The Sizzle

Issue 124 - Tuesday, 12th April 2016 - They Let You Down


SA realises Uber is a thing, makes it legal, but adds bureaucracy
Uber X currently doesn't operate in South Australia, but the SA government has declared it and other "ride sharing" services legal as of July 1st. Uber however, isn't too happy with this decision, saying there's too many upfront costs for a driver to legally use UberX, making the barrier to entry much harder for those looking for flexible work. It's part of a whole host of taxi reforms in SA that include a $1 pre ride levy to fund compo for taxis. GoGatch, Ingogo and Oiii seem keen though, and I can't see any details info about the changes just yet (just this press release), so I dunno what Uber's problem is.

Petya ransomware cracked, victims can get their data back for free
Nice hackers have found a flaw in a cryptolocker written by bad hackers and have released the decryption method for free. Petya is a particularly nasty piece of ransomware, as it would encrypt the entire master boot record, not just a home folder or documents folder. Now you can take encrypted drive out of the computer, plug it into a working computer, run an app and boom, your data is free to access again.

Apple pulls third party Reddit apps off the App Store
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Apple has decided "nah, no non-official Reddit apps on the App Store now" and has canned them all. Reddit's new official app remains up on the store. Hmmm. Simple mistake? *tinfoil hat* Conspiracy to boost the popularity of the official Reddit app? Hmmmmm.

55 million Filipinos on the electoral roll have had their details leaked
Trend Micro has revealed that hackers pilfered the Filipino electoral roll, exposing the personal info of 55 million people. The 338GB data dump included fingerprint data and passport info, as well as enrolled names and addresses. Trend Micro, who reported on this data breach, said that "Cybercriminals can choose from a wide range of activities to use the information gathered from the data breach to perform acts of extortion. In previous cases of data breach, stolen data has been used to access bank accounts, gather further information about specific persons, used as leverage for spear phishing emails or BEC schemes, blackmail or extortion, and much more"

Online news publishers are highly perturbed by Brave, a web browser that strips and re-sells online ads
The publishers behind the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, have threatened to sue the developers of Brave - a web browser that not only blocks ads, but replaces them with its own owns and shares the revenue from those ads with Brave users. Not surprisingly, publishers are pissed off and claim it's not cool that Brave can leverage its copyrighted content to sell its own ads against. What a beautiful, shit-stirring idea Brave is.


The deadly USB charger that spits out 240V AC over its 5V DC ports
YouTuber bigclivedotcom (who isn't Clive Palmer) does tear downs and educational videos of all sorts of electronics. I love watching him tear apart stuff and explaining what's going on in that British accent. Recently a viewer sent him a 5-port USB charger that gave him a strong, muscle contracting electric shock - it was emitting 240V AC out of the USB socket! Clive rips it apart and shows us how bad those cheap, poorly made PSUs can be. Watch his follow up of an IKEA charger, which is well designed.

Is high speed internet a right? Canada is thinking about it
Canada is currently debating if fast Internet is a right, like water or electricity. Large portions of Canada don't have infrastructure required and the view is the people living there are falling behind, particularly children. The hearings have just started, but it'll be interesting to see what conclusion Canadians come to, particularly because Australia and Canada are very similar in terms of our geographies, economies and population density. Imagine if the NBN was used purely to give every man, woman and child in the country a free 5mbit internet connection. If you want something faster, you pay for it.

youtube-dl is cool and stuff
If you are unaware of the goodness that is youtube-dl, I am about to make your day a little more nerdy. It's a python script that can leech videos off YouTube so you can watch them later, or simply archive them for safekeeping. Maybe you want to use those videos in your own video? youtube-dl lets you grab the highest quality version, even if your Internet connection doesn't support it. There's a GUI for it, if the command line isn't somewhere you like to hang out. youtube-dl might not be as easy as some other methods to download videos, but it sure beats using one of those horrible websites that's probably a malware honeypot.

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!