ASD confirms it’s spied on locals in “rare circumstances” in the last 12 months
Fleets are Twitter’s version of Instagram Stories
Waymo shows off their 5th-generation sensor suite for self-driving cars
10 solid tips for solid wi-fi in your house
Cheap Yamaha soundbar, AirPods, Sony WH-1000XM3, Rocket League for Switch
The director general of the Australian Signals Directorate, Rachel Noble, has confirmed in Senate estimates yesterday that they've been spying on Australians - something they're not supposed to do "except in rare circumstances, and only then under the authority of a ministerial authorisation". Noble said this as part of some statement about what the ASD does and doesn’t do, and Jacqui Lambie asked if those "rare circumstances" have been in the last 12 months, to which Noble said "yes" to, confirming the local spying. Of course, she was unable to expand on what those rare circumstances were (doing so would "reveal classified information"), but yeah, the ASD can look into your shit if Dutton signs off on it. Cool.
Twitter has joined the 24-hour expiring content bandwagon with a new feature called Fleets. Apparently this is some form of gay slang (don't quote me on this) but is actually inspired by the notion of fleeting tweets. Get it? Fleets, fleeting tweets? Anyway, these are "posts that appear in a separate timeline above the main timeline for 24 hours before disappearing". You can't like or retweet a fleet and can respond to them almost identically to Instagram's Stories with either an emoji or text which is sent as a DM to that person. Right now they're only enabled in Brazil, but I don't see why they wouldn't go worldwide soon. I'd probably use this feature as I hate my tweets lingering around too long and a private reply is just fine instead of something the whole world has to see.
When it comes to self-driving cars, the industry consensus seems to be that Waymo is leading the pack. With the announcement of their their 5th-generation self-driving package, they might be extending that lead. The 5th-gen units are comprised of upgraded cameras, LIDAR and radar units - most of which are all designed in-house. The LIDAR unit can see up to 300m away compared to ~200-250m on most other LIDAR units, the 29 cameras have improved "high-dynamic range and thermal stability over automotive temperature ranges" that can see a stop sign 500m away and the radar sensors can detect "a motorcyclist from hundreds of meters away". All these new bits go on top of Jaguar's I-Pace SUV that Waymo plans to use to expand its current robotaxi service in Phoenix.
Due to the magical properties of radio signals, advice on where to place a wi-fi access point and what settings you should tweak for best performance will never have a one size fits all answer, but Arstechnica have given it a shot anyways and come up with 10 very good wi-fi setup rules. You should read the entire article, but based on my experience their suggestion for placing an AP in the middle of a house, above head height with ethernet backhaul is gonna solve most problems. The article also explains a common mistake people make when setting up wi-fi - turning output power to max thinking that will help. It doesn't and will actually make devices closer to the AP work worse. I'm gonna bookmark this one and send it to everyone who asks me for help about their shitty wi-fi along with "install an ethernet cable".
Yamaha YAS-108B soundbar - $149 at The Good Guys
Apple AirPods 2/AirPods 2 with wireless charging case - $199/$245 + delivery at Umart (or get Officeworks to price match).
Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise cancelling headphones - $322.66 for black or $316.47 for silver from Allphone’s eBay store
Rocket League for Nintendo Switch - $12.67 via the eShop
🎶 Bugman - Blur
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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.