Issue 1614 - Wednesday 25th May, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

EdTech apps are consistently spying on kids and hoarding their data without permission

Human Rights Watch found that most of the educational software used by schools across the world "appeared to engage in data practices that risked or infringed on children's rights". Shit like, fingerprinting the child so they can be tracked across the internet, making lists of who their friends and family are and selling data to advertising companies. To make things worse most of this software makes it impossible to opt-out of the tracking. Get spied on and your data kept for who knows how long, who knows where, to be used by who knows what - or too bad with the whole trying to learn thing, kid. It's shameful we've applied the well known harmful mantra of collecting all the data possible then sorting it out later to children. We know better! The ABC has a local take on this topic that's worth a read.

Microsoft to sell an ARM PC so developers make ARM apps for Windows

To entice developers into making software for the ARM version of Windows, Microsoft announced at its Build conference last night that it will make and sell a mini PC featuring an as yet unknown Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. It's dubbed Project Volterra and will go on sale some time later this year, for an unknown price. Honestly, it looks and smells like Apple's M1 Mac mini, but by Microsoft and a slower CPU. At least it will have a standard NVMe SSD port! Microsoft's also going to make "ARM-native versions of Visual Studio 2022 and VSCode, Visual C++, Modern .NET 6, the classic .NET framework, Windows Terminal, and both the Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Subsystem for Android". Mark me down as tentatively interested.

Coles tests app instead of coin for using a trolley at supermarket

Coles is testing out the replacement of a coin in a trolley with an app. If you visit their Camberwell store you can use the Coles sMart Shop app (not a typo) to purchase a $2 "digital coin" that is refunded when the trolley is returned. I assume you can't get a trolley without the app, as the article says "customers who can’t use the coinless trolleys have to make arrangements with a staff member". Coles reckons they're doing this to "minimise abandoned shopping trolleys in the community". I kinda want to visit the Camberwell store now, just to see how this system works. As much as it might help Coles, I can't imagine customers are that into the idea.

Something I Saw On The Internet

New Xiaomi Mi Band 7, Logitech MX Keys & MX Master 3S

Xiaomi's updated the awesome value for money Mi Band. The Mi Band 7 is a pretty mild upgrade over the Mi Band 6, but the 7th iteration has a 1.62" AMOLED screen, all day heart rate monitoring, improved blood oxygen monitoring, 9-14 day battery life and is waterproof enough that you can wear it swimming. Should pop up in the usual Chinese drop shipping sites for under $60 in the next few weeks. Also updated is Logitech's popular line of MX keyboards and mice (my input peripherals of choice). There's now a mechanical key version of the MX Keys with multiple switch options and an MX Master 3S mouse, which has slightly higher resolution sensor and quieter clicks.


The End

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