Issue 560

Monday, 22nd January 2018

In This Issue


Amazon's checkoutless supermarket opens tomorrow

Amazon will open their fancy automated supermarket tomorrow (aka Amazon Go) in Seattle. Remember the demo video from about a year ago? Yeah, it's a thing you can go inside and visit now. You walk in grab your goodies, then walk out via a turnstile that you tap your card onto, kinda like public transport. Hundreds of cameras around the store detect what you take off the shelf and who took them, linking the purchases to your Amazon account. Amazon doesn't explain in too much detail how it works, but the journalist that wrote the article I linked to found it worked really well and said it feels like shoplifting.

NZ launches a rocket whilst Australia wistfully looks at the sky

New Zealand launched their first rocket yesterday. Made by the US-owned, but NZ-run Rocket Lab, the Electron rocket called "Still Testing" took off and successfully reached orbit. Rocket Lab are kinda like SpaceX, in that they want to get the price of launching satellites down and basically be the Maersk of sending shit into orbit. Meanwhile, decades have passed since Australia launched a rocket from our own soil and the federal government hasn't said a word about Australia's space industry since its flashy announcement back in September.

Kim Dotcom is suing the NZ government for ruining Megaupload

Whilst we're in NZ, Kim Dotcom is suing the government for damages caused by the raid on his mansion 6 years ago (the story of which is in an interesting documentary). Kim wants approximately US$1.77b from the NZ government, as that's what Megaupload was worth before the company was ruined by the raid, that the NZ High Court said was illegal. If the NZ courts reckon the NZ government did something illegal that impacted someone, shouldn't that person be made whole for what they went through? Theoretically, yeah, but this is Kim Dotcom we're talking about, who knows what will happen.

Facebook will use surveys to determine what's fake news

Now that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have realised their abomination is tearing the fabric of society apart, they've decided to do something about it. That something is prioritising "trustworthy" news, to try and drown out all that "fake news" floating around Facebook. To determine what news is trustworthy, it's going to do a bunch of surveys, asking Facebook users which news outlets they think are legit. Facebook was going to just make its own list of outlets it deemed worthy, but decided the "community" would be more objective. In a total non-coincidence, the share price of The New York Times jumped 9% as soon as Facebook's announcement was made.

Twitter emails 700,000 people apologising for exposing them to Russian propaganda

Twitter is also doing its part to atone for its role in spreading dreaded fake news, by emailing almost 700,000 Twitter users with a weird message explaining that they may have seen Russian propaganda. The disinformation was spread by over 3,000 bots, mostly spouting made up garbage or memes putting Donald Trump's election campaign or people connected to it, in a positive light. Those emailed are people Twtiter identified as having replied to, rewteeted or liked a post by one of those Russian bots. Here's the email Twitter sent to the chumps. Twitter has more details on what it's doing to provide a "platform that fosters healthy civic discourse and democratic debate" on its blog.

Not News, But Still Cool

Why does Apple have so much cash and why doesn't it do anything with it?

Whenever Apple say they have $268b of cash, I know that's a lot of money - but why does Apple have so much cash, just sitting around doing seemingly nothing? Surely they have things they could spend that money on. Apple could spend half of their cash reserve and still have more cash than God. Asymco has a great explainer on why Apple decides to hoard all that cash - basically it was to avoid paying huge amounts of tax, which would upset shareholders. But now that Apple has that sweet deal thanks to Trump, it'll likely use most of that money to buy back its shares (which if that confuses you, Asymco explains why that happens).

Cryptocurrency miners are pissing off gamers due to GPU shortages

Have you been researching bits for a nice gaming rig, only to find that the core component, the GPU, is really damn expensive? You aren't alone! Many gamers keen to upgrade to a new graphics card have noticed that there's either bugger all stock at their favourite PC stores, or, the stock that does exist, costs hundreds of dollars more than just a few months ago, for the same GPU. The reason why are cryptocurrency miners. They're buying up all the GPUs they can get their hands on, so they can make a quick buck, pushing out the gamers who just want a single card to play with. Meanwhile, Nvidia and AMD are absolutely loving it, selling graphics cards as fast as they can make em.

Cheap Xbox One games, Samsung S8, iPad Pro, YNAB, PS4 controllers, tri-band wi-fi routers & 6TB HDDs

That's it, see ya tomorrow!