Issue 529

Monday, 27th November 2017

In This Issue


NBN to stop rolling out HFC until they fix the existing HFC network

NBN has announced they're temporarily halting the rollout of HFC across Australia. Anyone in an area slated for HFC will now experience a further 6-9 month delay. So if you were gonna get HFC NBN hooked up in June 2019, that's now gonna be December 2019. Why is NBN doing this? Because the HFC network is such a garbage fire, users are complaining so NBN needs to dedicate all their time to bringing the installed bits up to scratch before rolling out new connections that'll only make things worse. What a goddamn mess - does anyone honestly expect the NBN to be complete by 2020 as the government promises?

VW engineer who faked emissions tests is going to jail

James Liang, one of the USA-based Volkswagen engineers who programmed their cars to go into a reduced emissions mode when a test is detected, but then revert to a more polluting mode in normal use, will be thrown in jail for 40 months. Whilst Liang's lawyer said that he wasn't a fraud mastermind and was simply "blindly executed a misguided loyalty to his employer", the court is hoping this punishment will make engineers think twice about simply doing their superiors tell them and ignoring the consequences. Weirdly, Liang is still employed at VW. Shouldn't he and all the bosses who told him what to do be sacked?

Banks, electricity retailer and telcos will be forced to make usage data available

The federal government is promising legislation will be passed early next year to force banks, electricity retailers and telcos to provide usage data in a "useful digital format" so us plebs can compare different providers. The idea is that you can download a file from a service provider, upload it to a comparison site and the site will automatically tell you which plan or provider you should choose based on your historical usage. Sounds like a good idea as long as the comparison site has a wide range of providers and doesn't trick you into choosing the provider with the best commission payout *cough* *cough*

Government looking to expand use of the Face Verification Service to private sector

Remember that federal government facial recognition system all the state governments are gonna feed drivers licence info to? Well telcos and banks wanna use the Face Verification Service to prove people are who they say they are. The government reckons it'd work much like the existing Document Verification Service where you pop in your Medicare, passport or drivers licence number and whoever is asking for it can check it against the government's database. It'd be just like that, but instead of just a number, it's also a photo. I can imagine the next time I want to open a bank account online, my iPhone's camera will be used to take a photo to further add put the bank's mind at ease during an ID check.

Imgur hacked, passwords at risk

Imgur was hacked back in 2014 with 1.7 million email addresses and passwords stolen. Because the data is from 2014, the passwords are hashed with SHA-256, which isn't as robust as it used to be. So if you used the same password on Imgur back in the day as you do in other places now, it's time to change your password all over the place. Imgur didn't know the hack happened until someone gave Troy Hunt the data to add to Have I Been Pwnd, but Imgur has alerted those with affected accounts now that they do know.

Not News, But Still Cool

Tesla Model 3 owners manual appears online

Here's a PDF of the owners manual for the Tesla Model 3. Not that it's much use without the car and almost everything in it has already been covered by the detailed hands on vids up on YouTube, but yeah, there it is, all 160 pages of it. If that's not enough for ya, watch this in-depth look (22 min!) of all the options on the Model 3's 15-inch touch screen. I also found out that there's an Apple Watch app to lock and unlock the Model S. Coooool.

Trailer for an episode in the new season of Black Mirror

A new season of Black Mirror is coming to Netflix soon! They released a short trailer over the weekend for one of episodes - Arkangel. Looks like classic Black Mirror, with parents giving their kids brain implants. There's also this teaser with each episode's name from August. Rumour is season 4 of Black Mirror will appear on Netflix later 2017/early 2018. I can't wait!

Smartphones are a DoS on humanity (according to this guy)

James Williams, a dude studying a doctorate at Oxford University, reckons smartphones are a denial of service attack on humanity. They suck up so much of our attention, that the usual time we'd take to deliberate and contemplate issues has evaporated, impacting the effectiveness of democracy and ultimately, ruining our lives. To make matters worse, humanity is too weak to fight back, as there's a huge amount of resources deployed to make sure we keep paying attention (i.e: Google & Facebook). Sounds like the plot for a (boring) episode of Black Mirror.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!