The Sizzle

Issue 125 - Wednesday, 13th April 2016 - Every Time


HTC tries to get back in the game with new flagship HTC 10 phone
HTC, the near death phone OEM has given it one last crack with their flagship HTC 10 device. Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM, 5.2" screen, microSD slot, Android 6.0 (overlaid with HTC sense), fingerprint reader, CAT9 LTE - all the goodies are there. HTC have even added a cool camera that according to DxOMark, is as good as the Samsung S7, the current best smartphone camera. Anandtech has a hands on intro. Weirdly, it supports Apple's AirPlay as a destination for audio output (no other Android phones do this by default). Looks like a competitor for the S7 and other Android flagships, but not a clear leader.

Heaps of announcements from Facebook's F8 developer conference
Facebook unleashed loads of new features and initiatives at its F8 conference overnight. Messenger gets chatbots to do the basic work of a call centre and released an API for developers to make those bots. Made a "Surround 360" camera and gave away the plans so anyone can make one. Released Account Kit, a way for people to sign up for an account in an app with just their phone number. Announced an API for Facebook Live, so anything with a camera will eventually be able to live stream to Facebook. Anyone can publish to Instant Articles now.

Nifty NTP spoofing hack can fuck your iPhone up
Remember that bug in older versions of iOS where if you set the date to 1970, your phone is bricked? Some smart infosec people have found a way to set your unpatched iOS device's clock back to 1970 without your knowledge. Thanks to iOS automatically connecting to known wi-fi access points, they can set up an AP with an SSID you've already connected to, then on their own little network you just connected to, they run a fake time server with the same DNS name as Apple's. Your device will sync its clock to that NTP server, thinking it is Apple, and snap, your clock is set to 1970 and your iOS device shits the bed. Goodnight sweet prince, time for a DFU restore - hope you backed those precious photos up.

Apparently the Catholic Church gave Telstra an ultimatum over same-sex marriage
Telstra is a pretty strong advocate for same-sex marriage. A good thing most Australians agree on - except those pesky church types. According to The Australian, the Catholic Church has told Telstra that if it doesn't pull its head in when it comes to publicly supporting same-sex marriage, it'll take it's rather large contract (which covers all the Catholic schools in Australia), elsewhere. Telstra have said that "Telstra has no further plans to figure prominently in the wider public debate." It'd be very disappointing if Telstra took some dollars over their morals, but it wouldn't surprise me. It would have been funny to see the Catholic Church try find a telco that isn't full of flaming homosexuals wanting to marry each other.

Aldi and Woolworths to get Telstra 4G soon
And on the topic of telcos, it appears that Aldi and Woolworths - current Telstra MVNOs - will have access to the Telstra 4G network very soon. They won't get 4GX support, but they'll resell the wider LTE network. Inevitable as the 3G network is depreciated. Boost, a Telstra owned MVNO already has LTE. It'll be interesting if Woolies and Aldi keep their current price points for LTE, as they're not that cheap. Aldi will give you 6GB of data (+1GB bonus to use on weekends), 50,0000 SMS, 43,200 minutes of calls for $45/m. Telstra will sell you unlimited SMS, $1000 of calls and 5GB of data for $50/m. Dunno why you'd bother with Aldi (and I love Aldi)? Maybe if for some reason you can't get a phone contract?


Arq 5 is out, faster & cheaper than before
An all new version of my favourite backup app, Arq is now out. It's faster and betterer, but they've also changed the licensing model. It's now a flat fee for all your machines, Mac or Windows, instead of having pay for a licence for each computer. Much cheaper! I wrote on Reckoner a few months ago about my backup regime and the role Arq plays in it.

Microsoft adds QR codes to BSODs
Microsoft added QR codes to blue screen of death error messages in Windows 10. I assume you can whip out a phone, scan the QR code and be taken to a website with more info on the error. That's nice. One of the more useful applications of a QR code actually - I bet the website saying why the error occurred is still useless though.

The Guardian does some data analysis on 10 years of comments
The Guardian is a very popular website, where people of all ideologies, races, religions and intelligence levels decide it's a good place to leave their often nonsensical and worthless opinions. The Guardian has collected all the comments made over the 10 years they've had comments and tried to find any trends or common themes amongst the noise. It appears that articles written by women attracted the most negative and abusive comments, as did comments on articles regarding feminism and rape. Interesting analysis of online abuse and how the keyboard can bring out what people are really thinking.

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!