Issue 556

Wednesday, 17th January 2018

In This Issue


NBN still refusing to roll out more fibre

Remember that massive report into the NBN a parliamentary committee dropped back in October? The government finally responded to it and said it won't do the most important thing in that report, which is increasing the amount of FTTP and FTTC in the network. I'm not surprised, as if the government would ever admit it was wrong. The NBN also revealed that only 24% of people who have FTTN will be able to get 100Mbps. Pissweak.

More stories of workers in Apple's contract factories getting treated like garbage

One of Apple's manufacturing contractors is in trouble for treating its workers like crap (again). Catcher Technology in China, makes iPhone casings for Apple and the workers there reportedly do 10 hour shifts, handle dangerous chemicals and endure a constant 80db+ of noise daily without the proper protective equipment. Apple made a big fuss about cleaning up its supply chain after the mass suicides at Foxconn a few years ago, but their supply chain is so big and so deep, stuff like this falls through the cracks. The result of that are dozens, maybe hundreds of people living in agony so we can have an iPhone.

Cryptocurrency markets take a hit, fearing government regulation

The cryptocurrency market has had the arse fall out of it today. Bitcoin fell 25%, Ripple dropped 40% and Ethereum dropped 26%. Why? China put out another statement saying it's going to increase regulation. So is South Korea, and France. Indonesia banned using it as currency. Governments around the world are worried that without regulation, an economic disaster will occur and citizens will look to them for help when shit hits the fan. If you want the government to help you one day, you've also got to accept the regulation that comes with it to prevent the bad stuff happening in the first place. Case in point, today's implosion of BitConnect, an exchange that was literally a ponzi scheme but people kept funnelling money into despite this being a quick Google search away. Just look at this BitConnect event from Thailand - it's Avon/Tupperware/Herbalife but cryptocurrency!

US govt leaned on AT&T to cut all ties with Huawei

Back at CES, Huawei's boss got on stage and went on a rant about AT&T reneging on its deal to sell Huawei's smartphones in the lucrative American market. Now it's come out that the reason for AT&T backing out was pressure from the US Government. Security agencies and politicians have long been sceptical of Huawei's intentions in the USA, saying they're puppets for China's wide-reaching spying and that importing their devices to the USA isn't worth the risk. So to stop the Chinese spying machine further entrenching itself in the US, the government told AT&T not to sell Huawei's phone and AT&T listened (probably due to a subtle hint that if AT&T hooks up with Huawei, no more juicy government contracts).

YouTube makes it harder for content creators to earn money off ads

YouTube is undertaking a massive change to how advertising for content creators operates. "YouTube's new rules require anyone who wants to generate ad dollars on the platform to first generate 4,000 hours of "watchtime" over a 12-month period, and to attract at least 1,000 subscribers." The rules are retroactive, so current YouTube partners will be kicked out of the ad platform until they meet those requirements. YouTube also has a new "Preferred" program that gives advertisers more peace of mind that their ads aren't going to appear alongside a homophobic Nazi rant or a Paul Logan-esque idiot, by having human reviewers watch every video these new preferred partners upload and verify that they're advertiser friendly.

Not News, But Still Cool

There's never been a better time to start a wireless ISP

An absolute legend has compiled all their knowledge about running a WISP (wireless ISP) into a single website, making it a solid resource for anyone interesting in running their own. There's still a few gaps and it is a work in progress, but it makes it sound relatively easy (for me, with decades of IT knowledge that I've built up since I was a kid). I reckon now is the perfect time to be running a WISP in Australia thanks to the half-baked NBN rollout. Finding areas to operate is easy - get the NBN's map, find all the FTTN areas and there you go, that's your customer base. Sizzle Internet has a nice ring to it.

A wishlist for watchOS 5

I've owned an Apple Watch for a few months now and I like it, but there's still so many shortcomings that seems relatively trivial to fix now that the hardware inside the watch seems to be up to scratch. Matt Birchler also has a bunch of thoughts regarding what should be in the next version of watchOS and made some nice pictures to go with them. A native podcasts app has to be in watchOS 5, that's so obvious. I'd absolutely love it if Apple gave 3rd party devs the ability to make their own watch faces too. Imagine the creativity that would result if a wider range of people could make them!

More cheap stuff in eBay's PCTECH sale

More eBay sale stuff, use code PCTECH!

That's it, see ya tomorrow!