The Sizzle

Issue 211 - Monday, 15th August 2016 - I Make It Look Easy Because It Is To Me


Census failures redux
Whilst rage about the bungled census has simmered a little from last week, it's still generating news. The best summary of the shitshow comes from Patrick Grey, who pumps out the pretty good Risky Business podcast about info sec. His breakdown of what occurred is facepalm after facepalm cringe worthy to anyone who's ever worked with a large IT system. The background that lead to this mess at the ABS is given a good explanation over in the SMH. Basically a lot of cost cutting and piss poor management, sprinkled with a pinch of incompetence.

DDoSCoin - a more useful way to mine cryptocurrency
In a paper presented as USENIX a few days ago, some blokes proposed DDoSCoin - a cryptocurrency that generates value from participating in DDoS attacks. Like how when you mine Bitcoin, you get Bitcoins as a result, you can get DDoSCoins for taking part in a DDoS, instead of mining. The creators reckon it's a better use of all the energy expended on Bitcoin than the useless encryption hashes processed by Bitcoin. A novel use of the blockchain indeed! Here's the paper outlining the concept.

Power Ledger uses the blockchain to buy and sell rooftop generated solar power
On the topic of the blockchain, some enterprising Perthians (Perthites? I dunno) have created Power Ledger. It uses the blockchain to allow people with solar panels to export their power to someone that isn't a power company and achieve a higher rate for their solar power generation than the traditional utility will pay. They'll then sell that electricity to someone else for much less than what it would cost to buy it from the grid. I'm bloody keen to see how this goes as right now, I'm practically giving away all my excess solar power for 6.8c/kWh.

US courts won't give Kim Dotcom his stuff back because he's a fugitive
I know you've been dying for an update on what Kim Dotcom is up to, so I am happy to oblige. The big German hanging out in New Zealand has failed to have his assets unfrozen because the US courts reckon he's a fugitive and you don't give fugitives all their property back. It amazing how hard the US is fighting this guy for making a shitty website that stored files. Kim's response to this latest setback: "I fight corrupt US empire clowns all day, every day. Not even tired."

Chaddy gets a Tesla outlet for you to window shop at
Tesla is opening a shop at Chaddy in October. There's already a Model S to gawk at, but now it'll be a proper shop that'll sell you a car if you want one, but also sell merch like hats, t-shirts, water bottles and stuff like that. An Apple store and a Tesla store in the one roof, mmm.


Melbourne Apple Admins and Geek Trivia night coming up soon!
I've got two things to remind you about. 1 - there's a Melbourne Apple Admins meetup going down on the 1st of September that you should go to if you're paid to look after a bunch of Apple products or want to get paid to do that. 2 - another geek_trivia night is happening on the 18th of August. It's a fun night of indulging yourself with all the useless geek knowledge lingering in your brain.

A few in-depth interviews with Apple execs
Apple's senior execs have been busy giving long winded interviews to the press of late. Tim Cook had a 10,000 word chat to the Washington Post, Eddy Cue (the loosest unit in Cupertino) and Craig Federighi (Hair Force One) talked to Fast Company, as did Bozoma Saint John, who does some stuff with Apple Music. I wonder why Apple's chatting to all these journos all of a sudden? Priming us for a lackluster iPhone and making sure the stock market knows Apple's cash generating machine isn't broken?

GoldenEye 007 remade for the PC
Someone has made a modern clone of the classic GoldenEye 007 game from the Nintendo 64. It runs on Windows and has updated graphics more suited for 2016 than 1997. It's not the entire game, but it has a few levels faithfully recreated to enjoy in multi-player mode. GoldenEye was such a fucking dope game, a mate of mine at school had it and we'd go over to his place and play it all night until my mum called his mum and said I had to go home because I gotta go to school the next day, then at school the next day, we'd talk non stop about playing it.

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 Baby’s On Fire, by Die Antwood. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!