The Sizzle

Issue 244 - Thursday, 29th September 2016 - I Ain’t Here To Break It, Just See How Far It Bends

Tomorrow is a public holiday in Victoria, because we love footy so much, we take the day before the Grand Final off. As a result, there won't be a Sizzle tomorrow while I pay my respects to the Sherrin. Go Doggies!


NBN ditches the $800m Optus HFC network
NBN agreed to pay $800m for the Optus HFC network a few years ago. It recently discovered that it's so ratshit, it can't use any of it. So for areas in the Optus HFC footprint that were going to get upgraded HFC, they're now going to get FTTdp - fibre to the distribution point, yet another technology thrown in to the multi-technology mix (FTTP, FTTB, FTTN, FTTdp, HFC, Satellite and Fixed Wireless!). Only 25,000 out of the 450,000 premises covered by Optus HFC will get HFC, which old mate James Croft worked out to cost $32,000 each. What a bargain. Of course, Optus is totally fine with this decision, because it just got an $800m handout from the tax payer to buy an old useless asset it knew was worthless.

BlackBerry will stop making smartphones
BlackBerry has called time on making phones. There will be no more BlackBerry designed smartphones ever again. They're out of that business. Instead BlackBerry will focus on software and services. The brand BlackBerry will still be slapped on sad, sorry smartphones, much like how the JVC and Polaroid brands are run through the mud, embarrassed and have turned into a shadow of their former selves. Now everyone is just counting down the days until BlackBerry is simply a patent troll, because that's all they've got going for them right now.

Volkswagen show a concept EV at the Paris Motor Show
Volkswagen has decided to give electric cars a red hot go and unveiled their I.D concept car at the Paris Motorshow. The ID is designed to be made parallel to the Golf, will sell for the same price as a Golf and uses an all new platform designed for EVs. They plan for it to have a 400-600km range and be out in 2020. It'll come with a load of sensors installed for autonomous driving too. Here's a video of the launch. Cool, nice, yeah, tell me when it's ready, because all I see now are some nice drawings of a car that has no price and won't be out for 4 years at the earliest.

Yahoo didn't give a shit about security
That big Yahoo account breach that was released a few weeks ago is probably the result of the security team at Yahoo being repeatedly told to get fucked, whilst the cool people went about making "products" nobody really used anyways, that ended up being hacked. Yahoo took its time hiring a new CISO after the Snowden leaks, it floundered for 3 years to set up a bug bounty program and refused to implement end to end encryption for all their services because management didn't want to not be able to index and search customer data. Looks like an overall case of not giving a fuck when it comes to info sec. Nothing new really, happens to most companies that don't care about their customers.

Apple keeps 30 days of logs of who you sent iMessages to
The Intercept has revealed that Apple keeps a log of who you send iMessages to, for up to 30 days. It appears that Apple is caching the stats from when iMessage detects if the person you're sending a message to has iMessage (you know, when the number turns from green to blue) and because it's kept so long and because law enforcement can compel Apple to hand this data over, it is possible for the cops to find out who you've been talking to and how often you did so, even if they cant' read the content of the messages. Apple could just stop caching this info, as the police can't get what doesn't exist.


DxOMark rates the iPhone 7 camera
DxOMark has put an iPhone 7 through a rigorous series of tests to determine how its camera stacks up against the competition. How did it go? It's the best iPhone yet, pretty much as good as the Samsung S7 Note, but not as good as the HTC 10 with it's large sensor and lens. They haven't done the 7 Plus yet, so I'd be very interested to see if the second camera's extra data makes a difference when using the "normal" 1x lens.

Victorian government ramps up free wi-fi plans
The Melbourne CBD is getting free wi-fi. After some successful trials in Ballarat and Bendigo, the state government has partnered up with TPG to set up a few in Bourke Street, the QV Market and South Wharf, with more getting rolled out over time. Interestingly, they've decided not to harvest any user details or track your activity, nor will they show any advertising when connected to the network. There is a 250mb per day limit though. When it's complete it'll apparently cover 600,000sqm - making it the largest free wi-fi network in Australia. Full details and a map is available on the VicFreeWiFi website.

150,000 shitty IoT devices harnessed to create a 1 terabit/s DDoS
The DDoS attack on Brian Krebs last week was huge, but that's been topped by a 1tbps (not tablespoons, terabits!) attack against the OVH webhosting/cloud computing/that sort of shit network. This was made possible thanks to 150,000 random IoT devices, mainly security cameras, with shit software. The IoT devices were all publicly facing the internet, hackers find them, exploit their poorly made software and harness them to flood websites or networks with traffic. Crazy stuff that's breaking the internet. There's an interesting discussion about what can be done to try stop this sort of attack over on Hacker News (TLDR; fuck all will be done because nobody really has any incentive to stop it).

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 Make It Wit Chu, by Queens Of The Stone Age. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!