Issue 606

Wednesday, 28th March 2018

In This Issue


Apple Education Event: new mid-range iPad & bunch of teaching related app

Apple's education event in Chicago happened overnight:

Full video of the event is up on Apple's website.

Uber settles pay & promotion discrimination against women & people of colour for $10m

Uber has settled a discrimination lawsuit for US$10m, avoiding a lengthy, probably reputation damaging (if Uber even has a reputation left) court trial. The case in question was a class action led by 3 women who worked at Uber (Ingrid Avendano, Ana Medina and Roxana Del Toro Lopez who also worked alongside Susan Fowler), representing "420 engineers who identified as women or people of colour", that claim "Uber's compensation and promotion structure favoured men and white or Asian employees" - basically they were paid less and overlooked because they weren't male, white or Asian. Uber reckons its improved things since 2013, when most of the stuff the class action complains about occurred.

Waymo orders 20,000 Jag I-PACE EVs to use in robotaxi fleet

Waymo has ordered 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE electric SUVs to join its robotaxi fleet along side the Chrysler Pacifica minivans it uses now. They'll start testing the I-PACE immediately and the production fleet will begin to grow in 2020. By 2022, Waymo plans to have 20,000 cars doing 1,000,000 trips a day (I assume in a few cities across the USA). That's pretty ballsy - 1 million autonomous taxi rides a day (i.e: no humans in control!), in about 4 years from now. I wouldn't have thought the tech is that advanced yet. Maybe you guys can use it first, I'll take the train.

Tesla's Autopilot under NTSB investigation again

A Tesla Model X was involved in a fatal accident near San Francisco and now the NTSB is investigating as it's unclear if Autopilot was involved. If it was, that would make it the 2nd fatal incident involving the system. To make matters worse, the car was hit in such a way that the battery packs ignited and the fire fighters didn't quite know how to put the fire out and move the car safely. This second NTSB investigation, Uber's own robocar incident, on top of the decline in Model 3 output has seen shares plummet to their lowest in 12 months.

Appeals court reverses Google's win against Oracle over Java API use in Android

The fight between Google and Oracle over Google's use of Java APIs in Android has entered a new chapter, with the US Court of Appeals finding that Google's implementation of the APIs is not fair use and that Oracle deserves to be paid for it. That means the case that began back in 2010 is off to another court, mainly to determine how much Google owes Oracle. If the whole situation around this long running court case confuses you, the Wikipedia entry for the case is quite easy to read.

Not News, But Still Cool

Melbourne EV meet up tonight with special guest, Renault Zoe

Very late notice, but if you're in the area, the Alternative Technology Association's Melbourne EV branch is having a meetup at Swinburne Uni tonight. They're going to have a Renault Zoe EV for everyone to poke and prod at, as well as some talks about how to charge EVs and news about EVs and stuff. I'm gonna guess it's all retirees with nothing better to do (hopefully the guilt of their generation fucking up the environment for the rest of us is why they attend), but if you're keen to look at a Zoe without the pressure of a sales person, check it out. Wednesday 28th March, 7pm, details here.

Huawei's new P20 Pro smartphone has 3 rear cameras and it's very good

Huawei announced its new flagship smartphone overnight, the P20 Pro. As you expect, it is packed with all the latest specs, including its very own adaptable notch (you can toggle the area to the sides to be white or black). The reason I give a crap about it though, is the 3 cameras on the rear. The "top camera is an 8MP sensor with a telephoto lens, the middle camera is a 40MP RGB sensor, and the bottom is a 20MP monochrome sensor". It apparently takes amazing photos, smashing the competition in DxO's review - "looking at the images and test results from the P20 Pro, it seems Huawei has skipped one or two generations". If it ran Android One, it would be an awesome phone.

Firefox can sandbox Facebook so they don't track you around the web

Firefox has made an extension for its browser that restricts Facebook to its own little sandbox, preventing Zuck and his mates from tracking you around the internet. "When you install this extension it will delete your Facebook cookies and log you out of Facebook. The next time you visit Facebook it will open in a new blue-coloured browser tab (aka “container tab”). In that tab you can login to Facebook and use it like you normally would. If you click on a non-Facebook link or navigate to a non-Facebook website in the URL bar, these pages will load outside of the container" - nice one Firefox.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Soulwax - Kill Your Darlings