Issue 842

Monday, 25th March 2019

In This Issue


Details of Microsoft's Chromium powered update to Edge

The Verge has a sneak peek at Microsoft's latest update to Edge and at face value, it's the Edge web browser we're familiar with, but with the same Chromium rendering engine as Google's much more popular Chrome. The game changer is the ability to use Chrome extensions in Edge. Smart move by Microsoft! The Verge went on to say that, "For an early version of Edge built on Chromium, Microsoft's new browser feels very polished. It's also very fast to launch and browse around with. If Microsoft can keep up this good work and keep Edge optimized in the future, I can't see a reason to need to use Chrome on Windows anymore". Dunno when this new version of Edge will be made public but it sounds alright. Who do you trust to spy on you less - Microsoft or Google?

Myer to stop selling Apple products

Ailing retailer Myer has decided to stop selling Apple products both in-store and online because, "it will not chase unprofitable sales and has made this decision as we could not reach acceptable commercial terms that were in the best interests of the company and shareholders". Myer went on to say that "This decision is also about ensuring space in our stores is utilized in the most productive and effective way for the company". Basically Apple's margins are too piss weak and there's higher margin stuff Myer could be flogging to their increasingly small customer base. I guess you'll just need to use your pile of Myer gift cards on a nice cologne or dinnerware set instead.

Tesla suing multiple people for stealing trade secrets

Tesla is suing a company called Zoox (they're an American robocar startup), alleging that "four of its former employees took proprietary information related to 'warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations' when they left the electric automaker, and later, while working for Zoox, used that proprietary information to improve its technology and operations". Of all the things Tesla does, logistics probably isn't something I'd want to copy. Separate to this, Tesla also sued former employee called Guangzhi Cao, who they allege "uploaded more than 300,000 files and directories, as well as copies of Tesla source code repositories, to a personal cloud storage account", on his way out of Tesla before working for a Chinese Tesla rival, Sounds like Cao did a Levandowski!

Mobile Myki to go live for Google Pay users on Thursday

Mobile Myki will go live on March 28th for all Android toting Victorian commuters with NFC on their smartphones. They've integrated Myki into the Google Pay app and can do basically everything the physical card version can do, like viewing travel history and choosing either Myki Money (pay as you go) or Myki Pass (weekly, monthly, etc). Best feature has to be the real time balance, I'd find that super useful. The glaring omission is iPhone support. Mobile Myki only works via Google Pay, so until PTV and Apple come to an agreement it's gonna be Android only.

Victorian government wants a way to track cars without number plates

The Victorian state government has enlisted La Trobe uni to test out some methods of identifying cars without number plates. The uni's Centre for Technology Infusion (that's legit what it's called) will try out a few different techniques, but two they're thinking of are RFID stickers placed inside the windscreen that "self-destruct when removed, enabling police to identify vehicles that are suspected to have a stolen or cloned number plate" and "dedicated short range communications (DSRC), a type of wireless communication operating in the 5.9GHz band that can communicate with 'smart' road infrastructure". Far from decided if the government will implement these systems, but you gotta reckon they won't be able to resist sticking a tracking beacon on every car in the state.

Not News, But Still Cool

ANZ tries to cool the blockchain hype

Up on the ANZ institutional banking blog, Maria Bellmas has outlined quite succinctly that for every use you can think of a blockchain, there's a mature and stable technology you're better off using instead. That's not to say ANZ isn't into blockchain stuff - they are - but there's way less uses for it than most people think. I was pleased to see this wonderful flow chart of applicable blockchain uses from the NIST getting referenced. It wouldn't surprise me that ANZ has published this on their blog because they're sick of the Commonwealth Bank capturing attention for the bullshit blockchain stuff they do like "bond-i", the almond thing and that dubious "Smart Money" project with the NDIS.

A few simple tips to retain some privacy online

Everyone wants more privacy online, but some of the hurdles you have to jump through to achieve basic anonymity can be a pain in the arse. Keith Axline's put up a nice blog post with some quick and practical ways to mitigate the data hoarding industrial complex. You should check out the post, but briefly, the steps are: Use Firefox because Google and Microsoft will sell you out, install the Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, uBlock Origin, Decentraleyes, CanvasBlocker and Smart Referrer browser extensions, use Startpage instead of Google for internet searches and use Cloudflare's for DNS instead of Google or your ISP's. Lots of common sense stuff there, with virtually no cost or configuration involved.

Cheap Sonos, Mini NES & SNES, Logitech Crayon, Fetch TV Mighty, JBL Link View, Logitech MX Master 2S mouse

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying - Belle and Sebastian