The Sizzle

Issue 426 - Monday, 3rd July 2017

Heads up Melbourne Sizzle subscribers - there's finally gonna be a meetup! If you want to talk some shit with me and other Sizzle subscribers, come on down to The Boatbuilder's Yard in South Wharf around 1:30pm on the 23rd of July.


Bunch of startup dudes can't keep their dick in their pants
Everybody loves 500 Startups, welcome to Victoria, take a funny pic with the minister! Oh, what's that? We regret to inform you that the guy in charge of 500 Startups, Dave McClure, is a sex pest. An article in the New York Times has exposed what most women already knew - loads of VC fund bosses (the 500 Startups bloke is just one of em) abused their power and constantly made inappropriate comments and even physically touching women they're supposed to have a professional relationship with. Loads of creepy stuff like touching the faces of women who's companies they're investing in, asking for blowjobs and straight up asking for sex. The women are put in a difficult spot as they need the funding these grubs have and are reluctant to speak out for the impact it would have on their business and even their reputation. Dave McClure has apologised for his actions in the usual Silicon Valley fashion (a blog post on Medium), but really, unless the guy is sacked and the women he's disgusted are apologised to in person, it all means nothing.

Germany makes internet companies ban hate speech online
If there's "hate speech" or "other material that is obviously illegal" under German law, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube must remove it within 24 hours or face massive fines. If there's gear on their sites that is offensive, but not illegal, then the site owner has a week to look into it. The fines start 5 million euro and go up to 50 million euro. Pretty tough law there - the Germans are pretty serious about this sorta stuff, with the Holocaust and all. A couple of human rights activists reckon the law goes too far and might challenge it in the EU, but who knows how that'll go.

More ICT jobs added to the list of eligible occupations for the 457 visa's replacement
Back in April, the government said they're gonna overhaul the 457 visa system that was clearly being rorted by many sectors of our economy. Part of the revamp was the culling of many ICT related jobs eligible for the visa, which the industry, at the time was kinda split on. Employers didn't like it as it meant their source of cheap labour dried up (though for some, it genuinely meant a handful of uniquely skilled, talented people couldn't work here), but the closest thing ICT has for a union (the IPTA) was luke warm on it, saying the removal of eligible ICT jobs didn't go far enough. Today, the list of eligible jobs has been updated, with a couple of new ones added and some tweaks as to English competency and background checks.

Centrelink owns and uses Cellebrite phone hacking gear
You've probably heard of Cellebrite due to its infamous use in the FBI's investigation of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. After the FBI took Apple to court pleading with them to create a way for law-enforcement to get into Apple's super secure unhackable iPhone, this Israeli company sells the FBI an easy to use kit that can bust into any iPhone and get data off it. You know who read about Cellebrite's use by the FBI and thought "gimmie piece of that"? - the Department of Human Services (aka Centrelink), the ATO, ASIC and the Department of Employment! They've all purchased one of the multi-thousand dollar kits as to assist in their investigations. Centrelink reckon they only use it on super serious fraud cases and only with a warrant. The rest of the departments admitted to owning a Cellebrite kit, but haven't said what they use it for specifically. So there you go, if one of these departments wants to, they can take your smartphone and download whatever's on it.

Vertu is broke, nobody wants their lame & expensive phones
Pour a bottle of your finest cognac on the kerb for Vertu, the makers of shitty, overpriced smartphones. The British company has been placed into administration due to not paying its staff or suppliers. Vertu, if you don't remember, "hand made" smartphones (and dumb phones) to go with your Bentley. They even had custom made phones where you pick the materials and someone will put it all together, so that way, your $50,000 device (yes, that's how much some of them cost) doesn't look the same as the other oil sheikhs. That would be so embarrassing. Vertu phones were always a few generations behind in specs and features, so you were dropping all that cash for what is basically, the guts of a $50 phone off Aliexpress. So long and don't let the door hit your arse on the way out ya tasteless bastards.


Cheap 65" 4K TVs at Kogan & 1st gen Apple Watches at JB
Two very simple bargains today. 1st generation (aka Series 0) Apple Watches for $349 (same price for 38mm or 48mm) at JB Hi-Fi. These are the fancier sapphire glass and stainless steel case models too. Pretty damn cheap if you don't mind the single core SoC. Kogan's found a new electronics sweatshop and cobbled together an $799 65" 4K TV. Not bad, probably slightly better quality than that. My 65" 1080p Kogan TV has been getting the job done for about 2 and a half years now. I tried to dispose of the box it came in today, but the bastard won't fit in my car, so I have to cut it up and really can't be arsed. Looks like it'll remain in the garage for another 2.5 years.

Elon tweets that the Model 3 is full steam ahead, first delivery on the 28th of July
Fresh off the Twitter account of Elon Musk is news that Model 3 production is ahead of schedule. The tweets are: "Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday", "Handover party for first 30 customer Model 3's on the 28th! Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1500", "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec" - I assume these are all left-hand drive models, so no good for AU, but still, exciting! I'm really looking forward to pricing and options available. Can't be far away now.

The 500-mile email
Apparently the story of the 500-mile email extremely old, but it's a funny story and I only read it last night! Anyways, a uni professor calls one of the sys admins and claims that emails wont' go further than 500 miles from the uni. I know what you're thinking - how the hell is an email limited to 500 miles? Maybe a hop or two, but not, like 500 precise miles. Techie checks and yeah, emails to servers hosted more than 500 miles away don't seem to work. I won't give away what the issue was, but it made me chuckle. Enjoy it, fellow dorks.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

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!