Squiz Today / 06 October 2021
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 6 October
%%=Format(@localdatetime, “dddd, d MMMM yyyy”)=%%
Squiz Today Podcast
News to move to.
Today’s listen time: 9 minutes
Was Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe’s description of the upward pressure on wages thanks to COVID lockdowns as he announced that interest rates would stay at the historic low of 0.1%. You could say he’s economical with words…
Facebook on the blink
For a few hours yesterday morning, the digitally-connected and time-wasters amongst us were cast adrift into a sea without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Thank goodness Twitter and others picked up the slack… The global outage affected billions of users, millions of advertisers, and founder/boss Mark Zuckerberg’s hip pocket… His personal wealth fell by more than $9.5 billion yesterday, taking him down a notch to #5 on the list of the world’s richest people after Facebook shares fell 4.89% on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday before recovering half of that overnight.
The company’s largest-ever service failure kicked off at 2.40am AEDT, and it took almost 6 hours to get services back online. Facebook issued an explanation, saying it wasn’t a hack – it was due to a “faulty configuration change”. Before you get huffy with us as we play IT helpdesk, what that means is their machines stopped talking to one another, and like if someone mucked up the traffic lights and confused everyone on the road, traffic ground to a halt. That could have been the result of human error, experts say. Initially, close watchers thought something more sinister was at play because the apps dropped out suddenly, but that’s not so, says Facebook.
THAT’S A TOUGH WAY TO END A LONG WEEKEND…
You know Facebook’s based in California, right? Anyway… It was a rough day after a rough few weeks for the tech giant. Its share price fell about 15% in September because of legal and social impact woes. A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook knew about a wide range of problems with its products, including that Instagram can harm teenage girls’ mental health. The reports got government officials’ attention, and on Monday, the whistleblower revealed herself ahead of appearing before Congress this morning. The company is also dealing with an antitrust lawsuit that seeks to unwind Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. Regulators say the company has used its dominance to squash competitors. So yeah, it’s been a bit of a time…
Squiz the Rest
Hillsong founder pleads not guilty
The leader of Australian-turned-international megachurch Hillsong Brian Houston is pleading not guilty to charges of concealing information about his father’s alleged abuse of children, his lawyers told a Sydney court yesterday. After a 2-year investigation, NSW Police charged the 67yo in August. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard Brian’s father Frank (a Pentecostal preacher) admitted to the abuse before his death in 2004. It’s a trial that is getting international attention because Hillsong has some high profile worshippers across 20 countries, along with high profile scandals. Brian was in the US before returning to Oz recently to “set the record straight”. The case has been adjourned until 24 November.Australian News
Oh Victoria as Aussies roll up their sleeves
Victoria has broken NSW’s record for new daily COVID infections after reporting 1,763 new local cases and 4 deaths yesterday. It’s a large jump from the state’s previous high of 1,488 cases last Friday, and health officials are blaming banned AFL grand final gatherings for the spike. “COVID is everywhere in metropolitan Melbourne,” Victoria Health’s Kate Matson warned, and “significant community transmission” between strangers is a concern. Premier Daniel Andrews said the state remains committed to the national plan to start lifting restrictions once 70% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. That’s due to happen for Victoria at the end of the month. Speaking of milestones, 80% of Aussies aged 16yo and over have now received at least one jab. Oz is set to hit the target of getting 70% of its eligible population fully vaccinated by the end of the month.Health
Perrottet takes NSW’s top job
NSW has entered “a new chapter”, according to newly-minted Premier Dominic Perrottet. He was sworn in as the state’s 46th Premier yesterday after beating Planning Minister Rob Stokes 39 votes to 5. And at 39yo, he’s also the state’s youngest on record… In a rush of endorphins new political leaders sometimes get, Perrottet said politics will take a backseat as he cracks on with the state’s economic recovery, infrastructure and support for families. A cabinet reshuffle has been postponed until later in the year, and Perrottet says he wants a “diverse” cabinet with more women. But first to the senior blokes: Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres was sworn in as deputy leader, and Environment Minister Matt Kean has been promoted to Treasurer. And the thrills and spills aren’t over: after the resignation of Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday, the Nationals will vote on his replacement today.AusPol
A no-show at Glasgow?
PM Scott Morrison’s hints that he won’t attend the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow at the end of the month are becoming more obvious. Like yesterday when he said that once his government’s emissions targets are nailed down with the Nationals, he wants to explain it to Aussies first, “not to people overseas, at overseas conferences.” With Oz on track to start reopening next month, Morrison said a lot is going on at home, and he’s not keen on another 14-day stint in quarantine. Another theory: negotiations are ongoing with the Nats, and it’s hard to commit when you don’t know the outcome. There are 120 world leaders attending the Glasgow summit in person, while countries including China and New Zealand will send delegations as their leaders stay at home. #SquizShortcutAusPol
Feeling the heat
Two groundbreaking discoveries about how humans feel temperature, touch and pressure has taken 2 American scientists to the top of the Nobel Prize pops for medicine or physiology. And it’s largely thanks to the humble chilli… Physiologist Professor David Julius applied capsaicin (the stuff that if you get in your eye you feel like you can see into the depths of hell…) to DNA fragments to identify the receptors in the skin that respond to heat. He did the same with menthol for cold. Meanwhile, independently of Julius, neuroscientist Professor Ardem Patapoutian discovered further receptors that respond to being poked. The discoveries could see the development of new treatments for conditions like chronic pain, which is pretty nifty. Overnight, the guys who predicted global warming in the 1960s won the prize for physics. PS the answer to your chilli problem is to flush your eye with milk…Health
Apropos of Nothing
Speaking of things in your eyes, Argentine artist Leandro Granato sucks paint up his nose and somehow gets it onto a canvas via his tear ducts. He’s destroying some of his original works valued at $100,000 to sell the images as NFTs. What a world…
Put it in your diary: Adele has new music coming out next week. Her last album 25 was released in 2015.
Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the revolution, likely had a lover. Gasp… Redacted lines from her letters have been put through the latest technology, and she was very familiar with her correspondent Count Axel von Fersen of Sweden. And sure, he looks nice enough…Quirky News
Squiz the Day
12.30pm (AEDT) – Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher addresses the National Press Club – Canberra
6.45pm (AEDT) – Nobel Prize for Chemistry announced
The NSW Nationals vote on a new leader after the resignation of John Barilaro
• the opening of the Moulin Rogue in Paris (1889)
• inventor Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture (1889)
• the High Court of Australia sitting for the first time (1903)
• the release of the first film with a soundtrack, The Jazz Singer. It signalled an end to the era of silent films (1927)
• the launch of Instagram (2010)