Issue 1427 - Wednesday 11th August, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Technology Council of Australia formally launches, ready to further the goals of local tech industry

There's a new lobby group in town dedicated to furthering the technology sector in Australia. Innovatively named "Technology Council of Australia", its mission is "boosting growth of the Australian tech sector", "supporting talent attraction and development" and "developing effective regulatory settings for a tech-enabled economy". On the board are big swinging dicks like Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar and Tesla chair Robyn Denholm, with funding coming from about 25 mostly Australian companies but also Google and Microsoft. Considering how regularly the tech industry gets shafted by governments in Australia, it's about time they realised sucking up to the corrupt maggots is the only way to get things done. Works for the mining and fossil fuel industry!

Government decides having a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is a bad idea

A recommendation from the ALP and Greens to "investigate the establishment of a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology which would provide independent advice to policymakers" was knocked back. Probably unsurprisingly, "the motion was voted down by the Coalition senators along with One Nation, despite the establishment of such an office being a recommendation from a recent bipartisan committee report" - the Libs excuse is that "a new body would see more taxpayer money spent on more bureaucracy, duplicate existing functions and see no gain in the effectiveness and efficacy of scientific advice". Can't have unbiased science advice, otherwise you'd have to come up with more robust excuses as to why you ignored it. Smart move from the Liberal party.

Artemis 2024 moon landing delayed until at least mid-2025 because appropriate space suits aren't ready

I've written a few times in The Sizzle about NASA's Artemis project, which aims to put humans back on the Moon by 2024. It was always optimistic but today we've got confirmation that a 2024 Moon landing won't happen because the suits needed will not be ready until "April 2025 at the earliest". Apparently the existing space suits worn by astronauts on the ISS are "restrictive, haven’t been upgraded in decades, and aren't designed for long walks on the Moon" and development of the new ones "ran into funding shortfalls, closures to NASA centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more technical challenges". Amazingly "27 different entities are pitching in to build different parts of the space suit", which Elon Musk reckons "seems like too many cooks in the kitchen". Old mate raises a good point.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Pop CalyxOS on your Pixel smartphone and be rid of Google's prying eyes

If Apple's CSAM scanning has you uncomfortable, you might be interested in CalyxOS - a "de-Googled" privacy focused fork of Android, that strips out all the crap Google does to track you. Sounds good, but you don't get access to the Google Play store. There's F-Droid, a catalog of FOSS apps, but all your favourites like Uber, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. are not on there. You can install microG ("a free-as-in-freedom re-implementation of Google's proprietary Android user space apps and libraries") which limits your exposure to Google, but doesn't cut em out entirely. The other downside is that CalyxOS is only supported on Google's Pixel range of smartphones and the Xiaomi Mi A2. Still, a Pixel running a non-snitch version of Android could just be what you're after?


The End

📻 Bong In My Eye - Regurgitator

😎 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.​