Issue 1335 - Wednesday 31st March, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

ALP runs a watered down electric car policy up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes it

There's an election coming in the next 12 months, so the ALP has let loose a bunch of policies and one such policy is to remove import tariffs from electric vehicles. Australia already has free trade agreements with the USA, Japan, Korea and China (the source of most of our cars), so this policy will only really help with cars from the UK and EU (Australia is negotiating free trade agreements with both of em anyways) and would cut 5% off the price of an EV if the manufacturer passes it on. They're also planning to exempt EVs from fringe benefits tax. Better than nothing, I guess, but not as progressive as the policy they took to the 2019 election (and lost).

PayPal introduces new feature to buy stuff using various cryptocurrencies

As much as I try to ignore it, cryptocurrency isn't going anywhere and is taken very seriously by more than a handful of people. The latest example of this is PayPal's new "Checkout with Crypto" feature allowing users to "to instantly convert their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash to US dollars (with no additional transaction fees) that PayPal then uses to complete the transaction". It's US only at the moment. What interests me is why you'd want to do this, as the moment you convert any cryptocurrency into fiat currency (i.e: Aussie dollars or Euros or whatever) you trigger a capital gains tax event with basically every tax jurisdiction in the world.

Whistleblower employee alleges Ubiquiti covered up a major security breach

Remember when Ubiquiti emailed all its users to reset their passwords due to the potential for a security breach earlier this year, that they blamed on a 3rd party getting hacked? The breach was way worse than that according to a whistleblower employee, who tells Brian Krebs that it was Ubiquiti themselves that got hacked, finding a backdoor into their entire IT infrastructure that led the attackers to get so much info that it "could have allowed the intruders to remotely authenticate to countless Ubiquiti cloud-based devices around the world". Piss weak of Ubiquiti to cover this up instead of admitting to it.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Want more women in high-end STEM jobs? Give them support to start families without sacrificing careers

Karen Morenz argues in a blog post that it isn't necessarily sexism that prevents women with PhDs sticking around in senior STEM roles, but the lack of flexible working arrangements. Yes, sexism is unfortunately rife in a male dominated space, but the women who manage to get their PhD "for the most part they have already survived the worst of the sexism". She reckons that "when you ask women why they left, the number one reason they cite is balancing work/life responsibilities", i.e: the peak time of career progression in this industry also coincides with when women start families and workplaces aren't set up for women (and men!) to take prolonged time off and then come back to work with an arrangement that allows them to be a mother as well as a scientist/engineer/researcher.


The End

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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.‚Äč