Issue 522

Thursday, 16th November 2017

In This Issue


Police will probably be able to force you to unlock your phone in SA

Judges in Australia aren't allowed to ask your passwords to stuff. The cops can break into your phone if they're able to, but you don't need to co-operate. According to the Greens, a new law currently in South Australia's Upper House will allow a judge to give police permission to force a suspect to unlock their device or face up to 5 years jail. Even wiping your phone before the cops get to it would result in a punishment. Despite the Greens whinging about it, it looks set to sail through Parliament.

GM & Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi plan to sell loads of profitable EVs in a few years

GM and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (RNM?) are stating they'll start selling profitable electric cars around 2021. GM told investors today that they are fully committed to EVs and are working on universal all-electric vehicle platform that'll be sold across multiple markets and segments and will use it to launch 20 EVs by 2023. RNM's CEO said the same thing yesterday, talking up RNM's scale that'll help them launch 12 EVs over the next six years. What differs between GM/RNM and the rest of the industry is that these two already have EVs. Good EVs. The rest of the market (besides Tesla) are still at the tinkering stage. GM & RNM are past that. VW just announced its throwing billions at building EVs for China.

Tesla reckons the class action against it for being racist is a load of crap

Tesla has responded to the class action filed by "100 black employees" that called Tesla a "hotbed for racist behaviour" with a pretty snarky "hotbed for disinformation" blog post. Going by Tesla's post, they strongly feel like they're being extorted (their words, not mine) by a highly manipulative trial lawyer who has sucked in this one black employee and is using perceived racism to make a buck. What shits me the most about this whole thing is the intense response on all the Tesla fanboy outlets (electrek, hacker news, reddit) congratulating Tesla for slapping this down. It's like they wanted this guy's lawsuit to be flimsy so they have evidence of uppity blacks and women targeting their little boy's club.

No more blue ticks for racists on Twitter

Good news - Twitter is taking blue ticks away from Nazis. Initially the blue ticks were simply to indicate the account belongs to the person they say they are (e.g: no it's not a shitposting parody, it's really the President of the USA). Over time they've turned from simple verification, to a mark to show that the user is "endorsed" by Twitter. Twitter doesn't want to endorse Nazis, obviously, so it's removing the tick from those kinds of users. One former blue ticker haver is comparing the removal of the tick to the holocaust.

Google Maps gets a makeover

Google Maps has been redesigned to make the things it thinks you wanna see more obvious. If you're in "driving mode", it's not going to make train stations that obvious, but in transit or explore more, those will pop out more as chances are, you're going to want to know about that stuff. There's new icons that are grouped by colour (red for health, purple for services, etc.) to make it easier to know what's what at a glance. I hope this is why Maps still hasn't received an update for the iPhone X. Apple Maps is driving me up the wall (metaphorically).

Not News, But Still Cool

Malcolm Turnbull plays a poor TV game

Besides being a gutless wonder, our Prime Minister also sucks at watching TV. First his social media goons posted a pic to Instagram of our dear leader staring at a box on the floor with a tiny TV inside it as the results of the marriage survey came in. Later in the evening, a picture of him appeared on Twitter, chilling in the Lodge (or a 3-star motel, dunno) watching Australia beat Honduras in the World Cup qualifier. The TV looks like a $99 job from Aldi, behind a mess of cables, viewed off centre, up on a fireplace mantle. What a disgrace.

Harvey Norman has cheap Hisense TVs (sorry Lauren)

Speaking of televisions, Harvey Norman has a sale & bonus gift card offer on Hisense TVs. If I was buying a new TV today, these are the 4K HDR units I would get. 50" 5N7 for $795+$50 gift card, 55" 55N7 for $1035 + 60 gift card and the 65" 65N8 for $1995+$130 gift card. I've severely tempted by the 75" 75N7 for $2795 with a $170 gift card. Someone forward this on to Malcolm's lackeys so he can upgrade.

Teenage Engineering has a smart speaker & robot thingy for China

I'm a fan of Teenage Engineering's gear, the OP-1 and Pocket Operator are super fun gadgets for making music. But their latest collaboration with Raven, a Chinese company I have never heard of, leaves me super confused. The "H" appears to be a Google Home or Amazon Alexa style smart speaker, but powered by Baidu, with touch controls and way cooler looking than either of the American units. The "R" is the "first 6-axis life form with emotional expressions", but it looks like a car welding robot to me. We'll know more about the R after Baidu's world conference some time this week.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!