The Sizzle

Issue 218 - Wednesday, 24th August 2016 - Best Finest Surgeon, Come Cut Me Open


The AFP still conducting raids to find out who leaked NBN info last year
The AFP are still digging in to last year's NBN leaks. After a raid during the federal election didn't get them enough info, the AFP are going to raid the Department of Parliamentary Services at Parliament House to grab emails of Labor staff members, to try find out who told the media about the NBN's failures such as expensive copper remediation and the broken Optus HFC network NBN paid hundreds of millions for and won't end up using in any meaningful way. Ben Grubb has a good rant about how this can be easily avoided by instituting solid whistleblower laws.

Instapaper is now a product of Pinterest
Instapaper is now owned by Pinterest. The platform where you bookmark stuff to read later but never get around to it, joins the platform where you bookmark stuff to buy later, but never get around to it either. The Instapaper team will be moving from NY to SF to join Pinterest's HQ. The aim for Pinterest is "to accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinterest," according to this article on The Verge. I really like Instapaper, so I hope they don't fuck this up.

The Pokemon Go fad is subsiding
At its peak, 45 million people were logging on to Pokemon Go daily, but "only" 30 million are still engaged enough to try catch them all right now. The time people are spending in the app is also down. According to some analysts, this is a relief, as investors were concerned how Pokemon would impact Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat as there's only 24 hours in a day and if people are spending one or two of those hours playing Pokemon, that's one or two hours they're not using social media. We can't have that happen, can we? How dare people not do the thing we want them to do!

NVIDIA, Mobileye and Delphi announce more robocar plans
A bit of autonomous car news for ya today. NVIDIA has shown off its "Parker" SoC designed for "deep learning-based self-driving AI cockpit systems". The 256-cores and 1.5 teraflops of processing power (amongst other things) is part of the Drive PX2 platform NVIDIA hopes will be inside many self-driving cars. Mobileye (who Tesla kicked to the curb recently) has partnered up with Delphi (one of the world's largest car parts manufacturers) to develop a Level 4/5 self driving kit it hopes car makers will include in their 2019 vehicles.

Tesla’s new Model S P100D is the fastest production car on the market
Speaking of Tesla, they've announced a new variant of the Model S. The P100D has a 100kWh battery, but the headline feature is the crazy 0-60mph (roughly 0-100km/h) time of 2.5s this thing can achieve. Tesla are calling it the fastest production car in the world. The other neat thing is that the Model S now has a max range of 315mi EPA tested / 613km EU tested. If you were wondering, the P100D costs around US$135,000 (about A$185,000).


Cuba's interesting ways to circumvent their shitty Internet
Yesterday we found out about North Korea's Manbang (hahah) service. Today I found out about Cuba's sneakernet method of video distribution. There's practically no internet there, but people still wanna watch American and European TV shows and movies. So some guy fills a 1TB HDD of stuff he's managed to get from overseas and spreads it around the island, refreshing this 1TB of stuff every week. Some Cubans have made a giant nation city network called StreetNet, parallel to the internet, so they can share files and play games across Havana.

Visa has an NFC ring that lets you buy stuff
Apple Pay too mainstream for you? Frequently feel yourself struggling to get a thin plastic card out of your wallet or purse? Well Visa have a solution for you - a ring with embedded NFC circuitry that pretends to be a Visa card. Pay for your ear medication at the chemist by first bumping the card terminal. What a time to be alive. You can probably use the ring for other NFC stuff (door opening, authentication, etc.) too.

Feel the power of 8 GPUs cracking an MD5 hashed password
We all know how easy it is for a weak password to be cracked using hashcat, but if you needed more convincing of this fact, Serve The Home put an 8 GPU machine up against an MD5 hashed password. Got it in 9 seconds. The Swordfish comparison was a little played out to me, but still interesting. How I'd love to build a fast hashcat box to play around with. (thanks Zac for showing me this)

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 Surgeon, by St. Vincent. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!