Issue 1336 - Thursday 1st April, 2021

I'm taking advantage of the Easter extra long weekend and taking a break from The Sizzle! There won't be any Sizzle at all until the 6th of April as that's all public holidays. From the 6th until the 9th of April, Peter Wells will be filling you in on the latest tech news while I pretend to enjoy myself outdoors. Everything goes back to normal on the 12th of April.

In Today's Issue

The News

Facebook allowing users to moderate discussions in posts & groups now that they're liable for comments

Facebook is gonna give people and groups the ability to "control who comments on the post, ranging from everyone who can see the post, to only those who have been tagged by the profile or page in the post". Don't think it's because Facebook is listening to user feedback - they aren't. This change is predominately because of an Australian legal precedent that media companies are "liable for defamatory comments posted by users on the companies' public Facebook pages, leading to media companies calling for a change to the law, which had put pressure on staff resourcing on moderation".

Arizona almost passed law breaking app store payment monopoly until Apple & Google lobbyists rolled in

The US state of Arizona was primed to pass a law that would make it a requirement of various app stores to allow developers to use alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. It got through Arizona's house of reps and had enough support in the senate for it to pass - but it was pulled hours before it was set to be voted on after Apple and Google "hired almost every lobbyist in town" that "caused Senate members who'd previously agreed to vote to waver". We were so close to having the app store monopolies fucked right up, only for the 800-pound gorilla to beat us down, once again.

$50m fine for Telstra after they lied to Indigenous customers about phone contracts

Telstra has said they accept a court's decision to fine them $50m after the ACCC sued them for "unconscionable" conduct selling phone plans to Indigenous customers. According to the ACCC, between Jan 2016 and August 2018, five Telstra stores signed up 100 Indigenous customers to multiple post-paid mobile contracts who could not afford it. In one example "a Telstra staff member listed a customer’s employer as Centrelink when in reality they were receiving Centrelink benefits". You know they fucked up hard when Telstra rolls over and cops a $50m fine on the chin.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Beware of cheap smartwatches promising fancy health measurements

Gough Lui tested the Bakeey 116 Pro smartwatch (sold and delivered from China to Australia for only $15!) and probably unsurprisingly, was disappointed in the accuracy of its sensors. Despite containing what appears to be an optical photoplethysmography heart rate sensor (i.e: that flashing light on the back of your Apple Watch), the heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation readings are utter bullshit. You can read the excellent post for all the details of Gough's testing as to how he discovered this, but yeah, that green LED on the back is just a green LED, it doesn't measure shit.


The End

📻 Monkey Box - Only Child Tyrant & Amon Tobin

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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.​