Issue 848

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019
I'm not sure if anyone even notices, but you know the songs I chuck at the end of every issue of The Sizzle? I keep them in a playlist up on Apple Music.

In This Issue


Tech companies bosses don't want to go to jail because of what their stupid users do online

Unsurprisingly, the tech companies the government has threatened with jail for not deleting offensive content, are not happy about it. The Digital Industry Group Inc (DIGI), a lobby group consisting of companies like Facebook, Google, Oath, Twitter, Yahoo and Redbubble and others, have said that "announcing measures such as jailing staff at social media companies is inappropriate for a democracy such as Australia, and does not help the debate or solve the issue". No shit. DIGI is also cranky that we're having a repeat of the Assistance and Access Bill, where the government is gonna rush it through Parliament without consulting or listening to experts. It worked great the first time!

Tencent came up with a cheap way to mess with robocars - reflective paint

Tencent (China's Google) has done a little research into how to fuck up a self-driving car and found that if you put little reflective stickers, like the size of a beer coaster, on the road, you can trick a Tesla into going where you want it to. The cameras in the car pick up the little dots as a lane and continue to follow it, even though a human driver would clearly go "nah that's not a lane". Tencent's security lab uploaded a video demonstrating the "attack". As the IEEE article I linked to says, "we'd expect that the car would be clever enough not to actually veer into oncoming traffic if it spotted any", so it's usefulness as an attack is slim - it's interesting that it's possible though and just another thing to watch out for in our dystopian hell-scape future.

Mods of Reddit's gaming subreddit shut it down for April Fools Day because they're sick of the racist, misogynist, Islamophobic and homophobic shitheads occupying it

Normally April Fool's days pranks are dumb and stupid, but Reddit's massive /r/Games subreddit did something noble - shut itself down. The moderators had enough of the 1.7m users constantly posting comments "regarding transphobia, homophobia, islamophobia, racism, misogyny, pro-pedophilia/pro-rape, and vitriolic personal attacks against other users" on a daily basis. They're sick and tired of a place where people should be discussing fun video games, devolving into a medium to spread hate. They posted a small sample of the posts they've deleted to Imgur and goddamn, if that's "the tip of the iceberg", the iceberg is fucked in the head.

Norway's slapping everyone in the face with a trout when it comes to EV adoption

Yesterday I mentioned the ALP's plan to get 50% of new car sales to be electric by 2030 (I wrote about it in detail over at Drive Zero if you're interested in knowing more). Norway is way ahead of us, announcing today that 57% of new car sales in March 2019 were pure battery electric. Not hybrid, or plug-in hybrid - pure electric. How did they get there? According to a Reuters article from earlier this year when they reached 50% "low emissions" new car sales, "Norway exempts new electric cars from almost all taxes and grants perks that can be worth thousands of dollars a year in terms of free or subsidized parking, re-charging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels".

With 12/1 NBN plans disappearing, the cost of fixed line internet just went up for 1.6m Aussies

Vocus subsidiaries iPrimus and Dodo have ended their cheapest NBN plans (12/1) as they're no longer profitable due to NBN's changes to how CVC is charged. Approximately 1.6 million people are on this cheap plan as it's the cheapest you can get at around $50/m. Now that the 12/1 plan is going away, $60/m (25/5 speeds) is now the cheapest plan Dodo offer. It's becoming increasingly difficult for any ISP to offer NBN plans at under $60/m these days, so the NBN, which was designed to bring better, cheaper internet to Australia, has actually resulted in more expensive internet for most people, with marginal gain. Nice work NBN.

Not News, But Still Cool

Huawei's P30 Pro smartphone has an amazing camera on it

The Verge have chucked up some low light samples of Huawei's new P30 Pro smartphone and they're bloody amazing. You thought Google's Night Sight feature on Pixel devices was great, Huawei has somehow managed to do better than that! Where an iPhone takes a basically black photo with no details, the P30 Pro takes a photo that's clear and sharp. The 5x and 10x zoom photos are also impressive. Apple seriously need to lift their game.

This guy makes using a piano as a computer keyboard a piece of cake (it isn't)

Check out this video of a dude who turned a piano into a computer keyboard. Yeah, the mad lad is actually typing words using a piano! He said on Hacker News that it "started from a random idea I had, but then I was tickled by the thought of becoming faster than the average typist on a piano" - it's absolutely wild. He's playing a song, but.. words are coming out. He's damn fast at it too, and even got some cursor keys mapped so he can edit the text. I feel like such an underachiever.

Cheap Pioneer bookshelf speakers, Optus & Telstra pre-paid SIMs, Jabra Elite headphones, Xbox Live Gold, Samsung S9, GoPro Hero7 Black

That's it, see ya Friday - Josh will be Sizzling Wednesday & Thursday!

 I'd Rather Be With You - Bootsy Collins