Issue 576

Tuesday, 13th February 2018
There's been an awesome response to the survey I sent out to paid subscribers last night (do it now if you haven't yet) - 297 responses and over 10,000 words of feedback! I'm slowly making my way through it, but one thing I was surprised to learn was that heaps of you don't know about The Sizzle's sharing link. At the end of each story, there's a link called "Share". Tap/click it and you can share that story on social media with a nice auto-generated image of the story itself. Here's an example of it in action on Twitter. It took me ages to develop, so use it!

In This Issue


Australians can now send money to each other's bank accounts instantly, sorta

The new payments platform (NPP) has finally launched and you can use a "PayID" to send money to and from Australian bank accounts instantly. Or at least, that's what is supposed to happen. Right now, the only banks that appear to support it are NAB, Commonwealth and ING. I tried to send money from my ING account to my NAB account and it said I have to wait 24 hours because it's the first time I've sent money to that account. That kinda defeats the purpose of instant transfers if I have to wait a day to send money to a stranger! Trevor Long has explained how using your mobile as a PayID username is a bad idea.

Facebook is struggling, but don't shed a tear for em

Wired has a massive article outlining all the ways Facebook are screwed. From Rupert Murdoch threatening Facebook with bad coverage unless it was more friendly to news publishers, to tracking the phones of employees it thought were leaking to the media and how was sucked in to be an organ of the Russian propaganda machine - it all paints an ugly picture of Facebook. Meanwhile, Unilever will withdraw tens of millions of dollars worth of Facebook ads unless Facebook remove "toxic content", 2.8 million people under the age of 25 stopped using Facebook in 2017 and a German court has decided Facebook's handling of private data isn't in-line with German law.

Olympic Destroyer malware designed to make a mess at the Pyeongchang games

We've got a little more info on that cyber attack that took place at the Winter Olympics on the weekend. Talos has said they've found a piece of malware they've dubbed "Olympic Destroyer" and is designed to "disrupt the games" rather than steal info. The Olympic Destroyer just nabs passwords, then uses em log in to various network devices and tries to delete data. Oh, and guess what - Russians did it. I would argue they're just a bunch of jerks upset that their motherland got caught carrying out a systemic doping regime, but I wouldn't put it past Putin and his mates sanctioning this just to stir shit.

Labor makes new tech-related promises in SA election campaign

The South Australian state election campaign is heating up, with the incumbent Labor party offering even more tech related proposals to win some votes. They've decided to throw $2m at the game industry, citing the federal government's failure to act on any of the recommendations given in a 2016 industry report. The government reckons there's 500 jobs in the game industry to be created over the next 3 years. It'll also spend $6.7m on efforts to teach all 114,000 state primary school kids how to code. I'm very excited about these rumours of Elon Musk dropping in to Adelaide again, for an announcement on Friday related to electric cars. Don't you dare get my hopes up, don't you dare.

You must pass an in-app CASA quiz before you can fly your DJI drone

DJI are gonna make you do a test before you can fly your fancy new drone in Australia. "The quiz, which consists of nine basic questions based on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) rules and regulations for drone flights in Australia, will need to be answered correctly by pilots of DJI drones when they open the DJI GO or DJI GO 4 app from tomorrow." Apparently this is already done in the USA and UK, so Australia is just catching up with this pre-flight quiz. I reckon it should make you do a quiz every 3 or 6 months, just to re-iterate the rules so people don't forget.

Not News, But Still Cool

The HomePod sounds very good apparently

Hot takes on Apple's HomePod are still flowing in and I'm still interested in them as I ruminate on the possibility of dropping $500 on a speaker the size of a bloated can of VB. First up, iFixit has taken a hacksaw to the bastard to see what's inside. So much stuff glued in. That can't be good for recycling? Second, an audiophile on Reddit has done a bunch of sound nerd tests on the HomePod and as a result, he reckons its a magnificent speaker, sounding better than speakers worth hundreds more. But, Consumer Reports (think Choice, but yanks) reckons the HomePod isn't much better than a Sonos One or Google Home Max. So yeah, who knew that audio quality is subjective hey?

Latest Boston Dynamics nightmare fuel

The murder bots of the future will easily have plenty of strength that'll allow it to simply smash the door down to access its hapless victim. But if your remote murdering requires a little stealth, Boston Dynamics has you covered. They've uploaded a 45 second video of an update to their smallest robot dogs, SpotMini. It now has the skill to open a door with no human assistance. It uses its extremely mobile mechanical neck/head to grip the handle, twist it and then pull it. The robot then uses its foot to hold the door open whilst its buddy waltzes on in to efficiently murder the human on the other side. If you need to evade a deathbot, just go to an alpine region - robots are shit at skiing.

JSConf, CSSConf and Decompress are happening soon, you should attend

CSSConf and JSConf Melbourne are starting really, really soon - March 20th! I've been twice before and even though I'm not really a web developer, I always felt welcome and found the talks interesting. If I actually did web development, I would have loved it even more. If you can't attend during the week, Decompress is a lighter, more casual affair, takes place on the 23rd of March and is only $30. If you're in the web dev industry, you'd be crazy not to attend. Women in particular should give it a shot - it's the least bro-filled, jerkwad bloke environment tech event I've ever seen. The team organising the conferences are also Sizzle subscribers, so you know they're good people!

That's it, see ya tomorrow!