Issue 572

Thursday, 8th February 2018

In This Issue


DHS to run Commonwealth online ID checks

You're all familiar wit myGov, probably to lodge your tax returns. It's set to become a key part of the government's online identity verification service, GovPass. No surprises with that decision really, it makes sense to lump that service in with one people are already familiar with. What doesn't make sense however, is getting the goddamn Department of Human Services to run it. DHS are responsible for Centrelink's dumb and blunt, "robo-debt" system that caused unnecessary grief for thousands. The government thinks DHS is capable of operating a full blown identity verification service?! I get the feeling I'll be writing about this disaster for years.

Stolen code of iOS 9's secure boot loader is up on GitHub

It looks like someone has chucked up on Github the part of iOS that's responsible for ensuring a legit version of iOS is installed on your device. It's apparently from iOS 9, but it's still more or less the same in iOS 11. Why is this potentially a bad thing? This kinda code is normally kept under wraps, but now hackers can see how this stuff works, how Apple implements it and figure out ways to mess with it so they can subvert Apple's security checks. It even means jailbreaking could happen again. According to Jonathan Levin, the author of a series of books on iOS and Mac OSX internals, "this is the biggest leak in history" and "it's a huge deal". I'll take his word for it.

Tesla isn't making a profit because it isn't making enough cars

Tesla's quarterly financials were announced today, with the electric car maker generating US$3.3b of revenue, but racking up a record loss of US$675m. Which is to be expected as they bust their gut trying to get more Model 3s out the door. Tesla expects to stick to its target of 2,500 Model 3s a week by the end of March, then 5,000 a week by the end of June. Despite that, people's "early 2018" delivery dates are getting pushed back already. Oh, and Elon Musk's big call that a Model S will drive from LA to NY on its own by the end of 2017 still hasn't happened. Tesla does plan to reveal the Model Y (an SUV based on the Model 3) in 3-6 months time though.

157 new emojis coming soon

Because it's a slow news day, there's 157 new emojis that make up version 11 of the Emoji standard and ratified by the Unicode Consortium. There's now over 2300 official emoji. You can view all of them on Emojipedia. My favourite new emoji is the pirate flag (never join the Navy) and I'm sure the new kangaroo emoji will get a lot of use in a few weeks, probably placed alongside the truck emoji when North gets thrashed by 90 points in round 1 (yes, the season will be that bag that the Suns will belt North - it's gonna be a long season folks).

Random news for ya

Not News, But Still Cool

Aussie game developers are getting seduced by overseas governments

You know how the Australian government doesn't give a rats arse about the video game industry? Well other countries do, and they're actively trying to poach Aussie talent to set up shop there instead. According to Opaque Media Group director Emre Deniz (who made the AGDA 2017 game of the year, Earthlight: Arcade), says that Canada and the UK "offer not only federally backed investments in games, but also competitively geared tax support, or outright incentives for developers to operate within states or territories" - Canada's game industry adds $4b to the national GDP. But Australia doesn't want any of that, nope, we're happy just to let it go overseas.

Facebook is killing Funny or Die and making the internet crap in general

Facebook is ruining the internet. Not exactly a profound or new statement, but this interview with Matt Klinman, who works at Funny or Die, is quite stark in how Facebook has dismantled what was a genuinely innovative and interesting website because due to Facebook's business practices, it's no longer viable. Matt's comment here is spot on: "Facebook has created a centrally designed internet. It’s a lamer, shittier looking internet. It’s just not as cool as an internet that is a big, chaotic space filled with tons of independently operating websites who are able to make a living because they make something cool that people want to see."

Cheap games, PSU, DJI Spark, microSD, in-ear headphones & 40" 4K monitor

Civ6 fans, a new expansion pack is coming soon (this weekend I think) and it's already discounted over at Green Man Gaming, coming in at $28.70. If Civ isn't your bag, City Skylines is free to play this weekend and if you wanna buy it, it's under $10 until the 13th of Feb. This Raspberry Pi case in the shape of an old school NES is $16.99
Here's more things worth buying from eBay's PRESENT20 sale:

That's it, see ya tomorrow!