The Sizzle

Issue 165 - Thursday, 9th June 2016 - There's Never Been A Better Time For Gourmet Pizza


Apple fiddles around the edges of the App Store
Apple has tweaked some App Store rules and settings, so developers can try make a proper living off their apps. The big change is the ability for any app to use subscriptions now. Previously only specific apps (music, media, stuff like that) could use subscriptions. This move allows for developers to charge a yearly or monthly fee to use the app and secure an ongoing stream of revenue for continual upgrades. There's also the ability for developers to pay to advertise their app within search results, ugh.

Purchase 32 million Twitter accounts for 10 bitcoin
A Russian hacker (they're always Russian), claims to have the usernames, emails and passwords of 33 million Twitter users. Tessa88 wants 10 bitcoins for it and was also involved in the LinkedIn and Myspace breaches. As usual, enable 2FA and change your password to something unique to that service. But you're all smart people who know that already. Might wanna register at Have I Been Pwnd too, to see if your details pop up on any of the increasingly common public data breaches.

Singapore removing access to 100,000+ public servants so they don't get hacked
Singapore is taking the saying "the best way not to get hacked over the internet is to not use the internet" to heart. About 100,000 Singapore public servants will have their computers disconnected from the Internet for "security reasons". Makes sense, I guess. If you have sensitive info on your computer, simply not exposing it will make it a little safer. There's still the threat of inside breaches (pissed off employees, stupid employees, whistleblowers, etc.), but taking a computer off the internet removes one large avenue for something to go wrong.

Amazon reveals what took down the Sydney AWS region last week
Amazon has released a detailed report on what went wrong with the Sydney AWS region last week. Looks like it was an issue with switching over from the mains power (which shit itself in the bad weather) to the diesel generator. Once power was restored, they had some issues getting 20% of the services back up due to a bug in their management software. I wish Telstra would have released something as detailed as this when they had their mobile network hiccups a few months ago.

Basslink almost fixed, should be done by end of June
Not only is the Basslink undersea cable responsible for providing a decent chunk of electricity to the island, it's also one of the main fibre optic cables. Having it out of action has lead to internet speeds in Tasmania going to shit, just ask any Tasmanian nerd. So here's some good news for Tassie internet users - the Basslink cable repair is inching closer to completion. The Basslink CEO has said that repairs are now complete and everything is getting tested before the cable is placed back into production. The cable broke back in December and will be back online by the end of June.


Some E3 rumours to get ya excited
E3 is close and Engadget has a list of the announcements we can expect from the big game companies at the event. It looks like Microsoft and Sony will release new versions of the Xbox One and PS4 and Nintendo will concentrate on showing off some new Zelda related games. The large developers like Bethesda, EA and Ubisoft will probably have some new games (duh) that I probably won't bother playing.

SAI Global holding Australian Standards to ransom
This is very uncool shit, but I wanted to mention it. Standards Australia has started legal action against SAI Global due to how SAI Global is playing hardball with the distribution of Australian Standards information. All the rules and regulations surrounding engineering, construction and safety are under the control of SAI Global and they signed a contract with Australian Standards to distribute that info. Australian Standards is pissed off with how SAI is charging an arm and a leg for access to that info and SAI is pretty much telling AS to piss off as it has to make a fat profit off this information. Meanwhile, the Australian public can't get access to our own standards without paying a fortune to read it. The irony here is that SAI Global used to be 40% owned by Standards Australia and was spun off as a way to commercialise our own standards.

Videos of Shenzhen, a Chinese appliance factory, BMW and Toyota factories plus a 747 D-check
Wired has a 15 min video about Shenzhen and why it's the world capital of electronics manufacturing. Follow that video up with this one, a 45 min doco about a massive appliances factory in China and the huge supply chain that feeds it. After that check out this video of the BMW i3 factory in Germany. I also like this one of the Toyota factory in Altona (which is closing down in 2017). This video of a Boeing 747 D-check (aka an entire overhaul) is good watching too.

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!