- Google agrees to settle Chrome incognito mode class action lawsuit | Ars Technica:
Google has indicated that it is ready to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 2020 over its Chrome browser's Incognito mode. Arising in the Northern District of California, the lawsuit accused Google of continuing to "track, collect, and identify [users'] browsing data in real time" even when they had opened a new Incognito window.
- A national crackdown on disposable vapes begins today. How will it work? - ABC News. Vape not-exactly-a-ban has started. I hope it works, and I will not miss the stink of cherry-mint fart any more than I miss the smell of stale cigarettes.
- Morrison government failed to give Howard-era national security cabinet papers to national archives | Cabinet papers | The Guardian. As is so common with the Morrison government... whether it was incompetence or malice, the result is the same.
- RTO Policies Don't Improve Employee Performance or Company Value:
Ma compared each firm's financial performance on the stock market before and after implementing return-to-office mandates and found no significant change in either the financial performance or the stock market value. [...] "We found that return-to-office mandates are more common among firms with poor stock performance and stock returns," Ma said
- Should government step in to help Australians quit their big car habit? - ABC News:
Australians didn't just wake up and decide they wanted bigger cars, rather "our tax system makes it attractive to do so".
- 'Impossible' to create AI tools like ChatGPT without copyrighted material, OpenAI says | OpenAI | The Guardian:
The developer OpenAI has said it would be impossible to create tools like its groundbreaking chatbot ChatGPT without access to copyrighted material...what they mean is it's impossible if they have to pay for that copyrighted material.
- Woolworths and Big W Australia Day decision prompts Peter Dutton to call for boycott - ABC News. I mean. Do we start with the fact they just aren't stocking stuff that wasn't selling? Or do we talk about how Dutton and his cronies lose their shit when other people call for boycotts? Or just once again observe Dutton has the imagination of a potato?
- How the humble stink bug helped Australia miss a major EV milestone | Australia news | The Guardian: ship carrying a bunch of EVs was turned around due to the detection of stinkbugs.
The organisation estimates invasive alien species in Australia cost about $25bn each year in agricultural losses and pest management....so hopefully people won't whinge too much about a few cars being delayed.
- Lego worth thousands of dollars seized as police arrest alleged Melbourne drug trafficker | Victoria | The Guardian. When you have an expensive habit, and also sell drugs.
- End of an era, as Tom Scott stops doing weekly videos.
It's that time again with the annual playlist...
- Caro Emerald - The Ghost Of You. Know this one from its use in The Peripheral, and although I watched it a while earlier for some reason this track bubbled back up later.
- The HU - This Is Mongol. The Hu and Alice In Chains, what's not to like? :)
- VNV Nation - Wait. New single that I played to death.
- Up Down Jumper - Boris Brejcha. Came up on a random discovery list in Tidal and got thoroughly stuck in my head.
- Anyma & Chris Avantgarde - Eternity. This track was all over social media with its inseparable visuals, but what really impressed me was how they adapted it to a long, narrow venue (clearly not what they'd designed it for). Bit odd to end up on a music playlist because of the lightshow, but it is what it is!
Next three are from an absolutely massive gig, Regurgitator's "Unit" show which was really a mini festival. It was my first gig since Tool, pre-covid! Also it was like a time machine back to Brisvegas in the late nineties, in the very best way.
- Butterfingers - Get Up Outta The Dirt
- Custard - Girls Like That
- Regurgitator - Polyester Girl
Back to the randomness..
- Armin van Buuren - Computers Take Over The World. Another one that came up on Tidal, at a time when everyone was talking about AI taking over everything AND I was learning to make music. Also it's very tongue in cheek, self-referential humour for music producers. Bit of a gimme for me, then.
- Underworld - and the colour red. Underworld released another amazing track. That's it, that's all they need to do...
- VNV Nation - Invictus. Double-dipping VNV as this one got stuck in my head after the album came out.
Big run to the finish with three gigs that happened in the space of about two weeks, which were all amazing in their own ways, so I'm double-dipping all three.
G. Love & Special Sauce was a total wildcard, suggested by a mate. It lead to an improbable night of running into another mate at the venue; and shenanigans ensued that were Very Inner West.
- G. Love & Special Sauce - Blues Music
- G. Love & Special Sauce - Cold Beverage
Devo's Freedom Of Choice album was one of the first cassettes I had, after my sister dubbed a copy for me. Pretty sure the tape had Scritti Politti on the other side. She was also showing me stuff I might like on VHS-recorded episodes of MTV and Rage - I remember Tears For Fears, The Cure, and lots of totally bonkers Devo film clips.
