The Sizzle

Issue 487 - Tuesday, 26th September 2017


Loads of new enterprise IT stuff from Microsoft's Ignite keynote
Microsoft Ignite, their big enterprise IT conference, is currently in progress and Satya Nadella's keynote had a bunch of new stuff to dig through - like, heaps. Way too much to mention in here and it's all pretty niche sorta stuff. Windows Supersite has a good overview of the product announcements (lots of Microsoft 365 stuff) and CNET has more of the consumer-ish stuff (like cheap PCs running Windows 10 S). One of the more surprising announcements was a programming language for quantum computing coming later this year. Microsoft will offer it as part of Visual Studio and "borrow elements from C#, Python, and F#". You can watch the entire keynote (1hr 15min) on Microsoft's website.
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macOS 10.13, High Sierra, is out now
Mac users - High Sierra is ready to install. I'm not gonna list everything that's new in macOS 10.13, that's Apple's job. But if you want a huge review of all the new features, Mac Stories has you covered. Those of you with Macs that contain a Fusion Drive (like my iMac) can still upgrade to 10.13, but you won't get Apple's fancy new filesystem - Fusion Drive support under APFS will come later. No upgrade horror stories so far, but still, make sure you've got a backup before you upgrade! Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable HDD in case it really goes sour, or at the very least, use Time Machine to keep your files safe on an external HDD. If you've got a Wacom tablet, maybe hold off until they release a driver update in October.
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Deloitte's email server got owned
Deloitte, one of the world's largest "multinational professional services firms", got hacked according to The Guardian. "The hacker compromised the firm’s global email server through an administrator's account that, in theory, gave them privileged, unrestricted access to all areas and did not have two-step verification, sources said" - ouch. Deloitte has told 6 of their clients about the hack, but the investigation into it is still ongoing. They reckon it's not that serious, but aren't giving up any more details. There's loads of secret company info in email servers, so depending on how hard the hackers went (they had access for a few months), there could be some juicy secrets coming out soon. Time to get leaking to a few journos!
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Twitter isn't gonna delete Trump's account or tweets, even though they are against its rules
You've probably noticed Donald Trump's increasingly threatening tweets about North Korea (if you haven't, I envy you), which North Korea has interpreted as a "declaration of war". Some people (I don't know who) have asked if Trump's tweets violate Twitter's rules, that say you can't violently threaten anyone or carry out hateful conduct. Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter put up a very brief post on Medium saying (I'm paraphrasing) that if a tweet is of "public interest" it doesn't necessarily have to abide by Twitter's rules - implying that Trump's tweets aren't gonna get removed nor is his account going to be banned. So there you go, blame Biz Stone when the nukes are launched, he could have stopped them.
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More evidence of Russians using Facebook to divide the US before the 2016 election
Another day, another batch of "Russian influence of the US election via Facebook" news. Today it's all about that $100,000 spend Facebook discovered and their decision to fully co-operate with the US government's investigation. Senators involved in the investigation have given a heads up to the Washington Post, saying there's now evidence of the specific types of ads Russians were buying on Facebook that promoted content that got their highly targeted audiences all pissed off - creating division within US society and lowering voter turn out. When this investigation wraps up and goes public, it is going to be absolutely fucken wild.
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Levi made a smart jacket using Google's Jacquard tech
Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group has come up with a smart clothing platform - Jacquard. They've made a jacket with sleeves you can swipe and do gestures on, that your phone will recognise. Swipe back and forth and the next or previous song will play. Or configure it to tell you what time it is via your BT headphones. There's a tag on the jacket that'll vibrate or show an LED for notifications. Levi are making the first Jacquard garments. They cost US$350 and only be available at 3 stores in the USA. The best take about Jacquard is, I'm afraid to admit, from Daring Fireball. Personally, I reckon this won't come in sizes large enough for most of the nerds that'll find this interesting.
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More detail on the EFA's financial mess
I mentioned a few days ago that the Electronic Frontiers Association (EFA) is in some trouble. Justin Warren has published details of the financial mess the EFA is in and it's way worse than it seems. Via his attempts to do due diligence before nominating to be on the board, he found that the EFA's accounting is a mess and they basically have no money. With no money, it makes it incredibly hard to be an effective government lobby group. I don't really care who gets on the EFA board, but I hope whoever does gets their shit together because like I've said before, without the EFA, there's basically nobody without a business interest to tell the government what's what with technology.
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iStat Menus 6 is out and I have some licences to give away to new subscribers!
iStat Menus 6 is out! Updated not just for macOS High Sierra, but with sweet new features too. There's a great weather menu bar item now with notifications, hotkey support, notification center widget, a dual line clock and heaps more. iStat is mandatory for any Mac I'm using for more than a day. Literally the first thing I install on a new Mac is iStat Menus. Bjango have given me 4 licenses of their beautiful piece of software to give away - the first 4 new subscribers to sign up for a yearly subscription will get a free copy of iStat Menus! How cool is that? Turn your free trial into a paid subscription now!
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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.