The Sizzle

Issue 65 - Friday, 15th January 2016 - Pot Kettle

Morning Sizzle! Sent today's out in the morning instead of at 4pm as I finished writing it nice and early so I can spend a full day in Sydney being a tourist and not have to lug my laptop around. Have a good weekend!


Previous ABC tech editor, Nick Ross, admits he was gagged on NBN topics
Our nation's public broadcaster is often under fire from our right-wing government, who constantly whinge that the ABC's fact-based reporting often goes against their rhetoric and idealogical approach to government - which is totally unfair apparently. Well Nick Ross, who was the tech editor of the ABC for a while, used to write great articles about the NBN, some of the best and most accurate. That was until he suddenly stopped one day. Now that he's left the ABC, Nick's come out, with evidence, that the ABC told him to shut up about the NBN and that a dirt file was generated on him by the ABC's HR department. Deplorable.

Netflix to clamp down on freely changing regions
Now that there's Netflix available in every country, it looks like they're going to start profiling those who use VPNs or DNS changers in order to access regions they aren't in. It's a great way to watch content on Netflix you can't otherwise see, without having to pay extra for another streaming service like Stan or Presto - or to see certain content at all, which isn't available on any Australian streaming service. I hope they're just paying lip service to the content companies and aren't gonna crack down too hard.

US government to invest US$4b into autonomus cars
One of Obama's parting policies will be a large investment into making sure US automakers and tech companies are at the forefront of self-driving car technology. The US Department of Transport will refine and remove red tape across the 50 states, to make sure self-driving cars and trucks can happen sooner rather than later and will inject US$4bn over 10 years to fund various research and testing projects.

New York might make backdoors into smartphones mandatory, resulting in no iPhones for New York
While government can realise something important and useful tech on one hand, on the other, they do bonehead stuff like this. In New York state, a bill has been introduced that will block the sale of smartphones that don't allow a backdoor of some type for law enforcement. The New York District Attorney has said in the past that, the safety of all American communities is imperiled by" iOS 8", so it isn't some low level dingus who thinks this is necessary, but the law's head honcho in New York. If this bill passes, there's the real possibility that iPhones may be unavailable to buy in New York unless Apple makes a special, gimped, New York version (which they won't). Imagine that.

Florida woman sues Twitter because Twitter gives ISIS a platform
ISIS love Twitter to spread their shit around and Twitter seem to tolerate it. A woman in Florida who's husband was slaughtered by ISIS, has decided to sue Twitter for allowing ISIS to flourish on their platform, resulting in her husband's death. I wonder how this'll go and if it'll change Twitter's approach to this sort of stuff on their service. On one hand, yeah, ISIS are bad and fuck those guys and anyone else spreading hateful shit and violence. On the other - freedom of speech. Talking about violence shouldn't be illegal, should it? If we ban the discussion of all things we think are wrong, where does that leave us?


A look inside Google's self driving car lab
Steven Levy takes a look at the status of self-driving cars and hangs out with the Google team who seem to be at the forefront of this society changing tech. Probably the most revealing article about Google's self-driving car aspirations yet. Those "cute" little Google cars look stupid, ugh.

Nice FreeNAS build
Check out this guy's 36TB (of raw storage) FreeNAS server build. It's nothing spectacular, but if you've ever thought about rolling your own NAS, this story does a great job of explaining why he chose certain hardware and certain features.

Do your bit to run a Tor relay node
If you like using Tor, or just want to support those looking to do things in private, away from the prying eyes of governments, heavy handed law enforcement or stupid advertisers - this guide on Motherboard explains how to run a Tor relay that'll help speed up the Tor network.

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!