The Sizzle

Issue 365 - Monday, 3rd April 2017


Luckey Palmer has parted ways with Facebook
Luckey Palmer, Mr. Oculus Rift and Donald Trump meme enthusiast, has left Facebook. Or was sacked, we dunno. Either way, he is no longer working there. That's it really, I'm not sure what else to say about this. One could infer much from the departure, as it has been a shit couple of months for Luckey - the whole Trump meme funding thing, then the ZeniMax lawsuit. Maybe the dude is gonna take his pile of money and roam the Earth like Jules in Pulp Fiction? Or just sit at home, Oculus Rift attached, and jerk off to VR porn until his dick falls off?

The FBI is afraid terrorists figured out how to weaponise laptops that evade detection
That ban on laptops, tablets and smartphones on planes flying from some Middle Eastern countries into the UK and US was probably instigated because the FBI has found out that terrorists have found out how to make laptop bombs that evade detection. How? The baddies stole some airport x-ray machines and have been using them to test what can pass the normal airport security checks. Okay then, that ban makes a little more sense I suppose.

No more eggs on Twitter
If you're a user on Twitter who just leaves their profile pic as an egg, chances are you're gonna be a wanker and are only on Twitter to stir shit. This has given the egg a bad rap, so to combat this, Twitter will no longer give new users a picture of an egg. Hateful jerks, or new users too stupid to upload something, will now be represented via a generic androgynous person silhouette instead, ruining the whole bird theme Twitter had going on.

Online poker is properly banned in Australia now
This totally slipped past my radar last week, but online poker is now properly banned in Australia. It was supposed to be banned years ago, but a loophole in a law made back then meant Australians could still legally throw their money away on internet poker. That loophole is closed now, but Senator Leyonhjelm, who's normally wrong about so many things, I reckon is kinda right when he says if you can do it in meatspace (poker at pubs or casinos isn't illegal and probably never will be), why can't it be done online?

ANZ experimenting with voice biometrics in its smartphone app
Want to send more than $1000 from your ANZ bank account to someone else's using a smartphone app? Too bad! You have to either go to a branch, or use an obsolete and frankly embarrassing, desktop computer. Ugh. But with fancy voice biometric tech (that you may be familiar with from the ATO), you'll soon be able to approve larger transactions just by shouting at your phone. ANZ is partnering with Nuance to bring voice biometrics to its Grow smartphone app and will start testing in May. Apparently, "a person's voice has five to ten times as many security points as other methods like fingerprints." and banks in the UK use it already.


GSMA's Mobile Connect aims to replace logging into stuff with Facebook or Google
Telcos are pissed off that Google and Facebook have such deep access to all their customer's data and want more in order to "compete". In the US, telcos managed to get their hands on everyone's web browsing history and now they want to act as an authentication gateway to all your online services. Those "log in with Facebook" buttons? Telcos want to replace that with "log in with your phone number" instead. The GSMA, a trade body that represents the interests of mobile telcos (and runs Mobile World Congress every year) has come up with Mobile Connect - a one stop shop for authenticating yourself via a SIM card. Here's a more hands on demo. The telcos are confident their greater legitimacy with government bodies compared to Google and Facebook (governments to not like Google and Facebook) will mean governments will be keen to use it as a way to identify citizens online. What can go wrong?

Amazon's home delivery drones are going alright
Amazon showed off the latest iteration of its Prime Air drones at the MARS conference in Palm Springs. It's a shindig Amazon hosts where a bunch of robot nerds are invited to show off how they plan to exorcise the uneducated and unskilled from society. Anyway, the story here is that Amazon gave us an update on how its big plan to start delivery stuff with autonomous drones is going. It's going... OK. They have a fake backyard with a clothesline that the drone struggled with, but Amazon is still confident it will start delivering stuff via drone sooner rather than later. Also at MARS, Jeff Bezos was getting around in a Mechwarrior contraption.

The iPad has plenty of opportunity to grow
This analysis from Neil Cybart neatly explains how Apple reckons the iPad is still a huge untapped market and how the new iPad that came out a few weeks ago is the trojan horse. There's over 100 million old iPads out there, that can't use iOS 10 and Apple wants their owners to upgrade. They've cleaned up the product line, making it easier to decide which iPad to get and set a very aggressive (for Apple at least) price point for the 9.7" iPad. It'll be interesting to see if iPad sales pick up, or people just keep using that practically vintage iPad 2. You'll pry the Mac from my old, dead hands though.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Refer a friend and get a month of The Sizzle for free!