Issue 1276 - Tuesday 5th January, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Employees sick of Google's bullshit form a mini-union to try and get management's attention

A small group of Google employees have formed an official union. The Alphabet Workers Union is a subsidiary of the Communications Workers of America and whilst it only has ~200 out of 260,000 employees signed up paying 1% of their income to join, it's a start. In an op-ed in the New York Times, union leaders Parul Koul and Chewy Shaw said they're sick of employee concerns being dismissed by management. It's not about money, but rather the direction of the company and how they treat their staff. Casey Newton reckons the fact the union is relatively weak compared to a "traditional" union lowers the bar for typically union-hostile tech workers to join, gaining a pretty useful and enticing "legally protected megaphone to air your grievances with management" along the way.

UK won't extradite Julian Assange to the USA, but he's not out of prison yet

Getting extradited to the USA is Julian Assange's greatest fear. It's the reason he stayed in the Ecuadorian embassy all those years, driving himself insane. Today a UK court said he will not be extradited to the USA, because US prisons are awful and his already fragile mental state would deteriorate further, probably causing him to commit suicide - using Jeffrey Epstein and Chelsea Manning as examples. The USA has appealed the decision to the UK's high court. In the meantime, Julian will remain in prison until a bail hearing tomorrow. Scott Morrison reckons Julian can come home to Australia, but only if all charges against him are dropped. So if the UK sets him free, but the US still wants him, there's a huge chance Australia will turn him over to the USA.

Singapore changes its mind and will use COVID-19 contact tracing app data in criminal investigations

A change in the privacy statement of Singapore's COVID-19 contact tracing app, TraceTogether (which COVIDSafe used to be based on, it isn't any more), says the the "Singapore Police Force is empowered under the CPC to obtain any data, including TraceTogether data, for criminal investigations" and "data may be used in circumstances where citizen safety and security is or has been affected". It did not say this earlier, so it looks like the Singaporean government couldn't help themselves in not accessing that juicy honeypot of data of who has been near who. Don't forget that ASIO and the ASD "accidentally" collected COVIDSafe data for 6 months last year.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Computers and fried chicken, together at last

While I was minding my own business, enjoying a world away from the constant torrent of news, KFC announced the KFConsole - a computer case made in collaboration with Coolermaster, a brand you might be familiar with if you spent your teenage years hanging around Overclockers Australia instead of being a normal kid. The KFConsole's raison d'être is a "chicken chamber", a drawer in which to stash fried chicken and uses the heat generated by your sweet gaming rig to keep said chicken warm. There's no details if you can buy the case on its own or you need to buy it pre-assembled, or even if you can buy it at all. What will the colonel think of next to get free promotion in publications that would otherwise not mention him???


The End

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