Whenever a new version of iOS rolls around, it’s not unusual to hear people claim the iPhone they purchased just a year or two ago suddenly feels slow. I thought it was all in people’s heads, but nope, “Apple told TechCrunch that it throttles iPhone performance to prevent the phone from being shut down if a performance spike draws too much power” – the throttling is a deliberate decision to slow the phone down, instead of it crashing due to a power supply issue. What shits me is that Apple doesn’t tell you this happens, like they’re quietly nudging you to buy a new phone instead of spending $119 (which is still way too expensive) on a new battery.
The Victorian state opposition wants an “inquiry to focus on LaunchVic’s governance, business activities, recruitment, funding and criteria, the appropriateness and use of funding provided by the state government in the context of its objectives and innovation minister Philip Dalidakis’ involvement with the organisation”. They cite the disasters of StartCon (ditched Melb, went to Sydney) and 500 Startups (founder is a sex pest), that LaunchVic was involved in, as reasons why it needs closer scrutiny and more detail on how it measures success. Considering LaunchVic has $60m of tax-payer money, I’d be very interested in an independent audit to find out if that $60m has made $60m worth of difference to the industry.
Magic Leap has been sucking VC funds dry for years, with no products to show for it – until now. After 7 years of development, the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset has been announced. It’s very similar to an Oculus Rift, but instead of a headset that immerses you in a 3D environment, the Magic Leap is a pair of goggles (please don’t laugh) that you look through and 3D objects are placed around you. Rolling Stone got to try it out and the demos included “virtual characters that can react to eye contact, a floating virtual comic book, and a virtual live performance using volumetric camera capture” – the Magic Leap website has more info.
ACMA has announced it will create new laws around NBN migrations next year. It wants to legislate things like making sure an internet service isn’t prematurely cut off, more info on what people are actually signing up for and mandatory line testing so people aren’t sold speed tiers they’ll never be able to use. ACMA is even considering making a list of approved modems, because they think customers are getting worse than average speeds on FTTN because the modems some ISPs are supplying are crap.
Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has decided to start trading Bitcoin Cash and it appears that there may have been a bit of insider trading going on. Just before the planned launch, the price of BCH sky rocketed on other exchanges. Hmm, what a coincidence hey? Also, the dude that made Litecoin has sold all his Litecoin because he doesn’t want a conflict of interest between the price of Litecoin and the work he does on it. Fair enough.
Victorian police are trialling GPS trackers in cars around the Dandenong area. If you want to be part of the Vehicle Tracking Initiative, you’ll get a unit installed in your car for free, which you can control via your smartphone. When your car is nicked, you use the app to let the police know and the police will track it and bring it back to you. The police said that after this trial, they want to get car manufacturers to install this thing from the factory. I can see the benefits, but also, the opportunity for abuse. Do I want the police to know where my car is at all times? I dunno.
Buzzfeed has a wonderful article by Ted Chiang (who’s book Stories of Your Life and Others was adapted to the movie Arrival) about Silicon Valley’s calls to rein in the capabilities of AI before it ruins the world. Ted argues that the SV set is so concerned about AI because in the back of their mind, they know the AI will act just like them, and they (SV) are horrible. The crushing demands of capitalism that know no bounds are deeply ingrained in the SV mindset and who makes the AI? Silicon Valley. If SV style capitalism continues to be tolerated, that’s what we need to be afraid of, not so much artificial intelligence itself.
You probably already saw the email I sent this morning full of Wirecutter recommended gear going cheap in the latest eBay sale. Here’s a bunch of items I think are cool, but Wirecutter doesn’t (use code POWERUP):
That’s it, see ya tomorrow!