Issue 1606 - Friday 13th May, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

ALP's Critical Technologies Fund & Battery Manufacturing Precinct vs Coalition's Tech Workforce Roundtable

One week left in the election campaign and both parties have rolled out a few more tech related thought bubbles. The ALP will set up a Critical Technologies Fund and seed it with $1b to invest in things like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain development. They'll also create a $100m "Battery Manufacturing Precinct" in Gladstone, in partnership with the QLD state government and launch a National Battery Strategy. The Liberal party wants a Tech Workforce Roundtable, made up of various think-tanks, government bodies and the private sector to help improve digital skills and get more women into tech jobs.

Bitcoin tanks, Ethereum having a moment, NFTs are worthless, UST stablecoin shits itself

The cryptocurrency scene is currently experiencing an existential crisis. As interest rates rise above fuck all and frothy stock markets come back to reality, people are looking to capture profits. This sell off has resulted in Bitcoin's price falling to the lowest since 2020 (down 57% since November). NFTs are also getting liquidated as interest rates go up, but nobody wants them, which hit the value of Ethereum - though not as hard as Bitcoin. The latest shit show is "stablecoin" UST and its sister token LUNA. As the stablecoin got sold off rapidly (who knows why exactly), the price tanked and the algorithm designed to keep it pegged to the USD via the LUNA token spiraled out of control, wiping out over US$15b of cold hard cash from "investors".

Texas law to protect internet cranks and weirdos from getting banned off social media is resurrected

Texas has this crazy law called HB20. It prohibits social media companies from censoring (banning, demonetizing, limiting etc) user content based on "the viewpoint of the user or another person" (whatever the fuck that means) and forces social media companies to produce quarterly transparency reports listing who got banned and why. HB20 gives the Texas Attorney-General the right to sue any social media companies they feel have slighted a user, or the user themselves can sue. This was smacked down by a US District Court back in December, but Texas appealed and today was told they're allowed to enforce the law while other appeals take place. If you told me 20 years ago there would be laws so people salty about getting banned from a website could sue, I would have laughed my arse off - but here we are.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Couldn't fit this stuff in during the week but you can read it now

Lots of news happened this week I couldn't squeeze in, so I'm gonna dump it here so you don't miss out:

I told ya there was a lot of news this week!

Friday Forum Update

Here's five interesting discussions over on The Sizzle's paid subscriber forum for you to enjoy over the weekend. If you are not a paid subscriber but want to get involved, visit to get onboard.


The End

📻 Demolition Girl - The Saints

😎 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.