After heaps of Google employees protested against management's poor handling of sexual harassment within the company, Sundar Pichai has published a blog post saying that things are gonna change now. They've uploaded a "comprehensive action plan to make progress" that outlines all the changes Google's gonna implement. Amongst all the changes is a ban on the "excessive consumption of alcohol", as it's a big reason why women are getting harassed. Drunk blokes doing something stupid at a work event. Despite Google's plan, organisers of the protest aren't content, saying unless elevating the diversity officer to report to the CEO and providing more employee representation on the board, it isn't going far enough.
Due to Elon's "issues" with the SEC (funding secured!), he had to let go of his role as chair of the Tesla board. Taking his place is an Australian, Robyn Denholm, who is currently the CFO of Telstra (very similar company names). Not much more info than that to be honest, but it's pretty cool that an Aussie woman got the gig. I found Robyn's career trajectory interesting too - used to work for Sun Microsystems (RIP), Juniper (the less evil Cisco) and Toyota (dead company walking) as well as Telstra. She was also on the board of ABB (who make a shitload of high voltage electricity equipment). Sounds like a perfect person to take Tesla into their next phase as a mainstream auto maker and battery company.
The South Australian government is proposing new laws that'll give police the power to force a password or biometric out of a suspect. They'll have to go to a judge to get permission and will only be able to use it where the suspect is alleged of a crime carrying a 2 year or more jail sentence, but if you refuse to give the cops your password or finger print to unlock a smartphone or computer, you could face up to 5 years in the slammer. Basically, if you're accused a decent crime and the cops want to snoop around your phone or computer to get evidence, looks like the SA government is gonna give em power to do so. At least there's a judge involved, I guess.
Foxtel has finally launched its sports-only streaming service! It's called Kayo and it's still in "beta", but you can sign up now for a 2-week free trial and then continue at $25/m to watch on 2-screens at once, or $35/m for 3 simultaneous screens. It's all 1080p and from a quick session last night watching some live NBL, looks to be 60fps as well. 4K would have been nice. It's got all the sports Foxtel offers on its traditional satellite service, just streaming online. There's no iOS or Android apps, but that's coming really, really soon - even Apple TV. $25/m is a pretty damn reasonable price for most people into more than one sport.
Cory Doctorow has put up a post on the EFF blog about how Australia is leading the world in stupid copyright laws. Simply put, our government is so pissweak, it implements whatever laws the media industry *cough* Foxtel & Village Roadshow *cough* demand, no questions asked. Right now, the government is considering updating the site blocking law that already exists to deny access to sites hosting pirated material, but to force ISPs to block sites that link to pirated material too. On top of that, they also want to force search engines to remove links to sites that link to pirated material. Cory argues that when this new site blocking stuff doesn't work, the media companies will get the government to start blocking VPNs or other ways of evading the ISP blocks too - that's when shit will hit the fan.
Low-Tech magazine decided to put their money where their mouth is and run their website purely off-grid, only on solar power. They cut the bandwidth and CPU usage of their site by a factor of five and the server is a Raspberry Pi running off a battery and some solar panels. I love everything about this and I'm inspired to run The Sizzle's very basic and low-trafficed website purely off solar power too. In the overall scheme of things, my website isn't going to be emitting much carbon emissions, but at the very least, it's a fun project. I should really get around to doing it this summer, now that my backyard shed is built and I've got somewhere to install a panel on top of. I've even got a spare Raspberry Pi and a fast internet connection at home.
That's it, see ya Monday!