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Issue 1029 - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In This Issue


News

Google sacks another pro-union organiser, the 5th in 3 weeks

Google has sacked a 5th employee over the space of 3 weeks, for internal activism. Of course, Google isn’t saying the activism is the reason they were sacked, but reading between the lines, that’s absolutely 100% why they were sacked. Today’s victim is Kathryn Spiers, a security engineer who’s job it was to send browser notifications to Google’s internal devices with security warnings/alerts/info. She rigged her Chrome extension to pop up a message when people visited a particular anti-union website to say “Googlers have the right to participate in protected concerted activities”. Google’s official line is that “a security engineer misused a security and privacy tool to create a pop-up that was neither about security nor privacy”, but I bet if she put in “Merry Christmas!” or something like that and she wasn’t a known “agitator” there wouldn’t have been a problem.

Cryptocurrency exchange operator’s body may be exhumed from grave to prove he is dead

Remember the story of cryptocurrency exchange operator Gerry Cotten? He was the guy accused of faking his death in India together with his missus and running off with at least US$137m of customer funds. The official story is that he died of Chrohn’s disease complications and because Gerry was the only person with the password to access the wallet containing everyone’s funds, the money is lost. The customers of his exchange, Quadriga, are so pissed off and so vehemently believe Gerry faked his death, that they want his body exhumed to prove old mate is actually dead. I kinda don’t blame Quadriga’s customers for being skeptical, the cryptocurrency world is so full of charlatans that you can’t really trust the dude is dead unless you’ve got a corpse.

FTC tells Unroll.me to stop misleading customers about how their data is monetised

Unroll.me was a very popular service that monitored your inbox and made it easy to unsubscribe to emails with a single click, or even automatically if you never opened them. Sounds handy, but it all went to shit in late-2017 when people realised they monetised this free service by “selling receipt data to Uber so the ride hailing service could better target customers who might be using its competitor Lyft more often”. The US Federal Trade Commission didn’t like Unroll.me’s antics either and the two have now reached a settlement that mandates Unroll.me “delete personal information it collected from consumers” and to cease “misrepresenting the extent to which it collects, uses. stores, or shares information it collects from consumers”. Unroll.me also has to contact users and tell them they were mislead.


Not News

Should you get a big TV or ultra-short throw projector for your motion picture viewing needs?

It’s almost Boxing Day and that means big TVs on sale! The largest ones I’ve seen are around 80″ – 86″, but what if you want a screen bigger than that? What if you want an 100″ TV, what do you do without selling a kidney for it?! (i.e: me, I want a 100” TV). A projector is the obvious answer, but they require some fucking around and without a dedicated room or a way to control the light, can be a crap experience. Lately ultra-short throw projectors (particularly laser ones) have come up as an alternative to traditional projectors. The Wirecutter has a short piece on the pros and cons of using a UST instead of a big-screen TV – long story short, sports & games are good, moody movies are not (the contrast sucks) and if you project it onto a blank wall, it’ll look even worse. They recommend getting a sweet 85″ TV instead of a 100″-120″ UST and projection screen, which work out to around the same price. The TV will have proper 4K too, the projector won’t.


Bargains


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I’m Just a Killer for Your Love – Blur

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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