The Sizzle

Issue 420 - Friday, 23rd June 2017


The fines those WannaCry infected speed cameras generated are now void
Remember those 55 Victorian speed cameras infected with WannaCry I mentioned yesterday? "Victoria Police has taken the extraordinary step of immediately cancelling all fines issued by speed and red-light cameras hit by a computer virus" hahah, I love it. "The cameras, most of them in inner-city Melbourne, issued 590 speed and red-light fines during that time." so that's what, about $180,000 worth of fines they had to cancel? (Assuming each fine is ~$300ea, some actually way higher). Patch yo shit, even your speed cameras! An inquiry into how the hell speed cameras got infected with a cryptolocker will start on Monday. I can't wait to read the conclusion of that report.

Facebook's new mission statement
Facebook has a new answer to the question "why does this thing exist?", a new statement that defines why those smart people at Facebook get up every morning and gaze upon their creation with pride instead of a deep sense of embarrassment, something they can tell themselves when they're accused of working for a glorified advertising company. The new statement that'll be tattooed on Zuck's back if he could tolerate the pain is: "to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together". Well. Alright then. Keep telling yourself that mate. When the revolution comes, you're one of the first against wall, you know that, don't ya Zuck?

Imagination up for sale just a few months after Apple shafted em
Imagination, the company that gave Apple its excellent GPU designs for use in the iPhone and iPad, is up for sale. A few months ago Apple said that they're going to stop licensing Imagination's designs for GPUs and go their own way. Soon as this happened, Imagination shat their pants as Apple was pretty much their only customers. I guess they couldn't find any other customers who want their stuff, so they're just going to sell themselves off for firewood and a handful of patents. The moral of the story here is don't have one client be the vast majority of your business.

South Australia expands plans for gigabit fibre network
South Australia realises the NBN is a dud and has given more funding to its Gig City intiative in the state budget. $2.9m on top of an existing $4.7m will go towards building out the SABRENet fibre network (used by unis and research groups) to "key innovation precincts". The new money will be spend on getting gigabit fibre to more Adelaide suburbs and potentially to the regional areas of Mt. Gambier and Whyalla. SA treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said that "taking affordable gigabit connection to more locations will ensure innovative and technology-advanced companies can thrive in our affordable and vibrant state" - someone tell the federal government that! I'm surprised more states haven't decided to bypass the NBN and roll their own gigabit fibre.

The US right to repair movement got a big new ally - the Copyright Office
The US Copyright Office has had enough of consumer rights groups asking it for exemptions to the USA's relatively draconian DMCA laws that ban things like "unlocking your cell phone or hacking your tractor to be able to repair the transmission". These exemptions only last 3 years as well, so imagine the bureaucratic burden the Copyright Office is under for common sense things like being able to fix the things you own. Now that the "right to repair" movement has the US Copyright Office on-board, they're hopefully that more repair friendly laws flourish across the USA. This doesn't just benefit Americans either. Usually if these companies need to go to the effort of opening something up (e.g: service manuals, spare parts, non-gimped firmware), they do it for the entire world too.


10% off Steam gift cards, 4 months free Google Music, cheap BeatsX & Ring wi-fi doorbell
Some good stuff on Ozbargain that isn't an eBay sale item today. First up is 10% off Steam gift cards at Big W - which is perfect timing as Steam has a huge sale on! Load up on games you wish you had time to play. If you're yet to try out Google Music and YouTube Red, Google has a 4 month free promo offer going on at the moment. The BeatsX earphones are The Wirecutter's preferred wireless headphones for people with iOS devices and they're $178 at Harvey Norman right now and if you get Officeworks to price match, they're just $169. That fancy Ring doorbell camera is $237 at Harvey Norman too and you can also get OW to price match it, you'll only pay $225.15. That said, there's a new version of the Ring coming soon that does 1080p video and is apparently better overall, but it costs more, so you decide if the old one is worth it.

Victoria is gonna have its own copy of Service NSW (finally)
Victoria is getting a one-stop online government service shop, just like NSW. Deloitte has been given $43m to run the portal, Service Victoria and will use a "Salesforce CRM, Sitecore front-end, and hosting by Amazon Web Services". Most of Deloitte's job will be hooking the systems of the Department of Transport, Department of Justice, and VicRoads into this new portal's front-end. The government expects the service to be live by the end of 2017. So expect it around mid-2018. Apparently only 1% of Victorian government transactions can be done online, versus the 970 things you can do online with the NSW government's portal. How embarrassing for the best state in Australia.

South Korean semiconductor makers didn't give a shit their employees were being poisoned
Bloomberg has a sad article about the impacts of semiconductor manufacturing on the people that work in the fabs. In the 80s, when most semiconductors were made in the USA, researchers realised that the women working in the plants of IBM, Intel and Digital Equipment (DEC) were having serious issues with their reproductive systems. The rate of miscarriages and birth defects in children whose mothers working in a semiconductor fab were double those of the rest of the population. After the usual large company bullshit, the companies agreed to stop using those toxic chemicals in the 90s and over time they were phased out and replaced with more expensive, but safer chemicals. But not in South Korea. As South Korean companies like Samsung and SK Hynix became huge manufacturers of semi-conductors throughout the 2000s, they used the cheap nasty chemicals instead. An absolutely reprehensible act, considering that knowledge of how toxic those chemicals are is widely known in the industry.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers. Know someone who could use a bit of Sizzle in their life? Buy them a gift subscription!