Issue 766

Friday, 16th November 2018

In This Issue


Facebook are ratbags - the aftermath

There's been heaps of fallout from the massive dump the New York Times took on Facebook yesterday. So much so, it's probably best if I distill this down into dot points so its easy to digest:

SpaceX got approval to put over 11,000 internet satellites into orbit

I've previously mentioned Elon Musk and SpaceX's Starlink plan of launching thousands of satellites to provide fast global internet coverage, but today that plan took a big step forward with the FCC approving an additional 7,518 satellites. This means SpaceX now has approval to launch 11,943 satellites in a "very-low Earth orbit" that will be able to provide latency of around 25ms because they're not that far away from the ground - only 550km above our heads (that's closer than the cable distance between Melbourne and Sydney for example). Someone on YouTube made a mesmerising video showing how all those little satellites will circle the globe without crashing.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is new

There's a new Raspberry Pi! The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is very similar to the top of the range Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, but is a different physical form factor (more of a square than a rectangle), doesn't have Ethernet, 512MB RAM vs 1GB and only has one USB port. Otherwise it's pretty much the same. It costs less too - $35.30 vs $54.10 over at Element14. Gareth Halfacree has run some benchmarks on the 3 A+ and yeah, it performs nearly identical to the more expensive unit. My favourite feature of the A+ though, is the lower power draw thanks to fewer USB ports and no Ethernet.

Word on the street in DC is that the US govt is gonna charge Julian Assange with something

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the USA is gearing up to prosecute Julian Assange for his role in the Wikileaks dump of government secrets. According to the WSJ, "exact charges Justice Department might pursue remain unclear, but they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information" and that insiders are "encouraged by recent developments". The article argues that the new Ecuadorian government is trying to build closer relations with the USA and part of warming up that friendship is to hand over Julian once the Americans line up some charges. I guess his fear that the USA is coming after him isn't as paranoid as I thought it was.

Apple gave Final Cut Pro some love

This is probably only of interest to a small section of Sizzlers, but Apple released a big update to Final Cut Pro. The latest version (10.4.4) now includes support for 3rd party workflow extensions (e.g: Shutterstock has one you can use to drag content from their platform into your project). There's other stuff too, like SRT subtitles, a video noise reduction effect and batch sharing, so you don't have to export clips one by one. The best way to see what's new is to go on YouTube and watch some video editing nerd explain it. It is a video editing app after all.

Not News, But Still Cool

Use the power of AI and ML to cut out background noises on live conference calls

Are you the kind of person that does video or audio conference calls in noisy areas? Kids, pets, traffic, cafes, air conditioning and so on making you sound like an unprofessional jerk who can't get their act together? Krisp is some machine learning magic shit that gets rid of background noises from mic input on your Mac. I am yet to try it out, but reading around Reddit & Hacker News, it seems to be the real deal. Install the app, select Krisp as your audio input, select your mic in Krisp and off you go. Best part is, Krisp is free (for now I think) and doesn't send any data to their servers, it all runs locally. If Apple doesn't spend half a billion dollars to buy this company, Google will.

This podcast ep probably answers all your questions about EVs in Australia

I love to crap on about electric cars and people often ask be questions about them, like "our power is from coal, what's the point?", "how long do they take to charge?", "why is Australia so far behind the rest of the industrialised world in adopting them?", "should the government be giving out incentives for EVs?". The Caradvice podcast had a great ~40min chat with the CEO of Chargefox and the CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council to discuss EVs in Australia and answers many of the questions people have about EVs. Well worth a listen if you're mildly interested in the topic.

Cheap Telstra SIM-only plans, Xbox Live Gold, MacBook Air, Sony XM3 headphones, Xiaomi Mi A2, Plex lifetime sub

That's it, see ya Monday!

Sleater Kinney - Dig Me Out