The Sizzle

Issue 366 - Tuesday, 4th April 2017


Someone leaves Jony Ive's crew, iOS 10.3.1 and Imagination loses Apple contract for GPU design
Three Apple stories in one paragraph: another member of Jony Ive's crew has decided to leave Apple, after 21 years of service. This is the 2nd departure from the close knit design team and I reckon the beginning of the end for Jony Ive's reign at Apple. That giant photo book was a celebration/cry for help. iOS 10.3.1 fixes a nasty bug that allows someone to remotely execute code on the wi-fi chip's SoC that could theoretically access the rest of the device. Apple has ditched licensing GPU designs from Imagination Technologies, which caused Imagination's stock to plunge 70% as Apple was pretty much their only customer. Apple plan to do all GPU design all in house, just like CPU design. Imagination reckon it'd be tough for Apple to do that without infringing on Imagination's patents, so lawyer up.

The hideous ugly baby of AOL and Yahoo will be called Oath
The combined advertising efforts of AOL and Yahoo (both owned by Verizon) will be called, Oath. Yahoo will still exist as a brand. Yahoo Finance and Sports and the other stuff they have still hanging on by a thread won't be changed. The Yahoo and AOL backends or whatever they do will be called Oath but all the brands owned by each entity like Tumblr, Engadget, Huffington Post) aren't gonna be called Oathgadget or Oath Post. But they'll be part of Oath. I still reckon Tronc is a worse name. Does anyone even really care what Yahoo is doing now? Why do I keep mentioning it? It gets like every fucking US blog jerking off over it, none of you really care about this right? I'm gonna stop mentioning Yahoo unless like, the CEO is caught lashing their staff like a convict who stole a sheep or something.

Tesla's market cap exceeds Ford's, close behind GM
Elon Musk has taunted the Tesla doubters with this tweet, which was sent out as a result of Tesla's market cap now exceeding Ford's and is currently a smidget sidge below General Motors. This doesn't necessarily mean Tesla is bigger than Ford, or close to as big as GM. Far from it. Tesla announced they managed to produce 25,000 vehicles last quarter, but compared to other car makers, that is quite low. BMW made 400,000 cars in the USA in 2016. Ford sold 2.6 million vehicles in the USA in 2016. Tesla's huge market cap comes from people going "fuck me, this Tesla thing is gonna be huge, I want a piece of that" - and you gotta admit, Tesla's potential is huge. To counter that hype, here's an article about Tesla being more than happy to give out a customer's data if they feel they've been slagged off in the media about autopilot failures. Also this report saying that traditional car makers are way ahead of Tesla (and other tech companies) in the robocar market.

More Android devices surf the web now than Windows ones
The day has finally come - more people use Android to surf the web than use Windows. According to StatCounter's numbers anyways. 37.93% of traffic it monitors came from Android compared to 37.91% from Windows. Most of this growth is coming from countries like India and China, with huge populations and loads of Android phones, as well as developing countries where nobody really owned a Windows computer in the first place and their only way to access the internet is on a smartphone. Now only if all those Android devices got regular updates - that'd be nice. Just another sign that the desktop era is over and that smartphones are the mainstream way to get online.

The NT and ACT are pissed off with NBN's shitty tech
The NT and ACT have told the NBN that their service sucks and isn't appropriate for their respective areas economic future. The ACT lodged a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN saying that by the time the FTTN rollout is complete, it will be outdated. Something practically everyone in the IT field told the government years ago, but NBN refuses to admit. The NT government submitted that it's pissed off so much of the NT is getting satellite coverage and that the satellite is slow and congested already and not all the users planned for it are even accessing it yet. The NT is trying to convince NBN to access existing fibre, but NBN is saying that fibre is no good and that it's not up to NBN's high standards. Plus the satellite is fine and will get better, so stop complaining you bush drongos.


Another day, another hacked sex toy
A vibrator with a camera on the end of it has been found to be easily hacked, allowing anyone within wi-fi range to get a really close up view of what's going on inside the user's orifice. You can then fuck around with the vibrator's firmware and watch the stream remotely. I guess if you knew someone with one and wanted to blackmail them, capturing video of this thing in use could be used as collateral. "Give me 5 BTC or I'll put the vid of you sticking a camera up ya clacker on PornHub then post a link on Facebook tagging you in on it!" would be the threat I'd use. You'd need footage of the actual insertion, because as far as I'm aware, Facebook doesn't the ability to determine who you are from the inside of a vagina or rectum. Yet.

Online travel agents aren't as good as they used to be
Online travel agents are the shit, I love how I can organise an entire trip without speaking to a person. But they're not quite what they used to be. It used to be that you could score the lowest prices by booking flights or hotels via sites like Expedia or Priceline (or Webjet here in AU), but lately that's changed. The hotels and airlines realised how much power they've conceded to these sites and are weaselling their way out of contracts they've signed to ensure these 3rd parties get the lowest price available, at the expense of the hotel or airline. Reverse digital disruption?

Bloke makes a remote access app, but hackers love it, so he might go to jail
I pity Taylor Huddleston. He made a program called NanoCore, that was kinda like a souped up remote control app for your computer. NanoCore is also seen as a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) by many - including the FBI, who raided his home and charged him with aiding and abetting computer intrusions. Even though his program wasn't intentionally (or so he claims) designed for nefarious use, it hasn't stopped hackers loving it and using it to commit crimes. What's worse is that Taylor hasn't actually done anything wrong with NanoCore. The FBI are after him because he made something that may be used for bad stuff. Do we lock up Colt or Smith & Wesson execs for making guns that kill people? Or even Twitter or Facebook execs for transmitting terrorist info? An ugly precedent is being set here, where by simply making something that could be used for good or bad purposes is enough to get you thrown in the slammer.

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!