Somehow though I never quite made it to a Devo gig, nor saw them at a festivale, etc. So when they announced it was their last tour, it had to happen... and it didn't disappoint. They were just as unapologetically weird as I'd hoped.
- Devo - Freedom Of Choice
- Devo - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Followed that up just a few days later with Kraftwerk, which was just amazing. To be able to go see the urtext of electronic music felt like a privilege to me.
- Kraftwerk - Metal on Metal
- Kraftwerk - Tour de France (Etape 2)
While it's not on YouTube, honourable mention to Tycho's release of Tasty (Special Edition)... finally you too can enjoy the Banned By The BBC mix of Tainted/Who ;) Not to take away from all the awesome new tracks Tycho have released this year, it's just that Tainted/Who has a very special history.
Labels: mix tape
- There are headlines, and then there's Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies
- Australia makes world-first decision to ban engineered stone following surge in silicosis cases - ABC News:
Australia has become the first country to announce a ban on engineered stone following a surge in workers developing the lung disease silicosis.
- Entire Wests Tigers administration ousted as former NSW premier returns to embattled NRL club | Wests Tigers | The Guardian:
NRL club Wests Tigers have overhauled their entire administration following an independent review into the club, bringing in former New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell as interim chair and ex-Souths boss Shane Richardson as interim chief executive.Yikes.
- Kingsmill the kingmaker: Triple J veteran who shaped Australia's music tastes for decades departs ABC | Australian music | The Guardian:
However much you liked or hated his musical taste, at least Kingsmill was a real human being. There are now far fewer niches for tastemakers and cultural intermediaries. Your Spotify feed is programmed by a ghostly algorithm, while the power to launch new artists has been passed to TikTok. As robot playlists and major label tie-ups move inexorably towards the commanding heights of the music economy, it may be that we come to look on Kingsmill's time at Triple J with nostalgia.
- The 10 Most Hated Fonts of All Time | WDD. Mostly good but over-used fonts. Plus a couple that were always simply crap.
- St Vincent’s Hospital to be insolvent by April | The Saturday Paper:
The SVHA group has $3.6 billion in assets and almost $400 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand, although this is apparently not to be spent to rescue its failing public operation.For those not familiar, this is a situation where the public and private hospitals are literally next door. One rolling in cash, the other broke. You could not get a clearer illustration of why maintaining two entire hospital systems in parallel is ludicrous.
- Facebook Is Being Overrun With Stolen, AI-Generated Images That People Think Are Real:
In many ways, this is a tale as old as time: people lie and steal content online in exchange for likes, influence and money all the time. But the spread of this type of content on Facebook over the last several months has shown that the once-prophesized future where cheap, AI-generated trash content floods out the hard work of real humans is already here, and is already taking over Facebook. It also shows Facebook is doing essentially nothing to help its users decipher real content from AI-generated content masquerading as real content, and that huge masses of Facebook users are completely unprepared for our AI-generated future.
- The New York Times is suing Microsoft and OpenAI for billions. Here's what it claims their AI bots are up to - ABC News. It's quite a list, including claims ChatGPT attributed made-up stories to the NYT.
- Clue in the windscreen may be key in legal challenge to Queensland's AI traffic fine system | Queensland | The Guardian:
Visible in the car's windscreen is what appears to be a reflection of Trueman's upside-down numberplate.Hard to imagine how a reflections of the car's own number plate could be on the windscreen.
- Erik Wernquist - Short Film: "One Revolution Per Minute" - have to agree with the creator that in reality, most people would find the whole thing nauseating. Interesting thought experiment though.
- People who watched Sky News more likely to have voted no in referendum, survey finds | Indigenous voice to parliament | The Guardian. You don't fucken say? Who could have seen that coming...
- Experts say east coast humpback whale population has reached record numbers, as tourism booms - ABC News:
"We know that population has reached 40,000 or more," Wally Franklin from the Oceania Project said. "We believe the numbers are now getting close to what we call carrying capacity, when the number of whales born equals the number of whales that die of natural causes each year."
- This new data poisoning tool lets artists fight back against generative AI | MIT Technology Review:
Poisoned data samples can manipulate models into learning, for example, that images of hats are cakes, and images of handbags are toasters. The poisoned data is very difficult to remove, as it requires tech companies to painstakingly find and delete each corrupted sample.
- In the Office Auto-Reply Emails for a Hybrid Work Schedule - McSweeney's Internet Tendency
- Microsoft hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman | OpenAI | The Guardian:
At the end of a dramatic weekend of boardroom drama, the non-profit board of the San Francisco-based OpenAI has installed Emmett Shear, the co-founder of video streaming site Twitch, as the company's third CEO in three days, according to multiple reports.A week later the drama was still going on. Silicon Valley would never have run out of material, honestly.
