Issue 1332 - Friday 26th March, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Zuck, Pichai & Dorsey lightly grilled by US congress again

This morning Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey were on a video chat with members of the US House communications and technology subcommittee to discuss "Social Media's Role in Promoting Extremism and Misinformation". Protocol has a good summary of what went down in today's dog and pony show. As usual, everything out of the CEO's mouths was vague non-comittal, cover your arse style business language. Jack Dorsey got busted subtweeting during the 6 hour meeting, mocking the politicians for wanting yes or no answers out of him instead of the usual waffle. You can watch the entire thing here if you're extremley bored.

COVIDSafe's infrastructure alone costs $100k/m to run

I almost forgot it was even a thing, but COVIDSafe has popped back up in the news. In a senate estimates hearing last night, the boss of the DTA told senators that "COVIDSafe has moved into what we call a business-as-usual state. We apply very small amounts of maintenance – it costs about $100,000 per month to run the infrastructure and we’ve made a provision for about $200,000 per month to allow us to make future changes". According to The Sizzle's Slack group, that's an obscene amount of money considering COVIDSafe's scope. It's a shame the DTA isn't releasing numbers on how many active users of the COVIDSafe exist. Surely there isn't enough people running it on their phone at this point in time to make it anything but a waste of time?

Alan Turing replaces Queen on new UK £50 banknote

A bit of light hearted, feel good news to lead you into the weekend - Alan Turing is getting a 50 quid banknote over in the UK. It's the final one of their notes to go plastic (like ours) and befitting of Turing, it's the most secure note so far, packed with fancy holograms and watermarks and shit like that. There's multiple artwork features on the note, like a ticker tape with Alan's birth date in binary and technical drawings for the British Bombe code breaking machine, as well as 12 puzzles embedded the note by GCHQ to "test your code breaking skills". Doesn't make up for how he was treated for being gay during the 50s, but it's something.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Google is the digital equivalent of a bloated petrostate

David Heinemeier Hansson has a quick blog post comparing Google to a petrostate that's addicted and weighed down by the incredible wealth oil or gas brings, that when it tries to do anything else it never does it properly. When you're making US$40b/year flogging ads it's no surprise anything remotely interesting that's slightly difficult gets added to the graveyard. Even the externalities of the main product of Google (ads, incase you forgot) is shitty for us just like the externalities of oil and gas. I kinda forget Google was once cool and loved.


The End

📻 Dart - Screamfeeder

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

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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.​