The Sizzle

Issue 221 - Monday, 29th August 2016 - What's At The End Of Satan's Rainbow?


Mandatory data breach notification law draft published
Australia may finally be getting a mandatory data breach notification law. The government has published a draft of the legislation that will mean if a business is hacked and a serious breach occurs, it has to let the public know. It'll apply to organisations governed by the privacy act and leave out state governments and local councils, as well as businesses that have less than $3m a year of turnover. There will be civil penalties involved for non-compliance. Excusing state government and local councils seems stupid to me - they should be leading by example, not allowed to hide their incompetence.

Infosec researchers short stock to force action on medical device vulns
Infosec research company MedSec found a nasty vulnerability in an implantable defibrillator made by St. Jude Medical and took a very interesting way to disclose what they found. Instead of the traditional approach of contacting the company, informing them and then waiting for a resolution, MedSec partnered with Muddy Waters Capital to short St. Jude's stock, then release the details, cashing in on the drop in the stock's value and making St. Jude take action immediately, as opposed to the usual tactic companies take when faced with a major security issue - court action or sweeping it under the rug.

Harvey Norman the 2nd most complained about business in NSW
NSW's Fair Trading has made public a list of the most complained about businesses in the state during July. Second on the list is Harvey Norman, with 29 complaints, 7 of which had to do with computer hardware. Shonky fucks. Some shop called Android Enjoyed was 8th, The Good Guy's 10th and Apple, 11th, with 13 complaints. The aim of publishing the list is to "encourage the marketplace to regulate itself". I like the name and shame tactic, don't leave anywhere for them to hide. I'd love to see the actual nature of the complaints though.

Spotify is struggling in the face of stiff competition
Spotify are apparently struggling to sign new deals with the major record labels, Warner, Sony and Universal. The labels want more of Spotify's revenue handed over to them. Apple pay the labels 58%, but Spotify pays 55% currently. The labels want 60%. Meanwhile, Spotify is pissed off with the constant exclusives Apple and Tidal seem to be bringing in, so they're subsequently burying the previously exclusive titles once they launch on Spotify - a tactic Spotify has, of course, denied.

Plans to more than double the amount of EV charging stations in California
The biggest power company in California is looking to install 7,500 level 2 and 100 fast charging stations for EVs, adding to the existing 5,000 chargers in its area (which spans more of CA, from the top of the stats down to about LA). PG&E want to install these chargers at workplaces and apartment buildings, placing most of the cost onto rate payers, but there's a few groups opposed to this for all manner of reasons. Will be interesting to see how PG&E goes getting this vital piece of EV infrastructure going so people that live in homes without a garage have somewhere to charge their cars.


A look at NBC's approach to online Olympics coverage
The Verge got access to NBC's setup for streaming the 2016 Olympics over the internet. There's not a lot of detail about the actual operation, it does give an insight into NBC's thinking around how to manage the transition from TV to online. What was interesting to me is that, apparently, their CPM for online is higher than the CPM for TV, so they could actually make more money streaming online - but the vast majority of eyeballs are still on TV and that's what advertisers want, a mass collection of eyeballs. It's all about the eyeballs.

160,000km in a Model S
This guy drove his Model S over 100,000 miles (approx 160,000km) and loves how it's not as fussy as most other cars in that price range. But he had to have the entire drive train replaced at 65,000 miles and the battery replaced at 76,000 miles. Even though it didn't cost him anything (due to the 8 year warranty), replacing the battery and drivetrain is pretty major. Looks to me like someone is just trying to justify their expensive car. (which is a very nice car I would like to own too)

Good and cheap rechargeable batteries from IKEA
If you need a bunch of AA rechargeable batteries, the new IKEA LADDA units are pretty good, only cost $9 for a pack of 4 and are available all day, every day (long as you don't mind going to an IKEA). They're 2450mAh and low static discharge, like the venerable Eneloops, but cheaper. According to some battery nerds, they're very good for the price.

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 Black Bugs, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!