The Sizzle

Issue 208 - Wednesday, 10th August 2016 - It's On A Computer Now


The Census is cooked
Unless you've been in a coma the past 24 hours (I'm happy this is the first thing you've read since you woke up!), you'll known that the Census website totally shat the bed at around 7:30pm yesterday and as of 2pm the next day, still isn't working. Since then, the ABS said they've been hacked, then said they suffered a DDoS attack, then said it wasn't an attack or a hack, but a "frustration". The Australian Privacy Commissioner will be investigating this clusterfuck. Will be interesting to see the wash-up from such a public IT system failure as opposed to the weekly failures of government IT systems nobody really notices.

Shocking twist - Facebook hates ad blockers
Facebook is fucked off with you mongrels using ad blockers. Totally ropeable they are! They've said they're going to work harder to make sure ad blockers don't work on Facebook's desktop site. This quote from the VP of Facebook's ad platform is great: "Facebook is ad-supported. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they’re not a tack on" - Ads are a part of the Facebook experience. They sure are!

Disney (aka the owner of ESPN) invests big in online streaming platform BAM Tech
Disney is making sure it's ready to handle the inevitable death spiral of cable TV in the USA (and anywhere else in the world with decent internet access), by investing US$1b into BAM Tech - a spin off of Major League Baseball's wildly successful sports online streaming operation. Here's the Disney CEO explaining why they invested a billion dollars into BAM Tech. Maybe my blue sky dreaming of creating a sports streaming company in Australia to broadcast the 2024 Olympics isn't so stupid after all.

Chrome takes another Flash blocking step
Chrome v55 (we're on Chrome v52 right now) might kill Flash off once and for good. Apparently people still use Flash to do background tasks like analytics. Google doesn't like this, so in December, when Chrome v55 is expected, it will make sure websites load a HTML 5 version of anything available, instead of just prompting to use Flash. Unfortunately there's still Flash in Chrome, so websites with Flash only will still work, providing little to no incentive for those bastards to move on.

Three Australian satellites to launch in Jan 2017
There will be three Australian built mini satellites launching in January as part of the QB50 CubeSats project. The three birds from Australia are INSPIRE-2 (UNSW, ANU and UoS), SUSat (Adelaide Uni and Uni SA) and UNSW-Ec0 (UNSW) will be released from the International Space Station and conduct various research projects. According to the article, these three will be the first Australian satellites launched since 2002.


The National Library wants you to properly preserve your digital content
The State Library of Victoria has stashed a USB drive full of ABC TV and radio content, plus some secret items in a time capsule for people 25 years from now to open up. The problem is, they don't know if they'll actually be able to read those files in 25 years. This experiment was done as part of the National Library's "Born Digital" event, as a way to educate people (mostly archivists) about the risk of entering a digital dark age where there's a lack of data in modern file formats. The NSLA has created a personal digital archive toolkit, to help regular people ensure things important to them are kept safe.

Some fun Google Trends for the Olympics
Google has created an Olympics Trends mini-site, showing us what the most popular search terms are during these Olympics. There's been a big spike in people searching about rugby, hah. The most searched for sport in Australia? Basketball. Same in China and the USA. Just a little bit of fun for ya to pass the time with.

Find shit on your computer easier with HoudahSpot 4
Mac users who need something more powerful than the useless Finder search bar to find their files, check out HoudahSpot 4. It's a proper file searching app with heaps of refinements, the ability to save searches and displays proper info for files, quicklook and text previews directly in the app.

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 Out Of Time, by Blur. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!