A little bit of personal news from me today - I’m working on an old idea at a new startup called Park n Plug! You might remember me crapping on about EV Up about a year ago. EV Up planned to install heaps of electric vehicle chargers across Australia but it all went to crap thanks to a dodgy investor. I was pissed off for months but I loved the idea so much that I found a new team to pick up where I left off and that’s Park n Plug. If you’ve got a commercial property you’d like a free EV charger installed on, let me know!

In This Issue


Win-win: face masks stop the spread of COVID-19 & screw with facial recognition algorithms

Not only is wearing a mask an excellent public health measure during these troubled times, it's also a great way to fuck with facial recognition algorithms. A study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (i.e: a proper lab that's not here to fuck spiders) found that wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth "causes the error rate of some of the most widely used facial recognition algorithms to spike to between 5% and 50%" and that "black masks were more likely to cause errors than blue masks, and the more of the nose covered by the mask, the harder the algorithms found it to identify the face". Good.

COVIDSafe is broken again on iOS devices due to a Bluetooth bug

Richard Nelson and Jim Mussared are doing the Lord’s work and found that COVIDSafe still doesn't work on iOS devices. Apparently each time COVIDSafe tries to "handshake" with another device running COVIDSafe, it creates a different Bluetooth ID or something and iOS has a limit of 200 Bluetooth connections. Once you hit 200 unique devices iOS shits the bed and won't connect to anything else, rendering COVIDSafe useless plus any other Bluetooth devices like headphones, smart watches or expensive electric cars made by a South African lunatic with apps that function as a key, also useless. A fix was supposedly added to v1.8 of COVIDSafe on the 21st of July, but it doesn't work and the problem persists.

Telstra sues Optus for new ad where Optus claims its regional coverage has improved

Telstra has cracked the shits with Optus claiming in its latest ads for improved regional phone coverage that Optus is "covering more of Australia than ever before". Telstra's legal action alleges that "the ads - which include video clips of people at locations such as the beach, a farm and a vineyard - suggest that Optus' network covers more of Australia than all other providers", which Telstra vehemently refutes. Telstra covers 99.5% of the population, whereas Optus only reaches a paltry 98.5%, a full 1% of difference! Telstra wants the court to stop Optus showing the ads until the court can decide if what Optus is saying is legitimate. Seems to me like someone is just salty that their network isn't as superior as it once was, hmmmm.

Not News

Facebook does some cool stuff, sometimes, via its New Product Experimentation team

Facebook's New Product Experimentation team has made a curious little app called E.gg. At first glance it looks like a Tubmlr/Geocities mashup that'll let you make crazy looking single page websites for whatever purpose you like. Not out yet but an iOS app is coming soon. Facebook NPE has thrown out a few other apps like Collab ("brings together creators and fans to create, watch, and mix and match original videos, starting with music"), Venue ("brings passionate fans and expert commentators together to experience live events in a new interactive way") and Hobbi ("an app that helps you stay motivated by letting you invite friends and family to follow and celebrate your progress"). As much as I enjoy shitting on Facebook, I'm glad there's a little slice of Facebook using their powers for something fun.


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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.​