Issue 679

Friday, 13th July 2018

In This Issue


Facebook isn't diverse, closed a privacy loophole & will hand over dead daughter's account to parents

A hat-trick of Facebook news!
1 - Facebook's diversity report details how little progress they're making at hiring people that aren't white blokes. Over the 5 years they've been publishing these reports, hardly anything has changed.
2 - Facebook changed how it displays who is a member of a group, as it realised that people could scrape group membership info and use that to target ads or whatever. The example given highlights how this "feature" could out people with breast cancer that might not want it known they have breast cancer.
3 - A German court has ordered Facebook to give the mother of a dead teenage daughter access to the entire contents of her Facebook account. That's an interesting decision. I guess it helps the deceased was a teenager. I dunno if the court would come to the same conclusion if it was say, a husband wanting access to a dead wife's account?

Sydney startup reckons it has a cheaper lidar alternative

A Sydney startup called Baraja has come out of "stealth mode" today (dunno how stealth they were, considering this article about em from 2016), saying it can replace the expensive and bulky spinning lidar units with cheaper non-moving bits that are easier to integrate into a car's design. The explanation for how Baraja's compact lidar system differs is too long to fit in here, so if you're interested, read the article I linked to. The article also no critical assessment of Baraja's tech, so there could be compromises versus a traditional lidar setup. Nobody knows as it's yet to be placed into an independent user's hands. However, it was designed in Australia, by Australians, so that's cool.

Microsoft makes Teams free for under 300 users & released Whiteboard collaboration app

Because it is an extremely slow news day, I am writing to tell you that Microsoft's Slack clone, Teams, is now free for up to 300 people and doesn't require a Microsoft Office 365 subscription. Isn't that nice? In other Microsoft collaboration news, they've released an app called Whiteboard today. Whiteboard "lets users make notes on a virtual whiteboard that can be shared and edited with others in real time across devices". It's Windows 10 only for now, but will be on iOS and the web shortly. Expect to see this used at your company's next blue sky session!

Google's Loon & Wing are proper businesses now

Google's Loon, which started in 2013 to deliver internet via a network of balloons and Wing, an autonomous delivery drone project started in 2014, have "graduated" from being "moonshot" ideas living in Google's freakshow X department, to their own business under the Alphabet umbrella. I'm being a bit cheeky in mocking Google here, but parcel delivery drones makes a lot of sense. I can't wait to have a drone drop my deliveries off in the backyard with a notification to inform me, instead of waiting around all day for a courier/ninja that gently taps on my door then silently runs away leaving a card in the mailbox, rather than delivering the damn parcel. Wired has a long article detailing Google X if you're interested.

Apple gave the MacBook Pro a spec bump

Apple updated the MacBook Pro lineup overnight. The base model 13" units (the ones without Touch Bars) are the same, but the 13" and 15" models with Touch Bars all got new hardware. MacRumors outlines exactly what's changed from the previous models. The keyboard got a slight revision for "quieter typing", but probably doesn't fix the sticky key problem. Shame Apple didn't make the entry level 13" units a bit cheaper to compensate for the fact they're a CPU generation behind - $1499 for the 128GB SSD model would be okay. Oh and the previous generation 15" MacBook Pro (the one with a MagSafe charger, non-gimped keys and no Touch Bar) is no longer on sale. RIP best laptop ever.

Not News, But Still Cool

SimAirport is like Rollercoaster Tycoon, but an airport

SimAirport is like SimCity, but for building an airport. Actually, it's more similar to Rollercoaster Tycoon or SimTower than SimCity. I haven't played it yet because if I start, I fear for my personal hygiene and general productivity, but it looks pretty damn cool for the nerds amongst us who think micromanaging an airport is cool. Manage slots, terminal facilities, charge airlines, immigration flow, shops, and more. It's still in development, but it's being actively updated up on Steam. If you've ever thought you could run an airport, indulge your inner megalomaniac.

Why is there so much free porn on the internet?

The question posted on Quora is simple - why is there so much free porn on the internet? Someone who runs a porn site responded with a deep dive into the semantics of the porn industry and how the internet changed it, then changed it again with sites like Pornhub that stole the content of other producers and made a fortune giving it away for free. If you're interested in knowing more about the porn industry's relationship with porn, The Butterfly Effect podcast by Jon Ronson goes into detail on the topic.

Cheap OLED TV, Asus wi-fi router, GTX1080 GPU, Apple TV, Dell XPS 13, 27" monitor & more

The rest of today's bargains make use of eBay's 25% off PROXY code:

That's it, see ya Monday!

Garbage - As Heaven Is Wide