- Australian supermarket vanilla ice-cream taste test: the best tub is from Aldi (so is the worst) | Australian food and drink | The Guardian. Interesting even if only for the discussion of just how much air gets whipped into ice cream.
- Australians most vulnerable to COVID-19 are the least vaccinated. Here's how the government's responding - ABC News. Spoiler alert: they're doing absolutely fucking nothing, and blaming the aged care sector.
- Australian housing wealth is meaningless, destructive and fundamentally changing our society | Alan Kohler | The Guardian:
It will be impossible to return the price of housing to something less destructive – preferably to what it was when my parents and I bought our first houses – without purging the idea that housing is a means to create wealth as opposed to simply a place to live.
- Buyers of Bored Ape NFTs sue after digital apes turn out to be bad investment | Ars Technica. It's almost art.
- Aussie electro-mod Datsun 1200 ute - 730kg of rapid brilliance - EV Central. EV swaps are definitely part of the future for car culture. Those who say it will never happen are very silly. It'd be like saying LS swaps wouldn't catch on. People like to keep old cars running, and they like to do things that are different. EV swaps tick a lot of boxes.
- Wind-Powered Cargo Ship Could Save 3 Tons Of Fuel A Day (more accurately "wind-assisted")
- The charts that show how Australia's rental market got so broken - ABC News:
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen. Are we talking about madness, or the Australian property market?
- Scientists strengthen concrete by 30 percent with used coffee grounds:
a team of researchers from RMIT University in Australia have discovered [pyrolized coffee grounds] can be used as a silica substitute in the concrete production process that, in the proper proportions, yields a significantly stronger chemical bond than sand alone
- Why do cats love tuna so much? Scientists may finally know | Science | AAAS:
umami appears to be the primary flavor cats seek out. That's no surprise for an obligate carnivore. But the team also found these cat receptors are uniquely tuned to molecules found at high concentrations in tuna, revealing why our feline friends seem to prefer this delicacy over all others.
- 'The Reacher' is Tesla's solution to left-hand drive in the UK | 7NEWS. Honestly thought this was a joke when I first saw it, but... seems to be real?! Oh and the solution for Australia...? Just not going to sell them here at all: Confirmed: Updated Tesla Model S, Model X not coming to Australia - Drive.
- Tim Gurner: Property tycoon got his start with help from boss, grandfather:
Anyone with half a memory will know Timbo has form. He became a pre-pandemic meme in property circles as the “Avocado Toast Guy”, suggesting that people priced out of the property market should simply eat less brunch. ... The next time Timbo chunters on about any aspect of economic policy, or about the current predicament of employer-employee relationships, he should be forced to staple to his forehead how he really “made it”. Lord knows there's enough room.
- The Incredible Saga Of The Lost Antarctic Volkswagen Beetles | Jalopnik
- FOGO system 'overwhelmed' by plastics as industry urges public to get behind rollout - ABC News. The RedCycle debacle probably hasn't helped with general levels of engagement with recycling. Food scraps also suffer because the little caddy bins are poorly designed so they sweat a lot; and the compostable bags tear incredibly easily when they get wet. So unless you empty and clean the bin daily (or close to daily) it turns into a disgusting mess... so if you get busy or sick and fall behind you're just tempted to stop using it. It really does reduce the amount of general waste you have though.
- What is happening to gas in Victoria and will the rest of the country follow suit? - ABC News. I've no doubt there will be pushback, but ultimately gas stoves make absolutely no sense. Bad for your health, expensive, smelly, dangerous. Gas was better than crappy old electric stoves, but isn't better than modern induction stoves which are fast and responsive. Gas should only be retained as a portable or backup solution, including BBQs.
- Will rebranding Twitter give Elon Musk the X factor? I wouldn't bank on it | John Naughton | The Guardian:
As usual, the close to 150 million-strong legion of Musk worshippers think that this is further evidence of their hero's genius. More detached observers wonder what he's been smoking.
- Fight brews on AI copyright law, as unions say big tech must pay to train AI, while Google, Microsoft ask for exemptions - ABC News
- ABC exiting Twitter: Australia's national broadcaster shuts down almost all accounts on Elon Musk's X | Twitter | The Guardian:
The ABC is shutting down almost all of its official accounts on Twitter – now known as X under Elon Musk's ownership – citing “toxic interactions”, cost and better interaction with ABC content on other social media platforms.
