Let's see where this goes.

Volvo gives a level 4 autonomous car to a family in Sweden
Volvo have given a family in Gothenburg their very own level 4 autonomous car. Level 4 autonomy is pretty much full blown self driving - you just keep an eye on it and take over if the weather is shit or the map data is balls. This is the first "public" trial of a level 4 autonomous car outside of a lab and the Hain family is the first to get one of the 100 cars Volvo plans to hand out as test vehicles. I don't think Volvo could have found a more Swedish looking family, hah. Also how weird is press conference? Getting the family to do a scripted sketch was so awkward.

Norway turns off FM radio, DAB is it now
Also in Scandinavia, Norway will be the first country to get rid of FM radio broadcasts. There's no AM in Norway either, so the entire country will be DAB radio only. Not that bad considering 70% of Norwegians have a DAB radio at home - but, there's still loads of cars that don't have DAB radios and local radio stations are a bit pissed off. Norway is apparently doing this to save money.

Microsoft's terms of service violation investigators sue for PTSD
A bunch of people at Microsoft who's job it was to view kiddie porn, rape videos or other fucked up shit, are suing Microsoft because they now suffer from PTSD and other mental illnesses. They allege Microsoft didn't provide the right sort of counseling or mental health assistance. Shit, one guy involved had to view the rape and murder of a child and Microsoft's health insurance didn't cover therapy. People would break down at work and told just to go home early. Amazing how a cashed up and otherwise sensible company like Microsoft couldn't help these people to cope with the obvious stress of their jobs.

Bitcoin goes on another rollercoaster ride
If you haven't been paying attention, Bitcoin went through another rollercoaster period lately. The price of a single Bitcoin went from ~US$800 in mid-December to ~US$1100 just last week - an all time high. Today however, the price is down to about US$785. What the hell happened? China had Bitcoin fever again, until the Chinese government decided to pay a visit to some Chinese Bitcoin exchanges to say "hey look, we didn't care before, but now we do, so show us you aren't operating any illegal forex or money laundering" - which spooked people and the price crashed again.


The Nostalgia Box - a Perth video game museum
Did you know there's a video game museum in Perth? Nostalgia Box is a little place filled with video game consoles and memorabilia, with heaps of working machines for you to try out too. Looks like a nice labor of love style museum. You can even have private functions there (Perth Sizzle meetup anyone?). I like museums and I like video games, so I'll have to check this out when I go over to Perth later this year.

Astropad turns your iPad Pro into a Wacom Cintiq
Astropad has an all new version of its software, designed to turn your iPad Pro into a drawing tablet for your Mac. It wirelessly communicates with an app on your Mac, using Astropad's "Liquid Extreme" technology to reduce latency and does a good job pretending to be a Wacom Cintiq. It places what's on your Mac, on your iPad and lets you draw on it - nifty. Check it out if you're into drawing and have an iPad Pro.

BitTorrent's multiple failed attempts to be a profitable business
BitTorrent is very good. I like BitTorrent, how everyone shares and bandwidth is magically conjoured up amongst all the users - it's a cool tech. But it's a shitty business. People have been trying to turn BitTorrent into a profit making entity for years and they've all failed. Trying to legitimately distribute music and movies failed. Even BitTorrent Sync, which I thought was cool, didn't really do very well for the BitTorrent company. Now BitTorrent Live is a thing - a way to live stream video using the BitTorrent protocol - trying to get traction.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!