Issue 673

Thursday, 5th July 2018

In This Issue


Fed gov & IBM sign a $1b deal to supply government wide IT services

The federal government announced a whole-of-government service agreement worth $1 billion with IBM, for "software solutions and IT support, cloud services, and the building and maintenance of IT systems" plus some "joint innovation programs in quantum computing, information security, and research". The government reckons this will save them around $100m/year over 5 years. IBM doing this stuff for the government isn't particularly unusual, however, they really have sucked lately. Remember the Census stuff-up? That was an IBM gig. Queensland's health department saga? Classic IBM. How shit do you have to be in order to not be considered by the government for an IT contract?

NBN still missing the pissweak rollout targets it set for itself

NBN has severely missed its "Ready to Connect" target for FY17/18, meaning it'll be even harder for NBN to meet its "network complete by 2020" target. They aimed for 8.7m premises to be in a state fit enough for a customer to have a working connection, but they only achieved 6.9m, only 47% of the target. It also missed out on its activated premises target, with a huge increase in "premises not orderable" (usually meaning someone has to come back and fix something). This also leads to a shortfall in the all important Average Revenue Per User - NBN needs $52 per user to achieve its financial goals by 2020, but is still lagging behind at around $44 ARPU. So much for the shittier tech at least being installed sooner and cheaper, hey?

European Wikipedia sites go dark to protest crappy EU copyright laws

The Spanish and Italian language versions of Wikipedia have gone dark in a protest against the European Parliament's final vote on the controversial EU Copyright Directive. The main beef Wikipedia has with the law is Article 13 and Aritcle 11. Article 13 states that websites needs to apply filtering software to any function that allows users to upload content. Wikipedia has loads of user submitted content and having to apply a filter would be a serious pain in the arse for little gain. Article 11 is a "link tax" that will mean anyone displaying a snippet of text with a link to a news article (e.g: link previews on Twitter & Facebook), would need a licence from the owner of the content. Some bonkers stuff there from the EU.

Kim Dotcom loses extradition appeal again, has maybe one more chance at staying in NZ

Old mate Kim Dotcom has once again failed in his bid to appeal extradition to the USA. The USA claims Dotcom and his cronies are a "worldwide criminal organisation that led to an estimated loss to copyright holders of more than US$500 million" and that means they should face the music on US soil. The NZ government is pretty much like, "whatever, take him, we don't give a shit", but Kim has appealed the original District Court finding, then a High Court finding and now will be appealing this Court of Appeal finding in the Supreme Court. Probably delaying the inevitable, but if I was him I'd be doing the exact same thing. The NZ Law Society has a good article outlining the court cases Kim's been part of so far.

Scammers impersonating myGov and people are believing it

Scammers are pretending to be Medicare and myGov asking chumps to update the bank account details of where their Medicare rebates are sent. Click the link the email (which is semi-convincing to be honest) and you're taken to (not, which is a pretty solid clone of the legit site if you aren't exactly savvy. The fake site then asks you to enter your bank details as well as your internet banking username and password. I think you know what happens next. I'd assume most people would raise eyebrows at the government asking for their internet banking credentials, but we all know someone dumb enough to hand them over and there's more than enough of that type of person in Australia for the scammer to make a few bucks.

Not News, But Still Cool

Stories of people nicking SIM cards from traffic lights, smart meters and birds

A Polish environmental research charity slapped GPS trackers on a bunch of storks to see where they go during the winter. Inside those GPS trackers are SIM cards with roaming turned on to send small bits of location data back to Poland. A dude in Sudan took the SIM out of the tracker on the stork's back and put it in his phone, racking up a phone bill of over $3,500 that the charity is on the hook for! A similar thing happened in Australia, where a woman took the SIM out of a smart meter, went nuts downloading shit over 3G and faced criminal punishment for doing so. Also in South Africa, where SIMs were taken out of traffic lights and used to make calls.

Getting more women to work in IT isn't difficult, just needs a chance of attitude from employers

Canva has published a very interesting report about its and a few other Australian tech companies attempts to get more women in their workforce. The first problem is the pipeline of women graduating from IT courses. Girls at school are great with the skills required to work in IT, but as they get older the masculine stereotypes and environments of IT work pops up and many stop wanting to continue their IT activities. The women that fight past that are then turned off by the way IT job ads are written, with very male-centric wording, leading them to believe they won't fit in at that company. Even if they get a job in IT, the stereotypes end up being true and they have to contend with a solid boy's club in many IT joints and a lack of work life balance that takes into consideration parenting and other carer tasks that mostly fall onto women. The article is a real eye-opener to any blokes that don't realise what it's like for women with an interest in IT to work in the field they enjoy.

Cheap Xbox One X, 8TB HDDs, Destiny 2, board games, Steam Controller, Logitech remote, Samsung 970 EVO SSDs & Uber gift cards

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Green Day - Geek Stink Breath