- Brisbane heritage tugboat The Forceful to be turned into scrap metal as museum's last hopes dashed - ABC News. That's sad. As a kid I once spent an afternoon on the Forceful including helping the stokers. I kind of assumed she'd be on the river forever, one way or another.
- This is Henson Park - League - Inside Sport:
There's no rugby league experience quite like a Newtown Jets home game. The big stadiums will never be able to match the charm, passion and community spirit of a place like Henson, a beacon of suburban footy.Although written in 2018 I'm pleased to say this piece still perfectly describes what it is like attending a game at Henson Park.
- 14 surprising and bizarre photos from oilfield workers reveal what crude oil actually looks like when it comes out of the ground | Business Insider. Definitely not what I expected.
- Donald Trump has been indicted for a fourth time. Here's what's different about the case in Georgia - ABC News
- The Orchestra of All Things: Sampling Your Environment | Ableton. Notionally a music production post, but also a generally interesting write up about field recording.
- Robodebt royal commission findings revealed, individuals referred for criminal prosecution - ABC News:
Unnamed individuals will be referred for criminal and civil prosecution after a royal commission handed down its report into the unlawful Robodebt scheme on Friday.
- Californians Stop Self Driving Cars With Traffic Cones
- Patients given aripiprazole 'should be told of gambling addiction risks' | Drugs | The Guardian:
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said pathological gambling and other impulse control disorders were “a well-recognised side-effect of aripiprazole”, which are listed as side-effects in the patient information leaflet.
- Kevin Mitnick Obituary - Las Vegas, NV. Vale Kevin Mitnick. A tumultuous but all too short life. Demonised hacker turned white hat, he inspired so many to be curious and even to go into security as a career.
- Meet Lilli, the High-end German Call Girl Who Became Barbie
- Tesla's secret team to suppress thousands of driving range complaints. They rigged the cars to show optimistic range during test drives:
The company decided about a decade ago, for marketing purposes, to write algorithms for its range meter that would show drivers “rosy” projections for the distance it could travel on a full battery [...] Then, when the battery fell below 50% of its maximum charge, the algorithm would show drivers more realistic projections for their remaining driving range.Then they set up a whole team to stop owners from bringing cars in thinking they were defective because they never got that range:
Tesla created the Las Vegas “Diversion Team” to handle only range cases [...] The office atmosphere at times resembled that of a telemarketing boiler room. A supervisor had purchased the metallophone – a xylophone with metal keys – that employees struck to celebrate appointment cancellations.
- Is Elon Musk creating a utopian city? The hellish, heavenly history of company towns | Housing | The Guardian
- Plastic-eating backyard fungi discovery boosts hopes for a solution to the recycling crisis - ABC News:
Professor Abbas said he was "very confident" the technology could be scaled up to process thousands of tonnes of plastic a year, because the same techniques were already being used in different fields.
- Canary Wharf: Spectacular photos of skyscraper rediscovered - BBC News
- 'Is that satire?': Outrage as Peter V'landys describes NRL as 'wagering content' | Gambling | The Guardian. No surprise that the horse gambling hack sees football purely as a vehicle for gambling.
- Orcas have sunk 3 boats in Europe and appear to be teaching others to do the same. But why? | Live Science
- If this is the best we can hope for, why do we even bother? - The Shot:
In Australia’s infantile political theatre, approving a new coal mine and being sad about it is considered a victory for the environment, better and more progressive than approving a new coal mine while gloating about it and/or crash tackling a small child into the dirt. ... We need to constantly ask ourselves where power really lies in Australia, because the Government doesn’t appear to be the answer.
- Enhanced Games: audacious plan for sporting event without drug testing | Drugs in sport | The Guardian - something like this seems inevitable, but the promoter's rhetoric is bullshit. Anti-doping agencies aren't anti-science, they are anti-cheating. People aren't doping to advance humanity, they're doping to win by breaking the rules of their sport. People who had past accolades stripped for drugs were cheating and knew it - they're not unsung heroes, they're just cheats. Go nuts with the doped-up olympics - but don't come in with bullshit arguments.
- Cat bibs trialled by Eurobodalla council to stop pets killing native wildlife - ABC News:
[Cats] live four times longer on average if they are kept inside...pretty good argument on its own, TBH.
- What's going on with the 'fake' mobile game ads on TikTok? | Eurogamer.net:
And so of course these ads are relentlessly A/B tested to just get that install. Whatever works. Over time and through rigorous testing, some mobile game marketers found that it's more effective to present your game as a runner or a puzzler than tell people what the game actually is.
