Issue 670

Monday, 2nd July 2018
A quick heads up to everyone doing their taxes: you can claim the cost of The Sizzle as a tax deduction! The ATO has info about it here.

In This Issue


Tasmanian Electoral Commission leaks personal info of 4,000 voters via TypeForm breach

The geniuses over at the Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) used TypeForm to collect information on voters who wanted to use the TEC's "express vote" service since 2015. TypeForm was hacked recently, resulting in huge data leak that exposed the names, addresses, emails, and DOBs of around 4,000 Tasmanians. That sucks most certainly, but can we also talk about this "Express Vote" thing? According to iTnews, "Express voting offers a chance for constituents to cast their vote via email or fax. It is used when the voter is going to be interstate or overseas, or if they simply live too remotely to get to a polling station" - voting via fax and email?!!? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen!

Tesla reaches milestone of 5,000 Model 3 cars produced a week

Tesla has reached the much anticipated goal of manufacturing 5,000 Model 3 cars in a week. This number is important because at 5,000 Model 3's a week, that's when all the investment Tesla's put into the vehicle becomes profitable. Telsa initially said it was gonna achieve this in late 2017, then it said early 2018, so it's quite late still. It's still not proven that Tesla can keep this level of output, as it seems like the 5,000 cars milestone was an "all hands on deck" effort that isn't sustainable. Everyone in the USA & Canada with a reservation can order a Model 3 now, but only high-end trim levels are available at the moment.

Personal data of 75 HealthEngine users exposed in website flaw

HealthEngine is not having a very good time lately. It was first found tweaking user reviews, then got caught selling patient data with dubious permission. Late last Friday afternoon, it notified the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner that it's become aware of a data breach that exposed "identifying information" on 75 users that submitted reviews via HealthEngine. I can't seem to find out what happened here, but it doesn't look like HealthEngine was hacked, but rather their site was so shitty, that it exposed the info of these 75 people somehow and nobody noticed until now. If I was a clinic using HealthEngine, I'd ditch this service and find someone who's business model isn't data mining the crap out of my patients.

Apple hypes up overhaul of Maps data sources

Apple reached out to its nerdy journalist of choice, Matthew Panzarino at Tech Crunch, and gave him the heads up on the total overhaul of Apple Maps. Apparently Apple has been working on it for four years and has lead to Apple gathering its own data (lots of white Apple Maps vans roaming around California) rather than relying on mashing together the data of third parties like Open Street Map and TomTom. The changes will appear for end users in iOS 12, but only in San Francisco & California for now. Who knows when they'll bother to map the rest of the world? Microsoft chucked Open Street Map a bunch of data recently - it'd be nice if Apple and the other players (TomTom, Here, Whereis, etc.) did the same. It seems like the only way they'll be able to match Google and give people an honest alternative. Panzarino followed the Maps article up with a Q&A post if you want more info.

Patreon kicks off adult content due to pressure from credit card processors

Patreon has removed huge swathes of adult content from its platform, claiming pressure from its payment processors. They use Stripe and PayPal, who rely on other banks to handle their Visa, Mastercard and Amex transactions. These banks just don't want the risk that comes with adult services (high charge back rates apparently) and the services like Stripe and PayPal don't want to increase their fees or change their processes to handle it. It sucks that if you want to sell some stuff that involves nude people, taking money for it is so difficult. It's probably not the bank's intention to be a moral judge, but their actions have turned them into virtual censors - and who are those fuckers to decide what consenting adults can and can't pay for?

Not News, But Still Cool

Getting a Mac IIsi online in 2018 wasn't as difficult I thought

Over at Arstechnica, Chris Wilkinson picked up a lovely Mac IIsi with a fabled Portrait Display and decided to use it to write an article about what it's like to use a computer from 1990 to write an article today. Chris managed to get this 20Mhz 68030 CPU beast running System 7.5.5 online, used Word 5.1 to do his thing and even surfed the web very slowly with Netscape Navigator 3.04. I felt a wave of nostalgia flow over me when I saw the screenshot of him joining an IRC channel. I miss System 7 so much, it reminds me of my youth (sadly?).

Don't forget your cryptocurrency this tax season

It's a new financial year and that means paying your taxes. Those of you who splurged on some Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies will be interested in this Coinjar blog post on things to keep in mind in regards to Australian taxation law and cryptocurrencies. The ATO considers cryptocurrencies as an asset - that means if you purchased your leet coinz as an investment (i.e: you bought some, sat on them and sold them for cash), you need to pay capital gains tax. I don't want any Sizzle subscribers getting in trouble with the taxation department!

Cheap PC games, YNAB, Mi Box 3, 1TB SSD, 128GB MicroSD card & Amazon Echo Spot

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Powderfinger - Waiting For The Sun