The Sizzle

Issue 491 - Tuesday, 3rd October 2017


Google & Facebook spreading fake news during & after Las Vegas shooting
You probably heard about the awful mass shooting in Las Vegas - some fucker got a new high score for innocent people mowed down in public. In the period shortly after the event, people wanted info on what was going on, so they turn to Google and Facebook. Google decided to place 4chan forum posts in its "top stories" results and Facebook's top search result for info on the shooting was a group called "Las Vegas Shooting /Massacre" that was full of bullshit info from an InfoWars conspiracy theorist. To make matters worse, Facebook's "trending stories" page was featuring content from Russian content/propaganda farms! All those big brains and fancy algorithms and this is what we end up with - pathetic. The Atlantic explains what went wrong.
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Tesla didn't make as many Model 3s as planned, GM & Ford promise more EV models "soon"
Tesla has missed its Model 3 production target. Back in July, Elon Musk said that by September, there should be ~1600 Model 3s rolling off the production line. They only managed 220. Tesla reckon it's not a big deal and that production will ramp up quickly as bottlenecks are getting sorted out. On the same day, Ford announced it has an internal group called "Team Edison" that will "identify and develop electric-vehicle partnerships with other companies, including suppliers, in some global markets". Ford only said this because GM announced they will have 2 new EVs in 18 months and 20 within 5 years - way ahead of their Detroit rival. I'm getting sick of these "ooh EVs in (x) years" - I want one now ya mongrels.
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TfL's plan to track commuters via smartphone wi-fi isn't as bad as it sounds
Transport for London has ramped up its pilot program of tracking people around London via their smartphones as to monitor the swarm of bodies around train stations and . Wait, wait, it's not as bad as it sounds! While the Sky article (and almost every other related article) tries to make it sound scary, with big brother government watching you move around town, the reality is that the data is very responsibly held. I'd go as far as to say that I've never seen a government entity handle public data so well. The only things they keep are a salted hash of your device's MAC and a time stamp. The details of the program are in this well designed PDF. Seeing as the unique ID of your device is kept secret, the chances of it being used to cross-reference other databases (i.e Facebook & Google) are virtually zero. Good work TfL.
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Real-time AU bank transfers finally go live in Jan 2018
The long talked about New Payments Platform that all the Aussie banks are geared up to use, will start rolling out this holiday season, with us plebs able to use it to send money to each other by Australia Day. Test platforms are up and running now, with bank staff sending money to other staff at different banks, instantly. You'll even be able to send money with a "PayID", so you can just give someone your mobile phone number or Twitter account for example, and have them send money there. About goddamn time, Europe and most of Asia has had this kinda thing for a decade or more.
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Facebook will get 1000 humans to check over user submitted ads & more
Facebook's gonna hire 1000 people to check over its ads for anything dodgy so we don't see a repeat of the Russian influence ads (which were seen by 10m people) or racist profiling that's taken place recently. Facebook will also chuck some cash into machine learning so filtering of ads can happen automatically and will ask for "thorough documentation" from anyone who wants to buy political ads. Meanwhile, Facebook shut down the account of a Chinese billionaire who was using it to speak out against corruption in the Chinese Community Party, because it had "personal information" on the page.
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Android Authority explain why Apple's SoCs trounce those in Android devices
Wondered why Apple's latest SoCs (the A10 Fusion, the A11 Bionic) are so damn fast compared to the SoCs in Android phones? Android Authority has a video explaining why this is the case. Long story short - Apple make what's good for the iPhone, as a team, with little consideration to cost, whereas Qualcomm design an SoC and have to worry about how many they're gonna sell to various customers that don't always include smartphones, but routers and games consoles and shit like that.
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Using AR to choose a pair of glasses
Here's a great use of augmented reality - trying out glasses! Topology Eyewear takes advantage of the fancy AR gear in iOS 11 to slap some virtual glasses on your face so you can see how they look before you buy. Turn your head and the glasses stay on your face and the frame measurements are relatively accurate. I can imagine that the fancy sensors in the iPhone X would make the face tracking and measuring even more accurate. Shame that the glasses Topology are selling start at US$495, fark, I'm wearing a pair that cost me $50 from Zenni Optical.
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PICK20UP eBay Sale
There's another 20% off eBay sale on right now. Code is PICK20UP. Some stuff I saw that looks good: Dell U2715H 27" WQHD monitor, $548. Logitech MX Master mouse (in the stone colour only tho) for $79.20. Nvidia GTX1080 for $699.20. GTX1060 for $263.20. Jabra Move bluetooth headphones for $80 (in black, blue and red). Xiaomi batteries - 10,000mAh for $26.39 or 20,000mAh for $37.41. Xiaomi robovacs (these are apparently very good and I should buy one) for $351.96. If anything else worthwhile pops up between now and when the sale ends on the 9th of October, I'll let ya know.
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Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.