Issue 510

Monday, 30th October 2017

In This Issue


ACCC reckons NBN won't turn a profit & NBN board member cracks it at whingers

Two bits of NBN news for ya today. First is an ACCC draft report about the local telco industry that explains how NBN's revenue predictions for the medium term are totally bogus. The ACCC gives 3 recommendations for the NBN - "direct budget funding arrangements for non-commercial services, debt relief measures, or an asset revaluation". All of which the government isn't keen on. The other bit of news is former iiNet CEO, now NBN lackey mouthing off to Ben Grubb in the SMH. Malone wants people complaining to the media about being stuck in Service Class 0 hell to be put at the "back of the queue". NBN's since come out saying that his views are "not an official opinion of the company", heh.

ACT to give every kid in its high schools a Chromebook

The ACT government is going to roll out 15,000 Chromebooks in all its schools. 15,000 Acer Spin 11 Chromebooks (not bad little units actually) will be given to every kid in years 7 to 11. Datacom Systems got the sweet gig to implement and support the Chromebooks and will start handing them out next year. They didn't say how much the contract is worth, but the ACT government did set aside $17m in its last budget to fund it. Probably a good decision when you consider total cost of ownership. Chromebooks are a piece of cake to administer and the laptops themselves are pretty robust. Give the school a fat internet connection and even the dumbest of IT staff can handle looking after a school of these things.

The NHS explains why it got hit by WannaCry so hard

One of the highest profile victims of WannaCry was the UK's National Health Service, who recently dropped a post-mortem on the incident. More than a third of the 236 NHS trusts and an estimated 19,000 appointments were affected. The report also blamed the North Koreans for releasing the malware onto the world. Not that the norks targeted the NHS in particular, in any sort of evil attempt to punish the west's sick and frail. Nah, the NHS got owned because its info sec defences were (and probably still are) pathetic. The report surmised that it was stuff not getting patched and no network segmentation due to "a lack of focus, a lack of taking it seriously" as to why the NHS got hit so hard. Hopefully this is a wake-up call for the NHS and others to get their act together as next time, the malware won't be as shoddy as WannaCry was.

Apple sacks RF engineer because he daughter posted a vid of the iPhone X

An Apple engineer has been sacked because his daughter uploaded a video of his iPhone X to YouTube. The video is just a typical narcissistic spoiled teenager vlog, following her around as she visited Dad at work and ate in the Apple cafe, which is where she filmed herself trying out her old man's iPhone X. Filming on Apple's campus without their permission is a big no-no, so in a show of zero tolerance, sacked the long time RF engineer, reminding the other workers what the consequences are for a minor infraction. Here's the original video if you wanna see what Apple got upset over. Seems pretty innocent to me. It's a shame this guy with loads of experience got kicked out over it. If Apple's radios start sucking in the products 2-3 years from now, we know why.

HP historical archive lost in bushfire

A large stash of historical documents and mementos from Hewlett-Packard's glory days has been lost in the latest Californian bushfire. For the youngins, it may be a surprise that HP was once innovative, but they are the genesis of what we now know as Silicon Valley, setting up back in 1938 in their garage (which I visited in 2010 - it's very boring but I paid my respects). Lost in the fire, "More than 100 boxes of the two men’s writings, correspondence, speeches and other items", which were stored in a modular building belonging to Keysight Technologies, who HP acquired in 2014. It's a bit ironic that the pioneers of digital technology didn't digitise their own history to preserve it, yet make a living selling that stuff to others.

Not News, But Still Cool

Finally, an in-depth video review of the Tesla Model 3

The best in-depth video so far of the Model 3 has hit YouTube via the Model 3 Owners Club. They got someone's Model 3 and spent an hour fiddling with all the little features inside and giving a demo of the huge touch-screen on the dash. For those of you on the waiting list who watched that video and are now even more keen, I have bad news. Tesla still hasn't ramped up production of the Model 3 with a parts supplier saying that they've had to cut output to 3000 cars a week in December - a 40% reduction of its original goal. Elon Musk is even sleeping on the roof of the Nevada Gigafactory, he's spending that much time there sorting stuff out for the Model 3.

Intel's latest "affordable" Optane SSDs are stupidly fast

Anandtech has a review of the new Intel Optane 900P SSD, a more "affordable" 280GB/480GB version of the little 16GB/32GB Optane cache drives we saw earlier this year. if you're unfamiliar with Optane, it's an SSD but instead of traditional triple-level cell flash memory, it uses Intel's special 3D XPoint tech that is goddamn fast. Anandtech's review shows that it is the latency king. Response times on the Optane drives are orders of magnitude faster than the Samsung 960 Pro and it loves getting hammered as it suffers from no slowdown. In that scenario, a traditional SSD will have filled its cache and shat its pants. Unfortunately, the 900P is expensive - US$599 (~$780) for the 480GB version. A 512GB 960 Pro is about half that.

200GB 4G plans hit Optus & MVNOs

4G data lovers might be interested to know that Exetel are offering 200GB of Optus 4G for $69.95 on a month-to-month contract. The catch is that it's limited to only 12/1 Mbps in areas with 2300MHz coverage and a paltry 5/1Mbps outside that. Kinda lame, but if you are in an area with poor ADSL and no NBN coming any time soon, this could be a handy way to get a decent amount of data for not a lot of cash. Optus are selling a 200GB plan with the iPhone X that might be good too. $149/m and you get an iPhone you can flog off to some chump on eBay with more money than brains for $2500+. Over 24 months that brings the price down to ~$60 a month. Probably a better deal than Exetel as the speeds are uncapped.

Thats it, see ya tomorrow!

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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