Issue 683

Thursday, 19th July 2018

In This Issue


Google fined €4.34b for forcing OEMs to install its search engine app & Chrome on smartphones

The EU has slapped Google with a €4.34 billion fine for breaching antitrust regulations. Google forced smartphone OEMs to install the Google Search app in order to have access to the Google Play Store, paid large OEMs and network operators to exclusively install the Google Search app and prevented OEMs from bundling Google's apps in any of their products if they used a forked version of Android on any of their devices. Simply put, Google abused its market power to force other companies to use Google's search engine instead of others, which isn't fair to all of Google's competitors. If Google doesn't stop doing this within 90 days, it'll be fined 5% of its daily average worldwide turnover until it stops (approx US$15m/day). Google's CEO reckons that now his company can't force device manufacturers to bundle its apps and services, Android may no longer be free and OEMs will need to pay a licensing fee.

Mark Zuckerberg has no problem with Holocaust deniers using Facebook to deny Holocaust

Mark Zuckerberg had a lengthy and very enlightening chat lately with Kara Swisher that was published today. You should read or listen to it, it's the first long form interview Zuck has done since the whole Cambridge Analytica thing. In the interview he said that despite being Jewish himself, he reckons Holocaust deniers shouldn't be banned from Facebook and that they have the right to get things wrong. Unless you're trying to organise to hurt someone, it's okay. Same deal with bullshit like InfoWars. Zuck rapidly apologised, but still, dude, what the fuck? Either you're full on unmoderated free speech (aka the toilet that is 4chan) or you moderate the joint in line with your values so you can defend your actions with a clear conscience and without saying stupid shit like this. How are Holocaust deniers not perpetrating harm?

Another day, another billionaire's rocket successfully launches and lands

Jeff Bezos' rocket company Blue Origin, successfully completed another rocket launch, this time testing crew capsule separation from the rocket booster and having both bits land safely to be reused. This step in the launch is key, as if it goes wrong, the human cargo dies in a fiery spectacle. But seeing as it went well, it looks like Blue Origin is on track to put humans into 0 gravity by the end of the year. Dunno when they're going to allow people to pay to go up into space though. That would be so cool, I'd be tempted to mortgage my house for the chance to orbit Earth and see the entire planet at once.

Australian Department of Defences wants to veto and be involved in all university tech research

The Australian Department of Defence wants to stick its pointy beak in all technology related university research, something that's shocked the entire university community. The DoD currently has the ability to monitor any military related technology research going on at Australian universities, primarily to make sure Australian unis aren't working on stuff for foreign armies or businesses before giving Australia first dibs. Now the DoD wants the ability to "enter and search all technology projects in Australia and restrict and dictate how information from them is shared between researchers and industry". That's paranoid dictator territory and all the university vice-chancellors agree that it's definitely not a thing Australia should be doing. Even placing the moral arguments aside of the military getting involved in all uni technology research, it would be a huge administrative burden and would slow research down due as everything would need to be cleared with the DoD!

Semi-interesting news dump

Not News, But Still Cool

Why you should block all ads on the internet

As you know, I'm not a fan of ads on the Internet. I get why they exist (people don't want to pay for stuff, so advertisers fill in the gap), but the perverse incentives they create are defeatist. Thank You For Ad Blocking explains this concept and also explains why you should block ads - prevents malware, protects privacy, improves device battery life, makes webpages load faster and my favourite reason, a little fuck you to the ad tech industry. My ad blocker of choice at home is still Pi-Hole - I need to install it on a cheap VPS so I can access it away from home actually, browsing the web without it is so annoying.

The new MBPs suffer from severe thermal performance throttling

Dave Lee made a YouTube video explaining how the new i9 MacBook Pro suffers from severe thermal throttling. What's thermal throttling? It's when the CPU slows itself down to prevent spontaneously combusting. Due to the slim chassis on modern laptops, thermal throttling is pretty common. There's just no physical way to vent all the heat a CPU produces at full load whilst retaining a thin design. Apple's latest MBP however takes it to a new extreme, as it appears to not maintain the CPU's base clock speed, let alone the boosted turbo speeds when under high load.

Cheap Macs, iTunes cards, Xbox Live & Game Pass, Sennheiser headphones, SATA SSDs

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Smashing Pumpkins - Zero