The Sizzle

Issue 451 - Monday, 7th August 2017


Google employee ranting against diversity embarrasses everyone
A Google minion voiced his 3300 word opinion on an internal meme network (Google has an internal meme network?!), regarding the diversity programs and policies Google run in order to get more ethnics and women into the world's largest advertising company. He doesn't like them and feels that Google is a "psychologically unsafe environment" that is "alienating conservatives". He argues that the diversity programs Google runs are expensive, don't deliver a return and overall, are unfair because programs are limited to specific genders or races. That's just the tip of the iceberg of his complaints against giving minorities assistance. People much smarter than me have given their takes on why this rant is bad, on almost every level, read em.

The government wants to replace all your logins across the web with Govpass
Digital Transformation Assistant Minister, Angus Taylor, was pimping 3rd party use of the National Trusted Digital Identity Framework (aka Govpass) in the News Corp rags over the weekend. That's right, log in to your internet banking with Govpass, log in to Woolworths online, eBay, internet forums, instant messaging, whatever, with government backed single sign on. Govpass is designed for interaction with government services (fair enough), but they also want to make it a thing the private sector can use. That's not to say it couldn't work with a competent IT outfit running the show (hello Estonia), but Australian government IT? Hell no. This is gonna be another $500m flushed down the drain with a few data breaches along the way.

Pedos rampant on Kik, keep your kids off it
If there's a tween or teen in your life, you probably know about Kik - the kids fucken go mental over it, using Kik to chat about whatever it is kids talk about. It's also a hotbed of perverts wanting to have sex with those kids. Point created a video showing just how rampant pedos are on this platform. They made an account on Kik posing as a 14 year old girl and soon as they logged in, Kik recommend a bunch of porno groups. Then once Point filled out their profile a bit more, over 300 men sent crude messages and dick pics within a few minutes. Not cool.

CBA blame a software bug for not reporting potential money laundering for 3 years
The Commonwealth Bank are blaming a "coding error" on why they didn't carry out their legal duty to report suspicious transactions to the government, which allowed tens of millions of dollars in drug money to leave the country undetected. CBA pushed out a software update to their cash depositing Smart ATMs in late 2012 which broke the reporting functionality for deposits over $10,000. They didn't noticed this until 2015! It took Australia's most profitable bank 3 years to realise it wasn't reporting potential money laundering because of a bug in a software update. Computers are hard, mmhmmm.

MalwareTech to get released on bail, but will remain in the USA during trial
That "WannaCry hero" bloke (his name is Marcus Hutchins, aka MalwareTech), who was arrested by the feds whilst at Defcon in Las Vegas because they think he is the co-creator of a banking trojan called Kronos, is set to be released on bail. A bunch of people have put up $30,000 so Marcus can get out of jail, but will still remain in the USA, tagged with a GPS tracker so the law knows where he is at all times. The prosecutor said that the police did a sting operation and bought a copy of Kronos from Marcus, who also admitted during the sale that he is the author of it. Is it illegal to make and sell software that may be used for nefarious operations?


Season 3 of Mr. Robot
There's a new Mr. Robot season 3 trailer! Season 3 comes out in October. Mr. Robot is one of my favourite TV shows and probably the best depiction of computer hacking in a fictional series of moving pictures. If you haven't watched it, go download it (it used to be on Presto, but Presto is dead). If you've already seen it, you might like this behind the scenes thing for season 2 and a Q&A panel from last year's Tribeca Film Festival with some of the cast and technical advisor.

An iPhone case with a phone inside it
It's an iPhone case with a phone inside, hahahahah. Yeah, check that shit out - those crazy Shenzhen hackers have placed a thin credit card style 2G mini mobile phone inside a normal iPhone 7 Plus case! A phone inside your phone! A backup for when your iPhone runs out of power? A way to use cheap 2G networks whilst still retaining the status of owning an iPhone? I want one because it is ridiculous, but I also don't want to spend $30 on it, so I'll just admire it from here. Thank you @QueenOfSwords for tweeting this.

Wirecutter's new guide to mechanical keyboards
Those who type for a living, get a mechanical keyboard. I got one a few months ago and it has changed my life. Typing is smoother and faster, my fingers aren't as sore and my typing accuracy has magically increased. There's heaps of mechanical keyboards to choose from, but luckily, The Wirecutter has just posted a solid guide to buying one. Their recommendation, unfortunately isn't easy to get in Australia. Shipping the WASD Code keyboard from the US to here costs US$45, which makes the total price close to $240, ouch. Their budget pick, the Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid-i, is sold locally though, for $135.

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!