The Sizzle

Issue 43 - Wednesday 2nd December, 2015 - The Girl's Happy


Chinese are hacking our weather computers now
The "Chinese" have allegedly hacked the Bureau of Meteorology's supercomputer (which is currently an Oracle based HPC cluster, soon to be replaced with a Cray XC-40), according to Chris Uhlmann at the ABC. He's got inside word from unnamed sources that Chinese hackers have hacked (that's what hackers do) into the BoM's supercomputer and umm, that's it. When and how it was detected, we don't know. What was seen/stolen/broken, we don't know. It could be something as innocent as Chinese IP addresses trying to log in to various services, which is the Internet equivalent of TV static. The BoM's statement is what you expect. There's going to be some blazing hot takes about this over the next few days and the cyber idiots with vested cyber interests will crawl out of the cyber woodwork.

Adobe Flash isn't dead, far from it
You may have heard that Adobe Flash is dead because Adobe changed the name of Adobe Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC. The exploit filled mess that keeps on rearing it's ugly head around the Internet still exists in Animate CC and can export to Flash with no worries. The only change here is that Adobe at least admits now, that HTML5 animation is slowly taking over from Flash. I don't even have Flash installed on my computer because it and Java are pretty much the most rock solid ways to get malware.

Sketch leaves the Mac App store
The villagers are upset over in the Apple walled garden - with popular UI/UX design app, Sketch, deciding to bust its way out of the Mac App Store and go back to selling software the old fashioned way, on its website. The Sketch team says their decision to leave the store is based on multiple little things that add up to a steaming pile of crap for anyone trying to make a living off their app development. App reviews take too long, the Store guidelines are too restrictive, upgrade/demo pricing is non-existent and general apathy from Apple to improve the Mac App store, which has remained largley unchanged since it's launch in 2010.

Zuckerberg has a baby and plans to give all his shares in Facebook away
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan officially announced that their baby daughter, Max, is a thing. They also announced that they're giving away 99% of their Facebook shares over his lifetime. Good to see he's not taking his money to the grave as that's pointless. I wonder how much Bill Gates is starting to rub off on Zuck - as Billy G has been into this "give all your money away" thing for a while.

Foxtel ready to submit a list of sites it wants Australian ISPs to block
Everyone thought that the government enacted the site blocking legislation earlier this year, exactly for people like Foxtel. So it's no surprise that Foxtel have confirmed that they're gonna crack some naughty pirate skulls in 2016. Foxtel has told Inside Film that they have a list of websites they want taken down and have their eyes on one website in particular. They've not named any names, but I'm sure Foxtel has printouts of the website's front page on a dart board up in their penthouse office and the team takes turns throwing darts at it, between snorting coke off a shiny mirror with a rolled up $100 note.


An in-depth review of the iPhone 6s Plus camera
I've been reading Digital Photography Review regularly for over a decade. They're like the Anandtech of cameras and I've learned heaps about how cameras work via their reviews. As smartphones turn into people's primary cameras, DP Review has turned their attention to reviewing the cameras stuck in the back of our phones and their latest in-depth review is of the iPhone 6s Plus. If you're a pixel peeper you'll enjoy this review, with it's interactive studio scene comparison tool. Head to head, the iPhone 6s Plus isn't necessarily the best at certain things (other phones beat it on sharpness and detail), but is a clear leader in low light thanks to the optical image stabilisation.

Pinnacle of V is a crazy detailed mod for GTA5
The Pinnacle of V is a wild mod for the PC version of one of my favourite games, GTA5. Some dude decided he wasn't content with Rockstar's graphics and re-did all the assets himself in 4K resolutions, changed how the AI works, improved car physics, changed weapons audio and behaviour, modified the weather patterns and countless other little tweaks. Now I wish I had a gaming PC with enough grunt to handle this. I also wish I had the time to fuck around with PC game mods.

Chrome on Android has a built in data saving feature now
The latest version of Chrome on Android has an optional data saving feature which will automatically ditch loading images if it notices you're on a slow connection. You can then tap the blank images to load up if you want to see what you're missing. Not bad if you want to spend less on data, or you're hitting up against your cap for the month and don't want to pay for a data pack. If you're struggling with this sort of thing, Opera Max and is worth a look too - it'll compress all sorts of data on its way to you, via a VPN. I actually have no idea how this works - I should look into it as I'm curious as to what Opera is doing here.

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.