- What we've learnt from nine weeks of Robodebt royal commission hearings - ABC News. TLDR: many people knew it was wrong, many people had opportunities to stop it, nobody stopped it, and the entire toxic disaster was framed with a two-word slogan from Scott Morrison. Being punitive was more important than any other aspect - including the truth or human life.
- Australia's leading harness racing stable, Yole Racing, at centre of cheating allegations - ABC News:
What Riley is describing is what's known as “team driving”, and it's prohibited in the racing code. The driver said he was concerned races may have been “fixed” for betting purposes. [...] RSPCA Tasmania CEO, Jan Davis, said while she was not happy with the condition more than 150 horses were kept in at the Yole Racing stable — she was limited by the state’s animal welfare legislation.
- New South Wales Premier Chris Minns vows not to work with Mark Latham, urges Liberals to do the same - ABC News:
Mr Minns said he would not support Mr Latham if he requested to chair a committee or special assignment inside of the Legislative Council.Unlikely to come up, since Latham doesn't do much more than tweet drivel.
- Peter Dutton says he 'accepts responsibility' for Aston by-election loss - ABC News:
During the campaign, Mr Dutton said the result would be a "verdict on the leaders, no doubt about that". He conceded to ABC's Insiders that he had failed his own test. [...] Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning rebuked the Liberal leader on Twitter, noting the party had seen success in Victoria in 2016, when it won Chisholm with moderate candidate Julia Banks. "Jeez Peter — just tell the truth. Victoria is a small-l liberal state and the Liberal Party egged on by the Murdoch media has moved further and further to the right," Mr Turnbull wrote.
- The Herkimer Battle Jitney Lives, and the New Owner Plans a Full Restoration | Hemmings. A mostly-forgotten movie prop that seems more popular than the movie it's from...
- Former Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt quits Liberals over party's voice opposition | Ken Wyatt | The Guardian:
After the Albanese government revealed the wording of the referendum question, Wyatt publicly urged Dutton to back the creation of the voice, warning not doing so could add to the perceptions the Liberals were a “racist party”.
- Investigation launched into whether AFP tried to 'pervert the course of justice' in Brittany Higgins case | Australia news | The Guardian:
In an email seen by Guardian Australia, ACLEI's executive director of operations, Peter Ratcliffe, confirms the agency is investigating whether “AFP members attempted to pervert the course of justice by pressuring Ms Brittany Higgins not to proceed with the matter”.
I was hoping Andrew Huang would do a behind-the-scenes for his 'space' video series...
Mark Rober talking about the very-cool Zipline drones.
- Coles, Woolworths ordered to dump tonnes of REDcycle soft plastics in landfill:
The EPA and Fire Rescue NSW are concerned about the potential threat from fire posed by stockpiles across 11 local government areas that have been classified as “high-risk” but have not indicated where those stockpiles are.
- What Ukraine's weapons innovation and commercial technologies tell us about the future of war - ABC News
- How the world's first electric Porsche ended up in Melbourne via Pennsylvania - ABC News
- Senator Lidia Thorpe quits Greens over divisions on Voice to Parliament - ABC News. A surprise to nobody, really.
- 'Disturbingly high': One in four Australians engaging in online piracy | SBS News:
In 2023, Australia's favourite shows and movies could be spread over as many as 10 different streaming services, most of which increased their subscription prices [...] Netflix set to crackdown on password sharing [...] growing cost of necessities and inflation at a three-decade high. Yep total mystery why there was a small (2-5%) increase in the rate of piracy.
- The return to the office could be the real reason for the slump in productivity. Here's the data to prove it | Fortune:
If quiet quitting and the resultant drop in productivity stemmed from remote work, we should see a drop in productivity right from the start of the pandemic, when office workers switched to remote work. Then, when offices opened back up, especially after the Omicron wave at the end of 2021, we should see productivity going up as workers went back to the office from early 2022 onward. In reality, we see the opposite trend. U.S. productivity jumped in the second quarter of 2020 as offices closed, and stayed at a heightened level through 2021. Then, when companies started mandating a return to the office in early 2022, productivity dropped sharply in Q1 and Q2 of that year. Productivity recovered slightly in Q3 and Q4 as the productivity loss associated with the return to office mandate was absorbed by companies–but it never got back to the period when remote-capable employees worked from home.
- More buses in disadvantaged areas better value than major transport projects, Australian research finds | Transport | The Guardian:
governments are failing to fully calculate the flow-on financial benefits of smaller public transport projects in poorer urban fringe suburbs, such as lower crime, increased employment, better health outcomes and improved social inclusionIn other words, public transport more than pays for itself when considered holistically. The desire to make public transport "profitable" is completely missing the point.
- The Roald Dahl rewrite kerfuffle – Roald Dahl Fans