The Sizzle - Issue 879

Friday 17th May, 2019

In This Issue

  • Tesla’s Autopilot system used in a fatal accident for the third time

  • Driverless trucks hit the road in Sweden (with caveats)

  • Chelsea Manning still not ratting on Wikileaks, goes back in jail

  • Microsoft and Sony partner up for some cloud, AI & semiconductor stuff

  • This year’s NAPLAN is cooked due to a firewall misconfiguration

  • AI-powered audio transcription no longer sucks

  • Which political party has the best tech related policies?

  • Stuff I found on AliExpress - Part 3


News

Tesla’s Autopilot system used in a fatal accident for the third time

The USA's National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that a third person died whilst using Tesla's Autopilot system. A man in Florida (not Florida man) was driving along a highway when a truck pulled out, but the Model 3's sensors didn't notice the truck's trailer and drove right under it at 110km/h, shearing off the top of the car and killing the driver. This is almost identical to a 2016 crash where someone using Autopilot drove under a truck trailer and died.

Driverless trucks hit the road in Sweden (with caveats)

Meanwhile, over in Sweden, they've let loose a driverless truck on public roads - kinda. The truck developed by Einride has no driver's cabin, but is remotely "supervised" by a human who can be overseeing up to 10 trucks at once. Also they've only got "permission to make short trips - between a warehouse and a terminal - on a public road in an industrial area in Jonkoping, central Sweden, at up to 5 km/hr". Still cool, but not exactly what you imagine when you hear “driverless truck on public roads” is it?

Chelsea Manning still not ratting on Wikileaks, goes back in jail

Chelsea Manning is back in jail today. She previously spent 62 days in jail for refusing to rat on Wikileaks and Julian Assange to a grand jury and was let out for a few weeks when that grand jury expired. A new grand jury is in place for that case and she's still refusing to give evidence, so back in jail she goes. In addition to jail, Chelsea is also getting fined $500/day, then $1,000/day she refuses to co-operate. Regardless of what you think of her, that’s some serious dedication to the cause.

Microsoft and Sony partner up for some cloud, AI & semiconductor stuff

Microsoft and Sony have signed a memorandum of understanding and entered a strategic partnership to "explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services" and "explore the use of current Microsoft Azure datacenter-based solutions for Sony’s game and content-streaming services". There's also gonna be some "collaboration in the areas of semiconductors and AI". The enemy of my enemy is my friends? *stares at Google*

This year’s NAPLAN is cooked due to a firewall misconfiguration

Thousands of kids around Australia did NAPLAN online for the first time on Wednesday and unsurprisingly, it didn't go well. State education ministers and the teacher's union have all said it's a dud and they want it scrapped after the department delivering the tests (ACARA) blamed an "incorrectly configured firewall" for many schools being unable to participate in the standardised test. Now there’s doubts this year's NAPLAN results are useful as so many students and schools won't be included.

Not News, But Still Cool

AI-powered audio transcription no longer sucks

My mate Pete has been having fun with some AI-powered audio transcription services lately and found that Otter.ai is pretty good. It's more than accurate enough to provide useful transcriptions of phone calls, meetings, lectures and that kinda stuff. There's a 10 hour free trial, if you want to transcript more, it costs US$9.99/m for 100 hours (and more features). If you give it a shot, let me know how it goes for ya.

Which political party has the best tech related policies?

If you haven't voted already, you've gotta do it tomorrow and if you haven't made up your mind on who to vote for yet, Innovation Australia has a useful editorial summing up the Liberal and ALP's tech related policies. Worth a read if your vote is swung on these types of matters. Digital Rights Watch has a scorecard ranking each party’s approach to privacy, encryption and stuff like that. Greens & Pirate Party are the only two to get full marks.

Stuff I found on AliExpress - Part 3

The third and final part of my AliExpress trilogy. I reckon you could make a weekly newsletter of just cool shit from AliExpress. Someone that isn't me should do this.


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😁 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.​