The Sizzle

Issue 319 - Friday, 27th January 2017


IBAC releases full report on Vic Department of Education's Ultranet corruption
Victoria's IBAC has released its full report into Operation Dunham - the investigation into Ultranet and the corruption within the Department of Education and Training that led to companies winning contracts that execs at the Department were invested in and made millions off. Much of it has been leaked or made public in pieces, but now we have the full picture of the absolute lack of integrity and the "what's in it for me?" mindset of the Education department. The 119 page report is available on the IBAC website. As a result, the people involved are probably going to face criminal charges - they could (and hopefully do) end up in jail because of their greed.

Hugo Barra left Xiaomi a few days ago, finds new job at Facebook leading VR
Earlier this week Hugo Barra announced he's leaving Xiaomi because he's sick of living in China. Now he's got a gig at Facebook, heading up its VR efforts. Hugo and Zuck announced it on Facebook of course, with weird cartoon representations of themselves in Zuck's VR office. I really can't wait to see what Facebook does with VR. White elephant or revolution? I have no idea. Meanwhile, Bloomberg speculates that Hugo left Xiaomi with a lot of unfinished business - they didn't really expand outside China like they hoped to, just India.

NZ has so much better Internet than us
Just another reminder that our mates in NZ are absolutely kicking our arse when it comes to providing fast internet to their cities. Chorus has announced it'll work with Crown Fibre Holdings (their equivalent of the NBN) on stage 2 of its *gigabit fibre* (yes, gigabit, not a pissweak 100mbit) roll-out. Some interesting stats from NZ: 32% of those who can get fibre took it up and they consume, on average, about 120GB of data a month. There's still some political shitfighting (weirdly, the conservatives are the ones pushing for fibre, the Labour party whinging about the cost), but there will be fibre rolled out to 203,000 premises in this 2nd stage, joining the 570,000 in stage 1, a total just shy of 1 million. Our shitty NBN plans to give ~2m premises fibre by 2020. NZ has a population of 4.7m, Australia, 24.3m. About 25% of their population will get fibre. Only 10% of Australians will get fibre internet.

Twitter makes Moments less memorable
Twitter are still throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. This time, Moments is getting a demotion. Once having its own exclusive spot in the Twitter app and website, it'll soon just be another thing within a broader "explore" page, blended in with trending tweets, people you should follow, live video (like it's NFL broadcasting) and crap like that.

Trump's PR dude tweets his password. Twice.
And because there's not much else happening in tech, here's a dog on a skateboard: Trump's PR guy (the one who swallows chewing gum on purpose) tweeted his password. Twice. Even if it's not his password, the dude doesn't know how to use Twitter, or his smartphone. Trump is also still using his shitty Android phone, that hasn't received an update for months. Can't wait for it to be hacked.


Ozbargain - Office 365, Sony a6000 & Kindle Paperwhite
Microsoft Office 365 Home for 5 devices, $75 for a 1 year subscription, the cheapest I've seen it. You can top up your existing subscription, no need to wait for Microsoft to remind you. The Sony Alpha A6000 camera is $595 at JB, and Sony is running a $150 cashback offer, making it just $445 all up. There's no lens though. I had one of these for a few months and loved it. Chuck on a 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens or the 16-50mm and it's a perfect holiday camera that'll fit in a jacket pocket, but have the quality of a DSLR. Kindle Paperwhite, $159 at Big W - Officeworks will price match that down to $151.

Kickstarter for an official Apoclaypse Now game adaptation
A game studio got the rights to Francis Ford Coppola's Apoclaypse Now. They've launched a kickstarter to make the game a reality (or more likely, a way to show real investors there's interest in a game like that). Coppola is on board, the team is made up of talent who worked on games like Fallout New Vegas, Gears of War and Far Cry. It'll be an RPG style surival horror game, not a first person shooter. I like the sound of that. Apoclaypse Now: The Game, won't be out until October 2020, at least. So don't get too excited.

Facebook supports universal 2nd factor USB keys
Facebook now supports the U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) standard for two factor authentication. One of the most reliable forms of two factor auth, U2F utilises a USB key that needs to be present in order for access to the service to be granted. On mobile you can use NFC to tap a special USB key, but only on Android. Also the USB key for 2FA only works in Chrome or Opera. I should really look into this sort of thing properly - I've not used one before! I guess you don't wanna lose the little bastard do ya?

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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