The Sizzle

Issue 274 - Monday 14th November, 2016 - This Guy At White Castle Asked For My Autograph


Facebook fights back at claims it influenced the US election
Mark Zuckerberg is hitting out against people that think Facebook unfairly influenced the US election by spreading fake news. Zuck reckons it's "crazy" people would believe the fake news enough to influence their decision and that saying so demeans the intelligence of Facebook users. But then goes on to say how Facebook advertising is the best there is at influencing people to do stuff. I would not want to be Zuckerberg, who basically is the admin for the biggest shitposting forum humanity has ever seen, that also happens to be a money printing machine.

US border protection might ask you for your social media details
More shit news from the land of the free and the home of the brave, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is pretty keen on asking you for your social media account details from countries eligible for a visa waiver (i.e: Australia). US Customs said that the social media question will be optional, and that the agencies "would only have access to information publicly available on those platforms, consistent with the privacy settings of the platforms". It's still pretty gross though. The change isn't finalised yet and still has to go through some formal processes, but you reckon under the new government they'd have a blank cheque to do whatever they want, despite the protests of virtually every privacy and civil liberties group in the US.

US car makers already asking Trump to remove laws designed to promote EVs
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a political lobby group for companies building cars and trucks in th USA (except Tesla), has already sent a letter to the Trump administration whining that strict federal fuel consumption laws designed to focus development EVs is too tough and should be scrapped. Damn that was quick. It's almost like they don't want to make electric cars and would rather coast along on their current technology.

NSW releases support for digital licences
NSW's plan to digitise all the various licences they hand out has begun. Holders of a Recreational Fishing Fee (fishing licence), Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) Competency Cards can now use the Service NSW app or website to display their licence to whoever asks for it. Drivers licences will be available in the app by 2019. One less piece of junk to keep in my wallet. If I lived in NSW. Which I don't and never will. Filthy state.

WindTalker attack can find your smartphone PIN via changes in wi-fi signal strength
Some sneaky fucks have developed a great way to detect what a smartphone user is touching on their device's screen. The attack, called WindTalker, takes advantage of slight changes in wi-fi signal strength when a smartphone screen is touched. So when someone is using a standard keypad popup to enter, say, a PIN in a banking app and their fingers hover over the screen and impact the wi-fi's signal, someone could detect, with 68% accuracy, which buttons they are pressing. There's an easy to way to protect yourself against this though - throw all your computers in massive bonfire and go live in a lead-lined shack in the bush. Easy.


Facebook shows off its latest mm-wave radio tech
Something Facebook is doing that doesn't involve horrible racists (but might enable them to post from the remotest of remote communities), is their latest work on millimeter wave wireless technology (radio signals between 30 Ghz and 300 Ghz). They recently tested an air to ground 20 Gbps duplex signal that worked over 13km. Facebook eventually plan to create a radio system that'll handle a 30 Gbps of data around 30-50km and use the sky as a backhaul network as a cheap alternative to fibre optic cable in the ground. I wonder what mm-wave tech companies like Ericsson and Huawei have in their labs that they're not talking about?

Solid guide to evading online surveillance
The EFF has released a pretty easy to understand guide to covering your arse online. Their Surveillance Self-Defense page has information on the threats online communication faces and tutorials on how to use software like a password manager, how to encrypt everything and using PGP, Signal and Tor.

Melbourne has an excellent game development industry
Eli Hodapp, the editor of Touch Arcade, one of the more influential mobile gaming sites, was invited by the Victorian government to attend Melbourne Games Week. He really liked it and was surprised to know that on the other side of the world there are people making great games. He even reckons it's the best place in the world to make videogames. Nice work Victorian government PR team!

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 My Name Is, by Eminem. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!