The Sizzle

Issue 479 - Thursday, 14th September 2017


A vending machine startup annoyed people today
Today's outrage is aimed at a Silicon Valley startup that's making fancy vending machines. They're called Bodega and their cabinet full of snacks uses an app and artificial intelligence to sell them to you. The headline of the article on FastCompany "launching" the startup: "Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete" pissed people off. Making mom and pop stores obsolete isn't exactly a nice thing to aim for, even if it's what every large company is thinking, ya don't go saying it out loud. This just adds more fuel to the fire that Silicon Valley is out of touch and useless.
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Equifax was hacked because they didn't patch their servers
Equifax has revealed what they believe to be the cause of their absolutely enormous hack: an unpatched server that fell victim to a vulnerability in Apache Struts. CVE-2017-5638 to be exact. The patch for this was released two months ago! To add further insult to injury, the Argentinian division of Equifax had the system used to dispute credit reports, accessible on the public internet, with the credentials admin/admin. Fucken hell, talk about lazy. The US Congress is gonna grill the Equifax CEO on October 3rd.
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Elon Musk tweets that the Tesla semi-trailer will be revealed Oct 26th
Elon Musk has tweeted, "Tesla Semi truck unveil & test ride tentatively scheduled for Oct 26th in Hawthorne. Worth seeing this beast in person. It's unreal." - so there ya go, a Tesla truck demo in a month or so. Probably won't be on the road for 3 years, but hey, gotta start somewhere right? Tesla's also on schedule to finish that battery system in South Australia, announcing a "Tesla Powerpack Celebration" for the 29th of September. Elon will be in Adelaide for some astronomy conference, so chances are he'll be there too, probably with the SA Premier, where they'll make fun of the federal government, I hope.
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Telcos now need to report to govt what gear they plan to buy & who they hire to run it
A law giving the Australian government in-depth view and oversight into how telcos run their networks has been passed and is now in effect. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 forces telcos to advise government to any major changes to network config or staffing, so that the spy agencies know what's going on for "security purposes". A new "Communications Access Coordinator" will determine if the changes a telco proposes are a risk to Australia's security. There's also bits that make telcos inform the CAC if they plan on storing "information or documents" outside of Australia and get exemptions if the CAC reckons its okay. I guess this means Huawei won't be making any big sales to telcos any time soon?
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Nintendo did some stuff
Nintendo dropped some new stuff via a 45 minute presentation on Twitch last night: Another trailer of Super Mario Odyssey (including topless Mario). Some classic Nintendo arcade games are going to be re-released on the Switch. There will be more mini SNES and NES consoles made next year. Wolfenstein 2 and Doom are coming to the Switch. Minecraft is out now for the New Nintendo 3DS. Mario Party 100 brings the best 100 mini games from all the Mario Party iterations to the 3DS. Some Pokemon themed Nintendo 2DS XL consoles (people buy these?). Press Start has a list of AU dates for the stuff announced by Nintendo.
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New apps: Sublime Text 3, Trello for Mac & 1Password CLI
Today is a day for lots of new apps. For starters, there's Sublime Text 3. I use Sublime Text all day, every day. I'm using it now to write this issue of The Sizzle! It's mainly for programmers, but I still find it useful just for writing up plain HTML. Trello, the popular task management app used by small groups of people now has a native Mac app, that includes keyboard shortcuts and native macOS notifications. 1Password launched a beta of a CLI version of their password manager, which means it's now also on "Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD on i386, ARM, and AMD64 architectures", not just Mac & Windows.
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Apple event leftovers
the A11 chip is a fucken screamer, achieving Geekbench scores in the same area as a 2017 MacBook Pro. macOS High Sierra will be available to download from the Mac App Store on the 25th of September. Apple bumped *up* the price of the iPad Pro, goddamnit. Flash memory has gone up in price, so instead of Apple absorbing the cost, it's passing an additional US$50 on to us. TechCrunch compares the iPhone X's gestures to that of the Palm Pre (RIP). If you own any iTunes movies, they're all gonna get upgraded to 4K versions for free, unless they're from Disney, which is weird, as Apple and Disney used to be tight back in the day. Here's some nice pics of the fancy Steve Jobs theatre. Apple explains why their FaceID demo shat the bed on stage yesterday. Use the Lightning to USB-C cable and a USB-C charger and you'll get your new iPhone's battery up to 50% in 30 min.
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"The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory"
The Big Bang Theory is bad show, but the Big Bang Theory is not just an awful sitcom, but a misogynist one at that too. "Adorkable Misogynists are male characters whose geeky version of masculinity is framed as comically pathetic yet still endearing. Their status as nerdy “nice guys” then lets them off the hook for a wide range of creepy, entitled, and sexist behaviours." - it's an enlightening watch, if difficult because the show is so, so shit.
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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.