Issue 1369 - Thursday 20th May, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Microsoft sets date for Internet Explorer's demise

Ding fucken dong, Internet Explorer is dead. Microsoft has given a timeline for the retirement of Internet Explorer, saying that web developers around world can dance on IE's grave on June 15th 2022, as it will no longer be available in Windows 10. Nothing stopping you from using Windows 7 or 8, but if you're doing that you've got bigger problems mate. Unfortunately, the LTSC version of Windows 10 will still include IE for a while yet. For those still chained to a service that needs IE, Edge has an IE mode that supports older ActiveX controls and legacy sites and Microsoft promises to support it until 2029.

Twitter finds its cropping algo was a little biased & will stop using it

Remember a few months ago when people were calling Twitter's image crop algorithm biased towards certain races and genders? Twitter's own research team found those assumptions were mildly correct. The algorithm "chose to crop to white women over black women 7% of the time, and white men over black men 2% of the time, with an overall 4% preference for white individuals", so yeah, a small percentage, but still there and that's enough for Twitter deciding not to use it as "the algorithms could still be harmful in other ways it hasn’t tested, and that relying on machine learning to crop images takes a lot of agency away from users". Good on em.

Bitcoin drops 50% in value last few weeks, probably Elon Musk & the Chinese government's fault

Bitcoin has shat itself, down 18% in the last 24 hours and is currently worth 50% less than its value a month ago, taking other cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin & Ethereum down with it. As usual there's isn't a specific reason why cryptocurrency markets fluctate (could be as whimsical as someone holding a large portion could have got laid last night, so they're in a good mood and decide to treat themselves by selling a shitload and buying a fleet of Lamborghinis), but China issuing a warning that "financial institutions in the country shouldn't process or participate in crypto-transactions or offer related services" might have something to do with it. 90% of all Bitcoin transactions occur in China and is a popular way for people there to get their wealth out of the country.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Google doubles down on its plans to build a "useful" quantum computer by 2029

Google is planning to build a "useful, error-corrected quantum computer" with 1 million qubits and a "quantum transitor" by 2029, expanding its facilities in Santa Barbara (just north of LA) and building a campus dedicated to the feat. Google has already claimed to have achieved "quantum supremacy" by performing a calculation that would take 10,000 years on a traditional computer in only 200 seconds on a quantum computer - but IBM (who are also deep into quantum computing and want to be first) argue that the calcultion would take 2.5 days or less on a normal computer, not 10,000 years. I wish Google luck and hope they use their powers for good, not evil.


The End

📻 Benedict - Jebediah

😎 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.​