Issue 847

Monday, 1st April 2019
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In This Issue


Apple cancels AirPower charging mat

Apple has canceled the AirPower charging mat - it's no longer a thing. It was first announced all the way back in 2017 alongside the iPhone X, but was never mentioned again by Apple for years - until Saturday arvo when they emailed a few tech journos saying that "AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have canceled the project". According to iFixIt, the likely reason is that Apple couldn't get around the fact so many charging coils (between 20-30!) needed to provide the "place anywhere on the mat" capability Apple promised, created too much heat to be a safe product. RIP AirPower, too beautiful for this world.

Zuck reckons we need more internet regulation

The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Mark Zuckerberg, arguing for "a more active role for governments and regulators" on the Internet. He goes on to say we need regulation "in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability" and outlines why it's important. Clearly Zuck's noticed which way the wind is blowing and he's getting on the front foot (welcome to analogy city) to create a regulatory environment so complex that it impedes new players from competing with Facebook on a meaningful level. If you think Zuck's arguing for regulation from a place of genuine concern for society's wellbeing, you're a goddamn chump.

Possible criminal penalties for social media companies that don't remove violent content quickly

A new law percolating in the big brains of our federal politicians could make it "a criminal offence for companies, such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet's Google, which owns YouTube, not to 'expeditiously' remove the 'abhorrent violent content'. Juries would decide whether the content was removed fast enough." Punishments could include up to 3 years in jail and fines of up to 10% of turnover if they don't act fast enough to remove the offensive content. Drafts of these still a thought bubble laws might hit Parliament next week.

Valve to release its own VR headset, the Valve Index

Valve dropped a teaser on Friday night for their previously unheard of VR headset - the Valve Index. There's bugger all details right now, but it appears to be a headset in the same style as an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, only better. Superior field of view, higher resolution and so on. No word if it's a stand alone headset that has its own CPU & GPU, or if it needs to be tethered to a big beefy PC. The full reveal will happen in May.

ALP makes pre-election commitment to get more EVs on the road

The ALP has made a bunch of election promises around increasing the adoption of electric cars in Australia. If elected, they'll set a national target for 50% of new cars to be EVs by 2030, 50% of government cars to be EVs by 2025, allow business to claim an immediate 20% tax deduction for an EV, co-ordinate state EV infrastructure efforts at COAG and finally introduce vehicle emissions standards (this last one will make the most difference imho). Meanwhile, the NRMA reckons the ALP isn't going far enough and wants Australia to ban fossil fuel cars by 2030.

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Not News, But Still Cool

Building a Unicorn podcast is pretty good

My friend and Sizzle subscriber Kristofor Lawson has a new podcast called Building a Unicorn. Normally I wouldn't bother listening to a podcast about startups, but I like Kris so I gave it a shot and I actually genuinely like the podcast too. The latest episode interviews Grant Petty - the CEO of Blackmagic Design, who's products I love. They chat about how a poor kid from rural Victoria turned into the CEO of a multi-hundred-million dollar business that makes high quality audio visual gear affordable for idiots like me to play around with. Give it a listen and if you like it, you'll probably like Kris' other podcast, Moonshot (about speculative future technologies that I was a guest on once) too.

Worried about what to do when Pocket Weather dies? Try Aussie Weather

Also in things that Sizzle subscribers have released, Michael Dimoudis was disappointed Pocket Weather on iOS is dying, so licensed weather data from the Bureau of Meteorology and made Aussie Weather. It free to use, but if you want to view the weather for more than a single capital city, you gotta outlay $1.49/m. Looks nice and works well with push notifications and stuff - a good alternative to Pocket Weather if you need more than what the official BoM app offers.

Cheap Capture One Pro 12, Huawei P20 Pro, Carbon Copy Cloner, iMac Pro, PlayStation Classic

  • Grab a copy of Capture One Pro 12 for only $175 if you've got a Sony or Fuji camera.
  • Costco are clearing out the Huawei P20 Pro to make way for the P30 Pro at almost half price - $749.99.
  • Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac is 20% off right now (~A$47) because of World Backup Day. I've been using CCC for years and it's saved my arse a few times.
  • Base model iMac Pro is $6569 (normally $7299) at Officeworks and The Good Guys. Could score a 5% off gift card somewhere (I get mine via AAMI car insurance) and score almost $1,000 off the RRP.
  • PlayStation Classic is $69 at Amazon AU and Big W, if you're keen to relive your childhood.

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That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Pink - Boris