The Sizzle

Issue 184 - Thursday, 7th July 2016 - Free Range Humans All Cooped Up

I wrote this in the middle of a fucking noisy food court at the shops, surrounded by shitheel kids, because the water at my house has been turned off due to the water company needing to move a fire hydrant because a mongrel of a neighbor wants to build too many houses on a small block of land. Sorry if the newsletter sucks today.


New Mac malware found in the wild
Be a little more cautious with what you download on your Mac, as there's a new malware variant for Mac OS X. It's called Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor and disguises itself as EasyDoc Converter, an app to change Word files to PDFs. This sneaky piece of software runs with admin rights and creates a Tor hidden service that presents a web site for an attacker to do pretty much whatever they want to your computer. To be honest, I'm surprised there isn't more malware aimed at Macs, surely by now they'd be juicy enough targets to warrant a bit more effort from hackers?

Kim Dotcom spruiks a new filesharing platform
Kim Dotcom is hyping up a successor to the ill-fated Megaupload and the project he divorced himself of, Mega. Kim went on a bit of a rant about Mega and the 5th anniversary of the Megaupload raids on Twitter, then dropped the fact he's making a new cloud sharing service. Dunno how it'll be different than Mega, but Mr. Dotcom (heh) assures us it'll be his best creation yet.

NHTSA is investigating another Tesla crash
A second investigation by the NHTSA into Tesla's autopilot functionality has been revealed. A non-fatal accident involving a Model X (Tesla's SUV) on July 1st in Pennsylvania, caused the SUV to roll-over, but luckily nobody was hurt. Tesla said they really don't know what went wrong, as they haven't had access to the vehicle's logs. Marco Arment (who is a Model S owner) threw his 2c in on using autopilot and has a handy summary of all the autonomous features on a Tesla.

Facebook announces open source telco radio gear, OpenCellular
Facebook has launched OpenCellular, an open-source platform for making radio network gear that's cheaper and designed for the more niche areas traditional telcos won't bother with. The aim is for Facebook to lead the initiative in making the hardware and software, with others manufacturing and supporting the gear. Facebook plans to support all manner of radio access methods, from 2G, to LTE, to wi-fi. They're basically making cheap software defined radios, with software being the arbiter of what the device can and can't do. It'll be interesting to see what products eventuate out of this and where they get installed.

Man who thinks Google is spying on him tries to blow up the Google offices
A 30 year old man was arrested after rocking up to the Google offices in a car loaded with guns and pipe bombs. Before this, he had a habit of attacking Google Street View cars with Molotov cocktails, because he reckons Google is spying on him. He did that twice and starting taking pot shots with a rifle at another Google office. This guy really hated Google - also he has a mental illness. I hope he gets the help he needs.


CS:GO is nothing but a vehicle for Valve and others to push underage gambling
I wondered why so many people play a shitty game like CS:GO, but now I know - the insidious tentacles of gambling have infiltrated videogames and young kids that don't know any better are sucked in to betting on stupid gun skins worth real money, with Valve complicit in it all, turning a blind eye to what is nothing more than gambling for kids. Read the Bloomberg article then watch this video and you'll be as disappointed in Steam as I am.

NLA's Trove is suffering due to government funding cuts
Maybe a few of you have stumbled across Trove. It's the National Library's search engine, that spans almost every public and university library, museum and gallery in Australia. A one stop shop for research that's pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, the NLA has decided to decrease the amount of content it aggregates and digitises due to Federal government funding cuts. There's a Facebook page centralising the efforts to protect Trove from more cuts and to try reinstate funding.

A gallery of all the phones Japanese telco KDDI has ever sold
Japanese telco KDDI have made an online museum of every mobile phone they've sold. The page is in Japanese, but has pretty detailed pictures of the wacky Japanese only phones sold from the late 80s until now. It's kinda sad that the closer you get to 2016, that there's less phones available and they all look the same (glass front rectangles). My favourites are the T204, LaPochee, Infobar and Light Pool. Moshi moshi Sizzle-san!

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from Avon, by Queens Of The Stone Age. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!