Issue 845

Thursday, 28th March 2019

In This Issue


Atlassian, Senetas, Microsoft verbalise their issues with Assistance & Access laws

Multiple business leaders made disparaging comments about the Assistance & Access laws at various industry junkets yesterday. Atlassian's co-founder said that "we've got to recognise this law threatens jobs". The head of ASX listed encryption provider Senetas said "this legislation in the form it is in will force our company to go offshore". Microsoft's president said "companies and governments say 'we are no longer comfortable putting our data in Australia', so they are asking us to build more data centres in other countries". Dunno what else there is to say besides re-iterating that the A&A bill was a massive fuckup in every sense.

Facebook's gonna ban white supremacists somehow

Facebook announced that they're going to ban "praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism", starting next week. They don't explain how this works in practice (just some hand waving about machine learning and artificial intelligence and that they "have a lot more work to do"), but they're gonna do something about it. Facebook's also going to start popping up warnings when people search for terms associated with white supremacy and direct them to support groups for their hate riddled brains. Who wants to bet that race baiting political parties like One Nation and Rise Up Australia will be immune from this?

European Parliament votes to introduce upload filters & link taxes in new copyright laws

The European Parliament passed those ratshit copyright laws I've been crapping on about for the last few months. The contentious parts of the new laws - article 13 (upload filter) and article 11 (link tax) sailed through unfortunately. The next step is for the European Council to formally adopt the law. There's a slim chance Germany might go "nah, this sucks" and try get the laws changed, but it seems unlikely. To make this situation even weirder, it appears that 10 MEPs accidentally voted the wrong way on amendments to the copyright laws, which if their votes were recorded properly, would have allowed further debate/changes to the controversial article 11 & 13 sections.

India tells us it now has the ability to blow up satellites

India has an anti-satellite missile system now. Prime Minister Modi gave a live broadcast on national TV to announce that their military blew up a "pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300km". The USA, Russia and China can do this already, but now India can too. The implications of blowing up a satellite are pretty deep - not only could you technically knock out communications and reconnaissance, but navigation too. I don't know about you, but I feel a little more uneasy knowing another country has the ability to knock a satellite out of the sky if someone cracks the shits hard enough.

Apple apologises for the bad keyboard on their laptops

You know how the keyboard on the last few MacBooks and MacBook Pros sucks? Apple has kinda acknowledged it and apologised. An article from Joanna Stern in the Wall Street Journal (paywalled, sorry) tore Apple a new arsehole over the pathetic excuse for a keyboard and Apple responded with the following statement: "We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry," but then followed it up with "The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard". The thing that shits me is Lenovo manages to make an excellent keyboard in a laptop just as thin as the MacBook Pro - lift your game Apple.

Not News, But Still Cool

The future envisaged in 1993 is a reality in 2019

Someone on Hacker News posted a series of AT&T ads from 1993 that showed off all these futuristic scenarios AT&T was claiming they'll bring to society. 26 years later and we actually do have all the stuff in the ads and arguably, without AT&T, they wouldn't work. "Borrowed a book thousands of miles a way?" (Kindle), "Cross the country without stopping for directions?" (Google Maps), "Tuck your baby in from a phone booth?" (FaceTime), "Ever opened doors to the sound of your voice?" (Alexa), "Ever watched a movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to?" (Netflix) - I've been living in the future all this time and never realised!

$10 toasters are nifty little pieces of simple engineering

Feel like watching a 12 minute video about how a toaster works? Come back, it's more interesting than it sounds! Those cheap $10 toasters are actually ingenious pieces of simple engineering. There's electromagnets to keep the lever down when power's hooked up and a dedicated toaster IC with various features like "bagel". It still amazes me these appliances can be designed, manufactured, shipped and retailed and still cost less than $10. I saw toasters for $7.50 at Aldi once! Also I wanted to share this video because I like the host's VHS cassette sleeve inspired t-shirt.

Cheap 4-cam Arlo Pro 2, Logitech universal remote, iTunes 4K downloads, Samsung T5 external SSDs, Nokia Android phones, Optus & Exetel 4G plans

That's it, see ya Monday - Josh will service your tech news needs tomorrow!

 Don't Save Us From the Flames - M83