Issue 1260 - Monday 30th November, 2020

In Today's Issue

The News

COVIDSafe gets an overhaul but will still be a hot steaming turd

Yet another twist the sad, sorry saga that is COVIDSafe - they're giving the app's Bluetooth stack a total overhaul. Disappointingly, they aren't using the Google/Apple framework so the damn thing works when your phone is unlocked, the DTA is using VMware Herald's Herald platform instead. The same platform the UK's NHS trialled and decided not to use because it "failed to pick up contacts between iPhones when they were asleep". Herald does support more devices than the Bluetrace protocol being used now, but it still can't do the basic task of recording iPhones in someone's pocket or bag when they're locked. Jim Mussared has a solid tweet storm about how fucked this is.

Government tweaks broadband report so it makes Australian internet appear #1 in the world

Another example of our government's warped brains when it comes to computers is the Bureau of Communications, Arts and Regional Research's latest report - Measuring Australia's fixed broadband performance. They paid PricewaterhouseCoopers to generate a report comparing Australia's broadband to the rest of the world to see how the NBN is going. A good idea considering how much money and time was spent on the NBN, but they specifically didn't include small and dense countries like South Korea and Singapore. They also juiced the stats by lowering the definition of broadband to include connections faster than 25mbit. What a surprise then that Australia ranked #1 in the world! Great job everyone!

Entrepreneur Tony Hsieh passes away

Found of Zappos and hugely influential entrepreneur, Tony Hsieh, sadly died in a house fire in Las Vegas over the weekend, aged only 46. The bloke was a huge part of the startup scene and one of the pioneers of internet commerce in the early 2000s. If you've ever started a business in any sort of digital space, you've probably heard of Tony's antics. As the New York Times explains, his philosophy was quite simple, "built around the idea that happy employees were the conduit to satisfied customers who would return again and again". Going by the comments on Hacker News, he was very well respected and despite being filthy rich and an entrepreneur, was quite a nice guy.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Rivers Cuomo learned to code so he can tame his mega musical spreadsheet

When I was a kid I read an article about the band Weezer in Rolling Stone (sitting in the St. Albans library because we couldn't afford to pay for frivolus stuff like magazines!) that Rivers Cuomo has a spreadsheet that contained various song lyrics and would piece them all together to make songs. I'm surprised that 20 years later, the dude is not only still persisting with his musical spreadsheet, but has taken it to another level taking an online course via Harvard to learn programming. He's made a Python app to "show me all the ideas I have at 126 BPM in the key of A flat that start with a third degree of the scale and the melody and are in Dorian mode and that my manager has given three stars or more to". Hmmm, maybe that's why Weezer's latest albums have kinda sucked. Cheers to my man in Madrid for emailing me to tell me about this!


The End

📻 Pork and Beans - Weezer

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