Issue 1542 - Tuesday 8th February, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

ALP promising to fund a digital licence for kids if they win the election

A federal election is looming, so that means regular policy brain farts in an attempt to win votes. One particularly aromatic idea is the ALP's "digital licence". Remember pen licences as kids? Well it's that, according to Shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek, but "for the digital age". It's backed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation who developed two programs - "Licence+ is billed as an online learning experience that is supposed to build general digital intelligence, while the Literacy Lab is a gamified resource for teaching media literacy". If the ALP win the election they'll spend $6m to run the program in every school.

Meta/Facebook threaten to quit EU market if US-EU data sharing regulation isn't sorted

A little gem was hidden in Meta's latest SEC filing - if the USA and EU can't come to an agreement over how companies can legally store the data generated by each other's citizens outside the country, Meta "will likely be unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe". What a tantalizing prospect, Europe becoming a Facebook free zone, imagine that! The EU reckons data on US servers isn't safe from mass surveillance by the yanks and they won't consider a law regarding the storing of EU resident's data valid unless a US law makes EU data "essentially equivalent to those required under EU law" on US soil.

Busy day at the news factory, more production than usual

Something I Saw On The Internet

Valve Steam Deck hits the hands of select YouTubers

Valve's Steam Deck is finally about to ship and a couple of YouTubers (GamersNexus, Linus Tech Tips, and The Phawx) have spent some quality time with the new handheld gaming device. The games Valve allowed them to demo seem to work well. The Steam Deck's guts are basically an AMD Ryzen laptop based on the Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU, so it's not a surprise that at 1280x800 games zoom along more or less at 60fps. Build quality seems fine, with everyone content with the fit and finish, as well as the buttons and joysticks. Haptic feedback sucks, but Valve said a software update will fix that. Battery life seems to be the main downer. None of the three YouTubers managed to get the claimed runtime 8 hours of runtime Valve purports. Depending on the intensity of the game, playtime at 60fps is more around 2-ish hours.


  • Easel Style TV floor stand - $169 at Big W
  • Western Digital Elements 5TB portable HDD - $150.28 from Amazon
  • Tenda Nova MW6 AC1200 4-pack mesh wi-fi system - $159.95 from Shopping Square
  • Refurbished Voll P44 pair of passive speakers (needs an amp) - $119 from Voll
  • Apple iPhone 13 128GB - $1247 from Amazon
  • Google Nest Hub, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub Max (Telstra customers only) - $49/$29/$74/$249 from Telstra
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CPU or Ryzen 5600X CPU - $494.10/$376.11 from Scorptec's eBay store
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Bundle - $319 from Belfield Music
  • The End

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