The Sizzle

Issue 346 - Tuesday, 7th March 2017


FBI lets a pedo go because it doesn't wanna reveal its Tor exploit
The FBI caught some pedos using Tor, charged 'em for being pedos and the case is now in a Washington federal court. The judge wants proof of how the pedo was detected - basically, they want to see how the FBI was snooping Tor so that they can make sure the pedo is actually a pedo. Sending innocent people to jail is bad, remember, even if they are accused pedos. The FBI doesn't want it known how they're compromising Tor, so they're dropping charges against this guy, who is very very likely a pedo, in order to keep their exploit a secret. I guess the FBI has bigger fish to fry with their cool 0dayz than people into naked kids?

Most people don't like smart home stuff
Gartner surveyed over 10,000 people in the US, UK and Australia about their feelings on the Internet of Things and connected devices. They found out that most people don't give a flying fuck and don't want a damn thing to do with it. Smart people. The biggest reason for the apathy towards "smart" home devices is the lack of value derived from the cost & effort involved. Exactly the reason I'm not that enthusiastic about this smart home bullshit either and I'm a huge nerd - imagine how little normal people would care about it if a nerd like me doesn't see the point?

Twitch implements Facebook-esque features and calls it Pulse
Twitch has launched Pulse - a Facebook for Twitch streamers. People who stream on Twitch can now share other stuff like clips, info about upcoming events, photos and I'm sure heaps of other things to keep their viewers engaged. Viewers can subscribe to a streamer and view Pulse to see all the updates from their favourite streamers. Pretty smart move from Twitch. Even though I don't really enjoy the content on there all that much, it's an impressive platform.

Government wants to replace Medicare payment system, will backfire 100%
The Department of Health wants to replace the system used to distribute Medicare payments, releasing an Request for Information (RFI) today. The system also includes payments made in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and aged care and veterans affairs. $50b/year flows through this system created in the 80s. On a scale of ATO file server, to Census 2016 to Centrelink data matching, I wonder where this huge system will rank in government IT fuckups?

Accused murderer allows Amazon to give his Echo data to the court
Remember that guy from Arkansas that killed another dude and the police want access to his Amazon Echo talking robot device to see if he talked to it about killing people or buying things that could be used to kill or clean up after a kill? Amazon was all "no no user privacy important, go away po po", but now that the alleged murderer said it's ok to release whatever info Amazon has on him, Amazon will hand it all over to the cops on Wednesday. It'll be interesting to see what sort of info Amazon actually has on this guy's use of the Echo.


10 techs that could have a breakthrough year in 2017
The MIT Technology Review has a fascinating article about 10 technologies that they think will have a breakthrough year in 2017. Stuff like reversing paralysis (whoa), self-driving trucks, advanced face detection, quantum computers becoming useful, 360-degree cameras (meh), solar power from heat derived concentrated light, gene therapy/CRISPR, mapping all the cells in the human body (amazing), IoT botnets and computers learning how to do stuff that humans didn't code in. You gotta read these.

Lightroom Mobile update includes a very nice HDR feature
A new version of Lightroom for smartphones has dropped and it has HDR image capture - a much better HDR capture than the default camera app. The product manager of Lightroom explains it like this: "Lightroom mobile automatically analyzes the scene to determine the appropriate spread of exposure values over three shots (most other apps only average two exposures). Then, Lightroom automatically aligns, de-ghosts, and tone maps the image, creating a 32-bit floating point DNG file which can then be edited as desired." That is very cool. One of the major advantages a smartphone camera has over a normal camera is the super powerful CPU and GPU embedded - something most standalone cameras are usually a few generations behind on.

Get free Zinio access on your tablet via your local library
Did you know that public libraries have magazines you can read for free online? Heaps of libraries are part of Zinio and offer it up to members for free. Ausdroid explain how to get it all going on your Android device, but it's the same on iOS too. You usually need to be a member of the library to get access - but that's also free. There's not a lot of good magazines (imho) in Zinio, but maybe that's just me being a snob. Worth taking a look though, never know what you'll find with your local library's e-book service (my local library has free access to PressReader, which I like using sometimes).

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!

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