Issue 516

Wednesday, 8th November 2017

In This Issue


ACCC prods Telstra to give refunds to NBN customers with crap speeds

Telstra will "offer remedies" (aka refunds) to 42,000 of its NBN customers that had no hope of reaching the speeds they paid for. Telstra knew the sync speeds on FTTN and FTTB were way below what people were paying for (e.g: 36mbit sync, but 100mbit plan), yet just kept taking people's money every month. According to the ACCC, "Telstra admits that by this conduct it was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations". I reckon Telstra won't be the last ISP offering customers "remedies" for selling a turd. As if TPG and Optus weren't doing the same thing.

Everyone has 280 character tweets now

Twitter has rolled out 280 character tweets for everyone after a few weeks of testing it with a select group of users. According to Twitter, after the initial "omg must tweet 280 characters now that I have them", people calmed down and didn't try to use all 280 characters in every tweet. So those of you annoyed about the big crap tweets currently in your timeline can rest assured things will go back to normal soon. The Germans apparently love it, as their words are so damn long, they need those extra characters. Asian languages like Japanese and Korean didn't even use the 140 characters, so they won't be getting 280 character support.

Apple changed business structure in 2013 to pay less tax in Europe

The New York Times has revealed Apple shifted its profits from Ireland to the British tax haven of Jersey back in 2013, after Ireland changed some tax rules that would mean Apple would have to pay more tax. After the NYT article went live, Apple insisted that's not the case and it still pays the same amount of tax after the shift from Ireland to Jersey. It's so adamant it's done nothing wrong (morally, as well as legally), it posted a rant on its PR site giving "facts" about Apple's tax setup. I don't think any of this is necessarily controversial, but it is kinda interesting to see how the sausage is made, so to speak. Apple's press release oddly links to this Fortune article to "illustrate the complexity of the international tax system".

AMD and Intel join forces to create a CPU with Radeon GPU built-in

I would never have thought this would happen in a million years, but AMD and Intel are partnering up to make "new series of processors that combine Intel's high-performance x86 cores with AMD Radeon Graphics". Nobody was expecting this, so it took the industry by surprise. There's a lot of fancy acronyms like EMIB and HBM2, but all you gotta know is that in Q1 2018, there will be Intel CPUs in high end laptops (45W TDP units, so a bit on the chunky side, not ultrabooks) that also have AMD Radeon graphics built in on the same package. This sounds like the perfect chip for Apple - Intel CPU & AMD graphics in the one die. 15" MBP update anyone?

Facebook wants your nudes to prevent others posting them

Facebook is using the Australian market to test a positively bizarre idea to combat revenge porn. They want you to upload your naked pics to their servers via a Messenger bot, so they can create a hash of the image. That way, if anyone uploads that image anywhere on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, it can be blocked. Facebook are doing this in partnership with the e-Safety Commissioner, who's primary job is to stop this sorta stuff. I guess it sounds good in theory, but damn you're placing a lot of trust in Facebook with your sensitive images. You just know there's gonna be a perverted incel at Facebook who's gonna build a massive spank bank with the submitted images.

Not News, But Still Cool

The measurements state that iPhone X's OLED is awesome but I still don't like it

About a dozen of you sent me this technical review of the iPhone X's OLED screen, probably because I was whinging about it last week. Yeah, the display is top notch in all areas - "the iPhone X matches or sets new Smartphone display performance records for: Highest Absolute Color Accuracy for any display (visually indistinguishable from perfect), Highest Full Screen Brightness for OLED Smartphones, Highest Full Screen Contrast Rating in Ambient Light, Highest Contrast Ratio, Lowest Screen Reflectance and Smallest Brightness Variation with Viewing Angle". Yet, I still prefer the look of the iPhone 8 display. There's just something off about the iPhone X OLED's image I don't enjoy.

Yet another detailed video review of the Model 3

I don't know why I did this to myself, but I just watched Doug DeMuro's Tesla Model 3 review. I love Doug's videos and I love Teslas, so I couldn't resist. The downside however, is a severe case of gadget lust. Even if I had the money to buy one (I don't... yet), I can't get one in Australia anyways! Doug's vid, together with the fanboy review vid I linked to last week leave pretty much no stone unturned about the Model 3. All that's left it for Elon and his buddies to make them. Early 2019 never felt so far away.

Cheap Kinect, 1GB data plans, NordVPN and Ubiquiti gear

EB has preowned Kinects for the Xbox One for $36. Jeenee Mobile (Optus 4G MVNO) are doing unlimited calls & SMS with 1GB of data for $9.90/m - the cheapest low-data plan I've ever seen. NordVPN have begun a Black Friday sale, selling a 3-year subscription to their pretty decent VPN service for US$99 (which works out to ~A$3.60/m). Wireless1's eBay store has a bunch of Ubiquiti gear on sale using the code P5OZZIE. UAP-AC-LITE, $105.64. The UniFi Security Gateway, $149.72. See all the Ubnt gear on sale here.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!