Issue 852

Monday, 8th April 2019

In This Issue


UK is implementing its own social media cleansing laws

The UK is floating strict social media regulation laws, very similar to what we've already legistlated in Australia. The Brits are doing a bit more consultation than what our government did, releasing a white paper titled Online Harms (hasn't been made public yet), outlining "a new statutory duty of care by social media firms and the appointment of an independent regulator, which is likely to be funded through a levy on the companies". Things social media firms will have to take down rapidly or face severe consequences include "child abuse, terrorist acts and revenge pornography, as well as behaviours such as cyber bullying, spreading disinformation and encouraging self-harm". Maybe it's because I'm in my mid-30s and see the world differently now than when I was in my 20s, but I kinda agree with these laws. Maybe not the implementation of them, but certainly the overall feeling and aims.

Netflix no longer offering AirPlay on iOS

Netflix is removing the ability for iOS users to AirPlay a video to another device. Netflix has had AirPlay capability for years, why would they suddenly do such a user hostile thing? According to Netflix, "With AirPlay support rolling out to third-party devices, there isn’t a way for us to distinguish between devices (what is an Apple TV vs. what isn't) or certify these experiences. Therefore, we have decided to discontinue Netflix AirPlay support to ensure our standard of quality for viewing is being met". Hmm, sounds pretty dumb to me. Is it really that big of a deal to know which device a user is sending their video to from their iPhone or iPad?

Fiat paying Tesla hundreds of millions of euros to beat emissions standards

Tesla is in the weird situation of receiving "hundreds of millions of euros" from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, so that FCA can avoid an even higher figure in fines from the European Union for not making cars that aren't shitboxes that emit way too much CO2 per km. FCA and Tesla will be pooling their emissions together for reporting purposes, because Tesla has zero fleet emissions (they only sell EVs) and can absorb of all FCA's crap whilst still remaining under the regulated limit as a whole. I wonder how much it stings FCA to have to send all that money to a competitor in order to avoid a fine?

Amazon's building its an internet satellite constellation

You know how SpaceX is launching a massive constellation called Starlink, consisting of thousands of little satellites that'll orbit Earth and provide fast internet access? Amazon wants a slice of that action and has confirmed they're gonna do the same thing - which shouldn't shock anyone as Jeff Bezos has his own space related startup, Blue Origin. Amazon's calling their constellation Project Kuiper and going by the filings they've made with the ITU, looks almost identical to SpaceX's plans, just a few years later. God speed to all involved.

Google ends short lived AI advisory council because they chose an idiot to be on it

In the space of a week, Google started, then disbanded the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) - an internal group designed to guide Google through the ethical minefield that is artificial intelligence. The ATEAC's swift demise came about due to Google employees cracking the shits that a bloke called Kay Coles James, a "conservative figure who has openly espoused anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and, through the Heritage Foundation, fought efforts to extend rights to transgender individuals and to combat climate change", was given a spot on the council. Any day a homophobic climate denier gets shit on, is a good day.

Not News, But Still Cool

Citybound is SimCity or Cities Skylines but even nerdier

Enjoy SimCity or Cities Skylines, but wish there were more minute details to obsess over? Citybound may be the game for you. I think I've mentioned it in The Sizzle previously (years ago), but it's developed much further now and is a more complete game than it was when I first saw it. City Skylines is really more of a transport simulator (nothing wrong with that, I love a bit of transport), whereas Citybound tends to focus on household and and economic activity, of which transport is a part of/enabler, rather than the sole focus. The fact it's mostly one bloke making it all is even more impressive.

Stories of people making friends off the internet in unlikely places

The Guardian has an adorable collection of stories from the older internet, where people met in unlikely places and made lifelong friends and partners. Queer kids figuring out what's going on back in the 90s via mailing lists, Christian kids learning about the wider world on a Goth forum, a kid who made 50,000 posts on an Red Hot Chilli Peppers fan message board despite not being a fan of the band and the one that hit closest to home, a man who met his wife via LiveJournal - just like I did (without the tattoos).

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That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Los Ageless - St. Vincent