In This Issue


Huawei clarifies which of its smartphones will receive updates now that it’s on the USA’s shitlist

If you've seen all the Huawei P30 Pros going super cheap because people are uncertain about Huawei's future now that the US has slapped a national security ban on em, but held off buying one because you also are uncertain about it - wonder no more. Huawei has provided details on what the situation is regarding software updates. Basically all the current and last gen Huawei phones will get regular security and feature updates, along with an upgrade to Android Q. This stuff was all locked in prior to the national security ban, so it's business as usual for the next year or so.

Anti-5G protests took place around Australia on the weekend

There was an anti-5G protest in Melbourne on Saturday, with "dozens of protesters" walking from Flagstaff Gardens, past Telstra HQ in Exhibition Street and ending at Telstra's flagship store on Bourke Street. A similar protest went down in Perth and in Brisbane. Their beef is that the mmWave frequencies of 5G (approx 24GHz to 60GHz) will "lead to a wide range of negative effects including memory loss, miscarriage, obesity, autism, ADHD and asthma". Smells to me like the exact same sort of bullshit that rots the brains of anti-vaccination types and is intensified by social media.

Valve dropping support for Steam on future versions of Ubuntu

Bad news for Linux gamers (all 2 of you) - Steam is dropping support for Ubuntu's upcoming 19.10 release, as Ubuntu is dropping support for 32-bit apps. There's lots of games that require 32-bit support that probably aren't going to get updates, so to save itself a support nightmare when people can't play their games, Valve's just not gonna make Steam for Ubuntu 19.10 and recommends using another distro that still has the 32-bit libraries games require under Linux. macOS Catalina will be dropping 32-bit support entirely too, so I wonder if the same will happen to Steam on Mac?

Facebook realised it’s played a role in genocides, doing the least it can to further implicate itself

Facebook is doing the bare minimum to try and avoid further genocides in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It'll limit the number of messages a user can forward in WhatsApp, as an attempt to slow the spread of bullshit that's been reported to have exacerbated anti-Muslim violence in Sri Lanka. Facebook will also focus on limiting the reach of "borderline content" - that is content not against Facebook rules, so instead of deleting it they'll limit how far it is spread. Facebook's blog post on the topic is here if you want to see how they spin this.

The USA and Iran are deep in a cyberwar

The US and Iran narrowly avoided an actual armed conflict last week, but the cyberwar between the two is in full flight. The US media has been reporting that a "retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group" approved by Donald Trump took place last week, which reports claim was "crippling to Iran’s military command and control systems" and are were "meant as a response both to the attacks on oil tankers as well as the recent downing of an US drone aircraft". I guess this kind of warfare is better than WW1 style trench fighting, that's a positive?

Not News, But Still Cool

The Internet Archive has a nice collection of WinAmp skins

For those under the age of 25, WinAmp was what we used to listen to MP3s (music files) and it had a rich community of people who made custom themes for the user interface. There's almost 63,000 of them on the Internet Archive and man, some of them bring back memories. I personally liked to try and get WinAmp looking like a fancy hi-fi, like a multi-component system from Sony, Denon or Marantaz. The Internet Archive even animates the skin so you can see it with the ID3 tag info scrolling across and even play the iconic llama ass whippin' intro.

Hands up who stayed up late curating their illegal MP3 collection as a teen?

While we're on the reminiscing train, this story from Vice does a good job at capturing that feeling of collecting the MP3s you'd play with WinAmp. I wish I could quote the entire article, as it perfectly encapsulates the late nights spent downloading albums, burning mix CDs, sorting out your MP3 collection and fixing ID3 tags. I think I look back on it so fondly as the rise of illegal music downloading also happened to be when I was a teenager figuring out what music I liked. Spotify and Apple Music is way better, don't get me wrong, but it lacks that joy of curating a collection I really loved.

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😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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.​