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Issue 1023 - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

In This Issue


News

Amazon suing the DoD because they let Trump influence their decision to award Microsoft $10b contract

Amazon is so steadfast that Donald Trump’s personal beef with Jeff Bezos over the Washington Post is what cost it a US$10b contract to supply cloud services for the Pentagon, that it’s suing the Department of Defense. A big part of their evidence is testimony of Trump telling the Secretary of Defence to “screw Amazon” and multiple first-hand reports of Trump undermining Amazon’s bid. Honestly, I don’t know how suing a customer you lost is gonna make them want to change their minds, or even if you won, how the relationship’s gonna go long term – “hey remember how we sued you and the court forced you to use us instead? Now we have to work together!” – but with ten billion dollars (and the usual scope changes, cost increases etc.) involved, you’d try anything I suppose.

Social media influencer sentenced to 14 years jail for violently threatening a guy for a domain name

American social media influencer Rossi Lorathio Adams II (yeah that’s his real name) was so desperate to own the domain name “doitforstate.com”, that he harassed its owner, Ethan Deyo for 2 years to buy it, but Deyo’s demand of $20,000 was too much for Adams to justify. The harassment culminated in Adams paying his homeless cousin Sherman Hopkins Junior “to break into the Deyo’s home and threaten him at gunpoint to transfer the name. Hopkins obliged, showing up at the man’s home with a taser and a pistol while disguised with a pair of pantyhose over his head and black sunglasses on his face. Hopkins also had a list of detailed instructions for how Deyo could transfer the name to Adams”. For this, Hopkins will be in jail for 20 years and Adams 14 years. I’ve wanted some already claimed domain names in the past but never this badly, damn.

Two years on and Safari’s default tracking prevention feature has made a difference

The Information has a story (click through from the Hacker News discussion, will by-pass the paywall) about the impact Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention has had on the ad industry. According to the article, the cost of targeting Safari/Apple users via web ads have dropped 60% because they’re no longer detailed enough to be any better than a generic non-targeted ad. Sounds good, but this is mostly an issue for companies not advertising via Google or Facebook (who together own a huge majority of online advertising inventory), as Google and Facebook have their own methods of collecting data on users and aiming ads towards them that Apple are practically powerless to stop.


Not News

Swiss telco makes its own Apple TV remote because the standard one is difficult to use

The Apple TV remote is the shittiest remote I’ve ever used. I constantly grab it the wrong way around and inadvertently pause, rewind or fast forward whatever it is being played due to the touch sensitive pad area. Even when trying to scroll through on-screen options, swiping is a worse experience than simply pressing a left/right/up/down set of arrows like every other remove. I’m not alone in thinking this, as Salt, a Swiss telco that sells pay TV bundles broadcast over their fiber network via an Apple TV has had enough customers complain about the crap remote that they made their own. According to the article they even got Apple to assist in the remote’s design. I want one. Sell me one. Give it to me you Swiss bastards.


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(I Feel Like…) Ringo – Custard

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony “@decryption” Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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.​

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