Issue 607

Thursday, 29th March 2018

Today's issue of The Sizzle is the last one fully created by me until I get back from my overseas holiday. After the Easter break, daily news updates will be provided by Josh Withers, Rebecca Pike and Jacob Bates. While I'm gone, the tone of The Sizzle will naturally change from the stuff you've been used to for the past few years. It's a great opportunity to enjoy the world of tech through some different eyes. I'll be back writing The Sizzle on June 12th - be kind to the newbies!

In This Issue


ACCC reports that NBN average speeds are up, but the report's method stinks

The ACCC has released its first report as part of its NBN speed monitoring program. According to the report, users on NBN100 see average speeds of 87.97Mbps between 7pm-11pm. NBN50 users see 44.34Mbps. RSPs claim much lower average speeds than this and only 400 users were part of the program, barely 4 per POI, so I don't know how representative these results really are. Meanwhile, NBN hired a PR agency to find people who like the NBN because I assume, that's like finding a rooster that lays eggs.

Boeing & city of Atlanta hit by seperate cryptolocker worms

I don't know how in 2018 a company the size of Boeing can be hit with the WannaCry cryptolocker worm, but here we are. When news first broke, there were claims of machines used in the 777 production line were hit, but Boeing's come out since and said "the vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777 jet program or any of our programs". The biggest question here is why weren't they patched earlier? The city of Atlanta is going through their own cryptolocker saga, with heaps of city services still offline and the deadline for the ransom ending in a few hours. I hope they have good backups.

A collection of Facebook related news

Facebook is shutting down its partner categories program, the system that allows 3rd parties to merge their data with Facebook's for even better targeting. They're also indefinitely postponing their smart speaker launch because, well, who'd buy one now? Anyone that wants to make new apps or chatbots on Facebook's platform will have to wait a bit, as Facebook has paused approving new stuff while it makes changes to the type of data apps have access to. They've also made it easier for users to modify their privacy settings and download and delete whatever data Facebook has collected on them.

Ecuador removes Julian Assange's internet access

I know just what you've been thinking about - what's going on with Julian Assange lately? Let me fill you in: the Ecuadorian embassy has cut off his internet access. Their reasoning is that his trolling on social media has "put at risk the good relations [Ecuador] maintains with the United Kingdom, with the other states of the European Union, and with other nations". Apparently his comments on the Russian nerve agent attack caused some discomfort and broke an agreement he had with the Ecuadorians not so stir shit.

7 sells its half of Yahoo7 to Yahoo's new owners Oath

Yahoo!7 is no more. Oath (aka Verizon) bought Yahoo a while ago and hasn't done much with the joint partnership it had with 7 here in Australia. Seven West Media (aka 7), has sold its 50% to Oath, which means Oath owns 100% of whatever the hell it is they do now that the TV stuff is purely under 7's own brand, 7 Plus. Not that important in the overall scheme of things I guess, but seemed important enough to give it a mention considering the brand recognition.

Not News, But Still Cool

Google Home devices can now pump audio out to Bluetooth speakers

Good news for all you Google Home speaker assistant thing owners - you can pair it to a Bluetooth speaker and play music out through the nicer bigger speaker than through the tinny speaker contained within the Google Home or Google Home Mini. You still gotta talk to the Google Home to get it to do stuff, it only supports audio playback, not input. Connect multiple Bluetooth speakers to the Google Home and you've got multi-room audio. Cool.

Fortnite is a big deal with the kids

Epic's new battle royale shoot em up game Fortnight, is taking schools around the world by storm. I bet those of you with tweens/teens know alllll about it. But for those of us without such a burden, I mean, joy, yes, joy.. in our lives, Waypoint has a nice little story about how damn popular it is with the kids. One introverted kid who had no friends at school is suddenly the most popular kid because of his Fortnite prowess. Girls schools are no exception to the phenomenon, as they equally enjoy it and wonder why their boyfriends are so obsessed with it. I assume Minecraft is for babies now?

Too much cheap stuff to fit in a single subject line

That's it, Jacob, Josh and Rebecca will take over on Tuesday. Enjoy the Easter long weekend and see ya in June!

Cosmic Psychos - Nice Day to Go to the Pub