A bit of personal news - I've started a new business! It's called EV Up and our aim is to blanket Australia in fast electric car chargers. We've raised a bit of cash to get some chargers installed in metro Melbourne & Sydney and are currently looking for locations (3-phase power, 24hr car park, food & toilets nearby). If any Sizzle readers work somewhere or are friendly with somewhere that might be interested in a free 50kW electric car charger, let me know!

In This Issue


Chinese face swap deepfake app has privacy issues (no shit)

Zao is the latest viral app everyone's going nuts over, which lets users "see themselves act out scenes from well-known movies using deepfake technology". Its been chided by some people after its privacy policy included terms like "free, irrevocable, permanent, transferable, and relicenseable" rights to all user-generated content. They've apologised since and fixed the problematic terms and conditions, but it's still the most downloaded app in China. Kinda weird to be seeing deepfake stuff used like this and part of me reckons its a trojan horse to build a giant database of everyone's faces so government facial recognition services can get more accurate.

Melbourne’s getting a 200-seat dedicated esports venue

Fortress Esports is gonna build "the largest video game and esports venue in the Southern Hemisphere". It'll go into the Emporium shopping center in Melbourne's CBD and span "2,700+ square metres across two floors". Inside will be "gaming PCs, console gaming suites, dedicated streamer pods, RPG and tabletop game play area, function rooms, a restaurant, two bars and a 200 seat purpose built esports arena with production facilities". Internet cafes have come a long way since the last time I frequented em! I'd ditch school, catch a train into the city and spend the day playing Counter-Strike with uni students and unemployed loners at 11am in a poorly lit room filled with the stench of bong water.

SpaceX didn’t move a satellite that was going to crash into an ESA satellite

The European Space agency put out a press release complaining about SpaceX's refusal to move a satellite that was going to collide with one of the ESA's satellites. SpaceX just sent an email saying nah, not moving it, so the ESA had to move their satellite despite it being in space for way longer than SpaceX's. This is a bit of a problem considering how SpaceX plans to have 10,000+ satellites in orbit over the next few years. Are they gonna refuse to move their satellites then too? Everyone has to get out of SpaceX's way instead of SpaceX co-operating? The ESA reckons we need “road-rules” for space now and some kind of technology to manage it.

Not News

Using City Skylines to tell educational stories about urban planning

City Skylines is a pretty cool game and you can spend hours dicking around making wacky cities like a Sydney property developer that snorted a kilo of coke. But it can also be educational, like donoteat on YouTube, who is using the power and realism of City Skylines in a series he calls "Power, Politics, & Planning", to demonstrate the real world impact of planning decisions on cities. There's topics like parking minimums, urban freeways, gentrification and public housing. I bet the developers of Cities Skylines never thought their game would be used to tell stories like this.


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🎶 Moby Octopad - Yo La Tengo

😁 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.​