Apple has sent out invites for a media event taking place at the Steve Jobs theater on the 25th of March (26th of March our time). The invite says "it's show time" and came with a little movie countdown animation, so everyone reckons Apple is finally going to launch it's Netflix competitor. There's been loads announcements about directors and writers linked to content coming to Apple's service over the years, with some pretty cool stuff coming. But apparently Apple is getting pretty involved with the creative direction of the shows and trying to make them not so "mean" and more "family friendly", which could be really bland knowing Apple's track record. Either way, there goes another $10 a month off to California.
Last week Tesla put up a blog post saying they're gonna close practically all their stores and make people buy their cars online. Oh, and the US$35k Model 3 is ready to order and we've slashed the prices of the Model X and S. Over the weekend Tesla put up a new blog post, reversing their decision to close the stores, sack the staff and make people buy cars online. Oh and the prices of cars will be going up 3% (except the base Model 3) to cover the cost of running the stores. Nothing to see here folks, move along until Wednesday when Tesla announce the Model Y and the hype machine starts again. Certainly do not pay attention to the second whistle blower that's told the SEC that Tesla spies on its employees illegally or that Elon is getting sued by investors over his use of Twitter. Just relax and enjoy this Elon Musk meme review with the co-creator of Rick & Morty.
Elizabeth Warren, a US Senator that's planning to run for President in 2020, has floated the idea of breaking up big tech companies up the flag pole and is hoping people will salute it. From CNN, "The far-reaching proposal would impose new rules on certain kinds of tech companies with $25b or more in annual revenue, forcing Amazon and Google to spin off parts of their companies and relinquish their overwhelming control over online commerce. The plan also aims to unwind some of the highest profile mergers in the industry, like the combinations of Amazon and Whole Foods, and Google and DoubleClick, as well as Facebook's acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp". You can check out her Medium post on the topic for the full detail of this idea. Part of me reckons the politicians are just jealous of the control these companies have versus what the government used to have, but I'm a cynical bastard.
Chelsea Manning is back in jail. She previously spent 7 years jail for giving a bunch of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, but was pardoned by President Obama on his way out of the White House in early 2017. This time she's in jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. Before being sentenced, she tweeted a statement saying that "I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech". The judge said she'll stay in jail until she testifies or the grand jury is over. WikiLeaks has been investigated since 2010, but we don't know much about it as it's all been secret and didn't even know for sure that there was a Grand Jury investigating WikiLeaks until it leaked a few months ago.
Remember how the Assistance and Access laws were so urgent, so desperately needed, that the Libs refused to changed a thing about them to avoid wasting time and the ALP rolled over and passed the laws unchanged for national security reasons? Detective superintendent Arthur Kopsias, the person at NSW Police responsible for applying these new laws in NSW said yesterday that, "I haven't got a clue how to implement it" and his team were not informed about the details of the bill "until the Act came out". Arthur also reckons the threshold for serious crimes in the laws (they can be used on any crime with a punishment of more than 3-years in prison) is too low and should be at least 7-years. Over in Tasmania, "some training sessions" were expected in late March to inform police how to use the laws. The laws that were super urgent to protect us from all the baddies and that police apparently were begging for, police actually don't know how to use and were not consulted. Great stuff.
The National Library (my favourite place in Canberra) has launched the 600TB Australian Web Archive - one the biggest internet archives in the world. There's thousands of .au webpages all the way back to 1996, snapshotted at various times along the past 23 years. It's similar to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, but is fully text searchable. You don't need to know the original URL to view the content, you can just search for a topic and it'll show you pages from history about that topic. Pretty damn cool. It was sad to read that they used "machine learning-based image recognition to identify and delete pages with pornographic material displayed". Why isn't porno good enough to remember, fucken prudes. Anyway, the AWA is part of Trove and very easy to fall into a reminiscing hole you'll be stuck in for hours.
It finally happened - I'm mentioning US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in The Sizzle. She was at SXSW today saying that the impending automation of all our jobs, rendering us unemployable isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing! You can (and should) watch the video where she gives a more cerebral answer than anything an Australian politician has ever said on the topic (duhhhh, uhhhh, fair dinkum jobs duhhhhh), but it boils down to the point that losing your job is only bad in a society where you need a job to survive and being jobless is looked upon like some sort of personal failing. She reckons that automation is exciting as it could hopefully free us from the drudgery of employment and let us do the things we love instead of some bullshit to earn a buck, "because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage".
That's it, see ya tomorrow!