Issue 785

Thursday, 13th December 2018

In This Issue


ACCC's outlines its thoughts on the TPG & VHA merger

The ACCC has given us a heads up on how it might swing regarding the merger of TPG and Vodafone Hutchinson Australia. It's main concern is that by maintaining the status quo, "TPG would likely adopt an aggressive pricing strategy, offering cheap plans with large data allowances" and for some reason doesn't think that would happen to the same extent if it merged with Vodafone. But it also reckons the "proposed merger would create an effective competitor that would impose a stronger constraint on Telstra and Optus" - so who knows what'll happen. Personally, a combined TPG and Vodafone operating under the Vodafone brand would scare the shit outta Optus and Telstra, so I say go for it.

Intel announces 10nm process CPUs, Sunny Cove

Since 2015, Intel's been reheating the same Skylake architecture under different names. Today they announced an all new architecture, based on a 10nm process (smaller the node size, the less power the chip needs, so you can crank the speed up without it spontaneously combusting) called Sunny Cove. There's no part numbers, or pricing, or even specifications, but Intel reckon Sunny Cove chips will "execute more instructions in parallel and with lower latency, and certain buffers and caches have also been enlarged". Sunny Cove chips will also include AVX-512 support so encryption and compression algorithms that make use of it will be 75% faster, and fixes for Spectre and Meltdown that don't impact performance. Expect 10nm CPUs on shelves by Q2 2019.

NSW state schools to ban kids from bringing phones in 2019

The NSW state government is going to ban smartphones in schools next year. According to the mastermind of the program, psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, the ban is all about "kids focusing on lessons, better socialising, reducing social media use and reducing online bullying and online image abuse". Dunno how it'll work in practice, but if "there are special requests from parents they will be kept somewhere to be accessed before or after school". I smell a sweet business opportunity for special lockers so the phones don't get mixed up or kids take someone else's phone. Lots of schools in NSW, lots of money to be made.

Stan gets the rights to stream Disney content in Australia

Stan has snagged the Australian streaming rights to Disney's "key animation titles such as Frozen and Finding Nemo and films from its Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars libraries". The Stan deal was finalised yesterday and takes effect later this week. Interesting that Disney is doing this, as over in the USA, they're making their own streaming platform instead of using Netflix or Hulu or whatever. Looks like Australia isn't good enough for Disney to bother with its own platform - for now at least. They might do something in the future. If you're an Aussie family with kids, you're gonna be signing up to Stan, as well as Netflix so they can watch their favourite movies over, and over, and over, and over.

$100,000 prize pool for blockchain ideas from the SA government

The South Australian government is throwing $100,000 in a prize pool for a Blockchain Innovation Challenge where "entrepreneurs are invited to develop well-thought-out projects that use blockchain to improve operational efficiency, enable business model innovation, or influence how businesses, government and society interact". Come up with a decent idea and the government will chuck some cash your way to develop it further. They're doing this because they want SA to be Australia's "blockchain capital", heh. If you feel like you can scam the government out of 100 grand, sign up now.

Not News, But Still Cool

Load your own ISOs onto the PlayStation Classic

Those little mini retro PlayStations are totally hackable, just like their Nintendo cousins. Grab an app called BleemSync and a USB drive. Follow the instructions to set up the USB drive with the right folder structure, copy over some ISOs (you're on your own there buddy) then use BleemSync to generate a new game database the console reads and boom, your favourite PS games are now ready to play. I assume over the next few weeks this process will get even more automated so it's simply a matter of pointing an app to a folder full of ISOs on your PC and it'll copy everything to a USB drive that's ready to insert into a PlayStation Classic.

The basics of how IBM helped the Nazis kill millions

Here's a cheery story for ya: a brief look at how IBM enabled the Nazis to carry out mass genocide at an industrial scale. IBM were experts at punch card technology that helped the USA conduct their nationwide census. The Nazis got IBM to do a similar task to collate how many Jews are around and track their progress through the death machine's bureaucracy (ghetto, camp, incinerator). It was well known in the USA what the Nazis were up to, but IBM didn't seem to care about how the Jews were being slaughtered and kept on doing business in Nazi Germany because they were making loads of money. IBM withdrew eventually, but the infrastructure was already in place and millions of innocent people killed.

Cheap Sonos, Chromecast, Google Wi-Fi, Google Home Hub, Nintendo 3DS XL, Google Play & iTunes cards, DJI Tello Drone

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 INXS - Don't Change