The Sizzle

Issue 21 - Monday 2nd November, 2015 - Oooooh Me Plums

There's a substantial amount of intentional and unintentional penis related material in this email. I'm surprised it made it through your email filter.


SA Supreme Court determines Google is legally responsible for links to defamatory content
Dr Janice Duffy has spent 6 years trying to get a search result removed off Google and the South Australian Supreme Court finally decided that yes, Google should remove all traces of the page in their search results. What's interesting to me about this situation is that under US law, what in Australia is defined quite clearly as defamation, is perfectly legal. The US has the First Amendment, which says that anyone can say pretty much anything about whoever they like and this is enshrined in many laws applicable to the Internet. I type her name now into Safari's default search and the first result is exactly what she wants removed, even though Google was supposed to remove it in 2011. Google hates deleting stuff and getting this enforced in the US is almost impossible thanks to that first amendment, even if it's 100% false.

Drawing Dicks on The Herald Sun is wiped out by Facebook
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Facebook got a bit too eager to delete stuff off the Internet, totally trashing the beautiful artwork of Drawing Dicks on the Herald Sun. With no warning, the Facebook page with over 350,000 members was wiped off the Internet due to a couple of complaints from little babies who can't stand to see people enjoying something they don't understand. Rich Wisken enjoyed the delightful artistic penises too and wrote an eloquent blog post about why removing the page is so juvenile, unlike the drawings.

Apple bans Chaos Computer Club's content from the Apple TV
The Chaos Computer Club are a bunch of Germans who like to hack stuff. There's some great content on their site, spanning years of conferences and meetups all over Europe. Wanting to share this info in an easy to watch format, the CCC decided to make an Apple TV app. Unfortunately, Apple did not allow it to be published on their store (English version here). On one hand, yeah, this is clearly listed in the App Store terms and conditions - you're not allowed to include stuff in your app that details how to hack into Apple products. On the other, who gives a shit? Apple should be encouraging this sort of knowledge rather than stifling it. A few people poking around in Apple's business and breaking things would make things better, not worse.

Some cryptolockers are now unlockable with a new Kaspersky tool
Hopefully you've never been hit by a piece of cryptolocker malware. If you have then you know the pain it can cause, particularly if you are careless and don't have any backups of the data locked up by the malware. Good news though, is thanks to the Dutch police, decryption keys for the Coinvault and Bitcryptor malware variants are public. The Dutch police got these keys as part of an investigation and together with Kaspersky, have made a tool available for free, for people to unlock the data which was held random.

Snapchat is hoarding all your dickpics
There's a bit of buzz around Snapchat's recent change to their terms and conditions today, which state that they won't promise your snaps will be deleted off their servers once they've been viewed. This is a "big deal" because the whole reason people use Snapchat is the ephemeral nature of the content. Send someone a photo of your balls and they see all your spherical glory for a few seconds and then its gone. No incriminating evidence left behind. But this hasn't been the case for a while now. There's nothing to stop a recipient taking a screenshot of the balls and then using it against you. Nor did Snapchat actually delete those images anyways, as the US FTC discovered back in May. Then in September, Snapchat announced an attempt to monetise via in-app purchases for "replays" of snaps sent to you. So Snapchat haven't given a shit about deleting photos for a while - it actually seems like Snapchat wants the opposite thing to happen.


Sweet new Telstra mobile plan - $50/m, 7GB data and $200 credit
Telstra have upped the data on their $50/m BYO phone plan, adding an extra 4.5GB of data for a total of 7GB and $200 of credit for new customers, effectively making this $33.33/month. It includes $1000 of calls and unlimited SMS too. The catch is that the extra data is only for those porting in to Telstra - but that's easy to get around for existing Telstra customers. Just grab a $2 Vodafone or OPtus SIM, port your number across to it, then sign up for the Telstra plan and bring your number back. The other catch is that it's a 12 month contract and there's no promises that after 12 months they'll keep the extra 4.5GB of data around. Still, a very nice plan if you're fed up with Optus or Vodafone's regional and rural coverage doesn't suit ya.

Don't buy your mum shares in Dick Smith this mother's day
If you've ever wondered how accountants can express their creativity, take a read of this analysis of Dick Smith Electronics amazing "turn around" from $20m purchase to $520m stock float. You probably remember when DSE was sold off by Woolworths to a private equity firm for a mere $20 million and we were all like "err, okay, that's $20m pissed away". Then when the DSE IPO happened, we thought "umm, hmm, maybe that was a really smart decision, kudos to those who revived DSE". Well it was all bullshit. The new owners of DSE made the post-Woolworths entity look way more profitable than it really is by getting rid of all the stock (which they severely undervalued) in a firesale, then reversed the undervalued plant and equipment values to their actual value, so it all looks like a healthy profit. Investors saw this, thought "wow what a great business" and bought up shares. The new owners sold all their shares at the right time, fled and now that the investors have realised, the share price has plummeted.

30 minute podcast from the ABC about how royally stuffed the NBN is
Background Briefing is one of the few podcasts I listen to regularly and they just published an episode about the NBN and how it sucks. I spent the entire 30 minutes internally yelling at how badly we as a nation fucked up an opportunity to get a competitive advantage over most developed countries by deploying fast, future-proof Internet to all our citizens and businesses. If you do listen to it, have a pillow near by you can scream in to every few minutes, then go for a walk to calm yourself down after hearing all these stories of waste, incompetence and political grandstanding that ruined our future beyond digging food or rocks out of the ground.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Convert your free trial into a paid subscription now and never miss an issue! Already a subscriber? Thanks for being awesome.