In This Issue


Toshiba fully exits the laptop market, selling entire business unit to Sharp

Pour one out for a true OG, as Toshiba has quit making laptops. It sold a large chunk of its PC business to Sharp two years ago and recently sold the rest of its share to Sharp. It doesn't mean much in 2020, but in the 80s and late 90s they were quite popular. They had some really cool mini-laptop designs with the Libretto range and some of the Tecra laptops were quite thin back in the day, but look at this gallery of previous Toshiba laptops. There's not much iconic there. In my opinion, most of their laptops were crap for well over a decade. I don't think they made anything competitive with IBM/Lenovo, Apple or Dell for a long time, which probably explains the rapid decline from 17.7m PC shipments in 2011 down to only 1.4m in 2017.

Apple trying to stop recipe app using a pear as their logo because an idiot might think a pear is an apple

Not content with pissing off developers with unfair App Store terms, they're trying to stop a company called Super Healthy Kids who make a meal planner/recipe app because their logo of a pear looks too similar to Apple's apple. They claim that "the Apple Marks are so famous and instantly recognizable that the similarities in Applicant’s Mark will overshadow any differences and cause the ordinary consumer to believe the Applicant is related to, affiliated with or endorsed by Apple" - go look at the logos, they're totally different and you'd have to be an absolute moron to think that this company is somehow associated with Apple. Once again, even John Gruber reckons Apple's in the wrong here so you know Apple fucked up. Reminds me of when Apple sued Woolworths for their mishmash of an apple and a W logo using the same argument and failed.

ADF’s comms network project is 4 years late and hundreds of millions over budget

The Department of Defence has marked its $1.8b "terrestrial communication project" with Telstra as having a "medium-low" delivery confidence, i.e: they think their own project is fucked unless they overhaul it and pour more cash into it. This project began in October 2012 and was "expected to link all of Defence’s permanent sites and overseas troop deployments to the same network, and integrate its satellite and tactical networks". It's a huge effort, but 8 years later it's yet to achieve "final operating capability", which was originally expected in mid-2016. The main item holding things up is unified communications capability, which has sat in the "delivery phase" since Sept 2019. Kinda freaks me out the ADF hasn't got this sorted. Fingers crossed they have the basic ability to communicate during some sort of local hostility, as remote as that scenario would be.

Not News

An interview with Bill Gates about COVID-19 where he supports banning encryption for chat apps

Steven Levy has a great interview with Bill Gates up on Wired (this sentence is very 90s), where Bill gives his opinion on mostly COVID-19 related stuff but some tech stuff too. Bill blames "digital social media" for anti-science sentiments to spread so ferociously, but also goes on to say that "I personally believe government should not allow those types of lies or fraud or child pornography [to be hidden with encryption like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger]" - quite a controversial opinion. Him and Mark Zuckerberg have exchanged thoughts on it, with Bill saying Zuck has "very good values" but that they disagree on how much effort social media should put on stopping bullshit spread.


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