- 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
- The rest of the world is in disbelief at what the gambling industry has pulled off in Australia. We need real reform | Tim Costello | The Guardian:
Countless voluntary trials have already shown that when it is not universal, criminals using pokies to launder money move to the 90,000 machines that can be played without a card. So will problem gamblers who will avoid a card out of shame. To be free of shame, it must be universal.
- Twitter officially bans third-party clients with new developer rules - The Verge. Slow death of Twitter continues.
- COVID modelling suggests how governments should respond to future variants and outbreaks - ABC News:
Where the modelling differs from previous research from around the world, Dr Szanyi said, is that the economic effects of policies were weighed up against health outcomes such as deaths and hospital capacity. The effects of long COVID were also factored into the model.Spoiler alert - faster vaccination and earlier restrictions are better all 'round. In other words the opposite of what most of our goverments do.
- 'That Girl is Going to Get Herself Killed' - Longreads:
There is risk in the wilderness — even in mild adventures — and yet we still seek to reason with it, to assign order to it, to control it, and to tempt it.
- M&M's Tucker Carlson controversy: Maya Rudolph replaces spokescandies : NPR:
Carlson, who spends much of his time telling viewers he's a champion of victims of cancel culture, waged a culture war campaign against the candies until they were, literally, canceled. Which is so unbelievably stupid it's hard to believe this isn't parody. But yes, Carlson really did get M&M's to destroy almost thirty years of successful branding because he no was no longer turned on by the Green M&M.
- A small radioactive capsule has been lost in Western Australia. Here's how authorities plan to find it - ABC News.... aaaaaand Missing radioactive capsule found in WA outback after frantic search - ABC News.
Alan Tudge's adviser placed stories in 'friendly media' to 'shut down' robodebt scandal, royal commission told | Royal commission into robodebt | The Guardian:
Miller said the plan she devised meant placing stories in “more friendly media”, which she described as “rightwing media”, naming the Australian newspaper and “the tabloids”, as well as A Current Affair and talkback stations such as 2GB. [...] She said Tudge “requested the file of every single person who appeared in the media … so we could understand the details of their case”. She claimed Tudge also directed her to obtain other case studies that were also used to create “datasets” for the tabloid media. [...] Miller said she was aware of media reports that connected the robodebt scheme to the suicide of debt recipients. She said those cases were “tragic” and that, in general, there was a “lack of empathy” in the office....and she should certainly know, as emails have pretty clearly shown her lack of empathy: Robodebt royal commission: Ex-minister Alan Tudge gives evidence | news.com.au:
Ms Miller signed off the email, which was written to several colleagues, that it was “a nice start to the weekend!”
- Former social services minister Christian Porter takes responsibility for Robodebt failures at royal commission - ABC News... except he doesn't, really, he still insists other people should have told him it was unlawful. Christian Porter became ATTORNEY GENERAL just after this.
- Sam spent several months and thousands of dollars to get an EV charger installed in his apartment - ABC News. People don't talk enough about this aspect of EV adoption. Most apartment buildings can barely get broadband into the place, let alone EV chargers in every space. Most apartment buildings don't even have a standard power point in each space, so trickle charging isn't an option.
- Controversial social media personality Andrew Tate arrested in Romania on human trafficking, rape charges after posting pizza box video - ABC News:
Internet sleuths believe the pizza box, from a well-known chain in Romania, helped police confirm Tate was in the country and played a crucial role in his arrest.
- Elon Musk Becomes First Person In History To Lose $200 Billion: Report | HuffPost Impact:
Musk's fortune to date peaked in November 2021 at $340 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. He's now worth a not-too-shabby $137 billion, per Bloomberg, but that's still a steep dive from 2021.
- Rally driver Ken Block dies in Utah snowmobile accident, aged 55, his Hoonigan Racing team says - ABC News
- Behind-The-Scenes Polaroids from the set of Hackers | Dazed
- Riddle solved: Why was Roman concrete so durable? | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
Previously disregarded as merely evidence of sloppy mixing practices, or poor-quality raw materials, the new study suggests that these tiny lime clasts gave the concrete a previously unrecognized self-healing capability. [...] Through the extended functional lifespan and the development of lighter-weight concrete forms, he hopes that these efforts could help reduce the environmental impact of cement production, which currently accounts for about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The pub with no town: How a lurid pink hotel kept Dulacca on the map and its regulars connected - ABC News
- 'You will get it wrong … but you can't make it worse': 16 ways to talk to people who are grieving | Death and dying | The Guardian:
You don't have to be in the club to know that we aren't great at talking about death. The mere mention of the word makes shoulders tense, stomachs gurgle and palms sweat. I have seen people tie themselves in physical knots to avoid grief coming up in light conversation.
- John Deere will let US farmers repair their own equipment | Engadget:
John Deere has been one of the stauncher opponents of right to repair regulation, but it's now willing to make some concessions. Deere & Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) that lets US farmers and independent repair shops fix equipment, rather than requiring the use of authorized parts and service centers. Users will have access to official diagnostics, manuals, tools and training. Deere will let owners disable electronic locks, and won't bar people from legally obtaining repair resources even if the company no longer offers them. [...] The memorandum is effective as of January 8th, although John Deere didn't detail exactly how or when it would alter its practices.So much wiggle room you could drive a combine harvester through the gaps. Still needs real law, the MOU is a pretty obvious play to head off real requirements.
Background if you care... not much deeper meaning really:
- Starbeam - William Orbit: gorgeous new track from William Orbit was a nice way to start the year, musically speaking. Set a bit of a theme of "bands I didn't expect new music from".
- Show Business - Hilltop Hoods feat Eamon: fun clip, and where did they dig up that old Mitsubishi?!
- Drink The New Wine - Bauhaus: definitely didn't expect a new track from Bauhaus, nor one that references Oblique Strategies. Odd but sticks in the head.
- The Hunt - Briggs feat Gurrumul: Gurrumul's vocals and blues guitar are just incredible in this. One of several standouts on Sheplife.
- The Dying Song (Time To Sing) - Slipknot: even I continue to be surprised that I like Slipknot. Awkward thing to discover in your forties.
- Renegade Soundwave (Leftfield Remix) - Renegade Soundwave: digging into a lot of classics this year.
- A Whole Day’s Night - Hilltop Hoods feat Montaigne, Tom Thum: the Hoods continue their re-evaluation of life and lifestyle.
- Give Me Mercy - The Cult: The Cult still know how to make a great track.
- Black Thunder - The HU: sadly despite waiting through years of lockdown, when the Hu finally played in Sydney I had a cold and was too sick to go. Next time maybe...
- Shut The Party Down - Butterfingers feat East Coast Alien, Bluntfield: what's the colour of a two-cent piece? Another fun track from Butterfingers, and another no-budget film clip. I don't know why it amuses me so much that they drive around in an Orana rental truck.
- Dirty Rat - Orbital feat Sleaford Mods: when electronic gets angry, you get this. Love it.
- Adieu - Rammstein: they continue their push with extraordinary film clips, and a track that got stuck in my head for weeks.
- Goo Goo Muck - The Cramps: we watched Wednesday like everyone else ;)
- Salva Mea - Faithless: RIP Maxi Jazz.
Labels: mix tape