Issue 710

Monday, 27th August 2018

In This Issue


New PM Morrison removes Turnbull's nerdy ministries

We got a new Prime Minister on Friday and over the weekend we got a cabinet reshuffle. As part of this exile of the traitors, there's no longer a cyber security, innovation, or digital transformation ministry. All that nerd shit Turnbull foisted on us has either been thrown away (innovation), lumped into Home Affairs (cyber security) or Human Services (digital transformation). Scarily, this means Dutton is the bloke responsible for that encryption backdoor law. Karen Andrews (who?) is now minister for industry, science and technology. Old mate Fifield is still comms minister, so he can keep on screwing the NBN. In practice, this is just shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic, as there will be an election in a few months anyways. Most of these gronks probably won't even be MPs or senators in 2019.

Elon backtracks on decision to take Tesla private

Elon Musk has listened to feedback about his brain fart to take Tesla private and learned that "it's apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company", making his dream of sticking it to the short sellers and foregoing more regulatory disclosures dead on arrival. In fact, this whole series of shenanigans has opened him up to an SEC investigation and benefited Tesla short sellers, as Tesla's share price still hasn't recovered from the hit it took after Elon tweeted he wanted to take Tesla private. If you want some more Tesla snark, someone on tweeted a bunch of forum posts from an ex-Tesla engineer ranting about how shit their internal IT processes were/are.

Experts decree NAPLAN 2018 is cooked thanks to online & paper testing incompatibilities

A few weeks ago I mentioned that people in the education area are upset that the NAPLAN test results aren't out on time due to the use of online testing in some areas and paper testing in others. Well the results still aren't out and "US professors Les Perelman and Walt Haney, both renowned authorities on assessment" have done a report on the 2018 NAPLAN, saying that there's no way you can properly equate the two methods of assessment and trying to do so is futile and misleading. According to these two experts, "the 2018 NAPLAN results should be discarded". Of course, this won't happen as the government will never own its mistake. It'll just keep stepping on rakes, slapping itself in the face instead, as usual.

Melbourne kid wins big at The International DOTA2 tournament

I don't know much about DOTA2 (it's a game) and the International (it's a big tournament for the game), but browsing Fox Sports this morning, I saw this: "an 18-year-old Aussie has claimed the biggest prize in the history of esports, as Melbourne's Anathan 'ana' Pham helped his team OG earn almost $US11.2 million by winning Dota 2 tournament The International" - how cool is that? A Melbourne kid helps his team win US$11.2m playing video games. What a time to be alive! Here's a highlights vid of the final game - goes for about an 30min and I have no idea what's going on. The crowd is loving it though. I guess they're enjoying it until AI ruins the fun?

Mass shooting at Florida esports tournament

Some sad esports news, there was a mass shooting during a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Florida overnight, where 4 people died and 11 were injured. According to reports, "the shooter was a competitor at the tournament who lost and then opened fire on multiple people before turning the gun on himself". To make things even worse, the whole thing was live-streamed on Twitch. "Live video of the competitors themselves cut to a full-screen shot of the game-play feed as the shooting began, but audio of gunshots and screaming victims was still being captured". Twitch removed the video, but people have been uploading it to YouTube if you're curious/sick in the head.

Not News, But Still Cool

Video of Kara Swisher explaining Silicon Valley's lack of responsibility

Kara Swisher was on Real Time with Bill Maher (a HBO talk show, I think?) last night and the 6 minute clip of her explaining to a non-informed audience, how Silicon Valley lacks responsibility for its actions is a worth a watch. She's written about and interviewed heaps of people on the topic, but to hear it put succinctly really drives home the context in which technology operates in 2018. I reckon with the rise of Facebook, Amazon and Google and all the weird stuff we learn about them on an almost daily basis now, the tech industry lost a lot of its innocence. That is of course, if you ignore the military roots of the entire thing.

Telstra found a use for payphones - billboards not subject to planning regulations

Placing advertising on city streets is pretty difficult. You gotta get a permit and then the permit is subject to all sorts of conditions like size, location and so on. Telstra however, have found a nice loophole to leverage their payphones that nobody is using these days, as giant billboards. Because the telecommunications act allows Telstra to put payphones wherever they like and not be subject to planning laws, Telstra's upgrading existing payphone sites with bigger billboards because technically, the council can't tell them not to. Or at least until the council cracks the shits and takes Telstra to court over it, which will cost the council a lot of money and may not be worth it. Nifty little revenue stream I reckon.

Cheap 40" TV, 15% off iTunes, Vodafone 40GB for $40, Note 9, Echo Plus & Philips Hue bulb

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

The Beatles - Get Back