Issue 1396 - Tuesday 29th June, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Facebook is a trillion dollar company thanks to judge dismissing antitrust lawsuits

Facebook's stock jumped 10% overnight, pushing their market cap over a trilion US dollars and joining Apple ($2.25t), Microsoft ($2.02t), Amazon ($1.74t) and Alphabet ($1.67t) in the trillion dollar club. Why did the stock jump so high? A federal judge dismissed the US FTC's anti-trust case against Facebook, along with a similar claim from 48 state attorneys general, that argued Facebook "engaged in a systematic strategy to eliminate threats to its monopoly, including the 2012 and 2014 acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp". Judge reckons the FTC didn't "provide enough detailed data to prove Facebook has market power in the loosely defined market for personal social networking services".

QLD police use COVID check-in data to find a "stolen" police firearm and taser

It happened again folks, Queensland police accessed data from their state's COVID check-in app. They legally obtained a warrant and used that warrant to get data from the central repository of citizen check-in logs to "to find information on individuals 'reported to be acting suspiciously' in a pub where a police firearm and taser were believed to have been stolen". Now that this info has been made public, Queensland police will only ask for a warrant to use check-in data in "extraordinary circumstances" and with approval from the Deputy Commissioner. The police minister said they're "considering legislation to restrict the use of data from app for anything except for COVID-19 contact tracing", but didn't make any promises.

Xbox Cloud Gaming now available on the web, unless you're Australian

Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming service via is now available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members via web browsers. For those unfamiliar, Microsoft is shoving "custom Xbox Series X hardware" into datacentres and streaming the video output of those consoles to your weak under-powered device. You connect a Bluetooth or USB controller and play your choice of over 50 games over the internet in all their 1080p, 60fps glory. Android users have been enjoying it for a while via a native app, but now it's available on the web so iOS users can play, because Apple are greedy pricks. Like all the other game streaming services, this one isn't available in Australia. But unlike others, Microsoft will let us try it out later this year.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Asuswrt-Merlin is a great alternative firmware for ASUS routers

Got an Asus router? You might like to check out Asuswrt-Merlin - an alternative firmware that has a "special emphasis on tweaks and fixes rather than radical changes or collecting as many features as possible". They keep all the features and UI of the stock firmware, but fix bugs Asus hasn't bothered to and add minor extra features on top. I quite like the Asus routers, particularly the AiMesh feature that lets you use multiple routers in a mesh setup, with either wired or wireless backhaul. If you want a new router with a bit of nerd features in it, but don't want any cloud bullshit, take a look at the devices Asuswrt-Merlin supports.

Bargains

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