Issue 806

Thursday, 31st January 2019
Today's the last day to opt-out of My Health Record! If you intend to opt-out but haven't done so, do it ASAP. I've opted-out because even though I think MHR is a good idea, I don't trust the data contained in it to be used against me at some point. Yeah, go on, call me a paranoid fuck, but the downsides outweigh the good for me and I can always sign up for MHR at a later date if they make it suck less.

In This Issue


Apple kicked Facebook out of the Developer Enterprise Program

Apple did what we hoped they would do and kicked Facebook out of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program beacuse of that dodgy "research" app I mentioned yesterday. The Facebook, Instagram and all the other Facebook-made apps are still available for us to download off the App Store. What Apple's done is remove Facebook's ability to distribute internal apps to their employees. "A person familiar with the situation tells The Verge that early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other pre-release "dogfood" (beta) apps have stopped working, as have other employee apps, like one for transportation. Facebook is treating this as a critical problem internally, we’re told, as the affected apps simply don’t launch on employees’ phones anymore". Oh and Google was doing the same thing - albeit they are more up front about what the app does. Let's see if Apple boots Google off the Developer Enterprise Program.

Optus launches $70/m, unlimited data 5G broadband service

Optus is piercing a dagger through NBN's heart today, launching broadband plans that use its 5G network with unlimited data for $70/m. The service comes with a "50Mbps satisfaction guarantee" that will allow you to ditch the contract if you don't get that minimum level of performance. The 5G network & end-user devices will be active in mid-2019 across 60 sites in NSW, QLD, ACT, WA & SA - no VIC, TAS or NT. By March 2020 Optus plans to have 1200 5G sites across Australia. According to this ZD Net article, the "network uses Optus' holdings in the 3.456GHz spectrum band and uses 60MHz bandwidth" and Optus' "vendor partner for the initial 5G launch is Nokia, which has supplied its 5G RAN and Fastmile 5G customer premises equipment". If you're interested in Optus 5G, let Optus know.

The Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Electric Vehicles was a bit of a dud

The Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Electric Vehicles has finally released its report and you'll never believe what the outcome was - not much at all. While the report itself is endorsed by all the sides of politics (ALP, Libs, Greens) involved, the recommendations in it are so weak and vague, it's more of a starting point than a concrete plan for Australia to catch up with other countries in reducing pollution & CO2 from car, bus and truck transport. The chair of the committee, Senator Tim Storer, wanted more practical outcomes from the report, like mandated target of 50% of all new government fleet leases to be EVs by 2025-26, 25% of light vehicle and 20% of metro bus sales to EVs by 2025 and stricter vehicle emissions standards. Let's see what the ALP pull out of their arses closer to the federal election in May.

Telstra opens Innovation and Capability Centre" in Bangalore while sacking thousands here

Telstra is opening an "innovation and capability centre in Bangalore" because "Australia's skilled labour market is too small for Telstra's needs". These will be "software engineering, information and cybersecurity" jobs. Big companies opening sweatshops overseas is nothing new, but for Telstra to claim there's not enough skilled people locally is a bit rich considering they've failed to invest in Australian skills for a decade or more. They knew these jobs are important, but instead of spending the money to train Australians (paid internships, on-the-job training, expand graduate programs, pay existing staff more to avoid them going to the USA, etc.) they'd rather hire bargain priced computer experts over in India to do what I would say is Telstra's core competency - technology. Ratbag capitalists.

South Australia ditches EPAS and will make a new one after spending $320m already

It seems to be shitty electronic medical records season right now, as following yesterday's expose on QLD's EMR, SA has decided to ditch theirs and build a new one. "The Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said an independent review into the EPAS has recommended a fundamental reconstruction of the medical records program and that the EPAS brand should be dropped. The review found that the EPAS program was centrally driven, poorly implemented and rolled out IT elements that were not fit-for-purpose". It's probably unsurprising that the key reason the system sucked so hard that it has to be blown up and replaced ($320m of taxpayer monies down the toilet), is that doctors and nurses, the fucken people who know the clinical area best and will be the ones using the system the most, were ignored during the roll-out of the system. Not including your users in the process is never a good recipe for success.

Not News, But Still Cool

Monash Uni has a coding bootcamp that might not suck if you're after a career shift

Monash Uni is starting a coding bootcamp at their Caulfield campus that they reckon will turn you into a web developer in 24 weeks. "The program’s curriculum covers the basics of coding, algorithms and data structure and includes intensive training in JavaScript, Node.js, HTML, CSS, jQuery and Java. The bootcamp also offers career coaching and quarterly panels with local industry professionals, the university said". Classes begin in May, run in the evenings and weekends and seeing as it's delivered by Monash Uni, you'd hope it doesn't suck. Could be something worth looking into if you're after a career shift in 2019. Visit the Monash Uni website for more info. The only downside is that this course costs $13,750 - not exactly the kinda cash most people looking to change career have lying around.

Intel's new 28-core, 255W TDP, unlocked, Xeon W-3175X benchmarked

Intel has released their biggest and baddest CPU ever - the Xeon W-3175X. It costs US$2,995, needs an LGA3657 socket mainboard (only two exist and will probably ever exist), has a 255W TDP (a laptop has like 5W-45W), has 28 cores/56 hyper-threaded cores, is sold unlocked so it can be overclocked and runs at a default frequency of 3.1GHz and can turbo up to 4.5GHz if the thermal conditions are right. Anandtech has reviewed the Xeon W-3175X and I was surprised that it wasn't king of the hill in video encoding. Apparently there is such thing as too many cores, even when encoding video! Where the Xeon W-3175X struts its stuff is doing ray tracing/3D rendering. The Xeon W-3175X trounces the AMD Threadripper CPU in most of these benchmarks (but costs like US$1200 more). I guess if you're doing those hyper-realistic product mockups of property developments or cars and stuff, this CPU would pay for itself.

Cheap Bose QC35 headphones, AM/FM portable radios, Nokia smartphones, GoPro Hero7, Spotify, TP-Link smart plug, Catch Connect SIM

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Tidal Wave - Thee Oh Sees