Issue 676

Tuesday, 10th July 2018

In This Issue


The Microsoft Surface Go is the latest addition to the Surface range

Microsoft's announced the Surface Go. It's basically the Surface Pro you know and love, but with a 10" 1800x1200, 3:2 aspect ratio display. It's got an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU inside that in terms of performance, is around the same as the entry level MacBook. It should just about keep up with web browsing and office-style work, but not much more than that. Other interesting things about the Go: you can charge it over USB-C, there's an LTE modem option, Windows Hello login and when paired with the keyboard case will weigh around 800g (521g for the Surface, plus ~300g for the case). Pricing starts at AU$599, but who knows what it'll cost once you spec the unit up to have the keyboard, a pen, 8GB of RAM and a proper SSD instead of the junk eMMC. We will find out more tomorrow, as that's when you can pre-order one. Microsoft has a detailed video going over the highlights of the Surface Go.

Timehop got hacked, exposing millions of emails and phone numbers ripe for SIM hijacking

Popular nostalgia service Timehop got hacked and as a result, 21 million email addresses and names were stolen. 4.7 million of those accounts also had their phone numbers attached. This is particularly bad as it can lead to "SIM hijacking", which is used to gain access to services that would otherwise be safely protected by two-factor authentication. The article I linked to mentions that it's a good idea to contact your telco and place a PIN on your account that has to be provided in order to allow a change to your account - can you do that here in Australia? I've ported to/from all 3 telcos in the past and all they wanted was my date of birth for pre-paid accounts. Would be good if there was a way to place a "if someone tries to do something to my account, call me first" lock on your account.

Government wants to replace the TIO with something that has more authority over telcos

The government's put out a consultation paper exploring a huge overhaul of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) - aka the people you whinge to when your phone or internet isn't working and the telco is being a prick about it. Just going by the stats, the TIO is struggling to do a good job handling the 158,000+ complaints it gets a year. The communications minister wants to replace the TIO with a new regulatory body that sits within ACMA and has the power to "to compel providers to take remedial actions, which could include financial compensation and/or the ability to issue fines" - I like the sound of that! If you wanna know more about what the government is thinking, here's a link to the consultation paper.

YouTube takes another stab at averting people's eyes from conspiracy vids

YouTube has provided more details on how it plans to make the content on YouTube less like Loose Change and more like CNN or the New York Times. It'll give out $25m in grants to help YouTubers get a bit more pro by teaching them how to improve video quality and offer support services like audience development and technical integrations. YouTube will also begin tweaking their apps & website to feature more legit outlets when there's breaking news and include references from Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica "alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing"

The UK's 46-point plan to reach zero emissions transport by 2040

Despite the UK government going crazy over Brexit today, it managed to release a 46-point plan to transition the country's transportation sector to zero carbon emissions by 2040. Some of those points include more grants for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) at least until 2020, 25% of the government fleet to be ULEVs by 2022, investing "£246 million to research next generation battery technology", a "£400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund", making new homes and street lighting include EV chargers, and "£48m ultra low emission bus scheme funding round". The UK is so far ahead of Australia! We've got ready made policy with evidence on its effectiveness, yet we're doing sweet fuck all to decarbonise the transport sector while we choke on the pollution.

Not News, But Still Cool

Tedium is a great long-form weekly email newsletter with regular tech stories in it

Despite publishing an email newsletter, I don't really subscribe to many others. One of the few that I look forward to is Tedium. It comes out twice a week and is pretty much a blog post about some weird topic, but in an email. 10 years ago this guy would have had a killer blog, but nobody subscribes to blogs now, so email it is. Often the topic is about something tech related, like this one about the how the railroad industry invented the barcode, the rise and fall of 3Dfx (this one's really good), the history of shareware, explaining GPS and its military roots and loads, loads more.

Shortcuts in iOS 12 looks really cool

Apple released a beta version of the Shortcut app that'll be released alongside iOS 12 soon (but will also work on iOS 11). Shortcuts is the fruit of Apple's purchase of Workflow back in 2017 and the good news is that Apple kept it looking pretty similar. There's a range of app triggers (lots of built-in iOS ones, but 3rd party apps can add their own triggers too) and then stuff you can do with those triggers. It reminds me heaps of the wonderful If This Then That. The killer feature of Shortcuts is the ability to give each shortcut an Siri trigger. MacRumors has a video showing how it all works.

Cheap Skype & iTunes gift cards, Nokia 3310, Nintendo Switch

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

The White Stripes - I'm Slowly Turning Into You