Issue 678

Thursday, 12th July 2018

In This Issue


Uber's head of HR quits because she said racist stuff & all of Ubers robocar drivers sacked

Uber's "head of human resources and one of the firm's top spokespeople on diversity and discrimination issues" has quit after only 18 months in the job for using "discriminatory language" and making "derogatory comments" about Uber’s global head of diversity and inclusion, Bernard Coleman. Liane Hornsey is also accused of having "denigrated and threatened" Bozoma Saint John (who used to work for Apple, dunno why she left Apple for the shitheap that is Uber) and being the reason Bozoma left Uber just a few months into her job too. Uber also sacked all their robocar test drivers in Pittsburg and San Francisco because there isn't much on-road activity lately since one of their cars killed a person back in March.

Broadcom buys Computer Associates for $19b & nobody knows why

Broadcom's insatiable thirst for buying other businesses has extended out of the semiconductor realm and into enterprise IT bullshit dealers. CA, aka Computer Associates, aka I had to Google what CA actually does to earn money (and I still don't really know), will become a Broadcom brand for $19 billion. Nobody knows why Broadcom purchased CA - "Broadcom's chips power smartphones, computers and networking equipment. CA, on the other hand, specializes in software for so-called mainframes, big servers that companies are gradually replacing with cloud computing, and has been seeking to expand in business software. The disparate corners of the technology market the two companies occupy mean that Broadcom will benefit primarily from CA's recurring revenue, rather than operational synergies". This is the opposite of "laser focus" when it comes to business strategy.

Tesla whistleblower makes the whistle blowing formal while Elon buys water filters for people in Flint

The person Elon Musk accused of being a "bad apple" who set out to "sabotage" Tesla on behalf of oil companies, incumbent auto makers and Wall Street shorts, has formally filed a whistleblower tip to the SEC. Martin Tripp claims that Tesla "has been allegedly dishonest with the public and with investors in statements regarding Model 3 production". This'll be fun! Also in Elon land, old mate is giving out water filters to citizens of Flint because people on Twitter were harassing him about how he's so rich yet doesn't do anything about the water problem there. Send Elon reports of your dodgy water and he'll send you a filter apparently. Cool, I guess?

Magic Leap's latest demo let everyone down

Magic Leap jumped on a Twitch live stream today to show the world how its mega hyped and heavily invested in augmented reality tech is going. Turns out Magic Leap's tech is much more basic than the frothy demos they've given previously and is in the same realm as Microsoft's HoloLens. Besides the relatively disappointing pre-recorded demo, Magic Leap announced that the bizarre looking headset will be out "this summer" (so the 31st of August I assume), be sold in AT&T stores and will contain Nvidia's Tegra X2 SoC for self-contained AR goodness. Considering the device hasn't got FCC certification and isn't even at the stage where they can show a live demo, I don't see how it'll be on store shelves in just a few weeks. The bullshit-o-meter is off the charts with this one.

Massive Fortnite & Overwatch tournaments coming up

Big news in esports land today. Epic is running a "Summer Skirmish" Fortnite tournament that'll have US$8m of prizes on offer, with a US$250,000 invite-only bout this weekend. All up Epic will spend $100m on Fortnite based esports competitions in the next 12 months. The quarter finals of Blizzard's popular Overwatch esports league will get live prime-time coverage on US TV tonight for the first time ever. ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney XD, and ABC will broadcast into the homes of Americans, with the final on ESPN alongside "proper sports". If you told me when I was 16 that people will get paid millions to play video games and it would be on prime time television, I would have dropped out of school and played Quake 3 all day as well as all night. Probably a good thing nobody from the future visited me.

Not News, But Still Cool

How to download an entire YouTube channel for posterity

Up on the Data Hoarder sub-reddit, Stephen304 has posted a wonderful script to archive YouTube channels. This script uses the brilliant youtube-dl and has built in logic to avoid downloading videos you've already downloaded, so the script can run automatically every day (or as often as you want really) and download everything new. This way whenever a YouTube deletes or edits a video in their channel, due to some racist slur or similar faux pas, you have a copy. It can even add the video's description and title and metadata for future searching. There's a lot of content on YouTube and it'd be a shame if the good stuff went missing, so archiving your favourite ones isn't a bad idea if you have the drive space to spare.

The UK screwed itself when it screwed women out of the IT industry

Here's a video of Marie Hicks giving a presentation about how the UK discarded women in the tech industry after WW2 and since then, the country never regained its edge in computing. It might be difficult to believe now, but in the early days of computers, the UK were the world leaders. Like, hello, Bletchley Park?! But as the men came back from war, the women who were genuine pioneers in the computing field were set aside and new women were thoroughly discouraged from mucking about with computers. As a result, the UK's status as a computing super-power declined and the USA took up the slack (whilst also excluding women unfortunately).

So many bargains in eBay's new 25% off sale

So many bargains today thanks to eBay's 25% off sale if you're an eBay Plus member. Sign up for a free 30-day trial if you want to buy any of this stuff and score the maximum discount using the code PROXY.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Deftones - Back to School (Mini Maggit)