The Sizzle

Issue 427 - Tuesday, 4th July April 2017


You can buy the Medicare details of any Australian off the dark web
An intrepid Guardian journalist has discovered that you can buy Medicare numbers of any Australian off the dark web for $30. Someone on one of the dark web marketplaces is "exploiting a vulnerability" in some government system (or some doctor's clinic, who knows there's loads of ways in) and just ripping out people's Medicare info. These details can then be used by a scammer as part of a 100-point ID check to get loans or credit cards. Okay, so we all knew this was going down on the dark web, but DHS, the AFP and Alan Tudge, the minister responsible for this stuff, had no idea! It's now under investigation by the good people at the AFP, but damn, can our government get a single fucking IT related thing right?

NASDAQ accidentally set all shares to $123.47 each
The share prices of dozens of NASDAQ listed companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google fluctuated wildly in the past few hours, before settling on a nice $123.47 each. Yep, all the shares on the NASDAQ were set to $123.47, due to NASDAQ sending test data to 3rd party providers, who then sent it on to sites like Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance and Google that displayed the error. It's a public holiday in the USA, so what better time to close the NASDAQ early and test out some new code? At least inform the users you're gonna be fiddling around! Stocks like Zynga were up over 3,000% and Apple had a market cap of over $3 trillion. Any trades made with the dodgy data have been cancelled.

500 Startups dude resigns, more harassed women come forward
The permanently horny 500 Startups guy, Dave McClure, has resigned in the wake of being a dirty little man. Good. 500 Startups also admitted that it never disclosed to the Victorian government that its head honcho was in the midst of an internal investigation over sexual harassment claims. Bad optics indeed. More women have come forward to tell their stories of harassment at the hands of Dave McClure. This guy just couldn't help himself, it's disgusting.

Microsoft may be sacking thousands of sales & marketing staff because of cloud
It isn't confirmed by Microsoft, but many outlets are running with solid leads that Microsoft will have another round of firings due to a restructuring of its sales teams. Microsoft are going all in on Azure and Office 365 as the way forward and that companies should just run everything on Microsoft's servers in the cloud. Apparently, you need way less people to sell that compared boxed software and traditional software licences. Microsoft's already sacked tens of thousands of staff over the past 2 years (remember the post-Nokia sale exodus?). The cloud is coming and there's nothing you can do about it!

SpaceX successfully reuses a Dragon capsule
We all know SpaceX has re-launched previously used rockets, but now they've done it with the bit up top of the rocket that's filled with goodies for the International Space Station. Yesterday a Dragon capsule that was sent up previously, splashed down on Earth again with no problems. Totally normal and mundane for the smart eggs at SpaceX. All part of the plan to make launching satellites and eventually people, into space as common as flying across the Pacific. Global high speed internet access via reusable spacecraft is coming and there's nothing you can do about it!


Old mate runs his own fibre because FTTN sucks
I saw this tweet about a Whirlpool post where a guy on an acreage ran his own fibre to get better internet speeds. "How do I do this?!" I hear you ask? Lemme explain. From the street to the house it's about 170m. Add that on top of the already ~700m from his house to the node (he's in an FTTN) area, that's a total of at least 870m of copper, which for VDSL, is not good. So he asked the NBN installer to put the socket for his connection right at the front of his house, in a box on a stick, instead of inside the home. From there he ran 170m of fibre into the house where it splits off into ethernet and wi-fi. Keeping the copper run short means his internet speed is about 55-60mbit instead of 30mbit - a huge difference. The lengths Australian nerds will go to get decent internet knows no bounds.

21 of the best 486 era PC games
Inspired by Nintendo's curation of games included in the mini SNES and NES, PC Gamer picked 21 PC games that could go on a "mini 486", so kids these days can appreciate the games earlier kids enjoyed. The list is extremely solid. I played most of these back in the day - Day of the Tentacle, Doom, Commander Keen, Duke Nukem 3D, Sim City 2000, X-COM: UFO Defence - all top shelf titles of a classic era. If someone could manage to get whoever owns the rights to these games to agree, a little ARM SoC based box that you get off Aliexpress for $40 would have loads of grunt to play them nicely. All ya need is a keyboard, mouse and display and you're golden. Starts up with a nice game selection UI, just like the Nintendo ones and no config required (unlike the old days). This is a winning idea, get on it entrepreneurs.

10gig ethernet just got a lot cheaper
If gigabit ethernet just isn't fast enough for you, but you've been put off getting 10GBASE-T due to the insane cost of the network adaptors, ASUS has something for you - the XG-C100C PCIe NIC which sells for just US$99 (and probably cheaper than that RRP once it gets into stock at MSY and stuff). By far one of the cheapest RJ45 10GBASE-T network cards. It also has support for 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T, if you can't afford or justify a 10GBASE-T switch yet. Sure it's not $15 like a gigabit NIC sells for now and a 10GBASE-T switch isn't exactly cheap (an ASUS XG-U2008 with just 2x 10GBASE-T ports and 8x gigabit ports is ~$400), but if you've got multiple devices hitting up a file server and the speeds over gigabit just aren't doing it for ya, here's an easy way to upgrade.

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!