The Sizzle

Issue 61 - Monday 11th January, 2016 - People Want Dutch


The White House goes to Silicon Valley and asks the nerds how to stop ISIS via social media
The Obama administration, the director of the FBI and other terrorism related people, went to California last week to meet with "top executives" from Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with Tim Cook (or as he is known in the New York Times - Timothy D. Cook) and discuss what to do about the bad guys using computers to do bad things. Apparently the government wants to use social media to counter ISIS propaganda, and send out propaganda of its own. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that meeting.

Peach is another social network that could be huge or shut down in a few months
This is another one of those things that I think is perfectly fine to ignore with no detrimental consequences - but I know some dweeb will ask you "hey heard about that Peach social network?" and I don't want you to have a blank look on your face. Instead I want you to go "yeah, I saw it, it's stupid" and walk away.

Apple Music has 10 million paying customers
Apple Music has more than 10 million paid subscribers, according to a report in the Financial Times (which is paywalled and why I'm linking to MacRumours instead). To put this into context, it took Spotify 6 years to do what took Apple six months. I guess that's a benefit of having the service front and centre on over 500 million devices. Spotify is still the leader though, with 20 million paid up subscribers.

Apple's share price is falling and is the lowest it's been in 15 months
Meanwhile, Apple's share price is the lowest it's ever been in 15 months. It's likely because China's growth isn't as big as everyone thought and Apple is balls-deep in China. But there's also a theory that Apple seriously over estimated demand for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus (likely China's demand) and the market is thinking the iPhone (and hence Apple, as the iPhone is the vast majority of Apple profit) is starting to cool. Apple's financial results come out on Jan 26.

FBI hacks 1300 people's computers to stop kiddie porn
A filthy and disgusting kiddie porn forum called Playpen was active on Tor (aka "the dark web") with over 215,000 accounts and 11,000 unique visitors each week. The FBI reckons it was the largest child porn service in existence. The FBI arrested the guy responsible and seized the server which Playpen was run on. Instead of shutting it down, it left it open and used it as a honey pot to catch other creeps. Around 1300 IP addresses were infected with government malware, leading to their arrest. All up, 1500 individuals were charged with various child porn offences from this single investigation. On one hand, this is a massive invasion of privacy. On the other, kiddie porn is bad. Motherboard explains the process the FBI used to catch these guys and the largest law enforcement mandated hacking campaign yet.


Use an Arduino to play sound effects whenever you open a door
A bloke hooked up an Arduino, MP3 shield and a magnetic door reed switch so that whenever someone opens the door (but not closes it), the infamous Seinfeld bass-slap sound will play. Nothing fancy or complicated, but a bit of cheeky fun. Pretend to be Kramer whenever you enter a room.

New York is getting wi-fi in all its subway stations
If you've ever visited New York (I've been twice, mmhmm), you'll know that as soon as you enter a subway station, you may as well put your smartphone away and don't bother planning where you're gonna go next as there's sweet fuck all cell reception down there. Like London, NYC is gonna install wi-fi in all underground subway stations by the end of 2016. They're also adding USB ports to 600 subway cars. Stand clear of the closing doors please.

Things I thought were interesting at CES2016
Here's the list of things I bookmarked throughout CES 2016 as interesting, but not interesting enough to mention with 200 words: Grillbot BBQ cleaning robot, Samsung Smartbelt ("that doesn't suck" ok, well, I bet it does suck), L'Oreal skin cancer sensor, B&O BeoSound 35, Dell InfinityEdge monitors, Segway personal robot, Marathon Laundry Washer Dryer ("the Tesla of appliances" apparently), Sensorwake smelly alarm clock, Omron blood pressure watch and the Q.rad bitcoin mining/folding@home heater.

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!