Issue 1587 - Wednesday 13th April, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Anti-trolling, Online Privacy Code & other munted tech adjacent bills hit dead end

Now that there's officially a federal election, a couple of tech related bills that were stuck in Parliament are now dead despite the government announcing their introduction with much fanfare. The "anti-trolling" bill, which was mostly designed to make defamation cases for rich people pissed off about people on social media saying things about them they don't like, is one such bill. A bill for making social media companies pay bigger penalties for data breaches announced in 2019 after the Cambridge Analytica stuff, then reborn in 2021 with an Online Privacy Code also died. There's still the chance they'll be reborn in a new Parliament but they'll have to start from scratch now.

Tim Cook runs another sideloading scare campaign in the face of government regulation

Tim Cook spoke at the IAAP Global Privacy Summit last night, whinging about governments around the world regulating his business. He specifically called out attempts to "force Apple to let apps onto iPhone that circumvent the App Store through a process called sideloading", conflating sideloading with "data-hungry companies" tracking "their" users and giving "bad actors" a way around Apple's "comprehensive security protections". It's a bit rich of Tim to complain about this considering how stubborn Apple has been with the App Store worldwide. Treat your partners like shit and they'll revolt - which in this case is running to the government.

DuckDuckGo announces beta of a Mac web browser based on WebKit

DuckDuckGo has made their own web browser for the Mac to go alongside their mobile browser apps. It uses the native WebKit browser engine (i.e: like Safari), but has a bunch of privacy-centric features baked in like automatically selecting the fewest options in cookie popups (that they reckon blocks 50% of those annoying popups), a built-in password manager, automatically enabling HTTPS, blocking web tracking and stuff like that. A Windows version based on Chromium/Edge is coming soon. If you're keen on this kinda thing, you might also like the Orion browser. It's very similar (also uses WebKit) but allows the use of Chrome and Firefox extensions via the Web Extensions API.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Everything you wanted to know about monitor resolution but were afraid to ask

Thank you Marc Edwards for writing this post explaining pixel density, colour space, refresh rates and all the other technical bits about monitors. It's the only post I've found that accurately explains why I hate resolution scaling (i.e: running a 4K monitor at 150%) - "a blurrier picture, shimmering when scrolling, moire patterns, worse GPU performance, and worse battery life if you're using a laptop. Display scaling also undoes dithering, which can mean gradients aren't as smooth". I bet some of you are reading this on a scaled display. I don't know how you tolerate it.


The End

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