The Sizzle

Issue 400 - Thursday, 25th May 2017

I was on the radio last night. RRR's Byte Into It show asked me to come on and talk about The Sizzle. It's available as a podcast if you're interested in what I had to say. Also, this is the 400th goddamn issue of The Sizzle - figured that's worth mentioning.


QLD Health borked its WannaCry patching and took out 5 hospital's EMR systems
Queensland Health has boned patching their decrepit systems for the vulnerability that allows the WannaCry ransomware to thrive. The articles about the issue are very light on details, but it appears that the patch was applied on the servers that host the electronic medial records system that many QLD hospitals connect to. After the patch was applied, Brisbane's Princess Alexandra and Lady Cilento Children's hospitals, as well as the Cairns, Mackay, and Townsville hospitals couldn't connect and are now running in "offline mode", also known as pen and paper. I look forward to more details explaining what went wrong. Please let there be a whistleblower on how shit this system is, please.

DJI Spark - cute little drone that appears not to suck
DJI, arguably the leaders in consumer drones, have a new one out called the Spark. It's like the much fancied Mavic, just smaller, cheaper and with a bit less of a fancy camera. When folded up it's about the same size and weight as an iPhone Plus. The camera is 1080p, but still has "Dronie" mode which will follow you around and has "Circle" mode for epic panning shots around a subject. You can control the Spark just by waving your hands around, which DJI calls "PalmControl". It's $859 on its own or will come with a controller, propeller guards, two batteries and a bag for $1199. The Spark starts shipping on June 15th. DJI's website has more info and Casey Neistat (with a Marques Brownlee cameo) has a decent review on YouTube. I really want to try one! I've never flown a proper drone before and this one looks like it isn't half baked.

Intel will start chucking Thunderbolt 3 right into their new CPUs for "free"
Thunderbolt is finally getting the love it deserves from Intel. It'll start integrating Thunderbolt 3 right into its processors. This means if a motherboard or laptop manufacturer wants to include TB3 support on their product, all they have to do is hook a port up to the chipset, instead of buying and adding another IC just for it. It effectively makes TB3 support "free". In addition to this, Intel is also making Thunderbolt 3 available on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis - so for end devices that want TB3 support, that'll be much easier and cheaper. Expect to see many more TB3 devices around mid-to-late 2018.

Serena Williams is now a SurveyMonkey board member
Serena Williams is now on the board of SurveyMonkey. This is pretty much meaningless to everyone reading this, but I thought it was interesting none the less. It is interesting right? One of the best tennis players ever decides to be on the board of a company that does online survey forms? What the fuck? What's the go here? I can see why SurveyMoney wants her involved, but why is she lowering herself to that level? She said that "the more I learned about this company, the more I felt their core values were close to mine." Huh? Core values? Of SurveyMonkey? Anyways, I am absolutely 100% sure she will do a better job at whatever it is she needs to do at SurveyMoney than does at whatever sack of shit company he washed up at lately.

NBN has skipped 145,658 premises because they're difficult
A little while ago the NBN said any premises that are too hard to hook up for whatever reason are going to have to wait until the easy premises done before they are connected. Shitty, but it wasn't supposed to be many. Well the amount of premises considered difficult has doubled in just 6 months. There's now 145,658 premises that are in an NBN active area, but can't actually get an NBN service. Sucks to be those people. Also, the NBN has remembered that fibre exists, posting to its blog about its testing of NG-PON2, which allows up to 10Gbps speeds on a single shared fibre. I assume NBN forgot about The Narrative and posted that accidentally.


Make sure your drone excursions aren't illegal with Can I Fly There?
CASA, the Australian regulatory body responsible for anything inorganic that flies, has a new app telling you where you can and can't fly your fancy new drone. Can I Fly There lets you see on a map the restricted areas around airports and helipads so you don't get too close. For example, if I want to fly a drone in my backyard, I have to be "cautious" about Bacchus Marsh airport and stay below 45m altitude because of a helipad in Rowsley, but it's legal to fly. If I wanted to use a drone at my parent's place in St. Albans, too bad - not allowed as it's in the "No Fly Zone" of Melbourne Airport. Heaps of Sydney is a No Fly Zone too. There's some huge chunks of No Fly Zone out on the Tasman Sea off Newcastle and Jervis Bay - what's that about? Can I Fly There available on Google Play, iOS and on the web.

Facebook's Pixel tracking script has begun collecting everything you click
Facebook Pixel is the insidious way Facebook tracks everything you do online. Companies that advertise on Facebook (i.e: almost all of em) embed a script that Facebook calls Pixel into their site and via this script, Facebook can determine if the ad they displayed had any impact - e.g: made a sale on an online store. Facebook recently ramped up the amount of data Pixel collects. It now tracks every single click you make on a website. There's basically nothing Facebook doesn't know about your web-browsing history. So if you don't like this sort of thing, use an ad blocker that disables the script from loading.

FarCry 5 looks like it'll be excellent violent fun
The box art/poster for the upcoming FarCry 5 game is wild. If you haven't played any previous FarCry games, you run around shooting people and blowing stuff up. Heaps of fun. FryCry 5 though, whilst still full of shooting people and blowing stuff up, makes you shoot white people *gasp*! The game is set in Montana and the premise is that a Christian cult needs some fucking up. Your job is to lodge bullets in the skulls of what appears to be proselytising, God fearing Neo-Nazis. Can't wait. Trailer for it drops tomorrow.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers. Know someone who could use a bit of Sizzle in their life? Buy them a gift subscription!