Issue 513

Thursday, 2nd November 2017

In This Issue


A big ol data breach of 50,000 Aussie finance, utility and govt staff

Some goose uploaded the personal details of over 50,000 Australian employees of several government agencies, banks and a utility. Wojciech, a Polish info sec researcher just stumbled across this juicy cache of "full names, passwords, IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses as well as some credit card numbers and details on staff salaries and expenses" whilst Googling for open S3 buckets! AMP and UGL were hit the hardest, but nobody is saying who the 3rd party idiot going around uploading stuff to S3 with no ACL applied is. That's pretty poor form and knowing S3 permissions is very basic knowledge, Amazon make it quite clear what you're doing.

A second day of grilling by US politicians for Google, Twitter & Facebook

Day 2 of the USA's social media inquisition was really just a bunch of politicians pissed off that it took so long for Twitter, Google and Facebook to do anything about the troll ads and the subsequent lack of interest in doing anything about it now that it's been raised as an issue. We also got to see a sample of ads purchased on Instragram and Facebook that politicians found the most divisive. They're pretty dumb. I think it says more about the people reacting to them than the platforms taking money to display them. Not that the platforms have clean hands mind you. They're absolutely filthy.

Facebook made a buttload of cash in Q3

Despite the noise around Facebook's alleged treason, they're printing money like no tomorrow. In regards to it's Q3 financials, "Facebook said its revenue rose 47 percent to $10.3 billion in the third quarter from a year ago, with profit surging 79 percent to $4.7 billion, handily beating Wall Street expectations". It is talking up the prospect of reduced income in the future though, as it'll spend a lot more money to make sure stuff like this Russia nonsense doesn't happen again. During a conference call to announce the financial results, Zuck said that "What they did is wrong (aka the Russians), and we are not going to stand for it".

Razer's new Android smartphone has a 120Hz screen

Razer purchased Nextbit a little while ago and the Razer Phone is the fruit of that acquisition. Unsurprisingly, it's black, with a green motif, but not as gaudy as Razer's other gear. The phone's highlight feature is a 5.7" IGZO LCD 2560x1440 120Hz (the first Android 120Hz display I think?) screen that it thinks will be brilliant for gaming. To ramp up GPU speed compared to the dozens of other phones with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, it'll have improved cooling so it won't throttle down as much, which'll keep the FPS high. The Razer Phone packs 8GB of RAM, which might help games too I guess. It'll cost US$699 and go on sale November 17th.

Tesla announce 3 month delay on the Model 3 & biggest quarterly loss so far

Well, well, well, soon as I reserve a Model 3, Tesla announce they're facing a 3 month production delay. Their target of manufacturing 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of 2017 is now the end of Q1 2018. According to Tesla's Q3 financial statement, the reason for the delay is the production of batteries at its Gigafactory. A supplier was lying to them, so Tesla had to take over production of that bit themselves which took time to sort out. Also in that statement is Tesla's largest quarterly loss to date - $619m. Inside EVs has some notes from the conference call with Elon Musk and his Tesla cronies.

Not News, But Still Cool

The CIA has uploaded Osama Bin Laden's HDD for you to download

We all know that Osama Bin Laden was shot and the body taken on a boat and dumped in the ocean for sharks to feast on (or so they say, who really knows). But SEAL Team Six also took Osama's computer and now the CIA has released 312GB of data from Osama Bin Laden's computer for the world to look at. Contained in the 470,000 files are a bunch of pirated movies and TV shows, stuff he saved off YouTube to watch later and general crap. More interestingly, there's Bin Laden's personal journal. It's all in Arabic, but I assume someone's translating it into English as you read this. I'm actually kinda keen to read that. What the hell would be going through that bloke's head? Anyway, if you plan to check out Osama's stash for yourself, the CIA warns that there could still be malware in it, so take it easy.

Ubiquiti EtherMagic review

Arstechnica has taken a squiz at Ubiquiti's new ethernet over powerline adaptors. The EtherMagic is like any other EoP setup, but it's by Ubiquiti, so maybe it'll be better than the rest? Unfortunately, Ars doesn't test it against the former fan favourite, the TP-Link TL-PA9020P, but does compare it to 802.11ac wi-fi in a dense inner city apartment block. The powerline kit is heaps better! Downloads are almost twice as fast and latency is a much nicer 18ms vs 50ms for wi-fi. Weirdly, EtherMagic isn't on Ubiquiti's website. So too bad if you wanna buy one I guess. Here's the datasheet off some random website.

Loads of cheap gear in 2 separate eBay sales

Good Guys eBay sale (use code PAYOFF) - these prices are for pickup (you probably live near a Good Guys, so why bother paying for delivery):

20% off at Ryda, Dell, Grays, Vaya & Videopro's eBay stores (use code PIXELS):

That's it, see ya tomorrow!