In This Issue


AFP admits to using multiple free trials of Clearview AI

Despite saying they've never used Clearview AI (that creepy facial recognition software that pulls pics off social media), the Australian Federal Police yesterday said that yes, they have actually used it, albeit in a "limit pilot". The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) were the ones who gave Clearview AI a crack, as part of a several free trials they received. Spooks trying out new apps to do their job isn't really news, but the fact they denied it previously and since then Clearview suffered a data breach that could jeopardise any cases the AFP used Clearview AI on makes it a particularly spicy meatball.

Australia planning to use Singapore’s TraceTogether to do smartphone based COVID-19 contact tracing

We are getting our own COVID-19 contact tracing app! Brendan Murphy, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, told a New Zealand parliamentary hearing that Singapore has given us the code for their contact tracing app, TraceTogether and he is "very keen to use it and use it perhaps even more extensively than Singapore". It uses Bluetooth to detect participating TraceTogether users who come within 2m of each other for more than 30 minutes and store that data on the phone ready to share it authorities should the need arise. Please don't fuck this up, please don't fuck this up, please don't fuck this up.

Tired of Qualcomm’s lukewarm SoCs, Google has made its own

Google wants to make its own smartphone SoC according to Axios. Sick of the middling performance of Qualcomm's gear, Google thinks following Apple's path to making its own chips is the way to go for the Pixel and Chromebook range. The chip currently under development is code-named Whitechapel and was co-developed with Samsung who would also manufacture it using their fancy 5nm process. It's got 8 cores and special bits inside optimised for Google's machine learning stuff and "improving the performance and always-on capabilities of Google Assistant". The Whitechapel SoC be in 2021's Pixels apparently.

Not News

Agency, a new William Gibson book that I’ll probably buy now and not read for months because I’m a bad reader

I totally forgot that William Gibson has a new book out! It's called Agency and according to this review in The Monthly, is "half is set in 2017 in a world where Hillary Clinton won the 2016 United States election, and the United Kingdom decided against Brexit" and "describes the entanglement of Verity Jane, an "app whisperer" who helps start-ups tweak their software, and Wilf Netherton, a PR guy in the future – of course there are still PR guys after the apocalypse – who is pulled back from paternity leave to help his boss interfere with events in Verity's world". There's never been a better time to read some William Gibson now that you're stuck at home due to a global pandemic.


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😁 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.​