In This Issue


More coronavirus shenanigans, none involving toilet paper

SETI@Home no longer searching for extra terrestrial intelligence

Starting in 1999, SETI@Home has been sending little packets of radio data from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to millions of volunteer's computers, hoping to find traces of intelligent life. After 21 years of searching, the team has announced they've reached a "point of diminishing returns" and have analyzed all the data that they need for now. No new work will be sent to clients as of March 31st, 2020. Kinda sad nothing was found, but hey, that's just how it goes. Your CPU is now free to donate to Folding@Home or some other BOINC project instead.

NBN doesn’t want cheaper slower plans because it knows most people will go with price over speed and make NBN look stupid

NBN execs have said on the record in Senate Estimates last night that they don't want to make a cheaper entry-level pricing tier for people that can't afford $60/m for a shitty 12/1 plan because it would "drive more customers down into that much lower speed tier", "to the extent that the entry level price gets pulled down and the economics become more attractive to retailers, more people would tend to find themselves there" which in turn would force NBN "to look at the pricing structure of speed tiers above 12/1, which would obviously have an even greater detrimental revenue impact". Basically people are more concerned about price than speed, so if the cheapest plans got too cheap, more people would use those plans and NBN would make less money and the aim of improving Australia's broadband speeds won't be achieved as more people decide to save $20-$30/m and go for 12mbit (barely any faster than ADSL from the 90s) instead of 50mbit. The NBN clusterfuck continues!

Not News

Achieving 96% renewable energy for Australia is pretty straightforward

Australia could have 96% renewable energy without much hassle according to David Osmond, a researcher at Windlab. To come to this figure, Osmond "took the most recent three years’ (2016-2019) of AEMO historical generation data (with some supplementation to fill gaps in the AEMO data), and NEM demand data for the same period to examine the impact of a high penetration of renewables on known generation and consumption patterns" and found that thanks to our large electricity grid that spans from the top of QLD down to the bottom of TAS, there's enough wind or sun somewhere in the country 96% of the time to meet the grid's supply needs when combined with storage (residential batteries, pumped hydro, EVs). Some people like to make it seem as if generating all our electricity from renewables is an impossible pipe dream, but they're wrong.


🎶 Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups

😁 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.​