Issue 730

Monday, 24th September 2018

In This Issue


ALP has concerns about how the Assistance & Access Bill is getting passed, but not about the bill itself

Ed Husic was wheeled out over the weekend to try pretend that the ALP won't just wave the Assistance and Access Bill through Parliament like they always do when it comes to national security. He said "we're deeply concerned about the way the government is rushing the process on something so complex – and disrespecting the need for transparency along the way", but doesn't say anything about the actual law itself being ratshit, just whines about the process. The Law Council of Australia however, reckons the Assistance and Access Bill is crafty a way for other Five Eyes countries to get Australia doing their dirty work because we haven't got pesky "enforceable human rights protections at the federal level" to stop it.

Cloudflare gets a subpoena to hand over the identities of multiple pirate site owners

Remember the effort the studio behind the movie Dallas Buyers Club put iiNet through to reveal the customer details of IP addresses it claimed were pirating its movie? They're back on their bullshit, but with Cloudflare this time. A range of studios, including Dallas Buyers Club, sued Cloudflare in a Hawaiian court, the court agreed and now there's a subpoena for Cloudflare to hand over the identities of the operators behind ",,,,,, and". Cloudflare hasn't appealed it, so chances are it'll rat those users of its services out. Probably not by choice, just self-preservation. Oh and if you need some new sites to grab pirated gear from, the above is a nice list. Thanks lawsuit happy media companies for letting me know about them!

Trump's cooking up an executive order to investigate "online platform bias"

Bloomberg got their hands on a draft of a Presidential executive order to "thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws" in order to "protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias". It's only a draft and needs other government organisations to give feedback before Trump signs it, but it looks obvious to me that the US government will sooner or later make life hard for Google and Facebook (and probably Amazon because Trump hates the Washington Post), because a few right wing babies are concerned about "bias". And you know what? I'm not even concerned about it. If anything, it'll be fun to watch. These gigantic tech companies put themselves in this mess, now they have to deal with the repercussions of their Frankenstein creations. Gonna get me some popcorn and watch from the sidelines.

Telltale Games sacks almost everyone, all future titles cancelled

Telltale Games sacked most of its employees late last week (over 100) and seems to be on life support, with all future projects shitcanned. In a public statement, Telltale's CEO said that "we released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales". If you're unaware, Telltale games made the popular Walking Dead series of games (my wife played em all, loved em) and was slated to make a game of the even more popular Stranger Things TV show. That obviously isn't happening now. According a report in The Verge, the writing's been on the wall at Telltale Games for a while due to a culture of overwork to meet deadlines and toxic management.

SA's plan to outsource IT support is a financial disaster

South Australia's new treasurer has revealed that the previous government's IT outsourcing deal with IT services company DXC has cost "$48 million more than first expected and could end up costing between $40 million and $80 million more" - a significant difference from the $11m in savings then Premier Jay Weatherill called a "win-win-win". Treasurer Rob Lucas reckons the contract signed with DXC lacks "much of the procurement methodology, discipline and rigour needed to properly manage the contract" and that terminating it would cost too much. To make matters worse, DXC claimed it would create 400 local IT jobs, but has only create 27. The rest have been offshored. Nice work everyone!

Not News, But Still Cool

When algorithms meet reality

The Boston education department got some MIT nerds to create an algorithm that'll set the times schools in the city should start. The algorithm optimised the city's bus fleet utilisation and also calculated the optimal start of the school day based on what's best for student results. The city will save millions of dollars and standardised testing results would go up. Win-win! Until parents were told their kids would need to be at school at 7:15am instead of the 9:30am time they based their work and family lives around. It's fascinating to see what occurs when an idealistic bundle of code with the best of intentions hits the uncomfortable reality of squishy humanity.

A gallery of iOS 12 Shortcuts

If you haven't had time to check out Shortcuts in iOS 12, browse around /r/shortcuts on Reddit and maybe you'll be inspired. There's one you can activate when you've been pulled over by the cops that'll "pause any music that may be playing, turns down your brightness, turns on Do Not Disturb, and sends a message to the contact of your choosing letting them know you’re being pulled over and what your current location is. It then opens your front camera to a video recording so you have a video record of being pulled over. Once you stop the recording it sends a copy of the video to a contact you specify, puts the brightness back up, and turns off Do Not Disturb". Someone went and made a Shortcuts gallery too.

Cheap SSDs, HDDs, Nintendo Switch, Optus 200GB plans, Logitech MX Master mouse, City Skylines, Nvidia Shield, Cherry MX Red mech kb

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Goldfrapp - Eat Yourself