The Sizzle

Issue 431 - Monday, 10th July 2017


Waymo narrows their case against Uber
There's been some new developments in the Waymo vs. Uber case. Waymo got to see some of the prototype Lidar units Uber allegedly developed using the allegedly stolen documents that Anthony Levandowski allegedly downloaded before he left Waymo and defected to Uber. After seeing the prototype units Waymo don't think it's worth suing Uber, unless the units pop up in production. So now Waymo is suing Uber for two things: the use of one patent relating to Lidar (which the judge reckons is a waste of time) and for Levandowski's use of Waymo's trade secrets. The trial is set for October and Uber might get Larry Page to take the stand to answer some questions. I can't wait for this spicy meatball to really kick things up a notch. There's nothing better than a couple of billionaires getting roasted in court.

DRM coming to HTML soon and the internet liberty groups do not like it
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are the people in charge of what technologies browsers support and what features go into HTML and CSS. After a lot of debate, it recently added in something called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a way to add DRM to video in a web browser without a 3rd party player. As ideologically opposed to DRM someone can be, DRM in web video was kinda inevitable, so people within the W3C tried to at least get a written promise from other W3C members that anyone reverse engineering for accessibility or research purposes won't be sued into oblivion. That idea didn't fly and the EME standard was approved without any of that. The W3C said that whilst it may not be perfect, EME is a huge improvement over the proprietary tech now in use. Despite that, the EFA isn't happy.

NBN's FTTN micronodes are crap
There's around 41,000 homes in Australia hooked up to micronodes as part the NBN's FTTN network. These micronodes are cut-down versions of the larger FTTN nodes for homes too far away from the main node or for areas not dense enough for a full size node. Unfortunately, only 16 out of the 1423 micronodes currently deployed actually work. We don't know why these micronodes don't work, but the users hooked up to them are pissed off as NBN has no ETA as to when the nodes will start working. Meanwhile, NBN claims they've hit the half-way mark of their roll-out early. Early? That's great! What technological or systems innovation did NBN involve to achieve this? They just cut out a bunch of premises that were supposed to get it. Easy.

First Tesla Model 3 rolls off production line
Tesla's first Model 3 has rolled off the production line. It belongs to Elon Musk (the original first reservation holder, Ira Ehrenpreis, gave it to him) and is in a few nice photos on Elon's Twitter feed. There's also a video of it driving around the parking lot at Tesla's Fremont factory. Now that the first Model 3 is complete, there will be a handover ceremony for the first 30 customers of the Model 3, on the 28th of July. Lucky bastards. According to Elon, Tesla will reach 28,000 cars made by December. I wanna see the pricing and option packs already! You'd think by now that shit would be sorted.

A report into why someone was able to sell Medicare info on the dark web
The government is gonna look into how the hell some dude on the darkweb was selling off practically every Australian's Medicare details. After initially saying it's no big deal and that it's just typical crime, nothing to see here, there will be a review of the Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS). HPOS is what most people think the person selling the info had access to and was exploiting in order to sell details on demand. It's designed so that if someone rocks up to a clinic without a Medicare card, you can still get their Medicare info. Unsurprisingly, HPOS hasn't changed in the 8 years it was introduced. No wonder it was so easy to get in to! The review should be out by the 30th of September. Should be good for a laugh.


Slightly cheaper Telstra international data
Telstra has revamped its international roaming costs. Previously, there were a bunch of data pack you could buy at different rates depending on the country. Now it's "only" $10/day in 57 countries. Bad news is that you only get 100MB a day. You can buy an additional 1GB that lasts a month for $25, which isn't too bad, I guess. Not as good as Vodafone's $5/day and you can use whatever your plan has, but a big improvement over what they had previously.

Oz Kfest, a must attend event for Australian Apple II lovers
Aussie fans of the best computer ever made, the Apple II (ok maybe not the best ever, but really fucken good), listen up. Oz Kfest 2017 is going down on Bribie Island from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September. It's a five day long Apple II love fest. Hang out with other nerds into the same vintage computer as you, on a beautiful island - what more do ya want? It makes me happy that there are people still into the Apple II, good on ya.

Choice is doing their own nationwide internet speed testing program
You know how the ACCC is doing a speedtest thingy with a few thousand homes so it can slap some ISPs around for being shit? Choice want to do the same thing with 3000 homes. They've partnered with Enex TestLab to do monthly testing (as opposed to quarterly via the ACCC). If you want to take part in the testing, visit the Choice website, send em a copy of your internet bill and a photo of your "NBN connection box". I look forward to seeing the cheap ISPs getting slammed for being shit. Hello Optus and TPG.

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!