The Sizzle

Issue 439 - Thursday, 20th July 2017


The ACCC set to take ISPs to court over misleading speed advertising, again
The ACCC is gearing up to sue some ISPs for being dodgy cunts. ACCC chairman Rod Sims said that "we expect to have cases in court before the year is out. The ACCC wants to see ISPs give realistic representations of the speed customers can expect and to stop using words like speedboost or ultrafast and use the proper numbers instead. I wonder who will get sued first? Rod Sims also said that he expects TPG's upcoming mobile network to be great for competition in Australia and he'd be disappointed if they don't come to an arrangement with another telco for roaming outside of TPG's network footprint. You can read the ACCC boss's full speech about internet competition here.

Google is generating news feeds personalised for you with machine learning
Google is getting in on some news feed action, just like Facebook and Twitter. Google's iOS and Android app (who actually uses the Google app?) will now contain a stream of "items drawn from your search history and topics you choose to follow". Basically it's Facebook, but with random shit off the internet Google thinks you'd like to see determined via machine learning. Google has a blog post explaining what's going on.

US set to loosen robocar testing requirements
The latest US government committee on self driving cars has been quick to approve of proposed laws that the car makers themselves have come up with, to lower the regulation required to test robo cars across America. If all goes according to plan, there won't be a need for pre-production robo cars driven on public roads to adhere to the same safety guidelines as normal cars and accident/success data will be voluntary, not mandatory. It'll also make the laws around this stuff the same across America, instead of the sometimes vast differences from state to state.

$39m of Etherum stolen by hackers who say they'll give it back once a bug is fixed
A group of white-hat hackers has stolen 153,037 Ethereum (approx A$39m) and is keeping it safe for its original owners. It claims that a "vulnerability in a specific version of a commonly used multisig contract" could have been exploited by someone nasty, so they decided to do it first because they're good guys. If they did nothing, a more nefarious hacker would have taken the Ethereum and just kept it. The White Hat Group are working on making a new multisig contract with the same settings, but with the vuln removed and will return the Etherum to it. Or so they say.

50% of British kids between 12 & 20 are cyberbullied and Instagram is the bullying mecca
Kids are absolutely copping it hard from bullies on Instagram. A British survey of 10,000 people between the age of 12 and 20, said that out of the 50% who have been cyberbullied, 42% of them said it happened on Instagram, compared to 37% on Facebook and 31% on Snapchat. YouTube was the service they used the most, with 92% of the 10,000 having said they use it (who are the 8% that haven't logged on to YouTube?!), but only 10% have been harassed there. The most popular topic of getting owned online? Appearance.


Nice podcast about future tech from a Sizzle subscriber
Sizzle subscriber Kristofor Lawson has a great podcast called Moonshot. It's up to episode 3 now, and has so far created episodes about people wanting to go to Mars, how AI is on the cusp of becoming smarter than us and people who want to augment themselves with technology. Really tight shows as well, it isn't another show where a couple of people talk amongst themselves for an hour. Kristofor and Andrew actually go out there, interview people and tell a story. Give it a listen!

Mandatory data retention poor value for money
For all the fuss, expense and shattering of civil liberties mandatory metadata retention schemes create, are they actually worth it? You could argue that sure, mandatory metadata retention is expensive and sure, your privacy is eroded, but if they're preventing crime and keeping us safe, maybe it's worth doing? Rick Sarre, professor of Law and Criminal Justice at the University of South Australia argues that the roughly $750m over 10 years the government will spend on hoarding all our metadata is a poor use of money to combat crime. He also reckons that the failure of mandatory metadata retention to be useful is why the government is keen for busting crypto.

Kogan has a $2000, 75" 4K TV for us size queens
Kogan has a 75" 4K TV for $1999. That's the permanent price by the way, not on sale. 75 inches of glory in your living room. Sure it's not some fancy OLED or QLED thing that's an atom thick and the panel quality won't be amazing, but it's 75 inches! If you're like me and prefer size over quality (it's all diminishing returns after a certain point anyways), this is great. Might be time to chuck my practically microscopic 2 year old 65" Kogan 1080p TV in the bin and buy this 75" bad boy. I wish they'd do an 85" for $3000 - that would be an instabuy.

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!