Issue 605

Tuesday, 27th March 2018

In This Issue


Google clamps down on uncertified Android distributions

Google has had enough of people loading "uncertified" Android devices with Google apps (like the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.) and getting around Google's terms of use and requirements for these apps. To make sure people distributing version of Android with Google's apps get Google's blessing to do so, it's started warning users that their device is not certified when they log in to Google services. Those using custom ROMs on their phones can still do so, but they have to manually whitelist their device with Google. The change is mostly designed so retailers don't get non-certified Google devices, pre-load it with dodgy apps and try pass it off as Google certified to unwitting customers.

Facebook: under FTC investigation, an accessory to ICE's mass deportations & more

Facebook is now officially under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission over "substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook". Mmmhmm, throw the book at em. The Intercept has a story reporting that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka the agency that deports people) "were able to obtain backend Facebook data revealing a log of when the account was accessed and the IP addresses corresponding to each login" and then using that info to confirm people's whereabouts before a raid. Tim Cook reckons "well-crafted" legislation is needed to protect people's data from companies like Facebook.

Foxconn buys Belkin & plans to make more smarthome gear

Foxconn owns Belkin now. They paid US$866m for Belkin (and its brands Linksys, Wemo and Phyn) and plan to use it as a way to build up their smart home and premium accessories business. For now nothing is changing and the current CEO of Belkin will join Foxconn's management team. Cool, maybe this'll mean more Wemo stuff for Australia? I still reckon its one of the easiest to use smarthome platforms with a wide variety of accessories.

Arizona revokes Uber's robocar testing permit

Arizona has suspended Uber from continuing its autonomous car-testing, with the state's Governor saying that he expects safety to be the top priority for all robocar testing and Uber has an "unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation". No shit mate, but you've got blood on your hands too as Arizona's lack of regulations allowed this to happen. Mobileye's CEO dunked on Uber in a blog post, saying the autonomous system his company builds and is in production cars right now would have easily spotted the woman crossing the road.

Google shows off the first ChromeOS based tablet

A day before Apple's educational event in Chicago, Google has announced tablets using Chrome OS. The first one is Acer's Chromebook Tab 10 and Google is pitching it as an education device, as that's where Chrome OS is king. The hardware is nothing special, but it's cheap-ish (US$329) and will go on sale in most of the world in May. No info on Australia. ChromeOS on the tablet looks identical to the laptop version, just without a keyboard and mouse. I'm sure you could use Bluetooth to hook one up if you wanted though. ChromeOS on the tablet even runs Android apps.

Not News, But Still Cool

Bug in macOS 10.13.3 places your APFS encrypted volume password in logs, in plaintext

mac4n6 is reporting that there's a huge bug in APFS encrypted volumes on macOS 10.13.3. When you create a new APFS Encrypted volume, macOS writes the password you set to the system log. In plaintext. Ok sure, someone still needs access to your computer to get password, but it removes a valuable layer of security (e.g: someone steals your Mac & ext HDD, but at least they can't read what's on the ext HDD without the password), but it's still pretty shitty. Yet another Q&A lapse from Apple, it's pretty embarrassing now.

74% of Reddit drama is generated by 1% of the users

Researchers at Standford University have discovered that 74% of "intercommunity conflict" on Reddit is instigated by 1% of the users. They post links to other subreddits and encourage others to "target, harass, and fight with users on that subreddit". The worst of that 1% are Reddit users that "specialise in memes" and hang out in controversial areas like r/conspiracy and r/theredpill. Who'd have known that people who spend their spare time making memes, believe in conspiracy theories and hate women are shit stirrers?!

10% off eBay site-wide, 20% off selected eBay stores & 10% off camera gear at CameraPro

eBay has 10% off any purchase over $75 site wide right now. Dunno when the offer will stop as there's no end date. Use the code P10EASTER to get that discount. eBay also has a 20% off sale on certain stores (use code PHLUFFY), so be sure to check if the item you're after is cheaper with the 10% coupon from a store that hasn't price-jacked or the 20% off coupon as it's a bigger discount. Photography enthusiasts might like this CameraPro 10% off sale on all lenses, drones, filters & memory cards.

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Roisin Murphy - Overpowered