In This Issue


One of Amazon’s most distinguished engineers quits in disgust at how it treats their workers

Tim Bray, a Vice President and Distinguished Engineer at Amazon Web Services (also one of the people that contributed to XML back when he worked Sun) quit his very well paid job, leaving about a million bucks on the table in share options, because he didn't want to work for a company that treats its warehouse workers like garbage.

Amazon is shit scared of individually powerless workers forming a union and demanding better working conditions and instead of using some of their massive profits to make sure the people enabling those profits are looked after, they fire anyone that looks like a union sympathiser in the hope everyone shuts up and continues being crushed so there's oil for the world's biggest money making machine.

Tim Bray didn't want to be part of that system of abuse, so he got out there before his conscience finishes gnawing away at him. Here's his blog post outlining why he quit Amazon. Solidarity comrade!

New 13” MacBook Pros have the good keyboard and a physical escape key

To all of you stuck with me in Mac induced Stockholm syndrome, there's fresh 13" MacBook Pros to overspend your computing budget on.

The units with 8GB of RAM use old 8th-gen Intel CPUs, only have two USB-C ports and are basically heavier and more expensive MacBook Airs with Touch Bars. The proper "new" ones use the latest 10th-generation 10nm Intel CPUs, come with 16GB of RAM and have four USB-C ports. There’s also the option for up to 32GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD (at exorbitant prices, of course).

Most importantly however, it marks the death of Apple's infamous and fragile butterfly switch keyboards, plus the return of a physical escape key. Thank Christ for that.

They're available to order now and will ship in a few days time.

Google lets us know what it reckons of the ACCC’s upcoming mandatory media publisher code of conduct

Google Australia put up a blog post adressing the ACCC’s soon to be released mandatory code of conduct for how companies like Google and Facebook interact with media companies.

Key to the argument is that Google is stealing news media's revenue and that's not fair - but Google reckons it "doesn't make any money when a user clicks on a news search result, rather when users click on ads" and because Google News has no ads, it makes no money (but it makes money if the site they send users to has Google ads on it!).

They also reminded everyone that Google drives traffic to these sites (albeit behind an obtuse algorithm nobody has visibility into) and they do it for free, compared to traditional distribution methods where a publisher pays for it (e.g: newsagents, supermarkets).

I don't know where this whole mandatory code of conduct is gonna end up, but we will see the first draft some time in July.

Not News

Investment in renewable energy should lead Australian post-coronavirus economic recovery

The Clean Energy Council (industry group/lobbyists for clean energy, mostly solar panel installers) has put out a plan called "A Clean Recovery" arguing for Australia to focus its economic recovery post-COVID-19 on becoming a renewable energy beefcake. Things it wants to see on a domestic level are mandatory solar & batteries for new home builds, a national scheme for rebates and low-interest loans for domestic batteries and regulation of batteries and inverters to support virtual power-plants (so batteries can act as a ballast for renewable energy with the owners getting paid for doing so) and automatic frequency response (to keep the grid stable if there's too much power being generated). Knowing our government this is probably pissing into the wind, but you can check out the full document here and dream.


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