The Sizzle - Issue 1138

Tuesday 9th June, 2020

In This Issue

  • IBM vows to cease sales of facial recognition tech until it’s properly regulated

  • ASIO chief talks about the challenges in dealing with tech companies

  • ACCC sticks up for gamers, giving Sony’s PlayStation Store a $3.5m fine

  • Cloudflare starts a 24x7 video streaming broadcast service of tech talks

  • Cheap Segway scooter, Google Nest Hub, Senheiser HD58X headphones, Skype gift cards, Samsung SSDs, $700 Harvey Norman gift card with Optus plan, Ryzen CPUs, Tile Mate trackers, Arlo Pro 2 cameras


News

IBM vows to cease sales of facial recognition tech until it’s properly regulated

IBM sent a letter to the US Senate & Congress stating that they're getting out of the "general purpose" facial recognition business, saying that "IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency". I guess this is good because IBM isn't going help slide us further into dystopia (for now), but also bad because way more shady characters than IBM will probably fill the gap while regulation catches up. You'd hope that companies like Microsoft and IBM taking this path on facial recognition would send a strong signal to governments that it's tech to avoid or at least regulate heavily, but I don't think that's how these actions will be interpreted.

ASIO chief talks about the challenges in dealing with tech companies

The boss of ASIO went on an IPA (yes, the climate change denying, minimum wage destroying and "let me say the N word in public" without consequence, IPA) podcast to whinge about how tech companies aren't letting spooks have backdoors into their platforms. It's the same old arguments like being allowed to bug cars and tap phones, but not allowed to see messages wah wah wah. Of course, old mate forgets the fact that you can't have a way for law enforcement to access a device that isn't also a way for criminals to access the device. Solve that problem and maybe, maybbeeee we can talk about giving you creeps access to my devices. The podcast sounds semi-interesting if you can get past the IPA boot-licking, as it's not every day you hear the boss of ASIO give his opinions on this topic, unchallenged, on the record.

ACCC sticks up for gamers, giving Sony’s PlayStation Store a $3.5m fine

Last week the ACCC forced EB to cough up refunds to gamers upset that Fallout 76 was a bug filled dog turd at launch. Now the ACCC is fining Sony $3.5m for saying in its terms and conditions that "users did not have consumer guarantee rights regarding the quality, functionality, completeness, accuracy, or performance for any digital games they had purchased" - which contradicts Australian consumer law. It also found that Sony wouldn't give a refund "unless the game developer authorised it" and in the rare case it did give a refund, it wouldn't only provide PlayStation Store credit instead of a proper cash refund. Thank you ACCC, a true ally of the oppressed Australian gamer.


Not News

Cloudflare starts a 24x7 video streaming broadcast service of tech talks

Cloudflare TV launched over the weekend. It's a "24x7 live television broadcast, streamed globally via the Cloudflare network" that's full of tech related programming. Right now it's full of presentations and interviews from previous Cloudflare events and seems kinda boring, but I really like the concept. The technicalities around creating a platform like this and filling it with content has never been easier (cheers Blackmagic, Rode & whatever CDN you like, Cloudflare perhaps?) but as its always been, the hard part is creating stuff people engage with and want to watch. I look forward to see how Cloudflare tweak it and what kind of fresh content is made purely for this platform.


Bargains


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