Issue 1421 - 3rd August, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Medicare app adds digital COVID vaccination cert to Apple & Google wallets

One of the lucky few that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19? You can now add a certificate of vaccination added to either an Apple or Google wallet thanks to a new update of the Express Plus Medicare app. You'll be able to see "the date a person received their two does of Pfizer or AstraZeneca, as well as their name, date of birth and a unique document number". You'll need Medicare hooked up to your MyGov account for it to appear, which I found to be a bit of a pain in the arse and have to call Service Australia to sort out. I'll do it eventually, but right now I don't see the point - nobody's asking for proof of vaccination (yet) are they?

All 15,000 Telstra payphones are now free to use, no coins needed

Telstra's decided to make its 15,000 public payphones free to use. International calls aren't (that would be too good to be true), but if you wanna call any Australian fixed or mobile number, you can just dial up and chat away. They're justifying it as a social good, explaining in a blog post that they're an important backup for when the mobile network is down (e.g: a natural disaster) or for those unable to get access to a mobile phone (domestic violence, homeless, etc.) and that giving those people free phone calls is more important than the paltry $5.5m/yr of revenue Telstra gets from public payphones. Here's a Telstra payphone locator if like me, you're curious where the nearest one is.

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will use Google's custom designed Tensor SoC

Google's teased a new set of Pixel phones - the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Unlike previous Google smartphones, these ones use their own custom designed SoC, dubbed Tensor. Google is hyping up its AI processing capabilities (whatever that means in the real world) and said it'll be "market leading" and that "the standard stuff people look at will be very competitive and the AI stuff will be totally differentiated". Otherwise, the new Pixels are your typical flagship smartphone with a big fat screen with high refresh rate and 3 cameras on the back. It'll get a full announcement in October, but it seems like it'll be the no-compromises Android phone to get.

Something I Saw On The Internet

The ACCC is sucking bigtime at bringing the cost of NBN access down

Former NBN CTO, Gary McLaren, has an opinion piece on Michael West Media arguing that the ACCC is a patsy in the government's aim to sell the NBN off for as much as it can. He highlights that there's been closed door meetings between the ACCC, NBN and the big telcos to "consult" on future wholesale pricing. This is absolute bastardry. The ACCC should be concerned with obtaining the absolute lowest price for consumers, not trying to make sure the telcos and NBN get a cozy arrangement everyone is happy with. The ACCC is even running a protection racket for NBN by continuing to mandate non-NBN "superfast broadband" (anything over 30mbps) fixed-line network pricing match NBN's pricing until 2026.

Bargains

The End

📻 Miffy's Simplicity - Regurgitator

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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