Issue 697

Wednesday, 8th August 2018

In This Issue


Elon Musk wants to take Tesla off the stockmarket

Elon Musk let loose with a tweet last night that he's considering making Tesla a private company (kinda like what Dell did a few years ago when they were in the shit). Tesla would offer buy all the shares for US$420 each or allow the shareholders to own a proportional slice of the private company, then remove itself from the stockmarket and all the regulatory hassles and short seller abuse that comes with it. The next morning, with Tesla shares up 11%, Elon emails his employees to inform them of this plan and that shareholders will vote on this plan soon. Besides the fact it's a ratbag move to tweet about it before letting your employees and investors know (a move that the SEC could consider stock manipulation) it really goes to show how much Elon hates short sellers and anyone that critiques his business. If Tesla does go private (it seems almost certain Tesla will), all those who short sold Tesla stock to drop below a certain price will lose their money - a combined US$3b. The sweetest revenge for a thin skinned wanker like Elon. It also means those quarterly conference calls and reports that are mandatory and often reveal information Tesla wouldn't otherwise offer up, will disappear as a private company doesn't need to disclose any of that.

NAPLAN results will be late & probably inaccurate due to online test system

Results of this year's NAPLAN testing of Australian school kids was supposed to be released today, but the data will be withheld indefinitely until ACARA can agree on how to compare the results of exams taken online to the ones done with pen and paper. The online exam was different to the paper exam, as it was "designed to be adaptive and extend brighter students by prompting them to answer more difficult questions". Despite this difference, ACARA said "the results will be comparable with those of other students and from previous years", but now they're struggling to do it, "undermining the test's central purpose as a point-in-time check of student progress in literacy and numeracy against benchmarks". Teachers have been saying for ages that doing the NAPLAN online was a bad idea, but as the area experts, they were routinely ignored because ignoring experts is how we do things in Australia.

Jack Dorsey tries to justify why Alex Jones & InfoWars wasn't banned from Twitter

Friends, I regret to inform you that Jack Dorsey is back on his bullshit. In response to the fact all the big social media players cleansed themselves of Alex Jones & InfoWars, but Twitter hasn't, he said that Jones "hasn't violated our rules. We'll enforce if he does". I can't believe Jack can say that with a straight face, but here we are. Jack went on to say that it's not Twitter's place to decide if what people are saying is true - that's the job of journalists. The statement that shit me the most is Jack's oath of defending Twitter from "becoming a service that's constructed by our personal views that can swing in any direction". Twitter has rules and policies and guidelines galore. Are those not created based on his or someone at Twitter's personal views? If they aren't, what are they based on then? What a bullshit statement - just say your personal view is that Twitter sees no problem with people like Jones hanging out and peddling their shit on your service, have the guts to own it then deal with the ramifications. Stop hiding behind this public conversation garbage.

Snapchat's losing users, but investors still believing the hype

Snapchat announced that 3 million fewer people use its app on a daily basis than last quarter, the first time its activity levels have shrunk since it bothered to announce this stat. Even more worrying for its shareholders is the fact Instagram Stories (essentially a rip off of Snapchat chucked into Instagram) continues to grow, with over 400 million people using it a day, compared to Snapchat's ~200m a day. Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal doesn't think it's a big deal though, as he invested $250m in Snapchat because he reckons they've only begun to "scratch the surface of its true potential and we are blessed to be part of it". Good luck mate. Unrelated to Snap's financial results, but definitely related in regards to timing, is news that Snapchat botched an iOS app update back in May that made some of its source code public on GitHub for a brief moment. Of course someone archived it and is now trading it around the hacker community.

NBN resumes selling HFC & ACMA to test quality VDSL2 modems

NBN has said they've enabled DOCSIS 3.1 on their HFC network, which has allowed them to begin selling HFC connections again. The extra capacity DOCSIS 3.1 brings allows them to provide a service that isn't a pile of crap, which would have happened if they continued to sell HFC services without the upgrade. Still can't get anything faster than 100/40 on HFC though. Related to the NBN, ACMA will spend $300,000 testing various VDSL2 modems used in FTTN & FTTB premises to determine if the reason for ratshit speeds is NBN's network or poor quality modems. Here's a fucking brainwave, maybe if the NBN didn't bother with obsolete technologies, they wouldn't need to bother testing the obsolete equipment that goes with it. Idiots.

Not News, But Still Cool

EarTrumpet is a cool audio mixer for Windows

I don't use Windows 10 very often, so I don't mention it here very often (sorry Windows users, I still love you and your $5 a month), but when I see something cool for Windows 10 I try mention it and today, that thing is EarTrumpet. It's the easiest way to control volume and output/input devices from the Windows taskbar. Along with input switching, EarTrumpet also has "multi-channel peak monitoring, keyboard shortcuts, and support for Windows 10's light and dark modes". It's one of those apps you wish Microsoft would pay the developers a big wad of cash for and include in Windows 10 by default.

Jewellery for the nerd in your life

Dunno where I found these pieces of computer jewellery, but I love them. There's a whole series of enamel pins of computer icons. The Photoshop toolbar keyring is very cool for you designer types. I won't describe them all, just go look at Studio Cult's website already. I know a few people that would get a kick out of this pin in particular. Wear it around your workplace, I dare ya! Shipping to Australia is relatively reasonable at US$5. Maybe buy more than one item to even that postage cost out.

Cheap Nakamichi speakers, Project turntable, Kindle 3G, Xbox Live Gold

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Jebediah - Television Lies