Issue 518

Friday, 10th November 2017

In This Issue


Sean Parker reckons Facebook is ruining kid's brains

Sean Parker, who you may know as the dude who started Napster, a former president of Facebook, and who I'm pretty sure is the muse behind the Russ Hanneman character in Silicon Valley, has said that Facebook is bad. His exact words were that "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains" and that Facebook's founders exploited and still exploit "a vulnerability in human psychology". He thinks Facebook is so popular due to a "social-validation feedback loop" that is so addictive, it's dangerous and will have unintended consequences. Someone's got a guilty conscience.

Robobus crashes in Las Vegas

One of those little Navya buses (they got em in Perth and Sydney's Olympic Park) has been let loose in Las Vegas traffic and within 2 hours, was in Navya's first ever accident. The robobus was minding its own business until it encountered a reversing semi-trailer. Knowing there was an obstacle it just stood still instead or backing up and going around. The truck driver couldn't see the robobus and clipped the front side. Nobody was hurt, it just looks bad.

There's a full blown secret OS running inside almost every Intel chipset

A Google engineer has discovered that MINIX (a "training" OS for people to learn about OSs) is the OS unpinning Intel's mysterious Management Engine (ME) that runs on almost every modern Intel chipset. Simply put, there's an entire operating system, that's quite old and rarely patched, running on your computer and you can't do anything about it. Unsurprisingly, Google is trying to find a way to disable ME entirely. The creator of MINIX found out when the rest of us did and is a bit pissed Intel are using his creation for something it's not really designed to do.

Uber still thinks flying taxis will be a thing

Uber's talking about its "flying taxi" (aka helicopters) pipedream again. At some wankfest in Portugal, Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said that he hopes to start demo flights in 2020 and have paying passengers by 2023. Sounds fun, but there are so many challenges Uber needs to overcome for it to be a reality like "certification of the new vehicle by authorities, pilot training and conceiving urban air traffic management systems that prevent collisions" - those aren't minor issues. Kinda related, Uber's CEO reckons they'll do their IPO in 2019.

NAB is on a hiring spree for people with software engineering, data, architecture & security skills

NAB wants to cut $1b in costs by 2020 (gotta keep those massive profits going) and reckons technology is the best way to do that. The bank wants to "immediately hire 600 specialists in the areas of software engineering, data, architecture, and security" and said that most of it's $4.5b 3-year investment into the bank will be used on tech and digital stuff. Dust off those resumes nerds, NAB has some sweet high paying gigs for ya! Maybe one of those jobs is "Apple Pay Implementation Manager".

Not News, But Still Cool

Want to learn how to make iOS apps? RMIT has a course for ya

RMIT will be one of the first universities in the world to offer Swift programming courses based on Apple's curriculum. There's 100 scholarships for school teachers, and a free summer coding school for year 10 and 11 students to learn some programming basics. For everyone else, RMIT is offering in-person courses over 20 Saturdays or 40 Tuesday nights or a 5 month self-paced online course. RMIT's website has more info. I'm tempted to give this a shot. The Sizzle as an iOS app would be fun.

Gadget Review Vids: Yi Ultra 2.7k dashcam & Oukitel K10000 Pro smartphone

Two YouTube videos I watched lately that were kinda interesting: a review of the new Yi Ultra 2.7K dashcam and an unboxing of an Android smartphone packing a 10,000mAh battery. I have the previous Yi Dashcam and don't mind it, this new one is basically the same but with a new sensor that takes even higher resolution videos, but in a smaller body. The Oukitel K10000 Pro is a huge phone with a huge battery, running Android 7.0. There's an even chunkier one called the Oukitel K10000 MAX with the same 10,000mAh battery that's IP-68 rated. It weighs the same as two iPhone Xs.

Yet another iPad as a laptop replacement blog post

Jannis Hermanns, like many of us I'm sure, loved the idea of using an iPad Pro as their main computer and decided to blog about his experiment. Seeing as he's mainly hanging around in a terminal all day, an iPad Pro with a keyboard works pretty damn well. He's got a little browser on the side for reference/research, or for Slack with the main portion of the screen taken up with with an Mosh client (it's like SSH but with way less latency) talking to a VPS or something that's configured how you like it where all the heavy lifting is done. Not a bad way to work if you can get away with doing everything at the command line!

That's it, see ya Monday!