In This Issue


Aussie unis probably helped developed facial recognition software to aid Chinese concentration camps

Last night on Four Corners, the ABC had a shocking story about the Chinese government setting up what can only be described as concentration camps, packed with hundreds of thousands of Muslim ethnic minority groups forced to work in clothing sweatshops against their will. As part of that investigation, the ABC also found that UTS and Curtin Uni have research agreements with Chinese state-owned companies to develop technology that improves the facial recognition of ethnic minorities used to imprison them. I doubt the collaboration was on purpose, but the unis were pretty naive not to know this is where their research would end up.

Galileo GNSS has been down for 4 days due to a “technical incident”

Europe's equivalent of GPS, Galileo, has been down for 4 days following a "a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure" at the Precise Timing Facility in Italy. While it isn't good to have such a major and prolonged outage of what I'd consdier an essential service, it's not as bad as it sounds. Gallileo is technically sill in development with "full operational capacity" not planned to happen until 2020 and there are other GNSS systems like GPS and GLONASS that Europeans can use perfectly fine - until the Chinese use their space laser to blast the American and Russian satellites out of orbit.

Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency isn't going down well in Washington

We saw Trump's anti-cryptocurrency tweets last week, now Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (not a typo) has "very serious concerns" about the national security implications of Libra, saying he'd like more detail on how Facebook plans to prevent the use of Libra by "money launderers and terrorist financiers". Meanwhile, Democrat reps in Congress have drafted a bill called "Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act" that would ban "a technology company with an annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more" from being a, or being associated with a financial institution. Cool, good luck with that.

Not News

The UK’s new £50 note will celebrate the accomplishments of Alan Turing

Alan Turing is gonna be on the UK’s new £50 note. If you don’t know who Alan Turing is, his most widely known work was breaking Nazi codes for the Allies during WW2 and for designing the Automatic Computing Engine - one of the first computers that could store a program. He was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts and chemically castrated by the UK government as an alternative to prison. He killed himself and the world was deprived of his genius because of it. The Imitation Game is a good movie about some of Alan Turing's life and if you're ever in the UK, take a day to go visit Bletchley Park.


🎶 Bang and Blame - R.E.M.

😁 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.​