The Sizzle

Issue 314 - Thursday, 19th January 2017


Federal court decides that the data an ISP has on you isn't yours
Remember Ben Grubb's saga to get Telstra to hand over every scrap of metadata it holds on him? It's culminated today with a setting of the full bench of the Federal Court, to decide what data an ISP has on you is and isn't personal information. It unfortunately sided with Telstra instead of the Privacy Commissioner, declaring that the data Telstra collected on Ben's use of its mobile network (e.g: IP addresses, URLs visited, cell locations, etc.) is not personal info, but Telstra's info. The data your ISP collects about what you do online is not personal information and not subject to the privacy laws in this country. Weak, as, piss.

Assange backs out of handing himself over to the Yanks
Yesterday Obama said Chelsea Manning can be let out of prison, which Julian Assange said would be great and if that happened, he'd hand himself in to the US to face the music on the info he's published on Wikileaks (which isn't even a fucken wiki). But now that it's actually happened, Assange reckons that because Manning is not getting an immediate release (she's out in May), the deal is off. Obama said, "I don't pay much attention to Mr. Assange's tweets, so that wasn't a consideration" - nice burn from the President.

Fruitfly, some new Mac malware that's nothing to worry about
News of some new malware targeting Macs has been doing the rounds. Discovered by Malwarebytes, the "Fruitfly" malware takes screenshots constantly and sends it back to a server. They reckon its trying to get webcam access or something. The weird bit is that it's based on some pretty old code that pre-dates Mac OS X. Either way, Apple will release an update soon to nuke Fruitfly from ya Mac if you got it and prevent it working if it does get into your computer somehow. The Malwarebytes website has all the info you need. It all looks pretty lame to be honest, but it was on dozens of blogs today, so I'm sure some lame Windows fanboy dickwad will wave it in your Mac loving face to prove how awful your choice of computer is.

Who made the Mirai botnet worm? Brian Krebs reckons he found the guy responsible
Brian Krebs has revealed the identity of who he thinks wrote some real malware that's done proper damage lately. Anna-Senpai is the pseudonym of the creator of the Mirai worm, that went around infecting millions of shithouse IoT devices for use in a giant DDoS botnet. The article is very, very long and detailed - I haven't read it all but it's pretty interesting if you're into hacker drama and how these dudes operate. If you don't want the story revealed, look away, but if you can't be fucked reading the article, Krebs reckons it's Paras Jha - a 20 year old student at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Thanks for all the DDoS attacks mate, love your work, cheers. Wanker.

People protested against Palantir's potential dirty work with the Trump regime
Palantir is the Silicon Valley darling of clandestine institutions. Government organisations around the world use their software to try and combat terrorism and crime by feeding it all the info they have, on everything and everyone. Think, "The Machine" in Person of Interest, but not as sci-fi. That's what Palantir is. Oh and it's headed by Peter Thiel, who also happens to be one of Trump's favourite guys. With Trump in power, people are worried Palantir will ratchet up its activities to the level of IBM collaborating with the Nazis during WW2, so a group decided to protest outside Palantir's office in Palo Alto. Dunno if Palantir or anyone else for that matter gave a shit, but it made me mention Panaltir here and maybe you didn't know they existed or what they do until now - but now you do and if you go read about them Palantir more, you might be a little worried about how all that "big data" is gonna be used for evil instead of good.


Goddamn it let me buy an electric car already
Here's an excellent review of the new Renault Zoe ZE40 - a neat little electric car that's affordable and has decent range (250-280km real world). In the UK it's about 19,000 quid (~AU$31,000), including the various incentives and stuff the UK government gives out. The Zoe, plus the Hyundai Ioniq are the sorts of cars being sold right now in RHD in the UK, that I wish were in AU. It's so frustrating that they aren't. Even NZ is likely getting the Hyundai Ioniq in a few weeks! Bjorn Nyland has a very detailed review (over an hour of video, hah) on the Ioniq too. Man, I want one. Way more realistic for me than a Tesla.

OzBargain finds
Some mild, but still useful, OzBargain stuff: WD My Cloud EX2 NAS for $189 at PC LAN. Not as nice as the Synology units, but if all you want is something basic that'll run Plex Media Server, it'll work. B&H are selling the Zoom H4n for ~$237 delivered to AU - perfect for podcasting with two external mics. EB has loads of refurbished iPhone 6 and 6S for sale - $428 for an iPhone 6 is pretty good.

Nice public torrent search engine
Want to illegally download stuff? Don't wanna pay for Usenet access? Fire up your VPN and get downloading with Sky Torrents. It searches a load of different public trackers at once to find stuff for ya. Site hasn't got ads and doesn't track you via cookies or creepy JavaScript either. If you still haven't got yourself sorted for a VPN, check this list out. Don't use public torrents without one ya goose.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!