The Sizzle

Issue 228 - Wednesday, 7th September 2016 - She’s Got A Tattoo And Two Pet Snakes


Snowden reveals Menwith Hill's secrets
Edward (the patriot) Snowden still has secrets about the USA's mass surveillance to reveal and the latest secret is about what exactly goes on at Menwith Hill Station - a US base in the UK that looks like the world's most secure giant golf balls (but are actually antennas). Programs like FORNSAT, OVERHEAD and GHOSTHUNTER allowed the US to intercept foreign owned satellite communications, use US satellites to bust mobile phone and wi-fi signals on the ground and find people's pretty exact locations using all that info. Amazing stuff, but also scary as to how it can be abused.

Volvo to sell robocar package for other automakers to chuck in their cars
Volvo is going all in with its autonomous car efforts, making a new subsidiary startup that will sell self driving packages to other car markers via Autoliv's existing customer base. This is on top of Delphi recently stating they'll do the same thing, plus a half dozen or so other automakers hooking up with tech companies to get this shit in their cars. There's so much activity going on in self driving car space, I'm happy societies smartest minds have stopped fucking about with social networks and left that to the self promoting hucksters to piss other people's money away on.

Barangaroo turns on LoRaWAN
The infamous Barangaroo development in Sydney has launched a LoRaWAN low power network for all the various IoT devices they plan to install, to operate on. The network operates on the 915MHz spectrum and has a range of 3-5km. Will be interesting to see what sort of IoT devices they implement in this joint as it's the first commercial implementation of it in Australia. There's a free to access public LoRaWAN network called Meshed in Sydney, if you want to experiment.


How does the internet work?
Arstechnica has a fucking brilliant explanation of how the internet works. It goes through the magic of submarine cables, how the lasers in the fibre optics work, what happens in a data centre, what your ISP does and how it goes from the DC to your home via the last mile (in this cast, VDSL or DOCSIS). It's a big story, at 7000 words, but totally worth the read to understand one of the greatest pieces of infrastructure humanity has constructed. I think I may have mentioned it before, but fuck it, it's so good it's worth a second mention.

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 No Other One, by Weezer. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!