Issue 1437 - Wednesday 25th August, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Highly invasive Identify and Disrupt Bill passes Senate, on its way to becoming law

Both levels of Parliament have passed the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill. Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe neatly sums the new powers bestowed upon the AFP & ACIC - "this Bill would allow spy agencies to modify, copy, or delete your data with a data disruption warrant; collect intelligence on your online activities with a network activity warrant; also they can take over your social media and other online accounts and profiles with an account takeover warrant". Pretty hardcore stuff - if you're suspected of a "relevant crime" (something with more than 3 years jail time if convicted) the AFP can pretty much do whatever they like with your online presence. They can impersonate you, listen in on any conversations and make copies of whatever they see without telling you. Oh and if whoever is facilitating this (i.e: your ISP) doesn't cooperate, 10 years jail for them!

Waymo puts latest generation robo-taxis to work in San Francisco

Waymo is expanding its robo-taxi service to allow the public in San Francisco to try it out, after a year or so of people in Phoenix getting the opportunity to be guinea pigs. Unfortunately, unlike Phoenix, there will still be a meatbag in the drivers seat (they call them an "autonomous specialist") who can take over when things get too complicated for the pathetic computer. Unlike Phoenix though, the Waymo San Francisco fleet will be made up of all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles with what looks like an all new sensor kit (aka the fifth-generation Waymo Driver). I've seen videos of Waymo poorly operating in Phoenix where the weather and roads are way more consistent, compared to San Francisco where the weather can change rapidly and the roads are a mess. God speed to whoever jumps in one of these things willingly.

Advanced Mobile Location for 000 calls goes live in Australia at last

Australia is finally getting in on the Advanced Mobile Location action. This feature has been available on smartphones for many years now and allows the device to automatically send geolocation coordinates via SMS when a call to 000 is made. NZ has had it since May 2017 and it took them 4 months. Australia first announced we'd be getting it in June 2017 and here we are 4 years later. According to the Department of Home Affairs, AML is capable of providing a caller's location within a 5-metre radius outdoors and a 25-metre radius indoors, you'll need at least iOS 14.3, watchOS 7.2 or Android 4.1 (with Google Play Services installed) on your device. Interestingly, AML won't work if you're using another telco's network. Guess it needs an active SIM to be able to send an SMS?

Something I Saw On The Internet

A look at various electric car incentives on offer across Australia

Electric cars are still a niche vehicle for most people's budgets, but the prices are falling and well, someone's gotta be the early adopter! To soften the blow state governments (except WA) are finally throwing out some incentives. EV Central has a list to all the handouts you can grab if you buy an electric car and the conditions you need to meet to get them. NSW is the most generous, giving out $3,000 for a new EV under $68,750 (Tesla Model 3 SR+ sneaks in under this!) as well as waiving stamp duty (which is around $2,000 for the Tesla). It's supposed to begin September 1st, but their Parliament has been a little busy lately and hasn't got around to passing the bill yet. They're promising to backdate any purchases on the condition the legislation actually passes.

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