The Sizzle

Issue 52 - Tuesday 15th December, 2015 - Ricky M


Uber facing its nightmare in Seattle - drivers legally forming a union
More jobs that would once have been part-time or casual, are now turning into on-demand work - with Uber the poster-child for this "new" type of work. Typically on-demand type work lacks benefits such as holiday or sick pay and union representation. Thanks to US federal law, it's incredibly difficult for drivers there to negotiate collectivley on conditions and pay rates with Uber - unless you're driving in Seattle. The city has introduced a new law that formalises Uber (and Lyft) driver collectives and makes it mandatory that Uber has to meet with them to agree to conditions and will be fined if they don't. It'll be interesting to see how Uber reacts to inevitably having to pay their drivers more.

Telstra Air now 1000% more useful as those without fixed line broadband can use it
Remember Telstra Air? That big wi-fi network for all Telstra fixed-line broadband customers? Well now you don't have to be a fixed-line customer to use it. If you have an active Telstra SIM card, you can use all the wi-fi you like on certain parts of the Telstra Air network, like the payphone access points, Telstra stores and any other public areas Telstra has set up wi-fi. The "I'll share my Internet if you share yours" part of Telstra Air (which is just an awkward re-branding of the global wi-fi network, Fon) is still only open to Telstra fixed-line broadband customers.

Mackeeper are useless at securing their database and leak info on 13 million of their "customers"
That gigantic, useless, hunk of malware shit masquerading as something useful, MacKeeper, is responsible for leaking the details of 13 million users. First of all, 13 million people gave MacKeeper their details? Fuck me. Second, the "leak" was literally a dude port scanning randomly on the Internet and was able to connect to the database without any authentication! Not only are the people behind MacKeeper absolute jerks, they're dumbshit jerks too. I hope MacKeeper is closed down or sued or made bankrupt or something.

The ALP finally get around to pointing out that the NBN is a piece of junk, but nobody cares
The opposition has pulled their finger out of their arses and in the epitome of too little, too late, have released a detailed table of the many ways NBN is dropping the ball in every area the Liberal party said they would fix. Cold, hard facts that clearly demonstrate that no, the NBN isn't being built faster or cheaper. It's taking just as long, if not longer than if we had a full fibre rollout and is costing more and more every time you look at it. As expected, the Minister for Communications is sticking his fingers in his ears, telling everyone to fuck off, whilst NBN PR's stooges are trying to pretend the facts don't exist. Australian innovation at its best.

Melbourne is the cyber capital of Australia
Let's rename Melbourne, Cyberourne, because there's a whole of of cyber antics planned for the best city in the world in the coming months. Last week it was announced that thanks to the Victorian government having the best subsidies for this sort of thing, NBN will set up a 24-hour cyber defence bunker in Docklands, protecting the NBN from cyber terrorists wanting to cyber explode our precious copper wires. This morning the Melbourne cyber industry got another boost, with Oxford University's Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre opening its cyber doors in Melbourne. Data61 (CSIRO's cyber division for cyber related activities) will also be opening in Melbourne too. If I don't see a gigantic banner in the Qantas terminal at Melbourne airport declaring Melbourne a "centre of cyber excellence", I will be disappointed.


Licence plate recognition software for the masses
Licence plate recognition used to be something expensive only the cops could afford and justify, but thanks to OpenALPR, that software is now open sourced, freely available and works on any camera that supports MJPEG (aka, pretty much every webcam ever made). This sounds like a fun project for me to do over the holiday break. It'd be interesting to see who's driving past my house and what patterns I can discern from it. Here's a YouTube video of a dude running OpenALPR on a Raspberry Pi.

The OnePlus 2 is a turd, don't buy it
I thought the OnePlus 2 would have been a kickarse phone, but according to Anandtech, it's a pile of garbage: "as far as $400 devices go the OnePlus 2 doesn't offer acceptable performance even for basic UI navigation and web browsing. This is really the deal breaker for me. A phone like the Moto G offers similar UI and app performance for half the price, and at $400 you could go get a Nexus 5X or find a deal on a phone like the LG G4 or Galaxy S6, all of which offer far more responsive interfaces and just all around better performance" 'nuff said, hey?

Where are these cheap Microsoft serial numbers coming from?
I dunno if this is totally 100% legal, but I figure if it isn't, one of youse will lemme know. If you're after a cheap Windows 10 licence to use in a VM or on a spare PC that isn't eligible for the free upgrade, there's people on Reddit selling serial numbers to all the different versions of Windows, as well as Office, Windows Server, Visio and the like. Grab a Windows 10 Pro serial for US$45. Way cheaper than the AU$299 on the Microsoft store. I dunno where the fuck are the serials coming from. Maybe some sort of keygen? A bunch of sneaky VARs selling OEM licences? I purchased two Windows 10 Pro serials and they've been working for a few months now.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!