The Sizzle

Issue 441 - Monday, 24th July 2017


Swedish government leaked sensitive info on the entire country by accident, twice
The Swedish government has royally fucked up moving the country's drivers licence register to the cloud. It got IBM involved to carry out the project, but the contractors IBM engaged to actually do the work were not Swedish and did not have security clearance to view any of that info. To make matters worse, the Swedish government sent IBM and hence, the unvetted contractors, the entire, uncensored driver's licence database, which included juicy info like everyone who is in witness protection. Then, instead of retracting the database and providing a new one without that secret info, the government sent a goddamn list of everything they wanted removed, in an email, in cleartext. Pathetic.

TechnologyOne threatens Brisbane City Council with $50m lawsuit
A while ago I mentioned some issues between Brisbane City Council and IT company TechnologyOne - the council reckons TechnologyOne suck and are bad and can't get things done, wasting ratepayer money. TechnologyOne shot back and said it's the council constantly changing scope and not knowing what the hell they actually want that's causing all these problems. Classic customer vs. supplier issues. Today TechnologyOne has threatened the Brisbane City Council with a $50m lawsuit if it reneges on its contracts, but will be happy to walk away from future work if it gets paid for the invoices its already sent. A delicious shitfight anyone who has worked in or with an IT integrator before will be familiar with.

Welcome to the Cyberpunk Studio at Star Casino
Star Casino in Sydney has opened a gamers den it calls the "Cyberpunk Studio" where up to 25 guests can rock up and game the night away on PCs and Xboxes hooked up to 65" TVs and VR headsets, for the low price of $1500/night. It's kinda like the shitty LAN cafes I'd go to as a kid to play Counterstrike with my mates, but with less of a teenage boy stench and way nicer looking. Two of the 25 guests can even stay overnight in a circle bed with mirror ceiling. Mmm, romantic, they should just call it the millennial honeymoon suite. Do kids these days even know what cyberpunk is?

Siri and The Rock have a movie or an ad or both
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeted that he's "Teamed w/ @Apple to make the biggest, coolest, sexiest, funnest (is that a word?) movie ever." along with a poster that depicts him and an iPhone doing various action movie type things, with Siri named as his co-star. Yeah, it sounds awful. But, it's not actually a movie, it's a commercial, according to Dwayne who responded to someone's "wtf is this" tweet. A movie can also be a commercial, so who knows what this is. Apple has absolutely no taste when it comes to content. First it was that stupid singing in the car show with the unfunny British man that 100% jumped the shark before they even purchase the rights, then came the absolutely horrendous Planet of the Apps and now, this cringefest. It "drops" tomorrow on YouTube and I hope it's just a 10 minute ad, not a goddamn 90 minute feature film.

Local gaming industry reminds government it exists now that Ludlam's gone
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) has released a report about Australians and their use of video games. According to the IGEA CEO, everyone is a gamer now. The IGEA's report found that "video games are utilised across nearly every sector in the country as a way to train employees and solve complex problems, especially in education, learning and training settings". The main point of the report though, is to remind the government that Australia has a video game industry that needs its support to compete globally. Without Scott Ludlam in Parliament, who was practically the only person giving a shit about the game industry, that's gonna be tough.


Microsoft giving away free Azure use to climate change researchers
Microsoft's giving away heaps of Azure resources (18,000hrs of compute time and 20TB of storage) to anyone working on climate change research. I don't know what's left to research beyond how fucked we are because our government's refuse to take it seriously, but Microsoft want to help. Hopefully Amazon sees this and tries to one-up Microsoft, so that Google will one-up Amazon and Microsoft in response. These guys aren't short of a buck and there won't be any need for internet advertising or same-day shipping of goods on a dead planet.

This ARKit navigation demo is awesome
I was pretty chill on augmented reality stuff, but this demo of it used for navigation is brilliant. Utilising Apple's ARKit in iOS11 beta, Andrew Hart made an app that takes the directions generated by Apple Maps and places lines and arrows over a live view of your current location. Just watch the video - it's the future, but here now! Makes me want those rumoured Apple glasses to actually be a thing.

Delta airlines starts replacing boarding passes with fingerprints
Wanna replace your plane boarding pass with a fingerprint? Delta over in the USA is giving it a crack. If you're flying out of Reagan airport in Washington DC, part of Delta's SkyMiles program and enrolled with Clear for security pre-screening, you just rock up to the airport, tap your finger on a bollard when you check-in luggage, enter the lounge and board the plane. I think you still need to check-in as normal (kiosk, web, smartphone app, etc.), but instead of lugging around a boarding pass or bringing it up on your phone, you just use your finger. I like it, in theory.

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!