Issue 794

Monday, 14th January 2019

In This Issue


Huawei sacks Polish employee accused of being a spy

Huawei's biggest problem is that everyone reckons its spying on them and getting used as a puppet by Chinese intelligence agencies. It's no surprise then, Huawei has made a big deal about sacking a dude called Wang Weijing over in Poland (the location of Huawei's Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic region HQ), who was rumoured to be helping China spy on western governments. Dunno what he did exactly as Huawei's only saying Wang brought "disrepute" onto the company, but even the faintest whiff of espionage was enough for Huawei to give him the flick. Or he blew his cover and the MSS are pretending he doesn't exist.

SpaceX's BFR is now a shiny metal Starship and will start testing soon

Elon Musk just showed off on Twitter his big shiny stainless steel rocket. Starship is the new name for what SpaceX was calling the BFR (Big Fucking Rocket) and will be the platform to take ~100 humans at once on a joyride to the Moon. This unit in particular is only for testing take off and landing, the "production" model will have windows for people to gaze out of and more engines. If you're wondering why it looks like its made out of aluminum foil, it's because this is a test unit that has a thinner skin. Starship will begin testing mid-2019 and Musk reckons if all goes according to plan, "Starship and Super Heavy could begin flying Mars missions as early as the mid-2020s", which seems pretty damn soon, but god speed you bastard.

All 128 local councils in NSW will start webcasting meetings soon

It is now mandatory that all 128 local councils in NSW webcast their council proceedings. The state government is hoping this turns what is usually an opaque process for most people (who can be fucked rocking up to a council meeting that starts at 6PM on a weekday?) into something hopefully, more transparent and engaging. Local Government NSW reckons this might be an issue in some localities, as they don't have decent enough internet access because the NBN tech they've been given is satellite or dodgy fixed wireless. I would love this to happen in Victoria.

Rumours that AirPower mat is not vapourware and will go on sale soon

Good news for Apple wankers (like me) hanging out for a $200 mat to charge their $2000 of electronics on - the AirPower mat has reportedly entered production and will be on sale soon. This info comes from "credible sources" at Pegatron and Luxshare Precision who reckon mass production will start Jan 21st and that the "AirPower has three layers of coils in an 8-7-7 configuration from bottom to top", so you can live the dream of just chucking your gear on the mat and it'll just charge. No more worrying if you lined everything up properly. You'd also assume its release would mean a new AirPod headphone charging case that supports wireless charging.

Chromecast Audio dongles phased out in the USA, Australia soon

Chromecast Audio dongles are no longer a thing in the USA. You can't buy the little guy anymore there, but they're still on the Australian site, so if you're deep in the Google eco system and have some dumb speakers you wanna turn smart, better stock up now. Just pray Google keeps software support going for a little while longer so your favourite apps still support audio only Chromecasting! I don't know why Google would bother discontinuing this product - surely the burden of supporting it wasn't immense? I wish Apple would release something similar for AirPlay 2.

Not News, But Still Cool

This guy somehow got brand new parts from 1998 to build a Win98 box in 2018

Are you ready for some hardcore nostalgia, because this video of a "Windows 98 20th Anniversary All New PC Build" delivers it in bucket loads. Somehow "AkBKukU" got brand new parts, yes, parts from the late 90s unopened and brand new and built himself a killer Windows 98 PC. It's got a 1GHz Pentium 3, a 3dfx Voodoo 5 graphics card, a Memorex 8x DVD burner, a Soundblaster Live soundcard, all packed in to a gloriously beige full-tower ATX case. Some of the capacitors on the Voodoo 5 leaked, but he managed to fix it. I'm amazed someone could get all the pieces you need to build a 90s PC unopened still - where the hell have they been kept for 20 years?! Even the copy of Windows 98 was sealed!

Deep dive into Volkswagen's upcoming MEB electric car platform

Jalopnik has a very detailed overview of Volkswagen's plans to release their first dedicated electric car platform - the MEB. VW plans to sell over 15 million cars using this platform, so it's a massive investment for the company that wants us to forget all about Diesel-gate. Of particular interest to me was seeing how the VW battery pack is assembled, and that all the battery cells are covered in a thermal goo that helps move the heat away from the battery and into the coolant instead. Heaps of pics of the MEB platform in various states of disassembly and explanations as to how it varies from VW's very successful MQB platform. Cool stuff!

Cheap 200-in-1 game console, Telstra iPad contract, Logitech universal remote, Madman sale, PressDisplay access, Crumpler bags

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

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