Issue 681

Tuesday, 17th July 2018

In This Issue


My Health Record redux

Unsurprisingly, the first day rush to opt-out of My Health Record meant broken servers and lengthy phone queues. Despite those problems, 20,000 managed to opt-out in the first 24 hours alone. The Health Minister is going around saying My Health Record has "bank-level" and "military-level" security, haha. I hate linking to Twitter threads, but Troy Hunt has a solid rant explaining why My Health Record is good and bad at the same time. Simply put, the idea is nice, but do you really trust the government not to fuck it up? Over on The Conversation, Jim Gellespie argues for people to keep their My Health Record account active as the benefits can be fantastic when it works properly.

Uber under investigation for being jerks towards women, again

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is allegedly investigating Uber over how gender may have negatively influenced its hiring practices. The EEOC hasn't confirmed the investigation as it doesn't do that sorta thing by default, but current and former Uber employees have been chatting to journalists saying that they've been interviewed by the EEOC who want to know more about their time there. The EEOC has also apparently asked Uber for internal documents and records regarding who was hired, what they were paid and so on. Oh and in other Uber news, its new COO Barney Harford, is a bit of a shitheel when it comes to women and minorities.

Pintrest cuts Instapaper loose, is now a seperate company

Two years ago, Pinterest acquired Instapaper off Betaworks, who acquired it off Marco Arment in 2013. Now Pinterest has cut Instapaper loose, spinning the read it later service into its own business called Instant Paper Inc. Weirdly, Instapaper doesn't work in Europe due to its inability to meet GDPR regulations, but they're working on fixing that. Personally, I use both Instapaper and its competitor Pocket. I prefer Pocket for bookmarking stuff that's of interest for The Sizzle and Instapaper for long-ish stuff I want to read without bullshit formatting whenever I find time. I hope Instapaper doesn't die or is radically changed to be something with more pizazz for investors or whatever, I really like it as is - just maintain the current experience please!

Netflix shares tank due to signs its record growth is slowing

Netflix has committed the most mortal of financial sins - failing to meet Wall Street's expectations. Wall Street was expecting around 6.2 million new subscribers in 2Q18, but Netflix only achieved 5.2 million newbies, despite ploughing more money than ever into new content. Netflix will spend US$8b on new content in 2018, and US$2b on marketing! As a result, Netflix's share price went down by 14% in a single day. Investors reckon the astronomical rate of growth is over for Netflix as there's more competition than ever in the streaming media space. Amazon's spending heaps, Apple is sitting on the sidelines getting its act together for a huge launch any day now and Hulu's content is winning heaps of awards - not to mention the incumbent media companies are pulling their content from Netflix all the time.

Skype 8 for desktop is out with some very boring new features

Microsoft's released a massive update to the desktop version of Skype today, bringing new features like HD video calls for up to 24 people, being able to @mention people in group chats and file sharing (300mb file size limit). Skype 8 will be the only version of Skype that'll work after September 1st 2018, so you better upgrade soon. What blows my mind is that in the year of our lord 2018, Skype isn't end-to-end encrypted! Apparently that feature is coming soon and will use the Signal Protocol. Another big feature coming soon is built-in call recording and group invite links. Microsoft's blog post mentions Skype 8 coming to iPad soon, but not iPhone or Android? That's a bit weird.

Not News, But Still Cool

Sell your GPU power to AI researchers instead of cryptocurrency mining

Up on the gpumining sub-Reddit, a compsci student doing a bunch of deep learning and AI projects has built Vectordash - a website that connects people who need GPU grunt for machine learning stuff and GPU cryptocurrency miners who want to get paid to assist in those projects. By paying the GPU miners more than what they'd get mining Ethereum or whatever, they get to use the powerful GPUs and it still ends up costing less than what they'd pay Amazon or Google to use their cloud servers with beefy GPUs. Interesting side-hustle if you've got some nVidia GPUs spare!

Epic, the 800-lb gorilla of electronic medical records

For anyone into the med-tech scene, Epic Systems will be immediately familiar, but for those who aren't, think of Epic Systems as the Oracle or SAP of medical information systems. These are software suites that practically run a hospital. It's main feature is storing and updating patient records. Much like Oracle & SAP, Epic doesn't make it easy or cheap to achieve interoperability between platforms, which means one of the biggest benefits of e-health, the seamless transfer of patient data between healthcare providers is a pain in the arse. Heaps of money is spent on these platforms, but they aren't achieving their maximum usefulness because of good old fashioned vendor lock-in.

More Amazon Prime Day stuff that I hope is still available for you

Amazon Prime Day continues. Here's what's cool & currently available as of 3PM:

Non-Prime Day Bargains:

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Mudhoney - Touch Me I'm Sick