The Sizzle - Issue 963

Friday 13th September, 2019

In This Issue

  • UK inquiry calls for video game loot boxes to be banned

  • State wide NSW digital drivers licence roll-out delayed

  • HTC has a new VR headset & Nintendo has a new fitness game for the Switch

  • Random interesting stuff I found on the internet

  • Cheap Beats Powerbeats Pro, Circles.Life phone plans, 75" Samsung TV, Xiaomi 10,000mAh powerbank


News

UK inquiry calls for video game loot boxes to be banned

The UK has completed an inquiry into video game loot boxes and has made the recommendation that they be banned until it can be proven they're not going to turn kids into degenerate gamblers. If you're not familiar with loot boxes, in titles like CS:GO and FIFA19, you use real money to buy credits, then use those credits to obtain in-game items that are randomly assigned to you. It's crazily similar to poker machines and it's crazy addictive because if you want the best in-game items, the only way to get them is to drop loads of cash on these random boxes until you get what you want - you can't directly purchase the items. Good to see the UK recommend caution here. I wonder if they'll enforce it and take FIFA off the shelves for not complying?

State wide NSW digital drivers licence roll-out delayed

NSW's digital drivers licence program was set to go state-wide in August, but was delayed for unknown reasons days before launch. In budget estimates yesterday, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello explained that "I was not confident that they were ready to go at that point". Why was he not confident? "just stability in relation to the system". But upon further clarification, the boss of Service NSW said that an "additional set of assurances, checks and balances and independent inspection" is why the digital drivers licence will launch some time in "late 2019". All you people desperate to ditch the wallet and go smartphone only will have to wait a few more months.

HTC has a new VR headset & Nintendo has a new fitness game for the Switch

Some news from video game land today - HTC has a new VR headset & Nintendo has a new fitness game for the Switch. HTC's headset is the "Vive Cosmos" and is HTC's flagship VR headset, with slightly higher resolution (2880x1700) OLED panels that run at 90Hz. It also uses a six-camera array on the headset for "inside-out" tracking that doesnt' require you to place cameras around the room. It'll go on sale for US$699 on October 3rd. Nintendo announced a weird looking Switch accessory called the "ring" controller that goes with their new fitness game, Ring Fit Adventure. You strap a Joycon to your leg, chuck another in this ring and squeeze, bounce, spin and move around to play the game - burning calories whilst doing so.


Not News

Random interesting stuff I found on the internet


Bargains


🎶 Fell in Love With a Girl - The White Stripes

😁 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.​

The Sizzle - Issue 962

Thursday, 13th September, 2019

In This Issue

  • AEC didn’t like how indifferent Google Australia was to helping them investigate unauthorised political advertising

  • Federal government contemplating mandatory age verification laws for Australian porn connoisseurs

  • Uber reckons drivers aren’t core to their business after California passes stronger contractor classification law

  • What the hell is Apple’s U1 ultra-wideband chip?

  • Cheap Microsoft Surface Docok, 4TB Seagate external HDD, Lexar 512GB microSD, Nikon Z6 & lens kit, Logitech Spotlight Presenter


News

AEC didn’t like how indifferent Google Australia was to helping them investigate unauthorised political advertising

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has cracked the shits with Google for being a pain in the arse to deal with regarding their investigation into the advertising integrity of last year's federal election. The AEC wanted to know who was placing a bunch of unauthorised political ads using Google's Adwords platform and Google Australia basically told the AEC to go through Google HQ in the USA, not providing any further help. It took over 5 days to get a response, which by the time it was received the dodgy ad had run its course and the election was over. The AEC also blasted Google for not providing the same level of transparency about political advertising in Australia as it does for the USA and other countries.

Federal government contemplating mandatory age verification laws for Australian porn connoisseurs

Australia might be getting stupid age verification laws for looking at internet porn, inspired by the UK's pitiful attempts. An inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has kicked off to examine "the potential of age verification as a mechanism for protecting minors online, federal and state laws that relate to age verification requirements and the potential benefits of further online age verification requirements, including to protect children from potential harm, and business and non-government organisations from reputation, operational and legal risks". Check out how it works in the UK - I bet you that Australia will fuck this up even harder than they have, for even less benefit.

Uber reckons drivers aren’t core to their business after California passes stronger contractor classification law

California (the world's 5th largest economy by GDP) has passed a law that's supposed to make it harder for companies like Uber and other "on-demand" businesses to classify their workers as independent contractors. If the workers meet an "ABC test" of criteria, they're employees and need to receive full entitlements, unlike a contractor. Uber has come out and said that none of their drivers would meet that criteria as "drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces" - basically driving cars isn't a core part of Uber's business. Which is obviously pure horse shit and classic denial.


Not News

What the hell is Apple’s U1 ultra-wideband chip?

Perhaps one of the most low-key announcements at yesterday's Apple keynote was the little Apple-designed U1 ultra-wideband chip they're putting in all the new iPhones. Brian Roemmele posted on Quora (don't laugh, it's higher quality than most Quora posts) about what he reckons the U1 will be used for. The U1 comes into play for not just making AirDrop better, but for quickly and accurately mapping a room for AR/VR purposes, which when paired up with this obvious as dog's balls readme file in the iOS 13 GM about an Apple AR headset, starts to make the U1 a lot more interesting. It seems to me like Apple had a big announcement lined up for this event, couldn't pull it off and left a lot of clues behind.


Bargains


🎶 Hardest Button to Button - The White Stripes

😁 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.​

Loading more posts…