Issue 1426 - Tuesday 10th August, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

SpaceX buys micro satellite company Swarm Technologies

SpaceX has acquired a company called Swarm Technologies, who specialise in "ultra low-bandwidth data services using its tiny sandwich-sized SpaceBEE satellites that talk to smaller consumer antennas on the ground called Tiles" that they offer for a low price. Its customers use the service as an affordable way to track items or relay sensor data, even in remote areas. Kinda like Starlink, but way less bandwidth. Think LTE compared to LoRaWAN. Swarm wrote in an FCC filing that the acquisition will strengthen "the combined companies' ability to provide innovative satellite services that reach unserved and underserved parts of the world", "as well as from adding this resourceful and effective team to SpaceX".

NBN still aiming to upgrade at least 10,000 FTTN premises to FTTP this year

NBN is still promising it'll offer free FTTP upgrades to the poor saps in FTTN areas this year. Back in May they announced that around 1.1 million premises will be eligble for a free upgrade, but today announced that "up to" 10,000 of those will be hooked up by the end of 2021. The criteria for which FTTN connections get upgrades is still unknown, but the NBN said they're "consulting with retail service providers on 100/20 Mbps being the minimum service order that would trigger the provision of a fibre lead-in to a premises" - so if you order a 100/20 plan on FTTN and your FTTN is so crap that it can't reach 100/20, NBN might upgrade you to fibre, for free, probably on the condition that you stick to that speed tier or higher for a few years.

Apple not opposed to giving 3rd parties access to its CSAM scanning tools

Apple held a Q&A session with journalists over their plans to scan every Apple device for child porn and whilst not much new info came out of it that isn't already in their whitepaper and FAQ, Apple did say that they're open to giving this on-device scanning ability to 3rd party software. From MacRumours, "Apple did not provide any specific examples, but one possibility could be the Communication Safety feature being made available to apps like Snapchat, Instagram, or WhatsApp so that sexually explicit photos received by a child are blurred" and that "that Apple's known CSAM detection system could be expanded to third-party apps that upload photos elsewhere than iCloud Photos". Apple also uploaded a new FAQ to their website with more detail on what they're doing with CSAM detection.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Been a busy day, here's a random collection of stuff I saw online lately


The End

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