The Sizzle

Issue 253 - Thursday, 13th October 2016 - Bugs To Kill, Poppin' The Pills


The Bureau of Meteorology was totally owned
Remember when the ABC revealed a massive hack of the Bureau of Meteorology last year? The Australian Cyber Security Centre has released details on what exactly went down. It appears that the BoM was owned by a RAT (remote access trojan) variant that they reckon is popular with "state-sponsored cyber adversaries" (aka the Chinese or the Russians). Whoever got in was in there for a while and had access to everything they wanted, including passwords to BoM services. Fascinating stuff - just be grateful the hack didn't result in any damages or outages. Check out the full 2016 threat report in this PDF.

Brisbane Apple Store employees systemically perving on customer's private iPhone pics
Employees at Apple's Brisbane Carindale store have been sacked for taking pics of chicks that come in to get their phone fixed, as well as stealing photos off their phones while they're in for repair. Pretty scummy stuff and a gross intrusion of privacy. Other staff members reckon this is happening all over Australia - stupid, stupid people. How would they feel if someone was perving around into their private pics? Disgusting.

Amazon launches its streaming music service
Amazon has launched a competitor to Spotify, Apple Music and all the other subscription based music services around. Amazon Music Unlimited is US$7.99/m for Prime members ($9.99 for those that are not) and only $3.99/m if you're using it exclusively via Amazon's Echo voice assistant speaker thingy. It's US only at the moment will roll out to some European markets later this year. Wired has a good article on how the voice-only interface to Amazon Music Unlimited works.

Apple opening a Shenzhen R&D lab and Tim Cook goes to Japan
Apple is opening an R&D lab in Shenzhen! Tim Cook was in town to announce this and hang out with some government officials. He said it'll help the Apple engineering team work more closely with the manufacturing partners. There's unfortunately no details on w hen it will open and how many people they plan to employ there. Back in September Apple announced it'd open an R&D base in Beijing, worth US$45m and employ 500 people. Nothing about the Beijing lab has been announced yet. Shenzhen is where the action is at for anything electronics anyways, I'm surprised they haven't done this earlier. Timmy also went to Japan and saw Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, tweeting this delightful pic.

Aus Post wants to test more delivery drones
Australia Post wants to do another drone trial in 2017. They're asking CASA for permission to fly a drone outside visual range to test the delivering of parcels, as right now, in Australia, it is illegal to fly a drone you can't see - something Australia Post would need to do in order to make drone delivery commercially viable.


Mr. Robot's creators have published a book to fill the S1 & S2 gap
Mr. Robot fans might want to purchase a new book by its creators, announced at New York's Comicon this week. redwheelbarr0w.txt fills in the gaps between season 1 and season 2. Can't give away too much here as there may be people who haven't seen it yet and I don't want to spoil it for them! Either way, it comes out December 1st (Nov 1st in the USA, ugh) and I've pre-ordered it from Booktopia.

Melbourne International Games Week, 29th Oct to 7th Nov
Melbourne International Games Week is coming up soon, starting on the 29th of October and going until the 7th of November. PAX is the flagship event, taking place between the 4th and 6th of November, but there's loads of events throughout the week that would be of interest to anyone in the gaming community. Check out the full program here. If you liked Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, there's a real life version going down, called Where In Melbourne Is Carmen and Diego! It's great to see the Victorian government encourage this industry.

Xiaomi's Little Square Camera
Xiaomi has launched a "Little Square Camera" (yeah, that's what it's called!) that retails for only 99 yuan (AU$20) and is pretty much a clone of the popular Drop Cam. It's a 100g, 5cm cube, with a magnetic base, supports 1080p and 9m of IR night vision. Has a built in motion and sound detection feature so it'll record stuff only when something's happening. It just gets power over USB, so you can even connect it up to one of Xiaomi's nice batteries for some portable use. Stack two of the cams on top of each other and get a 180 degree field of view! I love Xiaomi gear, so I reckon I'll grab a couple of these little guys to spy on parts of the inside of my house when I'm not home or sleeping. At about $20 each, why the fuck not?

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 Strange Human Being, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!