Issue 535

Tuesday, 5th December 2017

In This Issue


Amazon Australia has stuff you can buy now

Amazon has launched in Australia! There's now stuff on that ships from an Australian warehouse. There isn't the same depth of items like Amazon US, but there's a broad range of products available, including Amazon Basics gear (i.e: cheap but not crappy tech accessories). "Select items" over $49 ship for free and there's one-day shipping available for a few extra bucks. Price wise, they're competitive, but not amazingly cheaper than anywhere else. I've listed a couple of bargains (there's not many) at the bottom of this email. Amazon Prime Shipping isn't yet available, it's coming mid-2018.

Facebook makes a kid-friendly version of Messenger

Just when you thought Facebook has mined the depths of its relentless pursuit for world domination, they come up with Messenger Kids. Yep, Facebook Messenger, but for children under 13 years old, who technically, are not allowed to use Facebook. Messenger for Kids is linked to a parents Facebook/Messenger account and the kids can only communicate with contacts the parents approve of via the main Messenger app installed on their devices. There's a bunch of Snapchat style filters and sanitised collections of GIFs to kids play with. To comply with US laws, the app won't monetise or show ads to the kids either. It's all about getting them jacked in to Facebook early I guess.

Apple will give Ireland 13b Euro of taxes Ireland doesn't want

More "bad" news for Apple - they've agreed to give Ireland the 13 billion Euros Ireland doesn't want. This massive tax bill is happening because back in 2016, the European Commission decided that the sweetheart deal Apple had to funnel all its EU profits via Ireland contradicts EU law and that Apple has to pay the taxes now. Ireland has been refusing to take Apple's money because it doesn't want other tech companies doing the same thing as Apple to abandon Ireland as a European tax haven. The 13b Euro Apple is giving Ireland will be placed in an escrow fund whilst Ireland & Apple's appeals the EC's decision work their way through the courts.

YouTube to hire 10,000 extra moderators to handle problematic content

YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, has announced what YouTube is gonna do to tackle "problematic content", like those creepy videos with kids getting abused and cartoon characters doing absolutely grotesque stuff. They're going to do the same thing they did when everyone had a fit about the Islamic radicalisation and neo-Nazi vids - hire 10,000 more humans to look at the content and also use them train machine learning algorithms that'll automatically delete and/or flag content that doesn't abide by YouTube's rules. Susan's full statement is available on the YouTube blog.

The Boring Company is digging more tunnels in LA

Elon Musk's Boring Company has released a map of the tunnels it has already dug and for tunnels it plans to dig across Los Angeles. There's a 100 meter tunnel that starts in the SpaceX carpark, which they received approval to extend an extra ~3.5km to LAX airport. There's also a pending permit for a ~10km tunnel that'll be a proof of concept for the rest of the network. The map shows quite an extensive network of tunnels that look ideal for a mass transit system to me. I don't know why they aren't just using this cheap tunnel tech to build a subway system instead of an elaborate autonomous system that clamps cars to a rail and shoots them around at high speed.

Not News, But Still Cool

NiceHash is the easiest way to earn morey mining cryptocurrency

If you've got a couple of spare computers around with decent GPUs inside em and you're not paying for electricity, check out NiceHash. It's a one-click multiminer app for Windows that sells your computing power to others to mine the most profitable alt-coins (i.e: cryptocurrencies that nobody uses and are mainly just arbitrage for Bitcoin) and automatically pays you for your efforts direct to a Bitcoin wallet. The /r/nicehash subreddit FAQ explains it better than me, but essentially, install the app, make a Bitcoin wallet and start earning money. According to NiceHash's profitability calc, a single RX580 will earn ya ~A$85/month before electricity. Shame there's no Linux CLI client.

Bloke that threw 7500 Bitcoins in the bin 4 years ago is gonna dig up the dump to get them back

In 2013, British IT worker James Howells, threw a HDD in the bin with 7000 Bitcoin stored on it after his missus told him to get rid of the noisy computers mining the cryptocurrency. Today he said he's going to dig up the garbage dump to try find the precious coins. Those 7500 Bitcoins are worth $114,106,927.18 Australian dollars, so despite "environmental issues such as dangerous gasses and potential landfill fires", it's worth it - if the HDD still works and can have data retrieved off it. To be honest, I would dig up the garbage dump too if I had the possibility of finding $100m. Sifting through filth for a hard drive is in no way beneath me.

Cheap PS4 games, Nintendo Switch, Songs gear & AirPods

There's not a deluge of bargains from Amazon Australia, but there are a few low priced tech goods worth mentioning. Gamers will enjoy cheap PS4 games like NBA Live 18, COD WW2, FIFA 18, or Nintendo Switch for $399 (which JB Hi-Fi has decided to match). Get a Sonos Play:1 for $228. And that's about it for Amazon AU bargains. Disappointing right? Elsewhere besides Amazon, Good Guys are selling Apple Airpods for $177.30 in their VIP sale between 5pm and 9pm tonight. Addicted to Audio have the Sonos Play:5 (Gen2) for $614. Kogan is offering 10 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent on their store until 11:59pm on the 6th of December.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!