The Sizzle - Issue 1042

Monday 20th January, 2020

In This Issue

  • Execs of large tech companies pissed off with massive tech companies get to vent about it to US congress

  • Say hello to Clearview AI, a company that sells your face to whoever wants it

  • SpaceX’s manned spacecraft escape test goes well, humans to try it out soon

  • Here’s a map of where you can find pinball machines to play with

  • Cheap Alienware 34" monitor, Yamaha soundbar, Google Pixel 3, refurb tiny Lenovo PC, Boost Mobile 12m recharge


News

Execs of large tech companies pissed off with massive tech companies get to vent about it to US congress

Executives of "smaller" tech companies PopSockets, Basecamp, Sonos, and Tile have testified at a US congressional hearing regarding big tech's anti-competitive conduct in Colorado. Tile reckon that after years of fruitful collaboration with Apple, Apple suddenly stopped selling their gear in Apple stores and poached their chief engineer to work on a similar product. PopSockets has accused Amazon of extorting them for "marketing" so it could be promoted instead of counterfeit items. Basecamp are pissed with Google allowing competitors to run ads against Basecamp's trademarks that interfere with organic search results. Sonos, well, we all know about Sonos' issues with Google and Amazon. If you'd like to hear the testimonies for yourself, here's a video of the hearing.

Say hello to Clearview AI, a company that sells your face to whoever wants it

The New York Times has a story about Clearview AI, a "a groundbreaking facial recognition app" that over 600 law enforcement agencies have been using to match CCTV footage with social network images to identify suspects. Imagine all the dystopian fascist police-state scenarios you can think of and this article brings them up as either happening already or happening soon. There's no oversight of who's accessing what and where from, nor is anyone checking the accuracy of Clearview, let alone the moral aspects of having unfettered facial recognition available to police. Clearview is stacked with former Republican politicians, funded by Peter Thiel and founded by an Australian dude - but that's kinda irrelevant to the core issue of the ethics of facial recognition technology.

SpaceX’s manned spacecraft escape test goes well, humans to try it out soon

SpaceX successfully completed an emergency escape system test on their Crew Dragon spacecraft. Crew Dragon is the capsule that NASA plans to use so astronauts can get back into space without having to pay Russia for a seat on a Soyuz capsule. That must sting so bad every time. There were no humans inside the Crew Dragon capsule for testing today, but NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are waiting for their chance to take it for a ride. Elon Musk reckons a crewed mission to the International Space Station using entirely SpaceX operated equipment will likely take place some time between April and June.


Not News

Here’s a map of where you can find pinball machines to play with

One of my fondest childhood memories is going to the AMF bowling alley in Sunshine with my dad, where we wouldn't go bowling, but drop a few bucks playing pinball instead. He was a gun on the Terminator 2 machine and held the high score for years. If you asked me right now where to find a pinball machine, I'd have no idea where to go and relive my childhood - that was until I discovered Pinball Map! It's what it says on the tin, a map of pinball machines. Mostly in the USA, but the QLD & NSW areas are well covered and you can even search by machine type. The closest T2 pinball machine to me is in some music club in Canberra, but I reckon there's at least one or two hiding in VIC that aren't on the map (if you know where it is, please add it!).


Bargains


🎶 U-Mass - The Pixies

😁 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.​