Issue 1564 - Thursday 10th March, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

US government to do a deep dive into cryptocurrency regulation

The United States bureaucracy has been ordered by a Presidential executive order to take a look at this cryptocurrency thing that's taken off in popularity lately. Various government departments (Treasury, SEC, etc.) will "study the impact of crypto on markets and major financial institutions". The Commerce Department will "come up with a framework to help ensure U.S. leadership in digital asset innovation". The Federal Reserve will "explore the introduction of an official U.S. central bank digital currency or digital dollar". Cryptocurrency lobbyists are happy as this not only legitimises their business, it also adds a regulatory moat for competitors so the incumbents get a head start.

VW shows off production version of ID.Buzz electric van

The production version of Volkswagen's electric reinterpretation of the iconic Kombi van has been revealed. There's many photos of the inside and outside of the ID.Buzz and it looks very nice and practical (so much more space than an SUV) but there's no details on how much it will cost or the driving range it will be capable of. It's got a 77kWh battery which is quite large, so should hit around 450km, but also means it will be expensive as that's a fair chunk of battery. I guess we will find out more when it goes on sale overseas in 2023. Considering VW's track record of selling EVs in Australia (i.e: none, despite VW's initial whinge about lack of incentives no longer true) I wouldn't get your hopes up for it coming here any time soon.

Substack's got an iOS app now, Android coming soon

Substack launched an iOS app, making a one stop shop for reading all the Substack newsletters you subscribe to. An Android app is coming soon. The app is cool, as it means the hassles of email (omg delivery issues and spam) no longer exist, but I'm glad I left Substack and went back to rolling my own setup. I'd just get drowned out on Yet Another Platform and still have to pay them a 10% cut. It's obvious they want to be the Netflix of email newsletters eventually, which I'm not interested in taking part in. I'd get cents on the dollar without a subsequent increase in eyeballs, leaving me worse off overall, whilst acquiescing to a new master. Good luck to them though, anything that mainstreams people paying for email newsletters benefits me.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Semiconductor manufacturing needs more water than you think

Asianometry has another kick arse article, this time about the water usage of semiconductor manufacturing. Making those fancy CPUs we know and love uses a shitload of water. TSMC's factories in Tainan "consumed 50,000 metric tons or 50 million liters of water a day"! The article also tackles a question I've had for a while - why the hell are so many semiconductor factories in Arizona, a fucking desert state, when they need so much water? The answer is turning farms into cities and suburbs and diverting the water the farms would have used to the semiconductor factories instead. A big chunk of the water used there is from "nonrenewable groundwater" so it's not exactly sustainable, but the huge revenues the state and local councils get from these massive, profitable factories is too good to refuse. Arizona also provides tax benefits, an existing manufacturing ecosystem with universities and seismic stability.


The End

📻 I Wanna Be Your Dog - Modern Life Is War

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

💬 Checked out the paid subscriber only forum? It's a tidy little place to discuss tech with like minded Aussies.

👋 Forums not your thing? The Sizzle has a Slack group you can procrastinate in and chat with other nerds bored at work.

💳 Paid subscriber looking to manage your billing info or change email address? Visit the customer portal.

📚 Browse The Sizzle Archive. A few issues are missing and it's not searchable, but it's better than nothing.

Affiliate Links

Fastmail. Email where you are the customer, not the product. Loads of features, smooth no-nonsense web interface, plus calendar and contact hosting. They've been around for 20 years and I've been a customer for over 10. Use this link and get 10% off your first year and I get around 30c/month you remain a customer.

Aussie Broadband. Great customer service and responsive to community needs (they have an "unofficial" Discord, they publish their CVC!). I've been a customer since 2017 and don't plan on going anywhere. Use my referral code (1001031) to get $50 credit when signing up for an NBN plan and I get $50 credit towards my next bill.

Vultr. All my Australian-based hosting needs (3x VPSes) are handled by Vultr. Easy to use admin interface, automatic backups, built-in firewall, custom ISO support and reasonable prices. Sign up with my link and score $100 credit. I get $25 credit if you're active for 30+ days and spend at least $25.

Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land

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.