Issue 1476 - Wednesday 20th October, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Google's new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones are out and about

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones from Google are now a thing. The most interesting feature is a custom designed SoC they're calling Tensor. Anandtech reckons its mostly a Samsung Exynos 2100 with a few tweaks and a TPU engineered by Google, but now we have the two biggest operating system vendors making their own CPUs. Interesting times! The Pixel's new camera is a massive improvement over the 5 and of course heavily leverages the TPU, with features like Magic Eraser that "makes distractions in your photos disappear" and Real Tone to create "accurate imagery of communities of color". These new phones come shipped with Android 12, which went live today for existing Pixel owners too.

The Verge claims Facebook will change its name this week to something metaverse related

The Verge has a big hunch that Facebook is going to change its name, to "signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail" and "reflect its focus on building the metaverse". This change would come at Facebook's annual Connect conference later this week and is "a closely-guarded secret within its walls and not known widely, even among its full senior leadership". It's probably just gonna be something like Alphabet & Google, but it looks like Zuck's going all in on this metaverse bullshit. I'm gonna be writing about the metaverse for years to come, aren't I?

NSW government sets up Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau

The NSW government is looking to get in on the semiconductor hype, setting up the Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau. This government funded group will "offer industry stakeholders brokering services, semiconductor design courses, market reports and linkages, and foster a 'more connected and market-aware semiconductor ecosystem in Australia'". There's $4m of funding going towards it and will be set up in that fancy Tech Central hub Atlassian will anchor (their gigantic HQ tower got approved today) between Central Station and Camperdown. Apparently there is "potential for New South Wales and Australia to move up semiconductor supply chains from adoption to innovation and IP creation". Good luck to everyone involved, you have my best wishes.

Something I Saw On The Internet

The walls are closing in on Tether's stablecoin ponzi scheme

Remember that Bloomberg story I linked to a few weeks ago trying to find out where the roughly US$70b of cash the "stablecoin" Tether is supposedly holding in reserve? Well Hindenburg Research, "a forensic financial research firm" is offering "a reward of up to $1,000,000 for information leading to previously undisclosed details about cryptocurrency 'stablecoin' Tether's backing". Let the internet detective work begin! Oh and to spice things up a little further, the USA's Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined Tether US$41m for "making untrue or misleading statements and omissions of material fact" regarding their fiat reserves, holding enough cash to cover all the tokens for only 27.6% days in a 26-month window. Lots of people are gonna get hurt when this bastard pops.


A few Pixel 6 pre-order deals:

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.