Issue 1304 - Monday 15th February, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Media bargaining code looks set to smoothly sail through Parliament

On Friday arvo a senate committee reviewing the media bargaining code said it's good to go ahead without any changes. This means it'll likely be debated in Parliament this week and probably passed relatively soon as the Greens and ALP more or less support the core purpose of the code. Meanwhile, Google and Seven West Media have signed a deal worth over $30m a year to provide content to Google's News Showcase product. Elsewhere in the world, Microsoft wants the USA to implement something like our media bargaining code and after years of trying, the French government managed to force Google into an agreement with news outlets worth around US$76m.

Dude gets a sales message from Canonical on Linkedin after starting an Ubuntu instance

When you fire up a virtual machine on a hosting provider, you don't really expect the provider to share that fact with the developer of the operating system, but that's exactly what's been happening with Azure and Ubuntu. Luca Bongiorni set up a new Ubuntu instance in Azure then a few hours later got a message on Linkedin from an "Enterprise Development" person at from Ubuntu trying to make a sale. This was confirmed by Canonical who said "as per the Azure T&Cs, Microsoft shares with Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, the contact details of developers launching Ubuntu instances on Azure. These contact details are held in Canonical's CRM in accordance with privacy rules". Gross, extremely gross.

NBN fiddling with AVC & CVC costs for ISPs so they can increase revenue

NBN is still desperately trying to raise its average revenue per user so is floating a variety of schemes to sting ISPs an extra $2/m on services faster than 50mbps. There's a few accounting tricks and product packages NBN tries to use to make it avoid looking like a straight up price increase, but it's hard to avoid the fact that NBN's current ARPU is $45/yr when it needs to be $49/yr to be "profitable" as planned years ago. The main reason ARPU isn't going up is that users who want faster internet (which costs more, increasing ARPU!) can't get it because the NBN's half-arsed network can't deliver the speeds customers can justify paying extra for. NBN is also considering a "low-income offering" in the $40-$50 RRP range for those on "specific Centrelink benefits" - something sorely needed IMHO and should actually be free, not a token $10/m off.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Street Complete is a fun Android app for making Open Street Map contributions

Open Street Map is excellent but to stay excellent it needs dorks like you and me filling in the gaps about our local areas. It can be a bit of a shitshow to contribute for most people, but Tobias Zwick has made a wonderful Android app called Street Complete that turns updating Open Street Map into a fun little game. It'll ask you questions as you wander around, like "does this street have a sidewalk?", "what surface is this road?", "what is the name of this place?". You can disable certain types of quests (I got sick of being asked what type of surface every damn road is) and it's all logged against your OSM account so you can brag about how many contributions you've made!


The End

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