Issue 667

Wednesday, 27th June 2018

In This Issue


Australian content creator lobby wants local content quotas imposed on Netflix & others

The Australian media industry has started whinging to government that Netflix and Amazon need to be regulated. Their central complaint is that beacuse the government mandates that FTA networks and Foxtel have to dedicate 10% of their programming time to Australian content, streaming services should too. The incumbent's desire is for Netflix and Amazon to spend 10% of its Australian revenue on creating Australian content. There's 7.6m Netflix subscribers in AU - if each one is paying $10/m on average, that's over $900m/yr in revenue, which would mean $90/m yr has to be spent on AU content just from Netflix alone. That would actually be pretty cool, but I can't see that happening without a massive shitfight.

Uber finally gets a licence renewal to operate in London, but with strict conditions

When Uber went to renew its licence to operate in London last year, the city's regulator decided Uber isn't a "fit and proper" operator and said to piss off. Uber appealed that decision and after months of discussions, won a 15-month probationary licence to prove to London it's changed its ways. As part of its new licence, it will "report alleged crimes by its drivers directly to the police rather than relying on customers to make these reports" and "tightly regulate drivers' hours, requiring them to take a six-hour break after 10 hours on the clock" - sane, common-sense things it should have been doing years ago I reckon.

Venezuela figured out how to block people using Tor to access sites it's blocked

Venezuela has a long history of fiddling with internet access to prevent people blabbing about how crappy things are there. The government has blocked websites it doesn't want citizens to see via DNS and failed to invest in the state-run internet provider resulting in speeds so atrocious, people just don't use the internet. But Venezuela's crumbling government has taken internet censorship to a new level and figured out how to block people from accessing Tor, just like China. Many countries censor the internet, but not many go to the extent of blocking Tor and I'm not 100% sure how they're doing this.

Twitter makes it harder for people to create automated accounts

One of the most annoying things about Twitter has to be the accounts spawned by a script with auto-generated content to appear real, that pop up randomly following you in an attempt to download some malware. Or even worse, try and butt in on your conversations with bland statements to boost engagement stats for some pathetic influencer or whatever. Twitter is doing something about it by making new accounts verify their email address or phone number before activating, shadowbanning suspicious accounts from stats and auditing existing accounts to check they aren't automated accounts. Twitter is also implementing 2FA via USB security keys.

Assorted news items

Today is one of those days where there's lots of mildly interesting news that doesn't deserve an entire paragraph to explain, but I still want to mention it anyways:

Not News, But Still Cool

Norwegians figure out a nice way to filter the blog comment cesspool

Internet comments sections (mostly) suck and they suck the hardest on news websites where randos with the IQ of a doorknob leave their dribbling diarrhoea all over the place. The moderation team at Norway's public broadcaster NRK got sick of cleaning that shit up and made an ingenious Wordpress plugin to improve the quality of comments on their site - a basic quiz asking questions that you'll only know the answers to if you read the article. If you don't pass the quiz, you can't post a comment. Since implementing that on news posts on controversial topics, the quality of the discussion improved markedly. I love it.

Nissan LEAF AMSR video

This is a simple video, almost in the realm of those weird AMSR videos actually, but I really enjoyed it. It's just a camera mounted (I think) on someone's head whilst they drive the new Nissan LEAF electric car. No talking or sound effects, just the noise of an electric car on the road. It's so damn peaceful compared to a petrol car. I know in my fossil fuel burning unit, I have to crank the stereo up to almost max volume to hear podcasts on the freeway. Just one more advantage of an EV versus an ICE car!

Cheap 1TB Crucial SSD & you all purchased over $140k of stuff off eBay over the last 12 months

Not many bargains around today, but there is this Crucial MX500 1TB 2.5" SATA SSD for only $218.16 (use the code PIZZAZZ). A 1TB SSD, for $218, from a solid brand! That's it, that's all I have today that's worth writing about in regard to cheap stuff. To fill up some space, here's an interesting fact - during the 2017/2018 financial year, Sizzle subscribers purchased $143,051.28 of stuff via my eBay affiliate link (which was clicked 14,176 times), of which I received $4,070.75. Thanks for being compliant consumers!

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Cosmic Psychos - Fuckwit City