Issue 1289 - Friday 22nd January, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Google threatens to turn off search engine for Australians if media bargaining code becomes law

Google's Australian boss has told a Senate hearing deliberating the mandatory media bargaining code that "if this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia". Google is literally threatening to turn off its search product in Australia if this proposed code becomes reality. Honestly, I'd love to see it happen, just for shits and giggles. Can you imagine that? Just no Google in Australia. You'd go to type a query into a browser's omnibox and nuthin'. Michael West Media has a great article explaining how perverted this proposed code is. Over in France, Google has stitched up deals with media companies that keeps both government and media outlets happy

Facebook's oversight board will review decision to ban Trump and keep him banned

Facebook is going to use its Oversight Board to determine if banning Donald Trump and keeping him off their platform is legitimate. The Oversight Board an independent panel of experts that review "unique or important edge cases that are hard to qualify under Facebook's existing rules" moderation decisions, that has the power to give Facebook binding orders. It's kinda like a Supreme Court of Facebook. I don't know what would happen if Facebook just ignored the decision of the board considering the board is funded by Facebook. It's not like the Oversight Board has its own police force and can drag Zuck out of his mansion and into an electric chair if the board's orders are ignored. Anyway, it'll be fun to see what justification they use for keeping Trump banned indefinitely.

Raspberry Pi makes an Arduino competitor, the Pi Pico

There's a new Raspberry Pi! It's very different to the units they've shipped in the past, as this new one is more like an Arduino microcontroller than a full blown PC running Linux. The Pi Pico runs a custom made microprocessor called the RP2040, a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ 133MHz processor with 264KB internal RAM. There's some headers on the sides to solder your crap into and lots of I/O choices like I2C, SPI and even PIO to interact with various sensors or displays and stuff like that. You code for the Pico with C or MicroPython. This thing is cheap as hell - at only $5.75 each, or $13.75 with headers soldered on and a microUSB cable. There's so many options for electronics tinkering these days. Wish this kinda stuff was around when I was trying to study it after high school and bombed out because it was so boring.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Webcams are so much worse than smartphone cameras, why?!

Jeff Carlson has done some investigation as to why webcams absolutely suck compared to smartphone cameras. After comparing some of the "best" webcams like the Logitech C920, Brio 4K Pro, StreamCam and the Razer Kiyo to an iPhone 6 and iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 6 was as good, sometimes better than those cameras. The iPhone 11 Pro is miles ahead on image quality. All are tiny little cameras on the back of powerful computers, so what's going on in webcam world that results in such a shitty image?! Jeff puts it down to a lack of market pressure. Webcams are a niche (well, were a niche, maybe post-COVID the market has grown?) whereas the camera on a smartphone is the main feature. Smartphones have fancy signal processors and software optimisations to get the most out of the tiny sensor - webcams have none of it.

Bargains

The End

📻 Street Power - Ho99o9

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

💬 Did you know that The Sizzle has a Slack group? Join in and chat with other subscribers like you.

💳 Paid subscriber looking to manage your billing info? Visit the customer portal.

🌐 Use my affiliate link to purchase a subscription to NextDNS. It's basically all the ad-blocking and logging of Pi-Hole, combined with the fancy protocols and security of Cloudflare's DNS service all rolled into one! I don't use the internet without it.

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.‚Äč