Issue 1518 - Monday 20th December, 2021

You already received an email about it, but I'll remind you again that The Sizzle's 2021 Year in Review is now available to purchase! Pay what you like for this summary of the year's tech news and 50% of it will be donated to Child and Family Services Ballarat. Perfect holiday reading whilst sitting under the air conditioner on a hot day as the cricket plays on the radio.

In Today's Issue

The News

Elizabeth Holmes criminal trial wraps up, jury deciding guilt

Elizabeth Holmes has been on trial for four long months on criminal fraud charges. The case against her just wrapped up and the jury is now deciding her guilt. The summary of her lawyer's defence against the crimes is that she honestly believed in Theranos the entire time and the fact she never sold any Theranos shares is evidence of that. The prosecution argues that the constant cover-ups of Theranos failings is proof Holmes and her then partner Ramesh Balwani deliberately defrauded investors. Elizabeth Holmes going to jail is something we can be hopeful for in 2022.

Chinese spies infiltrated Aussie telco using Huawei gear and installed malware

According to Bloomberg the reason for Huawei's exile from Australia was based on a "software update from Huawei that was installed on the network of a major Australian telecommunications company" in 2012. The update "appeared legitimate, but it contained malicious code that worked much like a digital wiretap, reprogramming the infected equipment to record all the communications passing through it before sending the data to China". Australian intelligence agencies determined "China's spy services were behind the breach, having infiltrated the ranks of Huawei technicians who helped maintain the equipment and pushed the update to the telecom's systems". Huh, well there you go.

Microsoft moves more minor options out of Control Panel and into Settings

Small news in the scheme of things, but Microsoft is moving "a small handful of settings to the Settings app". It's a constant source of bemusement that Microsoft places operating system settings in two different places. Linux, sure, I get why everything is so haphazard, but Windows, created by one company, can't put all the settings in the one area? Pathetic. Speaking of the Windows control panel, here's a little website that shows a historical progression of Windows control panels. Windows 2000 was the peak of computing UI, I will not debate this fact.

Something I Saw On The Internet

University researchers agree with me that Spotify needs a dislike feature to improve algorithm

Cornell university researchers reckon that if Spotify had a downvote or dislike button for songs in the same fashion as the like button it already has, the recommendation engine would improve significantly. In what sounds obvious to me, "an algorithm that only has 'likes' may help you discover songs that you really enjoy, but it also has a greater chance of recommending songs you don't like". As much as I don't mind Spotify, I would totally switch streaming service if there was one that totally nailed recommendations, particularly of new stuff.


The End

📻 Inside Job - Something For Kate

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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.