In This Issue


Julian Assange is no longer on the hook for Swedish rape, but the USA probably still wants him

Sweden's dropped the rape case against Julian Assange, one less thing for old mate to be on the run from. According to the Swedish prosecutors, "the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question" making it unlikely a court case would succeed if it went ahead, so, it's dropped. This doesn't change much for Julian as he's still in prison in the UK for not reporting for bail back in 2012. He'll be out around March 2020 with the US very keen to make him face the music in his role in "conspiring with Chelsea Manning to crack a hashed password belonging to a Pentagon computer in 2010". I assume as soon as Julian is released from prison the UK will hand him over to the yanks. Even if he came home to Australia, as if our weak as piss government wouldn't hand him over instantly as well.

NTSB declares who was at fault in Uber robocar murder: everyone

The National Traffic Safety Board has laid down who it reckons is at fault in the Uber robocar murder: pretty much everyone. Rafaela Vasquez, the vehicle operator who was "visually distracted throughout the trip by her personal cell phone" is to blame. Uber, who had "inadequate safety risk assessment procedures", "ineffective monitoring of vehicle operators" and an inability to address "automation complacency" of safety drivers is to blame. The state of Arizona and its "insufficient" policies regarding automated vehicles on public roads is to blame. Even the deceased, Elaine Herzberg is partly to blame, as she didn't cross the road at the crosswalk and had methamphetamine in her system that could have impaired her judgement. Unfortunately, it looks like Uber will suffer no criminal charges or even regulatory changes in Arizona due to any of this.

Changes to defamation laws could mean social media companies are liable for what users say

Christian Porter, our big brained Attorney-General, told the National Press Club today that "online platforms, so far as reasonably possible, should be held to essentially the same standards as other publishers" and that "the playing field between digital platforms and mainstream media is completely uneven". I think what Porter wants to see is a change in defamation laws that'll make Facebook liable in some way, possibly along with the page's owner. Probably because back in June the NSW Supreme Court found that if someone makes a defamatory comment on a newspaper or TV channel's Facebook page, it's not Facebook that's liable for any damages, it is the newspaper or TV channel. I’m guessing the “media companies” whispered in his ear that they don’t like the precedent this sets. It's still all hot air, but watch this space in 2020.

Not News

Fancy bedside speaker & Mac Mini hub

I stumbled across two fancy looking, maybe handy, maybe unnecessary gadgets this week. First is a new bedside unit from Tivoli that incorporates an LED lamp, Qi wireless phone charger, USB charger and a Bluetooth speaker. Like most Tivoli stuff it's really classy and minimal but also a bit pricey at $399. Some of you might dig it. The other item is a USB-C hub and stand for the Mac Mini from Satechi. It's the exact dimensions and finish of the latest Mac Mini and places 3x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 3.5mm headphone, microSD & SD card slots facing the front. It also acts as a little height booster if you're the type of person to place a monitor on top of your Mac Mini. It's US$79.99 (and ~US$15 to ship here) from Satechi's online store.


🎶 Ockham's Razor - The Mint Chicks

😁 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.​