Issue 1294 - Monday 1st February, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

NBN not activating new HFC services indefinitely due to modem manufacturing problems

There is currently an indefinite halt on activating new NBN services using the HFC technology that will last "several months" because "the supplier of NBN Co's HFC NTDs has been unable to secure sufficient chipsets supplies to fulfil its commitments". In practice, this means that if you move into a premises with a HFC connection and the previous owner/tenant took the NTD with them, you won't be able to get online until Arris get their shit together and manufacture some more. NBN reckons they have enough stock on hand to replace faulty units and to supply new units to "vulnerable people", but if you need a new one you're outta luck.

General Motors will only sell zero emissions vehicles by 2035

General Motors announced it's gonna stop selling dirty oil burning cars by 2035. Sure, GM isn't the behemoth it used to be and doesn't sell cars in Australia anymore - but it's still the 4th/5th largest car maker in the world. They've clearly read the writing on the wall, with GM saying that "we are doing this to build a sustainable business. We want to have a business in 15 years that's a thriving business", but I bet the Biden administration's executive order telling the EPA to "begin developing tough new tailpipe pollution regulations, designed to rein in the nation's largest source of planet-warming pollution" played a part in it.

Xiaomi hyping up a wireless charging pylon that'll power all the devices in a room

Xiaomi has announced (is a press release with no date and price an announcement?) room scale wireless charging for devices in a radius of "several meters". They call it "Mi Air Charge Technology" and claims to be able to charge multiple devices at up to 5W at the same time. Speakers, lamps, smart home devices, smart watches, fitness bands, basically anything that only needs 5W of power can use this system. In their 60 sec hype video it shows a cube, about the size of a bar fridge, in the corner of a room they call a charging pile, that has "phase control array composed of 144 antennas" and "transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming". Okay, sounds cool, wake me up when I can buy one off eBay.

Something I Saw On The Internet

On the internet you're either a blockbuster or a flop, there's no middle class

Li Jin argues in this article that the "creator economy" is lacking a middle class, despite the promise of the internet enabling a long tail of content. The top 10 publishers on Substack make $7m/yr, only 2% of Patreon creators earn more than the US minimum wage and just 1.4% of Spotify artists earn 90% of the royalties. It's a topic that obviously resonates with me, as I (barely) make a living selling my creative output on the internet. There's some good suggestions in the article with solutions, particularly recommendation algorithms being a bit more random instead of formulated and providing capital to people who are promising but need a leg up to reach a wider audience.

Bargains

The End

📻 Violet - Hole

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