Issue 545

Tuesday, 19th December 2017

In This Issue


Donny's blaming the Norks for WannaCry

The US government is directly blaming North Korea for WannaCry, that lame piece of ransomware that leveraged a flaw in Windows XP to spread across the internet earlier this year. The claim was made by Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, in an article he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. Lazarus Group is who the US government reckons made WannaCry for the North Koreans, who are also the people believed to be behind that Sony Pictures hack back in 2014. Don't mind me, I'm just gathering more supplies for my nuclear fallout bunker.

AFP accidentally streamed their plans to arrest an arms dealer to Periscope

While we're on the topic of North Korea, you may have heard that an Australian bloke (well he lived in Sydney, dunno if he's an AU citizen) was busted by the AFP for selling North Korean missile technology and coal to various countries around the world. That's pretty weird, but not even the weirdest thing about this story. When the AFP were chatting about how they're going to arrest this guy, it was streamed on fucken Periscope live. That's right, the AFP streamed a live mission plan out on the internet "by accident" as the AFP was "testing a piece of social media broadcasting equipment". What the hell?

Ballarat railway to get full 4G signal the entire stretch!

This is probably irrelevant to 99% of the people who read this, but for me (and maybe 2 or 3 other Sizzle readers I know), V/Line's announcement that the Ballarat train line is going to get full 4G coverage, from multiple telcos, is awesome news. There's major chunks of the Ballarat line with 0% signal and the trains are like faraday cages, inhibiting the weak signal there is to actually get in the carriage. V/Line is going to install signal repeaters on all the VLocity trains and the telcos are going to install new towers along the rail corridor. The entire project should be complete by the end of 2018.

Facebook to crack down on clickbait posts in your feed

Sick of clickbait bullshit posts on Facebook? Good news - they're gonna tweak the algorithm to make them less prominent. Posts that ask you to do stuff similar to "Like if you think cats are best! Share if you think dogs are best!" - Facebook calls "engagement bait" and are now verboten on Zuck's advertising and social influence machine. As much as I like it when Facebook decide to crack down on clear garbage like this, it's insane how much influence they have over what you see in your feed. Every post is put through so many variables and stuff like missing the announcement that your friend is dead happens, and your friend dies wondering if anyone really cared about them when they needed support.

Hyperloop One renames to Virgin Hyperloop One and Richard Branson is the chariman now

Hyperloop One has raised an additional $50m from Virgin and installed Richard Branson as non-executive chairman. It's now called Virgin Hyperloop One and joins Virgin Galactic (as well as the trains and planes) in the Virgin empire. Interesting time, as just a few weeks ago, Hyperloop One's co-founder Shervin Pishevar, stepped down from the board of Hyperloop One because he's a sex pest. A week ago they managed to move one of their pods on a track at 386km/hr - which is about the same as the fastest conventional trains, so they have a bit of work to do if they want to go faster and make it economical.

Not News, But Still Cool

Plex has a music app called Plexamp

Plex Labs has spun off a new app called Plexamp. It's basically Winamp, but the music library comes from your Plex Server. It looks fantastic. You can open the app on any macOS or Windows box and hook up to your library anywhere over the internet. Supports global media keys and hotkeys, gapless playback and even a bunch of wild visualisers. Unfortunately, it's an Electron app (like Slack, which is a memory hog), but it works well. Almost makes me want to go back to having a local music library instead of Spotify/Apple Music/Google Music.

Another reminder that this wiki full of info on pre-paid SIMs with data exists

Going overseas and need to know what sort of SIM you should chuck in your phone? The Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki is 258 pages of awesome info about prepaid SIMs, with data, around the world. It's regularly updated too, so the plan inclusions and pricing are pretty current. Brilliant way to decide if it's worth enabling roaming on your phone or going through the hassle (some countries are easier than others) of finding a SIM. An amazing resource, thank you whoever is responsible!

Cheap USB fingerprint reader, unlimited 100mbit NBN, 15% off JB gift cards & Logitech mech kb

I saw this USB fingerprint dongle that's compatible with Windows Hello pop up on Ozbargain. Who wants to splash the $21 and give it a shot? Mungi is a new NBN RSP offering unlimited 100mbit service for $70/m. Dunno if they're any good, but damn that's cheap. eBay is selling JB, Kogan and Xbox Live gift cards for 15% off. The JB ones in particular seem like great value. The Logitech G610 mechanical keyboard is only $74 + shipping at Computer Alliance. I have one of these and love it.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!