Issue 589

Friday, 2nd March 2018
Sorry for the early issue of The Sizzle. I've got a few important meat space things to do today and won't be near a computer for a while. Read it over a tasty lunch this afternoon!

In This Issue


The SEC is getting prepared to drop lawsuits on dozens of ICO hucksters

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission is starting to get serious about cracking the skulls of charlatans hawking ICOs, sending "dozens" of subpoenas to people and companies involved in that nonsense. The SEC is also trying to find out who is spending billions of dollars buying these useless tokens. Are they all rich idiots, or is some sort of organised crime involved? I want to see all these scam artists behind bars. It's the only way wider society will be safe from their garbage. Even if you bankrupt them, they'll keep spinning their bullshit as that's what comes natural to them and costs absolutely nothing for them to do. You can argue all day that the people handing over cash should have some personal responsibility, and that's true to a degree, but the jerks lying and cheating their way through life should be punished too.

Twitter is experiencing remorse for the ugliness they've added to the world

Twitter has finally realised their product has real world consequences and kinda apologised for not realising it earlier. Jack Dorsey threw out a series of tweets explaining that they've "witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers" and they don't like it. In an attempt to help them sleep at night, Twitter is going to use machine learning to give tweets a score based on 4 criteria that will determine the "health" of a conversation. It's unknown what Twitter will do with the unhealthy conversations - that'll be the true test of their remorse. If a politician tweets some bullshit, that leads to a storm of abusive tweets by some thinly disguised Nazis, what happens then? Unless you pull out the weeds, roots and all, they'll constantly grow back.

Trump still reckons video games are why US kids are shooting up schools

Speaking of Trump, he's organised a meeting with members of the video game industry that'll take place next week, to "to see what they can do" on the issue of gun violence. As usual with Trump, there's no specifics, or an agenda. Just looks like an opportunity to be seen to do something as opposed to actually doing something. Also as usual with Trump, anyone with half a brain knows that what he's thinking isn't based in reality. Australia, Canada, the UK and other similar developed countries don't have people going into schools with military weapons and murdering a dozen children within a few minutes, but we have the exact same video games. Maybe the fact you can get a machine gun down at the shops with a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread is what's causing the violent rampages, not a video game.

Trustico is a very bad TLS certificate reseller, very bad

I'm a bit late to this story, but wanted the dust to settle before trying to explain the weird stuff going on with Trustico and the revocation of 23,000 HTTPS certs. What seems to have happened is the CEO of Trustico, a certificate vendor, sent the private keys of 23,000 of its customers in an email to DigiCert, a certificate authority. Those certs are now all invalid as the private key is loose, but even more troubling is the fact the CEO had access to all those private keys in the first place! Like, what the hell? To make matters worse, it was revealed today that there was a bug in Trustico's website that allowed relatively easy root access to Trustico's servers, which seeing as we know how lax they are keeping the private keys safe, means possibly, all 23,000 of those private keys are flapping in the wind for anyone to snarf. Let this be a lesson - just use Let's Encrypt.

We aren't alone! Canada's government also sucks at IT projects

10 years ago, Canada gave IBM and Oracle CAD$1b to make a single payroll system for the entire government. Sounds pretty straightforward right? IBM and Oracle do this stuff day in, day out. Payroll systems are a solved problem in the 21st century. Yet here I am in 2018, linking to an article explaining how Canada is going to scrap the half-arsed system that doesn't work, throwing a billion dollars down the drain while government employees are left short-changed, literally. It's the same issue as what we have in Australia that I wrote about yesterday - the contract was heavily skewed in IBM's favour (basically no penalties for stuffing up) and the government is so clueless that it doesn't know how to stop itself getting punched in the face by IBM.

Not News, But Still Cool

Despite its faults, I kinda want a Google Clip camera

Google announced the Clip camera a few months ago, but it's now on sale and in the hands of reviewers - here's a video from The Verge, a review from the Washington Post and some sample pics from Refinery29. This little cam interested me as it's got no viewfinder or LCD, you just place it somewhere and with the magic of AI, it constantly takes photos and can show you only the "best" ones. You know that feature in Google Photos that makes little scenes for you? The Clip is camera dedicated to making those. I really like the concept, but apparently it's not that good at determining when something interesting is happening, the quality is pretty rough and it's expensive at US$249.

Crankshaft brings Android Auto to the Raspberry Pi

Someone's gone and made a Linux distribution called Crankshaft that lets a Raspberry Pi act as an Android Auto headunit. Plug your Pi into a touch-screen display (i.e: the official 7" one) and use the official case and for under $200, you've got a an Android Auto device you can leave in your car. Here's a video of it in action. Crankshaft is still in heavy beta, but it works. I really like how you can mount it on the windscreen with a suction cup - no need to pay someone a few hundred bucks to install an Android Auto headunit or spend ages fiddling around trying yourself. I hope Crankshaft develops nicely for years to come.

AU Optronics is manufacturing 65"-85" 8K resolution LCD panels right now

8K TVs are coming soon! AU Optronics has recently announced it's going to start shipping 8K LCD panels around mid-2018, in a range of sizes from 65" to 85". I don't really know how useful an 8K TV would be considering there's still bugger all content in 4K. I can't imagine 1080p, let alone 1080i content looking too crash hot on an 8K display. What I really want is a 40" 8K computer monitor. This resolution, at that size, would equate to a display with the same PPI as 27" Retina iMac. Make it 10-bit HDR, give it a subtle 1800R curve and that's my dream monitor. Would be an awesome top of the line iMac, if Apple wanted to make one. At some point they're gonna have to make one bigger than 27", right?

That's it, see ya Monday!

The Hard Ons - Rat Face And Buffalo Ass