The Sizzle

Issue 240 - Friday, 23rd September 2016 - Pioneer Of Aerodynamics


Yahoo got owned, 500m accounts are floating around the internet now
Yahoo was hacked in late 2014, by what it believes to be a "state-sponsored actor". About 500 million user accounts were stolen. Exactly what data was nicked isn't clear, but according to Yahoo it could be pretty much everything you've ever given Yahoo, like your address, phone number, date of birth and answers to security questions. Most passwords were hashed with modern encryption standards, but due to the size of the hack, even like, 10% that aren't hashed properly is still 50m passwords. There's also a lot of latitude for identity theft/impersonation here thanks to the depths of info Yahoo had on its users. Here's Yahoo's statement

The founder of Oculus is a pro shitposter and funds pro-Trump meme factories
Luckey Palmer, the founder of Oculus, who got mega rich selling his company to Facebook and responsible for this classic cover of Time Magazine, is a pro level internet troll. He's been sending cash to a pro-Trump group called Nimble America, that declared "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real" and has been making some of his own shitposts under the name NimbleRichMan on Reddit. So the 24 year old guy that started Oculus and is worth over $700m has decided to give his money away to a meme factory supporting Trump. That's depressing.

Elon Musk to show new SolarCity plans, trip to Mars plans and suing Michigan
Elon Musk has announced he will give us more details on SolarCity's plans for roofs made out of solar panels and the integration of your Tesla car and Powerwall batteries on October 28th. Next week Elon will talk at a space nerd conference, outlining his plan to take humans to Mars and turning us into a multi-planetary species. Meanwhile, Tesla is suing the US state of Michigan because it won't allow Tesla (or anyone) to sell cars unless they do it via a franchised dealer - no direct to customer sales. Elon is a very busy man.

ACCC approves the Vocus purchase of Nextgen
The ACCC has said it's all good for telco Vocus and fibre network owner, NextGen, to merge. The ACCC reckons Vocus and NextGen are complimentary and this purchase allows them to compete with the big 3 (Telstra, Optus and TPG) much better, creating more competition, not less, for Australians. Vocus also owns M2 Networks (Dodo, iPrimus) and Amcom and is a big NBN reseller. This purchase of NextGen networks will allow them to hook into more NBN POIs and hopefully reach the full 121 POIs required for national coverage. It is very similar as to how TPG purchased PIPE a few years ago. It's cheaper to buy someone else's fibre network than to build your own or pay them to use it. There's some interesting discussion about this on Aussie Stock Forums (look at the last dozen or so posts, particularly from user galumay)

News about the RBA's New Payment Platform reveals nothing new
The incoming governor the Australian Reserve Bank was in front of a parliamentary economics committee yesterday and amongst all the finance stuff (here's the full transcript), there was a mention of the New Payments Platform, which will allow Australians to send money to each other's bank accounts instantly, regardless of which bank you're with. Articles you may have seen around the place said it is "new" but it's actually been in development since 2013 and at this inquiry, nothing new about what's happening was revealed. So this is news about something that isn't news.


Get macOS going in QEMU on Linux
If you've got nothing better to do this weekend, install macOS on your Linux box with QEMU. This guy on Github chucked up a bunch of files you need and some instructions. For the hardest or hardcore nerds, you could technically have a single box running Windows on one monitor, macOS on one and a Linux desktop on another. Doesn't look that hard if you have a legit Mac handy and know your way around QEMU to be honest. I wonder what performance is like?

Profile of Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD)
The Ringer has an interesting piece on YouTuber MKBHD - also known as Marques Brownlee. You've probably seen this guy unboxing new smartphones and reviewing various pieces of tech on YouTube. His reviews aren't the most technical, but they're so well produced (dude uses a goddamn RED camera and has his own studio) they're actually enjoyable to watch. The article goes into why he does it, his trials and tribulations as a popular YouTuber and the success he's had, with over 3.6m people subscribed to his YouTube channel. I mainly subscribe to his channel because he gets 0-day access to all the cool gadgets and his voice doesn't have that weird northern European trying to be an excited American inflection that's so common on YouTube.

Profile of Moxie Marlinspike (aka lead dev of Signal)
In the mood for another tech person profile? Good? Here's one about Moxie Marlinspike, the creator of Signal - one of the more secure encryption protocols around. Moxie has been involved in the info sec community since he was a kid and sees the role of encryption as a human right to protect society from fascism. Without some of his work, it'd be much more difficult to keep our secrets a secret. He also tried to pilot a hot air balloon once, crashed it in the desert and broke his leg, hah.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from Alec Eiffel, by Pixies. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!