Squiz Today / 15 March 2019

Squiz Today – Friday, 15 March


“Vermont town swears in goat as new mayor”

Now that’s a showstopping headline if ever we saw one. [Insert joke about said goat doing a better job than any politician…]


The world almost ended yesterday when social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, and messaging apps Messenger and WhatsApp, crashed across the world for more than 10 hours. The outage started around 3am (AEDT) yesterday in parts of the US, Europe and the part of the world many reports out of the US called “elsewhere” (including Australia, but don’t mind us…). Facebook suffered the indignity of turning to Twitter to inform users it was aware of the problem and, in the words of IT help desks everywhere, it was “working to resolve the issue”.

Dunno. All we know is Facebook says it wasn't a DDOS attack (which we're reliably informed stands for ‘distributed denial of service', and it's where hackers inundate a site with a tonne of traffic to crash it). It's been more than a decade since Facebook had a crash of this order. But back then it had 150 million users. Today it’s up to 2.3 billion monthly users. The outage affected people in different ways. Some business owners relying on the platform for sales and promotion said it was a big problem. Others were upset they were unable to share pictures from a retirement morning tea. The good news is people weren’t calling emergency services for help despite some confusion that was happening…

Two things. It was revealed by the New York Times yesterday that Facebook is subject to a criminal investigation over data deals it made with the tech giants. We’re talking about Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry (who?), Microsoft and Samsung and others. They got Facebook users' data, and Facebook got to embed its features into their tech. The other thing? Apparently, it's not all about Facebook anymore anyway. TikTok, an app where you can lip-sync to a 15-second music clip (we think), last month hit a billion downloads… It’s the first Chinese social media app to make it big in English-speaking countries.



Ok. So UK members of parliament have rejected PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal. And yesterday they (only just) rejected the notion of leaving the European Union without an agreement in place (note: this is not binding, and the UK could still Brexit on 29 March). This morning, they've also rejected calls for another referendum to ask the people if they really truly want to Brexit. And they have voted to ask the EU if they can have more time to get their act together. Stay tuned...


The scorched plot of land where Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed last weekend, killing all 157 people on board, was the site of mourningyesterday as relatives gathered to grieve the loss of loved ones. Meanwhile, the plane's manufacturer Boeing, which will see the aircraft grounded until at least May, has seen US$25 billion wiped off its market value. It's not been helped by US President Donald Trump's disparaging remarks about the company's 737 Max jetliners. He is said to have told aides it's a model he would never have considered for his own short-lived airline, the Trump Shuttle, because it “sucked”. And yes, that’s the quote…


SECURITY BOSS WARNS OF THREATS TO OZ – Australia’s Home Affairs chief Mike Pezzullo has warned that dark clouds are gathering on our country’s security horizon – from power struggles between our Asian neighbours to cyber attacks, chemical weapons and the threats posed by Islamic terror groups. So… happy Friday?

CHENG MURDER CONSPIRER GUILTY – Mustafa Dirani, one of the men who helped mastermind the murder of Sydney police accountant, Curtis Cheng, was yesterday found guilty of planning a terror attack. Cheng was shot dead leaving Parramatta police headquarters by a 15yo schoolboy in October 2015. His widow, Selina, expressed relief at the verdict but said “nothing will bring Curtis back”.

AUSSIE ISLAMIC STATE RECRUITER WANTS TO COME HOME – A woman who says she’s an Australian citizen/infamous jihadi bride Zehra Duman has told a TV crew in a refugee camp for Islamic State families that she wants to come home because her children need medical care. But PM Scott Morrison was having none of it, saying Australian citizens who travelled overseas to support terrorists need to accept the consequences of their actions.


A Malaysian court has decided to continue the trial of a Vietnamese woman accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam - the half-brother of North Korea’s leader – at Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017, despite charges against her Indonesian co-accused being dropped. The woman’s lawyer described the decision as "discrimination". Reports say Indonesian national Siti Aisyah was set free following an intervention by Indonesian president Joko Widodo, though a similar overture from the Vietnamese government fell on deaf ears.


Ever wondered what the Fresh Prince of Bel Air (the sitcom that helped make Will Smith a star) would be like if it was made today? There's no need to keep wasting your time - the movie trailer has been made… Note: there are no plans to make the actual film…

These days when we get to the weekend, it's hard not to fall into an unglamorous but happy heap. Think tracksuit pants/t-shirt/bad hair that should never leave the house. But we’re going to make an effort to see the British Royal Portraits exhibition (which starts on Saturday) in Bendigo, Victoria at some point. It’s getting good write-ups.

We try hard to be clear with our words, but can’t help handing out a good dose of “yeah no” in our daily chats. Here’s a look into the linguistic contradiction.


ABS Data Releases - Overseas Arrivals and Departures, January; Preschool Education, 2018; Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2017-18

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

School Strike 4 Climate - Cities and regional centres across Australia (Note: its founder, 16yo Greta Thunberg is up for a Nobel Peace Prize)

World Sleep Day

World Consumer Rights Day 

Anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian civil war (2011)

World Naked Bike Ride - Melbourne

St Patrick’s Day

Read the email every day this week and a $100 gift card to spend at Woolworths could be yours. Go for it.

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