Issue 677

Wednesday, 11th July 2018

In This Issue


Apple engineer busted trying to steal driverless car tech

Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple engineer has been arrested and charged with stealing driverless car secrets off Apple and attempting to give the plans to Xiaopeng Motors. Apple noticed after Zhang quit, that before he left Apple he went wild downloading Apple's secret documents on robocars to his wife's laptop. Apple got in touch with the FBI and he was arrested as he was boarding a plane from San Jose to China. When questioned by the FBI, he admitted to everything. Zhang probably thought he could return to China a hero with the sweet tech he stole and be immune to any consequences whilst getting filthy rich by beating Apple to market with an inferior product. Instead, he got caught and he's totally fucked.

Tesla announces Gigafactory 3 to be built in Shanghai

Elon Musk isn't letting the haters criticising his Thai jaunt to deliver an "impractical" rescue submarine get to him, as he was in Shanghai today to announce Gigafactory 3 (#1 is in Nevada making batteries, #2 is in Buffalo making photovoltaic cells). Construction of the factory that aims to build 500,000 cars a year will start "in the near future", with cars rolling off the production line in 2 years. Makes sense for Tesla so do this ASAP, as China has slapped big import taxes on US made cars. However, there's no word on how Tesla will finance the construction and Tesla is already heavily tapped out with investors. If anyone can bullshit their way into a few billion dollars, it's old mate Musk.

LaunchVic splashes over $7m on new startup incubators

Remember how LaunchVic was gonna give 500 Startups $3m to run their startup incubator in Victora instead of NSW, but when they found out the guy that runs it is a disusting sex pest and the woman doing all the work quit, they told 500 Startups to go away? That money has been re-purposed, plus an extra $4m added on to run 3 accelerators locally, focussed on sports tech & life sciences (things I guess Victoria is traditionally good at). Smartly, LaunchVic "inserted a new clause into its contracts with grant recipients relating to harassment in the workplace, and now requires additional reporting from successful applications on the issue", so the 500 Startups fiasco doesn't happen again.

Australian class action against Facebook's privacy act breaches gets funding

IMF Bentham, a litigation fund that goes around the world providing financial backing for legal actions, has said it wants to put up the cash so 300,000 Australians can sue Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica thing. Together with Johnson Winter and Slattery Lawyers, it's lodged a complaint with the Office of the Australia Information Commissioner (OAIC), claiming that Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica to gain unauthorised access to user's accounts and that is against the Australian Privacy Act. If you feel that you deserve some cash from Facebook over this, you can join in the class action - no win, no pay. But of course, they'll take a big chunk of your settlement proceeds. Don't expect cash any time soon though, this stuff takes years.

Random news items

Once again there's lots of cool stuff that's worth a mention but doesn't deserve an entire paragraph:

Not News, But Still Cool

App Store memories on its 10th birthday

About 10 years ago, Apple's App Store was opened and all the Apple dorks like me were eagerly downloading all the apps they could to their iPhone 3G. Apple has a corny "look how awesome the App Store is" article on their website, but what I've found more interesting are tweets with a screenshot of people's App Store purchased apps list scrolled all the way down to the very first apps they downloaded. Here's mine. I have no idea what Jared is or was. Monkey Ball was heaps of fun, shame it's no longer on the store. I hope there's a way to relive this stuff in an emulator or old device in say 20 or 30 years time like people do now with old Apple II or Commodore 64 gear.

This 2018 submarine cable map is cool

Here's an updated submarine cable map for 2018. This is the physical side of the internet, laid out for us to see on a global scale. It's beautiful! Look at all the cables running across the Atlantic Ocean! The number in the middle of the solid coloured lines is the amount of fibre pairs in the cable. You can also see the cables running around Australia. That Indigo-Central cable looks interesting. Sydney to Perth, but underwater along the Bass Straight and along the Great Australian Bight. I wonder why they chose that route instead of going over land? There's a 1m x 1.3m wall map of this I'd love to own but it costs US$250.

I like my Xiaomi selfie stick tripod

Ausdroid has a review of the nifty Xiaomi Selfie Stick Tripod. Like the name implies, it's not only a selfie stick, but also a very handy tripod with a removable Bluetooth remote. This makes it perfect for use at night to get long exposure pics on your smartphone. By using the remote to trigger the shutter, you avoid motion blur from the small shake when you touch the phone's screen. The tripod folds down to around 20cm and doesn't weigh much, so it's great for travelling with. Here's a video of the unit in action. I used one while I was overseas and found it extremely useful and wouldn't go on holiday without it now.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Smashing Pumpkins - Quiet