Issue 546

Wednesday, 20th December 2017

In This Issue


Apple to open a store in Melbourne's Federation Square by 2020

Apple has announced they're going to bulldoze part of Federation Square, the communal hub of the fine city of Melbourne and place one of their shining beacons of capitalism smack bang in the middle. Check out Apple's press release for pics of the planned redevelopment. Apple Federation Square will be "Apple's most significant store in the Southern Hemisphere", so suck shit Sydney! The new store will open in 2020. Not everyone is happy the location.

Germany and France are pissed off with Facebook again

French and German governments have called out Facebook for being underhanded with the way it uses data from properties it owns or has a hand in and feeding it back into Facebook. The French are concerned with how WhatsApp doesn't tell users it shares your phone number with Facebook and there's no way to opt-out except removing the app. The Germans however, have a beef with Facebook collecting data on users via scripts embedded in so many websites, to display share and like buttons. These scripts scrape heaps of info about visitors, even if they don't have Facebook accounts or interact with the buttons on the page.

TPG to give NBN users compo & AussieBB want fixed wireless towers upgraded urgently

TPG has joined Optus and Telstra in compensating users for selling NBN plans with speeds it couldn't deliver. 8,000 customers on FTTN and FTTB connections that were paying for 100/40 but getting sync speeds well below that will be able to "move to a lower tier speed plan and receive a refund or exit their plan and receive a refund". That's now over 60,000 customers on the NBN who didn't get what they paid for. Also NBN related, Aussie Broadband wants NBN to stop the fixed wireless rollout like they did with the HFC network and upgrade capacity on the wireless towers as many are severely congested.

Microsoft to end forced arbitration for sexual harassment events

Microsoft has made it slightly easier for employees suffering sexual harassment to speak up, by eliminating forced arbitration agreements between victim and perpetrator. Usually when this happens, the victim has to sign an NDA, which means the victim can't name and shame the perpetrator. The concept is that if perpetrators of sexual harassment are exposed earlier, serial harassers won't be given so much protection and they'll stop being so awful. Let's see if other large tech companies follow Microsoft's lead.

Another big leak of personal info due to a wrongly configured S3 bucket

Another day, another Amazon S3 bucket leak. This time it's a huge 36GB database of over 123 million US household's demographic info by Alteryx. In the database there's info like "consumer demographics, life event, direct response, property, and mortgage information for more than 235 million consumers" - basically all the info marketing companies have compiled on Americans for years. To be honest, all this stuff was already public, just before you had to pay a few thousand dollars to use it for your marketing programs. Now this older version is free or cheap for anyone who knows how to trawl the dark web. Full details on the leak and what it contains are on UpGuard's website.

Not News, But Still Cool

Cheap Apple Watch bands

Do you like Apple Watch bands? I like Apple Watch bands too, but I don't like paying Apple $79 for a piece of nylon or silicone. I've purchased dozens off eBay and found the quality pretty damn good. Woven nylon bands in over a dozen colours for $13-$15 each. Silicone sports bands in heaps of colours for $8 each. Nike-style silicone sports bands with air holes (great for summer) for $12 each. You can get em cheaper off Aliexpress, but these ones are from an Australian seller, so they arrive in 2-3 days via Australia Post. Worth paying a few bucks extra for that impulse buy I reckon. I recently purchased 320 velcro loop bands off Alibaba to resell on eBay AU (they're great quality) - I'll let ya know when I list them for sale!

Cheap MS Surface gear, Paragon NTFS driver, 90W USB charger, Sony CarPlay Android Auto headunit

JB are doing 15% off all Microsoft Surface Pros, Laptops and Books. Combine that with the 15% off JB gift cards on eBay and you're in bargain city. If you're a Mac user that often needs to write to NTFS partitions, you can get Paragon's half-decent (better than the default Apple driver at least) NTFS driver for $14 now. I purchased this Tronsmart Titan Plus 90W 5-port USB charger off Geekbuying for $40. It'll spit out 5V/2.4A on all 5 ports and even do QC3.0 charging. Supercheap Auto have the Sony XAV-AX100 CarPlay/Android Auto headunit for $399.20.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!