The Sizzle

Issue 81 - Monday 8th February 2016 - This is a Complete Dog's Breakfast


PPC-1 fibre optic cable severed - repair complete by March
PPC-1 is one of Australia's fastest connections to the rest of the world, hooking us up direct to Guam, where there's loads of links to the USA & northern Asia. Unfortunately it's been diagnosed with a fault and is out of action until a repair ship can get out to it in March. TPG reckon they're routing around it and using other links like Southern Cross, but if your Internet is slow, this might be why.

Error 53 on Apple's iThings has people upset
After an iOS update, some people's iPhones are popping up bricked with an error 53 haunting the screen. This is because they got their iPhones repaired by a non-authorised joint and the Touch ID sensor no longer correlates to that particular phone. Some people don't like that Apple is doing this, but apparently Apple say it's important to do so in order to ensure Touch ID is secure as possible.

Twitter probably isn't going to mess with the chronological timeline that much
Rumours swirled that Twitter was gonna re-jig the timeline to take a more "algorithmically" focussed approach, where Twitter will show you stuff it thinks it'll like rather than just everything chronologically. This upset people, naturally, so Jack Dorsey has come out to try put out the fire. Twitter has to start turning a profit and grow eventually - shareholders expect that. It's just a matter of time until they change something and fuck it up beyond repair.

Violent video games didn't warp 90s kids minds
Kiddies that played violent video games back in the 90s (hey, that's me) haven't really shown any significant long term signs of having a damaged brain or engaged in real-life violent acts more than those who didn't. There was a small jump, but not enough to be of any concern. There's probably more kids who played Pokemon that are fucked up adults than those who played Quake - in my totally unscientific opinion.

EFA's 2016 digital rights campaign
Electronic Frontiers Australia has launched a new campaign for 2016 to educate the wider public on important digital rights topics. The EFA's campaign aims to improve online privacy, make the Internet more accessible to all people, removing censorship, reducing cyber-bullying and making sure copyright issues are addressed fairly. There's not much there now besides a few dot points, but expect it to grow with relevant content throughout 2016, leading up to the Federal election.


Engaging with a malware scammer for research
This guy actually called the phone number in those horrible "YOU HAVE A VIRUS CALL TECH SUPPORT NOW" pop-up ads and played along with the guy on the phone, just to see what the fuck happens and what they do to your poor little innocent computer. You can listen to the phone calls too. After giving the guy on the phone remote access to his computer, they didn't actually install any exploits. They actually did try to fix the malware problem - of course, they're the ones who put it there and they charge a hugely inflated price for software you can get way cheaper elsewhere. What an interesting rort.

Usborne has re-published some 80s computer books for kids
Usborne was the publisher of many of the very first books I read at a library about computers. Dusty things from the 80s talking about the basics of computing. It introduced me to concepts like input and output, storage vs. memory, CPU registers and boolean logic. Usborne also had a series of books where you'd type everything in to the computer and at the end you'd get a fun game to play. Now we can relive all those memories thanks to Usborne releasing these classic titles as PDFs on their website.

Telstra has cheap BYO phone plans again
Telstra is back with another solid BYO phone 12-month plan. $40/month for 5GB of data. You can get more data for the same cash elsewhere, but if you need Telstra coverage (like anyone living outside of a capital city), this is good. They also have 10GB/month for $60.

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!