Issue 558

Friday, 19th January 2018

In This Issue


iOS Messages hit by another weird character bug & Facebook Messenger is busted

It's a day ending in y, so here's another bug in macOS and iOS that causes Safari and the Messages app to crash whenever it has to render a bizarre set of characters. Apple has said a fix is coming for the "chaiOS" bug next week. The fun doesn't stop there for iOS users, as if you're one of the millions of people who use Facebook Messenger on their iPhones, it appears that the latest version just shits the bed after typing a few words.

Apple & Samsung to be investigated by Italian anti-trust regulators

The Italian government is investigating Apple and Samsung for allegedly slowing down their devices on purpose, just so you have an incentive to buy a new one. The "Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato" has a hunch that Apple and Samsung put out updates that run crap on old phones, don't tell their users about the possible impacts and don't make it easy to go back to a previous version of the software if you don't like the new one. The French are on the same page as the Italians too.

Drone saves drowning kids off NSW coast

Two teenagers were stuck in a rip up on the NSW north coast yesterday and lifeguards sent out a "Little Ripper UAV" to help em - apparently a world first. Within 70 seconds it found the teens and dropped a floatation device for them to hold on to while non-robotic lifeguards came and pulled them out the water. Normally it would take a few minutes for a lifeguard to reach someone in distress out in the water, so cutting down that response time can be the difference between life and death. Reminds me of this paramedic drone concept that I don't think actually became a real thing.

YouTube & Facebook to remove videos of people eating Tide pods

I don't know if you've heard about this fad that's popular with some kids lately, but they're eating plastic bags of laundry detergent and uploading the results to YouTube and Facebook. In the USA these are called "Tide Pods" and yeah, kids are just downing em like popcorn. YouTube and Facebook have started taking the videos down, so more idiots aren't tempted to do it for a slice of internet fame. Tide is telling people on Twitter to get to a doctor ASAP. I can't find any of the original videos, but this news report from CBS Minnesota has footage of fuckwits trying it.

Office for Mac gets feature parity with Windows version at last

Users of Office on Mac will be happy to know that there's a big update that includes "long-anticipated real-time collaboration features and automatic cloud saving", features that have been in the Windows version of ages. This is great, as I've been forced to use the collaborative editing stuff a few times and had to fire up a VM to do so. Not any more!. According to an Apple software engineer at Microsoft, the code base for Office is now the same for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Hopefully this means the Mac version of Office is no longer the forgotten one! Update 16.9.0 for Office for Mac is available now and a full list of all the new features & security updates can be found on Microsoft's website.

Not News, But Still Cool

What's it like to be a parent of a famous internet kid?

You know all those kids on YouTube and Instagram or whatever, that are filthy rich and have millions of fans, well, they have parents. I'm so dumb, I never stopped to think about that fact until I stumbled upon this story. What is it like to be a parent of a kid who can't walk down the street without being mobbed? Or earns way more money than you? Most parents are just afraid of their kid getting ripped off, but it seems they're pretty damn savvy and the parents are just along for the ride. Also interesting is that almost all these kids are home-schooled. They can't go to a normal school, their fame and their schedules are way too distracting for everyone.

Pyramid schemes are prolific on Snapchat

On the topic of kids on the internet, Snapchat pyramid schemes are a thing. Of course they are! The posts on Snapchat are simply "yo give me $20 and I'll turn that $20 into $100" and naive kids just give this person they trust $20 and expect to get $100 at some point - never questioning how their $20 is gonna turn into $100. Absolute blind faith that their Snapchat hero would never, ever rip them off. These flat out dumb pyramid schemes are all over the internet, but Snapchat is the best place for em as it's not public, so more cluey kids can't mess up the scam by explaining how stupid it is.

Bitcoin, or rather, the blockchain, might be useful one day

Some people think Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and ICOs are a scam, and 99% of the time, they'd be correct. This New York Times article tries to explore if there's anything actually useful behind the cryptocurrency madness. It comes to the conclusion that coins and takens are useless at the moment, but soon, one day, just like how the internet back in the 70s and 80s was kinda dumb, the concept of the blockchain and it's revolutionary idea of providing trust without a central authority, will usher in a new internet age, saving us from the tyranny of Google, Facebook and Apple.

That's it, see ya Monday!