The Sizzle

Issue 485 - Friday, 22nd September 2017


Facebook gives in to US govt investigation about Russian election interference
Facebook is shitting its pants that it'll get strict government regulation of its precious ad business, so it's decided to fully co-operate with an investigation into its role in any Russian influence of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Facebook will hand over (whatever that means - give them screenshots?) of "3,000 political ads that it says were likely purchased by Russian entities" and to try prevent someone influencing future elections, will "make it possible for anyone to see any political ads that run on Facebook, no matter whom they target" and "demand that political advertisers disclose who is paying for the advertisements" - just like in meatspace ads. Facebook's latest blog post about the Russian interference allegations is pretty interesting.
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The SEC got hacked in 2016 but still has loads of security issues
The US Securities and Exchange Commission was hacked back in 2016 and didn't say anything until today. They aren't 100% sure what was taken, but they did admit that "cyber criminals" probably made illegal trades with insider info they got via gaping holes in the SEC's EDGAR system. If you didn't know, insider trades are the exact thing the SEC is supposed to prevent. A simultaneous report from the Department of Homeland Security found that as of earlier this year, there were five "critical" cyber security weaknesses in the SEC's setup, and the SEC hasn't said anything about having fixed those weaknesses yet.
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SA govt CIO sacked after 1 month for lying about everything
The South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet sacked their CIO. Veronica Theriault started about a month ago as the state's new CIO, but after some "concerns" about her background. From the paywalled article on The Advertiser, Veronica made up all of her references (saying she worked for Hewlett Packard, Shell and the BBC), faked being multiple people and created fake online identities in order to prove those references and when she got the gig, hired her brother for $1500/day temp work. To top it all off, she signed all her emails with "chief geek", ugh. The department referred her and her bro to the police who have since charged her with "offences related to dishonesty". I hope they charge her for having a shit email sig too.
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New Bose QC35 II headphones have a Google Assistant button
There's a new version of the Bose QC35 noise cancelling headphones - the QC 35 II. Noise cancellation, sound quality and battery life all seem to be identical to the previous QC35, all that's new is a "Google Assistant" button. Press it and Google Assistant pipes up, ready for you to bark commands at it. If you press the button on an iPhone and you've got Google Assistant installed, that'll work too. If you don't have Google Assistant installed, I don't know what happens. Launching Siri would be natural but none of the press releases mention what happens there. I wouldn't bother upgrading unless you really love Google Assistant.
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The EU shelves report into piracy it paid for because it said piracy isn't a big deal
In 2015, the EU paid for some research into the impact of digital media piracy on the sales of copyrighted media in the EU. The report came back and said that piracy doesn't really have much impact at all on sales of music or movies and that only mega blockbusters that might see less people paying to watch them - similar findings to other studies around the world. Unfortunately, the EU decided not to publish this report and kept it under wraps for until Pirate Party MP requested a copy and published it today. The MP reckons the EU shelved the report they paid for, because it didn't align with their agenda of harshly punishing piracy.
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TeamViewer's latest update makes helping people with iOS issues way easier
TeamViewer, an app all of us with friends and family that ask us for IT support would be familiar with, has integrated iOS 11's screen sharing feature. Install TeamViewer QuickSupport on their iOS device and if they need your help, they can launch the app, give you a code and from your Mac or PC, you can enter that code into TeamViewer to see what's going on. Here's a video of it in action. Basically, when someone calls you for help, instead of going in blind, you can use TeamViewer to see why the hell they can't follow your incredibly clear and simple instructions.
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McDonalds is getting loads of Telstra fibre to each store for faster wi-fi
Telstra Air is gonna get way more useful, with McDonalds spending $90m to build a national fibre internet network to all its stores in Australia. Instead of the piss slow free wi-fi in Maccas, it'll now be pretty damn fast wi-fi supplied by Telstra Air. The restaurant's back-office will also use the fibre - so it's not just for free wi-fi purposes. It'll take 2 years for Telstra and Ronald to roll the network out. I haven't used public wi-fi in yonks as I've got loads of 4G data shared between the missus and I, that is way faster and more secure. But it's good to know that soon, I can pop into any McDonalds, grab a delicious Big Mac and enjoy fast wi-fi if I need it.
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LIFX bulbs support HomeKit now
I'm just gonna copy this from LIFX's website: "LIFX, LIFX GU10, LIFX Downlight and LIFX + are Apple HomeKit enabled. Control LIFX lights with Siri using your voice, or the Apple Home app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch. Organize your accessories by room, manage multiple accessories at the same time, control your home with Siri, and more." - enjoy it wi-fi light bulb owners, who are too lazy to get off the couch to turn a goddamn light off. Download the LIFX 3.8.1 app update, then install new firmware and off ya go.
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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.