Issue 580

Monday, 19th Feburary 2018

In This Issue


13 Russians indicted for using social media to post garbage during the 2016 US election

The US government's investigation into Trump's collusion with Russia to rig the election got kicked up a notch over the weekend, with an indictment thrown at 13 Russians who allegedly went around pretending to be American and setting up fake social media accounts that spouted crap. The indictment says what we kinda knew all along - social media was perverted by Russian interests to create division in US society with the aim to get Donald Trump elected. Basically, $1m worth of professional shit posting managed to influence enough people to swing the result - pretty sad if it's true. The Washington Post has an interesting interview with a Russian troll who was paid to write garbage designed to agitate.

US labor regulator shoots down James Damore's stupid memo

James Damore (aka the weirdo who tried to argue that women will never be as good as men at computers, so Google should stop trying to help them) is in the news again. In August last year, he went to the National Labor Relations Board (kinda like Fair Work here in AU, kinda) arguing that his right to engage in "concerted activity" was violated. In September he withdrew his complaint, but late last week, the NLRB posted their own memo and the NLRB found no issues with how Google fired Damore, because part of Damore's rant had "discriminatory statements" that are not protected by labor law and lead to a "hostile workplace".

Twitter ends support for its already dead Mac app

Twitter has finally put its awful Mac app out to pasture. In 30 days time, the app will "no longer be supported" - not that it's been supported for the past, say 1000 days, but whatever. Nobody was really using that dumpster fire anyway. Twitter's advice to Mac users is to simply use the Twitter website. The writing was on the wall when it never got support for 280 characters. Luckily, there's apps like Tweetbot and Twitteriffic still around. Twitteriffic took this opportunity to have a sale - it's $12.99 instead of the $24.99 I think it was previously.

PayID has turned into a nifty reverse phone number lookup tool

I haven't seen any Australian tech news outlets cover this yet, but over the weekend, @anthonycr0 tweeted that NAB's PayID transfer page can be used as a reverse phone number lookup tool. You can pop in anyone's phone number and if they've used it to register for PayID, their name will be displayed. Smells like a large privacy concern to me, that even though it's designed that way, is not how a reasonable person would expect their PayID to be used. NPP has put out a press release about the issue, but denies it is a problem.

The FFA's esports league got more viewers than its meatspace league last week

More people are watching the A-Leauge's esports tournament (E-League), than are watching the "real" A-League soccer. The first round took place on Thursday night and the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) confirmed that ~138,000 people watched some nerds paid by soccer clubs to play FIFA 18, compared to the ~119,000 people weekly average for the A-League on Foxtel. The FFA is excited by the result, as it reckons espots is an excellent way to reach a younger audience and hopefully, get them participating and watching the round ball version of football.

Not News, But Still Cool

MeasureCamp Melbourne, for those into web stats and stuff

A Sizzle subscriber wanted me to let you know about MeasureCamp Melbourne on the 24th of Feb - Mr. Simon Rumble said that it's for "people interested in analytics, digital measurement and data. Being held on a Saturday weeds out the time wasters and the agenda is decided on the day by the participants", plus its free. So if you're in Melbourne and have even a remote interest in this sort of thing, check it out and support a fellow Sizzle subscriber!

My review of the Melbourne EV Expo

I went to the Melbourne EV Expo on the weekend and got to take a Renault Zoe on a lap around a go-kart track. It was great, but the car is a little too small for me. Anyways, I wrote a quick review of the EV Expo, included a few pics I took and published it on Drive Zero yesterday. I'll be exerting all this electric car enthusiasm on that blog more often this year, as I think some of you are getting shitty that The Sizzle has basically "Australia sucks at EVs & Facebook are jerks" lately. If you're into EVs, bookmark/subscribe/whatever to Drive Zero!

Cheap HomePod, Valve Complete Pack & new eBay sales

Not many bargains around today. Only decent ones are a Apple HomePod for $458.95 at Catch of the Day and the Valve Complete Pack for $30 on Steam. eBay's 10% off site-wide sale is still valid. Just use the code PRONTO on any item worth over $75. eBay has a 20% off tech sale starting tomorrow too. Price-jacking imminent unfortunately. The value from these sales has been eroded now that retailers simply up the price by 10-15% to simply be $1-2 less than the cheapest price around, rather than being a genuine 15%-20% discount.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me