In This Issue


Christchurch Call tries to do something about online extremism but the USA doesn’t like it

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron managed to get 17 countries, the European Commission, 8 tech companies and many other organisations to agree to the Christchurch Call - a range of “voluntary commitments from Governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet as occurred in and after the Christchurch attacks”. One notable exception is the US government, who reckon the Christchurch Call restricts freedom of speech. Which makes sense considering the next bit of news I got for ya…

Donald Trump wants to know if you’ve been banned from social media for being a bigot

The White House has set up a Typeform survey (no, really, they’re using Typeform), with this introduction: “SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear “violations” of user policies. No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump”. This looks exactly like a Trump pet project some poor staffer at the White House has to give a shit about because Donny keeps whinging about his racist buddies getting shitcanned from Twitter.

USA cracks down even harder on Huawei with new laws

The US Department of Commerce placed Huawei and other Chinese companies affiliated with Huawei on a ban list that makes it illegal for US companies to trade with. In practice this means Huawei can't get CPUs, networking gear or radio chips from companies like Intel, Broadcom or Qualcomm (which ends up hurting the US companies more than Huawei to be honest, as it means they just lost China as a market for their tech). Trump also declared a "national emergency"making it illegal for US companies to use telecommunications equipment made by firms posing a national security risk - which Huawei is one of.

Sell your GoPro shares, DJI has a new action camera

DJI is better known for gimbals and drones, but they’ve got a new camera called the Osmo Action and it’s basically a GoPro, but better. Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, loads of accessories, high quality video (at least as good as the latest GoPro), smartphone control apps, 3.5mm external mic input, video stabilisation - you name it, DJI’s chucked it in the Osmo Action. US$349, goes on sale May 22nd in the USA. Dunno about Australia. GoPro has been a bit of a laggard tech wise for a while now, they might have an edge with the huge amount of accessories available, but all GoPro really has left is the brand, right?

Yet another ALP election promise for the tech industry

Today’s piece of pork barrelling is a Digital Skills Centre of Excellence, worth $5m if the ALP form government next week. According to Labor, “Australians would be trained in a centre utilising the most up-to-date or emerging technology. They would also develop training platforms to help both metropolitan and regional-based students”. For what it’s worth, I haven’t read a single thing from the Liberals related to technology training, investment or programs. That’s why I haven’t mentioned any new Liberal policies - there aren’t any.

Not News, But Still Cool

Twitter’s handy election DM bot

On the topic of elections, Twitter has made it easy to find out where you can vote, who you can vote for and to find a polling booth. Just DM the official @TwitterAU account and it’ll tell you where to exercise your hard fought right to participate in democracy. On Saturday there will also be the option to find out which polling places have delicious democracy sausages to enjoy. Last federal election, the polling place closest to me hasn’t had any - please let that change this year!

Surprise trailer for season 5 of Black Mirror

Netflix has uploaded a 90 second teaser trailer for 3 new episodes of Black Mirror. One of the episodes looks like an homage of the classic “fuck you society” film, Falling Down, with a bloke going apeshit over people’s addiction to smartphones. I can’t wait to wallow around in Charlie Brooker’s demented technofuture (featuring Miley Cyrus????) on June 5th. These are just classic episodes, none of that interactive garbage like Bandersnatch.

Stuff I found on AliExpress - Part 2

Part 2 of my AliExpress spelunking:

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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.​