US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett (Image: AP/Alex Brandon)

Who are we to judge? Ever since Amy Coney Barrett, conservative and Gen X woman, was announced as Donald Trump’s nomination for the US Supreme Court, The Guardian’s writers must have been having conniptions about what to say.

Fear not! Regular columnist Kenan Malik is here to argue that someone’s Catholicism should not disbar them from consideration by the left.

Who’s this reactionary old rockchopper? Well, actually it’s Kenan Malik, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party member, now in tight alliance with the Tories, arguing the case from the libertarian left, which suggests that, in London, the elite convergence is just about total.

Thank God, in these testing times, no-one at the Grauniad is hopelessly, hopelessly confused.

Don’t even talk to me before I’ve been threatened by my coffee Crikey has long been preoccupied with the “internet of shit“, the fun and distinct ways in which surveillance meets consumerist dystopia. Increasingly, you can hack items which have no business being connected to the internet in the first place.

First there was the vacuum that could spy on you, now comes the coffee machine that hold you to ransom.

Researcher Martin Hron details in a blog post how the coffee machine can be operated by a smart phone app — via, as it turns out, unencrypted connection — and installs firmware without authentication or encryption.

Within a week of tinkering, Hron has that thing going demonic, spitting out boiling water and demanding a ransom.

AEC on the hunt We’ve had our problems with the Australian Electoral Commission lately but one thing you can’t say is that it’s unprepared.

A tipster got in contact to tell us they are asking around for the next election — apparently chasing people this early is part of the AEC’s “standard forward planning processes”:

“The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is currently looking at temporary staffing for the next federal election event. This is part of our standard forward planning processes.

Tudge returns Acting Immigration Minister and Dickensian villain Alan Tudge decided on Sunday that four was enough days to lie low after you’re accused of conduct that “can only be described as criminal” by a judge.

He re-surfaced to spruik his controversial bill allowing the government to ban phones in asylum seeker detention centres. Apart from the reliable appeal to fears about pedophilia, he also claims detainees still have access to computers.

But Tudge appears to be the one fudging the truth — the bill includes “internet-connected devices” as an example of things that may be prohibited, which we’d estimate takes in around 100% of computers produced this century.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey