Issue 1459 - Monday 27th September, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

China makes all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

China is cracking down on cryptocurrency - again. They've already banned cryptocurrency mining and banned financial organisations from providing cryptocurrency services, but now individuals are banned from making cryptocurrency transactions. They didn't explain how they're going to enforce it, but if anyone can, it's China. The reason they give for the ban is that cryptocurrency is used for too many dodgy things and is more of a harm to society than a benefit. Hard to argue with that, even if it does come from an authoritarian regime. Surprisingly, the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum didn't drop much considering the news.

EU to make all smartphones and other gadgets standardise on USB-C charging

The EU is on track to mandate "all consumer electronic devices sold in the European market within certain categories have a USB-C port for charging". The law would apply to smartphones, portable video game consoles, portable speakers, cameras, and some types of headphones. Manufacturers would have two years to get their shit together until the punishments begin. Apple (of course) are trying to argue that forcing everyone to use the same type of plug "stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world". Fuck Apple, bring on the USB-C utopia we all crave.

Mastercard puts hand up to run Australian porn age verification system

Mastercard and the government's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) are working together to see if the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) that DTA operates and Mastercard participates in could be used to verify an Australian's age before they enjoy some internet pornography. Mastercard has already worked with Deakin Uni and Australia Post to verify the identity of students taking exams and with Optus to prove someone's identity online and in-store. I stared at the DTA's TDIF infographic for a solid 10 minutes and I'm still none the wiser as to what's going on. What I do know however, is that privacy experts reckon the TDIF is a dog's breakfast.

Something I Saw On The Internet

A long, sad history of COVIDSafe's failure to achieve a damn thing

Geoffrey Huntley has posted a history of the mess that is COVIDSafe and compares COVIDSafe's failings to the Netherland's success as a model for how a COVID-related app can help. Unlike Australia's politican-led shitshow, the Dutch app not only does tracing (using the Apple/Google framework, which unlike COVIDSafe, actually works), but providing a way to book vaccinations, show information about border restrictions, what to do if you are told to isolate and info about cases in your local area. The Dutch also embraced the technical community, which led to a much better app than our approach of shunning the experts.


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