Issue 533

Friday, 1st December 2017

In This Issue


Nobel Prize winners take shots at Bitcoin, as does the IRS

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, reckons "Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight", "doesn’t serve any socially useful function" and that it "ought to be outlawed". Another Nobel Laureate economist, Robert J Shiller thinks it's very exciting, but it's a huge bubble that'll burst badly. Meanwhile, Coinbase, one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges in the USA, has been asked by the IRS to provide "name, birthdate, address, and account activity for any user who bought, sold, sent, or received more than $20,000 worth of Bitcoin in their accounts between 2013 and 2015". Which shouldn't be a problem if you've got nothing to hide.

Qualcomm slings some more patent lawsuits at Apple

Qualcomm has thrown another set of lawsuits against Apple, saying that the iPhone X infringes on patents it purchased from Palm that relate to the UI of the Palm Pre. Specifically, the cards interface that allowed you to swipe back and forth between apps. Qualcomm would be right, the iPhone X's app switcher is a dead ringer for the Palm Pre UI. All up Qualcomm believes Apple is infringing on 16 of its precious patents and is lobbying to get the iPhone X banned for sale in the USA. Good luck with that mates.

Apple and Stanford release new Heart Study app

Apple and Stanford Medicine have announced the Apple Heart Study app to log output from the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor. The app can then screen people that it thinks may have atrial fibrillation and then ask them to wear a proper EKG for continued monitoring. It's one of Apple's ResearchKit apps. It's only for Americans over the age of 22, so don't bother trying to download it and take part. The FDA has also approved an Apple Watch band with an EKG built in, made by AliveCor. Place your thumb on the pad and you've got an FDA approved EKG. Pretty cool.

Elon Musk wants to build a tunnel in Chicago

Chicago is looking to build a train from downtown to O'Hare Airport and one of the companies throwing its hat in the ring is Elon Musk's Boring Company. It wants to build a loop tunnel all the way along, with "electric skates" that carry 8 to 16 people that constantly whiz around the loop. There's no rails or wires, just these mini electric busses that travel at 200km/h. It's like a mini Hyperloop really, a tunnel with cars in it but it's not a vacuum. I look forward to travelling in Chicago's loop probably not the next time I visit, but the visit after that.

Telstra will have to wait for its NBN cash a few more months

Telstra has revised its financial guidance for the 2017-2018 financial year due to NBN's nine month delay of the HFC rollout. It will received $700m less in payments than it planned because it only gets paid when customers move from its network to NBN's. That said, the money isn't just gone, it'll just happen next financial year when NBN catches up with the rollout, so this is just a storm in a teacup and if there was more interesting news to report on today, I would have dumped this story.

Not News, But Still Cool

I told ya mum, my internet addiction is a chemical imbalance, I can't help it

Good news for internet addicts - your addiction is caused by a chemical imbalance and can be cured with therapy! (maybe) In a study of 19 South Korean teenagers with a diagnosed internet addiction, it was found that they all had elevated levels of the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter in their brains. 12 of the addicts were given cognitive behavioural therapy for nine weeks, which lowered their GABA levels. When their GABA levels were lower, they used their devices less. Small study size, grain of salt, etc. but still interesting.

Google Maps supports iPhone X & has maps of other planets

Google Maps has been updated for the iPhone X! But it's kinda lame as bits are cut off on the edges and input fields are too close to the home area indicator down the bottom. Google updated its Docs, Slides and Sheets app earlier this week too. Maps received a bunch of space photos from NASA and the ESA, so you can see the names of areas on various planets and those planet's moons. Perfect for the next time I'm out near Mars or Jupiter.

Hyundai inches closer to releasing the Ioniq EV in Australia

It looks like Hyundai has finally got their act together in regards to bringing the the wonderful Ioniq EV over to Australia. They've been going around to fleet buyers saying the EV will cost around $43,000 plus on-road costs. That is fantastic news. The article says some models will be out before the end of 2017, but I reckon that's just the hybrid units not the EVs. Here's a video review of the Ioniq that I've linked to multiple times now. This is also a good review.

That's it, see ya Monday!