Issue 506

Tuesday, 6th February 2018

In This Issue


Waymo vs. Uber, day 1 in court

The legal battle between Waymo and Uber has now entered a courtroom. Day one was pretty much each side's lawyers explaining to the jury that their clients are so awesome at self-driving cars, the reason all this bad stuff happened was due to the other side's fear of getting left behind by their superior competitor. It's a long winded battle that I've gone over many times before in The Sizzle. If you want the full background, the Verge has everything you need. Recode has a full recap of day one in court and Sarah Jeong on Twitter is who you should pay attention to for blow-by-blow commentary of the trial.

Director of Samsung Electronics gets released from prison way too early

Lee Jae-yong, the vice-chairman of Samsung, was chucked in the slammer for two and a half years (half of the five year term he got in a lower court) for bribery and embezzlement. He's now a free man. Yep, the vice-chairman of the company responsible for so much of the electronics we use daily (there's probably Samsung chip or display in something you own) was released after a panel of judges surprisingly let him out after just serving one year of his sentence. Jae-yong will resume his duties as director of Samsung Electronics. Straight from prison to the executive suite. If you needed any further proof that Samsung are untouchable in South Korea, here it is.

Village Roadshow back on its bullshit against Google

Village Roadshow has once again accused Google of "facilitating crime" by not doing enough to stop links to pirated content Village owns appearing in search results. This came about in their submission to a government inquiry into extending Australia's copyright safe harbour laws, so that ISPs and website owners are protected from lawsuits by content owners over content users of their services put up. Village Roadshow wants to ensure these laws don't get up, so they can sue more websites. Not that it really matters, as Village really wants to sue Google, but acknowledges Google will crush them with lawyers (just like Village does to others).

The Pixel 2's visual core processor is now enabled for 3rd party apps

Owners of Pixel 2 smartphones will be pleased to know that Google has fully enabled the "embedded Pixel Visual Core processor" inside their phones as part of the February Monthly update. This processor is like a fancy image processor, that uses machine learning to "intelligently process HDR+ in the background" so your pics look good. Google's got a nice blog post explaining it all. The update now lets you use that machine learning goodness when taking photos in apps that aren't the default camera app.

Singapore Airlines gets some blockchain action going

Singapore Airlines (hello Derek) has announced it'll launch a digital wallet for its KrisFlyer loyalty program, that uses blockchain technology to "enable members of the program to spend their air miles at retail partners for point-of-sale transactions". Basically, it's SQCoin and you earn them by flying/using your credit card, then can spend the coins anywhere that wants to accept them. Ok, go ahead and laugh, but I think this is one of the least stupid applications of the blockchain I've seen. Unnecessary, but, hey, at least it might be useful.

Not News, But Still Cool

Intel's prototype smart glasses learn from Google's mistakes

Intel has let the Verge have a go with their latest smart glasses prototype. Unlike Google Glass, this thing doesn't have a camera and isn't a standalone computer you interact with. It's more of a heads up display for life, than a computer stuck on your face. The glasses themselves look just like a regular pair of glasses and Intel plans to offer multiple frame types and prescription lenses. The smart bit is the Bluetooth connection to your smartphone and a laser that shines on to the right lens, that reflects an image directly to your retina. Seeing as I have to wear glasses all day, every day, I may as well get cool ones like this - sign me up! Here's a video of The Verge's prototype tour.

Nissan confirms 2nd-gen LEAF going on sale in AU "next fiscal year"

Nissan announced today that the new 2nd-gen LEAF will go on sale in Australia "during the next fiscal year". Which I think means some day between July 1st 2018 and June 30th 2019. Big launch window, no pricing, no trim level info - the usual drip feed of info from car manufacturers. Which one will be in showrooms first, the LEAF or the Ioniq? I'd prefer to drop my cash on a LEAF than the Ioniq, but without pricing info on either car, it's hard to decide. If you're interested, Bjorn Nyland has had some hands on time in the new LEAF and posted a 30 min video of him driving it around Portugal and a nice demo of the LEAF's e-Pedal.

20% off at some eBay stores for Valentine's Day

eBay has a saaaallleeeee. 20% off for Valentine's Day, isn't that nice? Use the code PRESENT20. Here's what Ozbargainers have dug up:

And some stuff I thought was good that OzBargain didn't find and I'm not sharing with them because I love you more:

That's it, see ya tomorrow!