Issue 680

Monday, 16th July 2018

In This Issue


My Health Record 3-month opt-out period has begun

Today is the start of My Health Record's (MHR) 3-month opt-out period. If you haven't been following, MHR is the federal government's giant database of everyone in Australia's medical records. Your GP, specialists and other health professionals have access to this database and it's mandatory for everyone in Australia to have a record in it. Just on the system's veneer there's huge warning signs. Australian Government + IT + sensitive medical info = impending disaster. There's so many other things wrong with it and potential for Bad Things that The Guardian outlines in this article. If you'd like to know more about MHR, the ABC has a solid article answering people's commonly asked questions. If you're deciding whether to opt-out or not, Ben Grubb gives a convincing argument for opting-out of this time bomb.

Elon Musk called a cave rescue diver a pedo after his useless rescue pod was mocked

Elon Musk has gone deeper into oblivious rich fuckwit territory, calling one of the rescue divers that helped get those kids out of the Thai cave a "pedo". British diver Vern Unsworth was interviewed by CNN, who asked him what he thought of Musk's rescue pod thing. Vern said that Musk could "stick the submarine where it hurts" and that it "had absolutely no chance of working". Musk then lashed out on Twitter, saying that he never saw Vern at the cave, that a Brit living in Thailand is suspicious and ended the rant with "sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it". Zeynep Tufekci has a great opinion piece in the NYT explaining why Elon is a prime example of Silicon Valley douchebaggery.

12 state-sponsored Russian hackers indicted in Mueller's investigation

Robert Mueller's long running investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election indicted 12 Russian hackers over the weekend. The indictment backs up what US law enforcement has been saying for years now - computer networks of the "Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton" were hacked by the GRU (aka Russia's CIA), along with "state boards of elections and private companies providing election software". The GRU then created fake identities to leak this information out via the Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks names, as well as Wikileaks. The indictment is quite easy to read and not that long (29-pages) if you're interested in knowing more without the media spin. Unless Mueller is covering up a deeper conspiracy... *x-files music*

PC sales are increasing??

Gartner's latest industry survey of worldwide PC shipments (i.e: desktops and laptops) for 2Q18 shows a modest 1.4% boost overall - the first time in 6 years that the industry wide figure has been a positive number. According to Gartner, this mild growth comes from "demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment" - businesses are still giving employees laptops to do their work, but home users generally aren't bothering with a PC and using tablets or smartphones instead. I guess all the PCs that were purchased when Windows 7 was a thing are now being replaced and getting Windows 10 or Chromebooks instead?

A proper version of Photoshop for iPad coming in early 2019

Adobe has announced that a full version of Photoshop is coming to the iPad. It'll be unveiled at Adobe MAX in October and if everything goes smoothly, it'll be up on the App Store in early 2019. Adobe reckons that more and more of its customers want to be able to do the same stuff on their iPad as they do on their desktops - so that's what Adobe is doing. It's also probably not a coincidence that this "rumour" was dropped a few days after Affinity Designer (big Adobe Illustrator competitor) was released for iPad.

Not News, But Still Cool

Blackmagic has a Radeon Pro 580 eGPU for ya

Blackmagic has announced an external GPU that hooks up to a Mac via Thunderbolt 3. Inside is a Radeon Pro 580, HDMI 2.0 output and a 4-port USB 3.1 hub. It's literally a plug and play solution for those wanting to add a bit more graphics power to their MacBook Pro and was designed in co-operation with Apple. Previously you had to buy your own graphics card, make sure it was on the list of compatible cards, buy a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure for it, make sure that's also on the compatibility list and ensure it's got enough power & cooling for the card you chose. Blackmagic's eGPU is a bit pricey at $1,149, but if you're the type of person that hates dicking around with hardware configs, this is the eGPU for you.

The Xiaomi selfie stick tripod is very good

Ausdroid has a review of the nifty Xiaomi Selfie Stick Tripod. Like the name implies, it's not only a selfie stick, but also a very handy tripod with a removable Bluetooth remote. This makes it perfect for use at night to get long exposure pics on your smartphone. By using the remote to trigger the shutter, you avoid motion blur from the small shake when you touch the phone's screen. The tripod folds down to around 20cm and doesn't weigh much, so it's great for travelling with. Here's a video of the unit in action. I used one while I was overseas and found it extremely useful and wouldn't go on holiday without it now.

Far too much cheap stuff to detail in a single headline

CompNow's eBay store is selling a range of brand new Apple keyboard & mice combos that are taken from iMacs and sold separately for a discount (use the code PENNY5 to get 5% off): eBay's 25% off sale is still going, here's some more good stuff you might want to buy. Use the code PROXY: It's Amazon Prime Day today, so if you're an Amazon Prime member, check out Ozbargain's special Prime Day page that lists all the offers available. Decent pricing on a Kindle or Echo. PS4 Pro for $379 is alright too.

Database Administrator @ The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (MEL)

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That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Sia - You've Changed