The Sizzle

Issue 285 - Tuesday, 29th November 2016 - You’ll Work Harder With A Gun In Your Back


ACCC tells banks to get stuffed and negotiate with Apple individually over Apple Pay fees
The ACCC has released a draft of its ruling on whether the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, Bendigo Bank and others can collectively bargain with Apple over the fees involved in providing Apple Pay to their customers. From the AFR: "The ACCC said the banks' proposals could distort competition between mobile operating systems, reduce competitive tension between banks individually negotiating with Apple, and reduce competition between the banks in the supply of mobile payment services for iPhones." The banks obviously aren't happy and plan to give the ACCC more evidence (why didn't you give that to them in the first place then? haha) before the ACCC's final decision in March.

MUNI threatened with a data dump of private info if it doesn't pay the cryptolocker ransom
Yesterday I mentioned that San Francisco's MUNI ticketing system was owned by a cryptolocker. Well MUNI hasn't paid up and the hacker is getting shitty, so he's threatened MUNI with a data dump. The hacker wrote to in an email to the Verge "if they don’t, we will publish 30G databases and documents include [sic] contracts, employees data, LLD Plans, customers." I reckon MUNI will just cough up the 100 Bitcoin ransom as to avoid the personal info of their employees getting out there - but then that makes MUNI look like a soft target. Glad I'm not working in MUNI's IT department right now.

900,000 German home routers were used in a botnet
Deutsche Telekom (Germany's Telstra, also known at T-Moblie) has been hit by a Mirai-esque attack that's impacted almost 900,000 of its customers. There's a flaw in a certain model of router (predominately Zyxel and Speedport) using the TR-069 and TR-064 protocols which allow an ISP to remotely manage the devices, that also allow someone malicious to turn the devices into a botnet - which is what happened in Germany over the weekend. This Arstechnica article has more info.

Optus now offers more prepaid data in return for looking at ads on your phone
Optus is offering its prepaid customers a way to get more data via looking at ads on their phones. Install the Optus Xtra app on your Android phone (won't work on iOS because Apple don't allow it) and it'll change your lockscreen's wallpaper to be an ad. Sometimes there will be a video you have to watch before you can use your phone. You can earn an extra 500MB a month via these ads and there's more data to be had if you consent to "opting into other marketing activities." I can see this being extremely popular with kids who want more data but their parents won't pay for it. And cheapskates. So many cheapskates.

Casey Neistat sells out to CNN
Casey Neistat said he's gonna quit his very popular YouTube daily blog a few days ago. Today CNN has announced it purchased his stupid useless app, Beme and will now employ Casey to make content under a fully owned CNN subsidiary that he has creative control over. It's CNN trying to get the millennial viewers and CNN's response to Buzzfeed. Beme was apparently valued at $25m, so I guess Neistat can buy a few more drones and electric skateboards now.


Reminder that Android smartphone OEMs are bad at patching their products
Android phones are a security shitshow. If you were not already aware, there's a massive lack of security updates for virtually all Android phones and some phones even actively send your personal info to Chinese servers and there was fuck all you could do about it. Interestingly, Blackberry is probably the best Android phone vendor in terms of security updates, which it issues every month.

SD cards to get an IOPS performance rating
There's soon to be a new logo on SD cards that'll help you know how fast the card is. Alongside the speed ratings currently on cards (Class 10, UHS-1, etc.), there will be a rating to denote the minimum read and write IOPS an SD card is capable of. App Performance Class 1 (A1) is the first minimum performance measure that we will see and it means the card will do at least 1500 read IOPS and 500 write IOPS.

Otto/Uber fucks Nevada and Nevada takes it so it doesn't scare off other companies
Here's a neat little story about Otto, a subsidiary of Uber, the darling of the self driving car industry, giving a huge fuck you to the state of Nevada's self driving car laws by doing tests outside the scope of the law, potentially placing the public at risk. On top of that, Nevada (which has the best laws in the country surrounding this sort of stuff) decided not to punish Otto because they were afraid it'd send the wrong message to this probably gonna be huge industry and turn companies off basing themselves in Nevada and going to some other state with more lax laws where they can do whatever they want. What's the point of laws if you aren't gonna enforce them?

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 Holiday In Cambodia, by Dead Kennedys. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!