The Sizzle

Issue 198 - Wednesday, 27th July 2016 - The Lakers Beat The Supersonics


Apple is making less money this year than they did last year
Apple's third quarter financials are out and it looks like Apple are making less money than this time last year. iPhone sales are down 15%, Mac sales down 11% and iPad sales down 9%, compared to last year. The iPhone still makes up 56% of Apple's revenue too. Macstories has made a heap of charts for you to gawk at. The stockmarket doesn't seem to mind though, as shares are up.

BlackBerry have a new phone that they reckon is the most secure phone around
On the opposite end of the scale, Blackberry have decided to release another smartphone - the DTEK50. There's no hardware keyboard on this one and is pretty much a reskin of an Alcatel Idol 4, which isn't that bad of a phone to be honest. It'll sell for around $400 in Australia, but we don't know when exactly it'll come out. Blackberry reckon it's the most secure Android smartphone. I don't believe them.

Australia's largest banks want Apple to give up access to NFC on the iPhone
Also in Apple news, a group of Australian banks has asked the ACCC for its ok to negotiate together with Apple to use the NFC hardware in the iPhone. The Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and Bendigo Bank are normally competitors, but have decided to partner up to make Apple let them use the NFC hardware themselves and not solely for Apple Pay. Can't wait to see where this goes, but I bet Apple will tell them to get stuffed.

Huge analog semiconductor merger between Analog Devices & Linear
There's been another huge merger in the semiconductor market. Analog Devices will buy Linear Technology for US$14b in a deal that'll see the combined entity worth around US$30b. Those names mean nothing to you? Well the thing you're reading this on probably has an IC in it from these two companies. DACs and ADCs, Opamps, voltage regulators, LED drivers and thousands of other chips that do the gruntwork in practically every electronic item on the face of the earth.

Office 365 gets a few nice updates
Microsoft has announced some new features for Office 365. Word gets a built in Researcher feature that will let you search for info within a Word sidebar and automatically create a bibliography for you based on what you use from that research. There's also some new neat proofing tools that help make you write more good. The desktop version of Outlook is inheriting some of the features from the mobile version and Powerpoint is gonna have some enhanced animation features to bore your audience with. If you're an Office Insider, you'll start seeing these updates soon.


Teach cars to drive on their own with Chffr
George Hotz is trying to make an autonomous car platform and part of that process is using machine learning to teach a car to drive. To gather data, George's startup, has released chffr. This Android app looks out the windscreen and learns how you drive, feeding this data back to for use in their autonomous car project. You get points the more often you use it, but we don't know what those points are actually for yet. If I had an Android phone on me, I'd probably give this a go.

Good tips for securing your iPhone from prying eyes
Going overseas and worried someone will use your iPhone as an attack vector to fuck you up? This blog post gives a quick overview on all the settings on your iPhone you can configure to make sure it's as difficult as possible for someone to get in to your phone. Could also use this guide if you're generally paranoid day to day about your iPhone leaking info about you to everyone. Dunno why this post is going on about a travel iPhone. Some good opsec I reckon.

Wondered what people do with those data dumps of forums and websites passwords you hear about? They run them through hashcat to try and get everyone's passwords, that hopefully, the user used in multiple places like iCloud or Google. TrustedSec has a great intro as to how to prepare a data dump and how to feed it into hashcat to get passwords out. So many masks!

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 It Was A Good Day, by Ice Cube. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!