The Sizzle

Issue 210 - Friday, 12th August 2016 - There Are Too Many Of Us, That’s Plain To See


Secure Boot has been owned (by Microsoft, accidentally)
Secure Boot is a pretty important part of UEFI - it allows OEMs to install Windows on cheapskate laptops that can't be replaced (it's used for other things, but 99% of the time it's so you can't chuck Linux on those $250 laptops). Three hackers have found a backdoor Microsoft left open by accident in their implementation of Secure Boot, so now Secure Boot is useless. You gotta check out the webpage the people who found the backdoor made too. It's a certified banger for those who enjoy the mod scene and NFOs.

Logitech Pop is a $50 button for the internet of things
Logitech made this little button thingo called Pop that interacts with all those fancy IoT devices you go. It even works with IFTTT. It's literally just a button that has a built in battery and some sort of network interface (dunno if it has wi-fi or Bluetooth or both) that you configure to do stuff. I could make it tweet "i pushed a button" every time I push it. Cool. It appears to need a bridge device to communicate to, which is a bit shite. The starter pack us US$99, comes with two buttons and a bridge. Each additional button is US$40.

US govt publishes a source code sharing policy
The White House has released a Federal Source Code policy with the aim to improve the transparency and quality of the software pumped out by various US Federal agencies. The policy is a set of best-practice guidelines for agencies to share ad re-use source code for websites and applications they use and in a few months, there will be a website, where a list of all the federal agencies sharing their work will be available for everyone to see. Does Australia have anything like this? I'm aware of, but as far as encouraging government departments to open source their platforms and software, I don't think anything exists? It would have been nice to see the source code of the Census website, hey?

Microsoft has a Twitch competitor now
Microsoft has purchased Beam, a company I've never heard of that appears to be an iteration of Twitch that's more "interactive". You can set streamers tasks and missions if the game has utilised Beam's SDK to support it. Now Beam is part of the Xbox at Microsoft team and no doubt, will be the choice platform for Xbox gamers who want to share their gaming fun times on the line.

Snapchat did a racist thing again
Snapchat made another racist filter. It turns your face yellow, slants your eyes and gives you a pointy hat. Snapchat reckons it isn't racist, it's just anime inspired. The filter is gone now :thinking_face:


Trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One is out
There's a new Star Wars movie trailer. I don't know if you'll find much commentary about it online, seems to have gone under the radar.

New entry level rackmount Synology NAS
Synology has a new entry level rackmount NAS. The RS816 is a 4 bay ARM based NAS that's nice and shallow so it'll fit into the comms racks people have at home and in small businesses. It's a follow up to the RS815 - the two look identical bar the CPU. The 816 has a Marvell Armada 385 88F6820 (dual core 1.8GHz) and the RS815 a Marvell Armada XP MV78230 (dual core 1.33Ghz). I asked Synology if they'll let me review this thing, so let's see what they say. The RS815 is already on sale at joints like UMart for $850.

Australia's shit internet is hurting our gaming industry
A sad and frustrating story from the ABC where they interviewed a bunch of Australian game developers pissing blood about the shit internet speeds here that prevents them from competing properly with the rest of the world. While our games are top notch and the punters overseas can't get enough of them, the process of collaborating with people internet (let alone overseas) and sharing their work online makes us a laughing stock. Even the NBN in its current form is still slow. Related - they should all move to Elwood, you can get gigabit Internet there now for a not obscene amount of money per month.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from There Are Too Many of Us, by Blur. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!