The Sizzle

Issue 60 - Friday 8th January, 2016 - Wastage and Seepage


Apple purchases Emotient
Apple's purchased another relatively unknown company. This time it is Emotient, who specialise in getting computers to read your facial expressions and try understand what makes humans do the stupid things they do. Apple of course hasn't said what they plan to do with this tech, but my immediate thought is that the front facing camera on my iPhone will now watch me constantly and pop up messages like "oh, what's wrong Anthony, don't you like iOS 14? Please submit feedback to make your experience better" - which is about the time I gather up all my gadgets into a bonfire and dance around it with unbridled joy due to finally losing my technological dictator.

Lenovo ditching Motorola branding
Lenovo purchased Motorola off Google in 2014 (Google purchased Motorola's phone division for US$12.5b, then sold it to Lenovo in 2015 for $3bn - which Google called a success) and today has decided to start the phasing out of Motorola as a smartphone brand. No longer will we have convoluted product names such as the Motorola Moto G or Motorola Moto Play, but instead we will refer to them as the Lenovo Moto G or Lenovo Moto Play. Eventually Lenovo plans to ditch the Moto branding entirely. End of an era really, Motorola were there on practically day 1 of mobile telephones.

Video game DRM getting the better of pirates
Video game DRM has lost many battles of the years, but finally it seems to have won the war. A large Chinese copy protection cracker group (3DM) has said that the latest incarnation of the Denuvo DRM featured on Just Cause 3 was the hardest to bust yet and that they reckon within two years, the time it takes to crack the latest DRM will make the process of releasing a pirate version of a game relatively useless.

ProPublica launch on the dark web
ProPublica, who if you've listened to This American Life, you'll know do great work in long form investigative journalism, have launched a version of their website on the "dark web" (i.e: Tor). Get yourself onto Tor and you'll be able to visit ProPublica without the man knowing you've reading it. Useful for people living in countries where active surveillance of the Internet is real (*cough* Australia *cough*) and reading possibly controversial articles of the type ProPublica write, could be used against you.

T-Mobile USA's CEO tells the EFF to get fucked
I wasn't gonna mention this as it's US-centric and irrelevant for Australians, but it's become so weird that I think you'll find it interesting. John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile USA (the USA's equivalent of Vodafone or Optus), has scribed a ranty blog post and uploaded a creepy looking video to Twitter in response to the EFF's allegations of T-Mobile using its "Binge On" feature to circumvent new net neutrality laws. In the short Twitter video, Legere asks, "Who the fuck are you anyway, EFF, why are you stirring up so much trouble, and, who pays you?". A CEO being candid I have no problem with, I wish more were like Legere - but don't fuck with the EFF, I'll back their side of the story over any company, always.


The New York Public Library digitised 187,000 photos and made them all copyright free
The New York Public library has decided to digitise over 187,000 photos from its vast archives. It's always beautiful to see something that would otherwise be hidden from public view, be available for everyone in the world to look at thanks to the Internet. It's all been declared public domain too, so you can do whatever you like with the images. If you're a history buff, you'll spend hours scrolling through the various collections - here's some highlights.

Buy a Synology or QNAP NAS and three Seagate HDDs - get one HDD free
If you're in the market for a NAS and some HDDs for it, Seagate is running a promo where if you buy a QNAP or Synology NAS and 3 HDDs, you get one HDD free. Not bad! The Synology DS-416 is a great unit (disclosure, Synology gave me one to keep after reviewing it for them - I gave it to my sister) that can act as an all in one home server and media server, not just a NAS. Visit the Seagate promo page for full info on the offer. You've got until the 18th of Jan to buy and until the 1st of Feb to register.

Werner Herzog has a documentary about the Internet sucking
Werner Herzog, a director who's filmography I'm unfamiliar with besides the harrowing documentary "Into the Abyss" (about capital punishment in the USA), has finished on a doco about the Internet called, "Lo and Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World". It will apparently explore the fragility of the Internet, how deeply connected into our lives the Internet is and how unaware most people are of all this. Here's a trailer. It is sponsored by Netscout, an infosec company who will happily sell you solutions to all the problems you have and part of a marketing campaign for them - but according to the CMO of Netscout Herzog apparently wasn't influenced in any way.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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