Issue 1398 - Thursday 1st July, 2021

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In Today's Issue

The News

Google and Microsoft end controversial non-aggression pact

I'm not sure if this was public knowledge at the time, but Google and Microsoft had a "non-aggression pact" signed 5 years ago that put and end to the two mega-corps suing each other and setting up a closed door dispute resolution process that avoided dirty laundry getting aired in courts. That pact has shit the bed according to the Financial Times and Bloomberg, with Microsoft sick of Google not supporting Bing's ad formats in Search Ads 360. That beef went all the way to Satya and Sundar, who couldn't come to an agreement, so now the gloves are off. Expect to see some juicy Microsoft and Google lawsuits popping up soon.

National Archives of Australia gets $67.7m for emergency digitisation

Good news! The federal government has thrown the National Archives of Australia a few crumbs to plough through the backlog of digitising decaying media, modernising access to the digitised materials and improving the NAA's cybersecurity. An extra $67.7m of funding will be spent on all that over 4 years. After 18 months of begging, what got them across the line was explaining how the NAA is "a very attractive target for a hostile actor wanting to launch a cyber-attack". There's apparently around $200m of new funding coming in a "wider reform package for the National Archives" later this year.

NHTSA introduced mandatory reporting for driver assistance system crashes

The USA's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally made it mandatory to report crashes in vehicles with Level 2 driver assist systems up to Level 5 fully autonomous systems. The reports will need to be made within one day of them learning of the crash. It means companies like Waymo and Tesla can't hide their failures by operating tests in more relaxed states that don't require reporting incidents, or that don't make the incidents public. If these systems are so good and awesome at saving lives like the Musk fans argue, they shouldn't have any problems with the increased transparency. Good to see the NHTSA do something to make the creators of these systems accountable for their use, even if it feels like the bare minimum.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Adding position memory to IKEA's Bekant standing desk

The phrase "necessity is the mother of invention" is personified by Canadian man Greg, who made his own controller for IKEA's Bekant standing desk because he wasn't happy with the one IKEA shipped with it. Out of the box IKEA's controller moves the desk up and down, that's it. Greg's however adds up to 16 memory positions. Good for those who share the desk with others or in Greg's case, different heights for different situations. Best bit is that the PCB he made fits in the original case, so all you do is crack the control box open, take the old board out, put the new one in and off you go. It's extremely niche and I don't even own a standing desk, but I love the solution to the problem.


The End

📻 Japanese Trees - Modest Mouse

😎 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.‚Äč