Issue 1363 - Wednesday 12th May, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

2021-2022 federal budget hasn't got much for tech/STEM in it beyond what was already announced

Lotta budget related stuff floating around at the moment. The big ticket stuff like rural mobile upgrades,the game development tax offset and upgrades to My Health Record and MyGov I mentioned earlier in the week, but these articles from ZDNet and InnovationAus seem to cover everything even remotely tech related. Some highlights include $40m for a Digital Atlas of Australia which is "aiming to make better use of over 90,000 open datasets to create a secure, dynamic, location-based and collaborative public data platform", $42.4m for a Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM program which will "offer co-funded scholarships for women in STEM in partnership with the private sector" and $13.3m for the Australian Space Agency to "increase our capacity to support the growth and transformation of the industry".

HTC is still alive and making pretty damn good VR headsets

HTC has some new VR headsets. The Vive Pro 2 is a high end headset with a 5K display resolution (2.5K per eye) and 120Hz refresh rate, making it one of the smoothest VR headsets on the market. The headset alone will set you back US$749 and will go on sale June 4th. You will need a fucken beefy GPU to power that bad boy, so if you prefer something fully contained, there's the Vive Focus 3, which doesn't require being connected to a computer to work. The Focus 3 does 2448x2448 pixels per eye at 90Hz, all off battery power alone. It goes on sale Jun 27th for US$1,300. Pricey compared to Facebook's Oculus, but HTC hasn't got a $100b/year advertising business to subsidise the cost of the hardware.

Facebook ignores German WhatsApp data collection ban, explains how app will progressively lose features

Controversial changes to WhatsApp's terms and conditions come into efect May 15th and Germany isn't happy about it, saying they violate the GDPR and issued a three-month emergency injunction on WhatsApp's data collection. Facebook doesn't seem to care and said they're proceeding with the T&C change. Germany is kicking it up to the EU for a more permanent ban. According to this FAQ, WhatsApp users that don't give in to lord Zuck won't be able to view their chat list, but can still answer incoming calls for a few weeks. After that grace period the app seems to be rendered entirely useless.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Parent interested in improving data science literacy for kids? Check this live info session out

Look, I don't know shit from gold when it comes to this kinda stuff, but Laura Summers sent me this and I trust her, so I figure it's gonna be on the gold end of the spectrum and worth sharing here too. If you've got school aged kids you might be interested in this upcoming free online event from Linda McIver and the Australian Data Science Education Institute. Their thing is trying to make teaching data science to kids way more interesting and engaging, so we don't end up continuing the status quo yes men in large companies nodding politely when their boss wants to push another brain dead initative using whatever random data they have lying around, which backfires on all of us.

Bargains

The End

📻 Miles Iz Ded - The Afghan Whigs

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