The Sizzle

Issue 213 - Wednesday, 17th August 2016 - Treat Em Mean & Keep Em Keen, Oh That's Sickening


The NSA got hacked
A bunch of hackers have been pimping their NSA hacking adventures, leading people to believe the "elite arm" of the NSA, Equation Group, responsible for the legendary Stuxnet, has been owned. While it's not unusual for the NSA to be the target of people wanting to show off how much of a l33t hAx0r they are, what's new here is that these guys have actual binaries and files the NSA use, not just data like emails or internal comms. Edward Snowden (patriot hero) unleashed a tweet storm to let us know that this is a Big Deal and shouldn't be ignored and is more likely the Russians letting the US know that they have the upper hand here and not to retaliate for the embarrassing DNC hack that was unveiled a few weeks ago.

Ford very keen on robocars, wants to sell em by 2021
Ford has announced a bunch of things to do with robocars (robocars is easier to type than autonomous car) this morning. By 2021, Ford plans to sell a "level 4" robocar, that won't have a steering wheel, pedals or other stuff for people to take over the driving. These cars will be used primarily for ride-sharing services. Ford's CEO also said that they couldn't find a way to determine when and in what situations a robocar should alert a human to take over, so the best thing to do is just remove the driver from the driving experience entirely. Ford hooked up with Baidu (China's Google) to invest US$75m into Velodyne Lidar, one of the leading LIDAR tech manufacturers, as well as revealed their investment in SAIPS, an Israeli computer vision and machine learning company. Shit's getting real.

China launch the first quantum satellite
China has launched a "quantum satellite" with the aim of establishing UNHACKABLE communications. The Micius satellite "carries a crystal that can encode data and encryption keys in quantum particles beamed back to Earth." the particles are destroyed if anyone other than the intended recipient tries to decode them. This is some James Bond level shit right here.

Intel announced some stuff at their developer conference
Intel put on their annual dog and pony show keynote, trotting out the things they reckon we need to make them lots of cash. Acknowledging they were stood up on mobile, they're battling to ensure they're in the mix when it comes to VR, releasing an untethered VR headset called Project Alloy that has built in RealSense cameras and wireless comms to a PC. Intel also showed off a cool drone, announced they're gonna fab ARM chips and a bunch of other things.

Soylent is in bar form now
Soylent, the nutritional sludge you love to hate now comes in coffee flavor and infused with 150mg of caffeine. If a drink with the consistency of semen and smell of stale semen doesn't do it for you, Soylent is now in bar form and "offers the same complete nutrition, but in a lighter, more portable form factor". Soylent says the bar is engineered for snacking. Snack engineering. I'm a snack engineer mum! You thought I'd never amount to anything, but joke's on you. I'm engineering snacks. Yum.


People still buy standalone GPS units
I assumed that nobody besides idiots purchased standalone GPS units for car navigation these days, but apparently Navman Australia has only seen a slight decline of their unit sales over the past 3 years and has managed to sell fancier models, actually increasing their average selling price. One reason, apparently, is the fact P platers aren't allowed to have a smartphone in their car at all, not even as a GPS or music player, so people are buying Navman standalone units instead.

TV broadcasters losing their grip on live sports
Ben Thompson has published an interesting take on how sports, the bastion of traditional TV broadcasters, is under siege. It appears to be a mix of misjudging their audience, incompetence (if you think 7 suck, NBC suck harder), people placing their eyeballs elsewhere and a generation who kinda don't care about watching live sport all that much compared to generations past. Meanwhile, the IOC is cracking the shits with people using Periscope to stream the Olympics and has a dedicated team to find and report the pirate feeds. The 2020 Olympics need to be live on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch and YouTube (or whatever platform is in fashion at the time) to even have a hope of remaining relevant to the kiddies I reckon.

Mr. Robot gets a 3rd season
Mr. Robot is getting a third season. Nice. I like this show and season two just started to get interesting.

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 Ockham’s Razor, by The Mint Chicks. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!