The Sizzle

Issue 482 - Tuesday, 19th September 2017


W3C drama over HTML5 DRM standard
The World Wide Web Consortium is responsible for making up the standards that form the WWW part of the Internet - a pretty damn important job. The latest thing they want standardise is a way for 3rd party DRM systems to be applied to the web. Members of the W3C, such as Netflix, Apple, Google and Microsoft are super keen for it, but others, like the EFF and Mozilla, are not. Normally all members of the W3C agree to something (more or less) and it becomes a standard, yet over DRM, the division was strong enough that it led to a vote (first time ever) and the pro-DRM group narrowly won last night. As a result, the EFF has quit the W3C, saying the inclusion of DRM in the W3C standards was done unfairly, without an ounce of concession from the pro-DRM groups. This is dizzy stuff folks.
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A signed version of CCleaner was loaded with malware
The legit, digitally signed version of CCleaner, downloaded from legit CCleaner website was compromised and was itself spreading malware for about a month. The maker of CClearner, Piriform was probably hacked and at some point in the development process, a cryptolocker was inserted in the code and nobody on the team noticed. The infected version got signed by the developers, uploaded and downloaded by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. CClearner is a juicy target too, as it has full admin rights so it can muck around with the registry (i.e: the whole point of the app). Cisco's Talos blog has all the info on what went down.
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TPG's doing alright, still hates the NBN
TPG has dumped a bunch of info today that you might find interesting. Australia's 2nd largest telco had a 9% increase in profit for the full financial year ($413.8m all up), but as more of its customers move to the NBN, that'll drop as there's just less margin on NBN services compared to ADSL (TPG has 561,000 NBN customers). That's why they're gonna spend the big bucks on making their own 4G network, which they reckon will start on-boarding customers mid-2018 in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. TPG are also pissed off that the NBN has special laws that mean it can bypass most council planning regulations to install network infrastructure. TPG wants the same law to be applied to everyone, particularly since it is being slugged with an NBN tax the government introduced as NBN has difficulty competing with TPG in metro areas.
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Intel reveals its been supplying Waymo with hardware for years
Intel wants to remind us (and the stockmarket) that it is a big player in the robocar market. They let loose that they've been supplying Waymo with "Xeon processors, Arria field programmable gate arrays (for machine vision), and gigabit ethernet solutions (to let all the various components talk to each other)". It's not just Waymo either, but after Intel purchased Mobileye for US$15b back in March, BMW said they want to work with them, as do Ford. So yeah, Mr. Stockmarket guy, Intel is cool okay?
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I'm gonna try something new here. Often there's stuff that's worth a mention, but only a mention. Anything more than a few words is a waste of time. So instead of just ignoring that stuff on a quiet news day, I'm going to slap it all in a single paragraph. Let me know if you think this sucks or if you find it useful.

Tiny news sampler
The Gmail and Inbox apps on iOS and Android will finally convert phone numbers and addresses into links. Federal MP Ed Husic (the ALP's digital economy spokesperson) has quit Twitter because it's full of bullies. Softbank (huge Japanese telco with an even bigger VC fund) has invested US$250m in Slack, which now makes Slack worth $5.1b. The bosses at Equifax who sold a bunch of stock the day before it came out they got massively hacked are now under criminal investigation. The wonderful point and click adventure game, Thimbleweed Park (my wife is loving this game) is now on iPhone and iPad.
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IKEA's AR app is cool and so is this RetroPi LACK storage table
Two IKEA related items for you today. First, IKEA has officially announced "Place", the augmented reality app they've been working with Apple on. You'll be able to pick from 2,000 pieces of furniture and using Apple's fancy ARKit stuff in iOS 11, see what it looks like in your home and if it will fit. IKEA is claiming Place is 98% accurate in scaling products to fit room dimensions. The app comes out late-September. Second, a goddamn genius turned a LACK side table into a sweet RetroPie storage unit.
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Xiaomi and Wiha are making fancy screwdrivers
If you're into tools you've probably know of Wiha, a German brand known for making expensive, but high quality screwdrivers. In a weird partnership, Xiaomi and Wiha have hooked up to make a beautiful precision screwdriver set! It comes in a cool "sandblasted anodized aluminium case" that magnetically stores the 24 precision tips. GeekBuying has a pre-order special, making the set only $32. $32 for a set of Wiha screwdrivers? Fucken oath I'm buying that. Even if they aren't "full" Wiha spec, that's still a good price for a decent set. Here's Xiaomi's fancy promo video and here's a review of the set in Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese.
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Cheap 10TB HDDs on eBay
Need some 10TB HDDs to fill up your NAS, but don't wanna pay $500+ per drive? A couple of Hitachi 10TB Ultrastar He10 drives have turned up on eBay for $347.50 (use code PINCH5 for 5% off), delivered. The catch is, they're not brand new and I dunno what the warranty status is exactly. The seller says they're under 6 months old, so they're probably pulled from storage appliances that have had different drives placed in. I ordered one for my parent's new Plex server. It's been an expensive day today for me.
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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.