Issue 662

Wednesday, 20th June 2018

In This Issue


Telstra to undergo huge restructure, will sack 25% of its workforce

Telstra announced "Strategy 2022" this morning, a plan entails "streamlining product offerings, setting up InfraCo, simplifying its structure, and further cutting costs" as a response to Telstra's vastly different business in a post-NBN landscape and with increased mobile network competition (aka TPG). 8,000 employees - almost 25% of its workforce - will be sacked. A company called InfraCo will be created and all of Telstra's $11b of fixed-line infrastructure will be transferred to it. InfraCO will then resell access to that infrastructure to whoever wants it, including Telstra. There's heaps more going on in this plan, more details are on the Telstra Exchange blog.

Tech industry mildly rebels against US government locking up immigrant children

Microsoft is a big supplier of tech to ICE (the government department cruelly separating and imprisoning children) and Microsoft's employees do not like that they are part of the machine that helps conduct this bullshit, so they're demanding Microsoft cease working with ICE immediately. Microsoft has said they're against this policy, but aren't going to cut any contracts. Someone scraped LinkedIn to create a database of all 1,600 ICE employees, so people "could use the database as they saw fit" (i.e: harass the ICE employees), but GitHub and Medium have deleted the database under their "don't dox people" policy. Over on Wikipedia, editors are arguing about whether what the USA is doing to immigrant kids should be included in the concentration camp section of the wiki.

CIA "Vault 7" leaker is probably going to jail for a long, long time

Joshua Adam Schulte is a former CIA employee that leaked the infamous "Vault 7" collection of hacking software used by the CIA to bust in to people's electronics around the world and is one of the worst losses of classified documents in the CIA's history. He was arrested back in August 2017 for handling kiddie porn, but now he's finally been charged for violating the Espionage Act by giving the CIA's documents and software to WikiLeaks back in 2016. So not only is this bloke facing serious charges for his leaking of the CIA's gear (a big no-no), he's also in trouble for child porn. Josh, mate, you are proper fucked.

Facebook rips off HQ trivia and will slap more ads in Messenger

Facebook is gonna put even more ads in Messenger. The super popular messaging app will soon show autoplaying video alongside your messages and even within conversations. This is obviously a shit move and Facebook is aware of it, but based on small tests, nobody really changed how they used Messenger. Facebook is also ripping off HQ Trivia, by giving Facebook Live streamers the ability to add timed quiz questions to their streams. Now anyone can be Scott and be an obnoxious game show host with dozens of US-centric jokes that even if you are American, aren't that funny!

Google has yet another messaging app and a new podcast app

Speaking of messenger apps, Google has another one! Messages for Web will join Google Talk, Google Voice, Buzz, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts, Spaces, Allo and Hangouts Chat as Google-based ways for you to chat to people over the internet. Messages for Web is basically a web interface for the Messages app in Android that they introduced recently, that itself is an SMS, MMS and RCS client that uses your teclo's existing messaging infrastructure to send stuff around (so it's not a Google run server that handles things). Google also has a new podcast app, creatively titled Google Podcasts. As this is likely to be installed by default on Android phones, it could lead to a decent spike in podcast listeners.

Not News, But Still Cool

Backup the contents of your Gmail account with Gmvault

Reflect for a minute how much shit you'd be in if you lost access to your Gmail account. All those emails you've been archiving there suddenly become irretrievable. Do you back them up? Probably not. It's time for that to change - install Gmvault on a server somewhere and back up one some of the most important pieces of data you have, your email! Gmvault costs nothing, is updated regularly and if you're even a tiny bit familiar with the command line, a piece of piss to use. I've been using it for years and while I haven't had to use it yet, I sleep better at night knowing my email is backed up.

ING Direct has IFTTT actions now

Did you know that ING Direct supports If This Then That (IFTTT)? I just found out now via @_patmurray on Twitter who also just found out ING Direct have IFTTT actions. The only action right now is moving money from your transaction account to your savings account, based on events from a range of apps. For example, if you do 10,000 steps on your Fitbit, you can move $5 (or whatever amount you set) to your savings. It's a small start and I don't think I'd use any IFTTT stuff with my bank account (there's fuck all cash in there anyway), but could be really interesting if there are other actions I guess?

Cheap board games, 75" TV, DJI Spark drone & free Amaysim phone plans

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Art vs. Science - Being Alone