The Sizzle

Issue 30 - Friday 13th November, 2015 - Haunted Studio

There's only four stories in today's news due to poor time management and a slow news day. Sorry, but this sort of thing will happen occasionally throughout your Sizzle subscription.


Apple forgot to update a security certificate on the Mac App Store, Mac apps stopped launching for a little while
Mac users probably noticed that a couple of their apps were throwing up warnings about being damaged when they tried to launch them today. This is because Apple forgot to update the security certificates apps verify against to ensure they're legit. The validity date inside the certificate passed Apple by, rendering the certificate invalid as it's old. Some people had to re-install their apps, but most people had it fixed through a reboot. Total amateur hour from Apple here. If you ever needed proof Apple is spread too thin and is losing focus, here's exhibit A. Pathetic. Even worse, Apple hasn't even made a public statement about it. Not even a "whoops, sorry", let alone an explanation. The damage was minuscule, but the fact a company so large and renown for their attention to detail let this happen is frustrating.

Microsoft gives Windows 10 its first large update
Windows 10 has received its first major update since launching in July, bringing predominately performance and stability updates. Microsoft Edge (the IE replacement that's actually quite good) has been given a lot of work, with features Chrome and Safari users take for granted like bookmark and reading list sync across devices, now available. Cortana (Microsoft's Siri) now works in Australia and if you have a Windows tablet with a stylus/pen (but not a Pencil), you can scribble shit on the screen like dates, phone numbers or addresses and Cortana will remember it for you. Apparently even Solitaire got an update. Maybe they're adding multi-player and voice chat features to the world's favourite card game, so you can taunt other card players. Heaps of business related updates, like the ability to distribute apps via the Windows Store, mobile device management, improved Azure Active Directory support and loads more. Good stuff if you're a Microsoftie (is that what they call Microsoft fans?).

Australia now has opt-out online medical records
This one kinda slipped under the radar but Australia now has legislation to put all our medical records online, in an opt-out system. This is pretty huge news. The government is starting with a trial in QLD and NSW that'll cover about a million people who will receive online accounts based on their Medicare info. The Australian Privacy Foundation reckons its an awful idea (no surprises there) and the CSIRO says during their QLD trials they were visibly able to demonstrate that mortality rates improved thanks to the ability to mine a giant database of everyone's health info. My main concern is government's incompetence at online stuff - it's only a matter of time until they fuck something up and the good work that could be achieved with online medical records is wiped out in an act of incompetence that loses the public's trust.

Microsoft opens German datacentre for Azure that it doesn't run, to protect EU customers from US spying
As a reaction to the US government getting up in everyone's online shit, Microsoft is building datacenters in Germany that will run their Azure platform, but cant' be accessed by Microsoft. This means that even if the US government compelled Microsoft (a US company) to give them data located on theri servers, Microsoft can't help them, as the datacentre isn't on US soil and will not be owned by Microsoft. Microsoft will build the datacentre and then give it to a "data trustee", which is a Germany company, which operates under EU law and promises that Microsoft employees won't be able to access the datacentre. I guess Microsoft has received some pretty strong feedback from it's EU customers that they wont' use Azure because of the US government's antics.


What happens when you place ads for non-porn stuff on a porn site?
Think about how much traffic porn websites gets. It's huge right? How come the ads you see on porn sites are just for porn though? EAT24, a company that delivers food to you figured they'd pop some ads up on porn sites. Porn connoisseurs need to eat and the cost of placing ads on these sites is wayyyy lower than on non-porn sites. After trialling a few different ad spots and designs, EAT24 found it a huge success. I'm surprised people even clicked the ads on porn sites, that's like, a prime malware vector.

New 1Password for Windows looks great
1Password, my password manager of choice, has released an all new Windows version of their app. It uses the modern Windows UI, so it'll run on desktop, tablet and mobile nicely and even supports OneDrive. OneDrive baby! Hope they bring OneDrive support over to iOS and Mac, then I can ditch Dropbox. (Not that Dropbox sucks, but I get OneDrive for free with Office 365 and it works pretty much the same, so why double up on file syncing services?). Windows users looking for a password manager that's not a UI disaster like Keepass and not hosted on the cloud (haha what a dumb idea) like LastPass should take a look at 1Password now. It's still an alpha, but getting updates pretty fast.

Take a virtual tour of the British Museum thanks to Google's Cultural Institute
The British Museum is huge and houses some of the world's most important artefacts. To make sure more people can see the treasures housed in the museum, Google has decided to catalogue everything inside and put it on the Internet. Google's Cultural Institute has been doing this for many museums (even some Australian ones), but the 5,000 items placed online from the British Museum is the largest collection yet. It's great how you can walk through the museum online, just like you're there, with no annoying American tourists or French children running around. I'll admit, as nice as this virtual tour is, it doesn't beat sitting in the actual Enlightenment Room and soaking up at all the history inside. Oh and here's a selfie of me infront of the Parthenon Marbles.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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.