In This Issue


Twitter pauses plan to prune inactive users until they figure out a way to memorialise accounts

Twitter has come to its senses and realised deleting the accounts of dead people and removing their tweets is a bad idea. In a tweet they said "we've heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased. This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts". It'll be interesting to see how Twitter tackle this problem. How do you prove the account belongs to the person named in the death certificate? Good luck solving that problem. Twitter also clarified that deleting user accounts was intended for the EU only, so they can comply with GDPR laws. Personally, I'd love it if Twitter had a feature to let me auto-delete my tweets after a certain time period.

Centrelink’s automated “robodebt” payment notices deemed illegal by the Federal Court

At last, the government has finally realised the way they sucked in data from the ATO and applied it to Centrelink users without any sort of analysis or refinement of that data is a bad idea. They admitted yesterday in Federal Court this process was unfair and last week said they will no longer send out automated debt notices when the only data they have is the ATO and won't put the onus on the debtor to prove their debt doesn't exist. This entire robodebt saga has been a cruel example of how careless use of technology can harm people unnecessarily. People died because of robodebt, all because some bureaucrat got excited about being able to automate a job that requires human input.

Kids in Tasmanian state schools are banned from using their phones next year

Tasmania has joined the list of states banning mobile phones in schools. Starting in term two 2020, every kid in a state school in Tassie will need to turn their phone off and put away. Schools will be able to apply for funding to install phone lockers, pouches or whatever the school reckons is suitable to keep the evil smartphones away from the precious children. There will also be exceptions for kids that need it for medial reasons or if a teacher says its okay to use for educational purposes. The justification for banning phones in Tasmania is the same as the other states: they’re a distraction and by removing them from the school environment, they’ll gain “the opportunity to concentrate, think, learn, play and engage”. I can’t say I disagree with that gut feeling. Studies of the actual experience in VIC & NSW shouldn’t be too far away.

Not News

A Sizzle subscriber let me borrow his Tesla Model 3 and it was fun, thank you Jonathan

I love all Sizzle subscribers equally, but I love Jonathan Griffin a little more because he let me borrow his brand new Tesla Model 3 for an entire day. Never met the bloke prior but he trust me enough not to trash his pride and joy. I wrote an article about what is was like driving the Tesla ~300km and compared it to my Hyundai Ioniq. Read the entire article for my full take, but succinctly, the Tesla is awesome and way better than I thought. It's also important to separate Elon from the car his company made. Elon Musk, is a wanker, no doubt about it. But the Model 3 is a great vehicle. Should you not buy one because the bloke who runs the company is a dickhead? Maybe, but I'm happy to differentiate the man from the creation.


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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.​