Issue 1455 - Monday 20th September, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Inspiration4 mission lands safely, looks like everyone had a ball

The Inspiration4 crew are back on Earth and doing well after their 3 day joyride into space. Watching the livestream on Sunday morning, it appeared like everything went textbook perfect. The crew were able to walk out of the capsule once it was towed onto a ship and everyone was happy. So far they've raised US$153m for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. In space, they didn't do all that much except have fun. One of them placed a $4,000 bet from space for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl, rang the NYSE bell, played a ukulele and showed off items from sponsors "like hops for beer, NFTs, pieces of art, and stuffed animals" that will be auctioned off to raise money for the hospital. I reckon there's heaps of rich people (those with $500m+ of net wealth) wanting SpaceX to take them to space for a few days.

Russia forces Apple and Google to remove anti-Putin voting app from stores

Russia is in the midst of an election and supporters poisoned then jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny have made a "tactical voting app", to help Russians vote in a way that does maximum damage to Putin's chances of re-election. This obviously pissed off Putin, who has "threatened Apple and Google with fines if they didn't remove Navalny's tactical voting app from the App Store and Google Play store" for about a month. That didn't work so they raised "the prospect of retribution against employees of the two technology companies", which did work. Nobody at Apple or Google wants to go to jail over this so the app was removed. Apple even disabled the Private Relay feature in Russia at the same time - a coincidence I'm sure.

Study finds that Bitcoin e-waste is a problem on top of CO2 emissions

A new study from the Dutch central bank and MIT has found that "the lifespan of bitcoin mining devices remains limited to just 1.29 years", resulting in a growing e-waste problem for Bitcoin, on top of the electricity consumption and CO2 generation issues it already suffers. They found that the unique Bitcoin mining devices, known as "ASICs" (special purpose devices useful for mining Bitcoin but nothing else) are rendered obsolete so quickly that the e-waste generated by Bitcoin mining is "comparable to the amount of small IT and telecommunication equipment waste produced by a country like the Netherlands". Here's the full study if you're keen.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Monday morning bookmark dump of recent gadget announcements


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