Soooo much Tesla news out and about today as part of their Q2 2018 financial statement. As expected, Tesla lost money again (US$742m), but revenue was up slightly (US$4b). Elon said they don't need to go raising funds any time soon and is "highly confident of being cash-flow positive and net profitable in Q3 and Q4" - which makes sense as every Model 3 they can get out the door is sold immediately. The billion dollar question however, is can Tesla make enough of them before they run out of money? Other interesting stuff Elon dropped during the conference call:
Someone managed to hack into a few Reddit servers and snag a copy of an old database backup from 2007 plus a bunch of email addresses from users that were signed up to received email digests. It doesn't seem that severe as far as data breaches go, but what was interesting is the fact the logins to these servers were protected by SMS based two factor authentication. The attacker managed to intercept the messages sent to the account owners, so was able to get the PIN and log in to the servers. This is actually quite common and known as a "SIM swap" or "mobile number port out scam", where someone pretends to be the owner of a SIM, says they lost their SIM or ports the number from one telco to another. It's shockingly easy and a prime example of why SMS based 2FA is no longer recommended as secure.
Brett Roberts, a former IT manager has been sentenced to 17 months jail for an "eight-year invoicing scam he ran whilst working at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and the University of Newcastle between 2005 and 2013". Old mate scored over $110,000 by getting mates to send him fake invoices for work that was never done. He would get the invoices paid by his employer, then split the cash between himself and whoever sent the invoices. Brett has appealed the decision and "will face court again in September, but will serve a non-parole period of 12 months for deceiving ICAC". This bloke is an amateur. The proper way to fraud an institution is to pocket the cash, do a half arsed job, then ask for more money later. Get it right mate, jesus.
Apple has announced it will kill the affiliate program for apps on the iOS and Mac app stores. Apple dropped the commission from 7% to 2.5% last year and as of October 1st, that commission will be 0%. Music, movies, and the rest of the stuff Apple sells still has an affiliate program. Apple reckons the affiliate program is no longer required now that the App Store has editorial and stuff, but it's such a narrow point of view. By ending the affiliate program, they're also snuffing out alternative voices from recommending apps as making money off it now is practically impossible. TouchArcade is taking it pretty hard, as the affiliate program was their main source of revenue.
Not content with gaining the power to block pirated websites in Australia, Village Roadshow is now going after illegally uploaded subtitles. Together with TVBO Productions, Television Broadcasts (TVB), and Madman Entertainment, Village mentioned its grievances regarding fansubs in front of Justice Nicholas in the Federal Court, but the judge wasn't really buying it. He said that he needs to "look at it closely" and wants to know what harm is being done to the copyright owners to have subtitles that someone else made, up on the internet. It's not like the subtitles are copyrighted, someone did the translation and uploaded it - they didn't steal the translation and upload it.
The Uncommon podcast has had many interesting guests over its 70 plus episodes, featuring skilled individuals who have accomplished things like governing states and countries, growing million dollar businesses or who have large social media followings due to their valuable insights. They also had me on a few weeks ago where I talked about why I like footy so much, my formative years with computers, how I went from being a sys admin to a tech writer, why marketing is so important for anyone wanting run a business and what I reckon will be important trends in the tech industry in the near future. I haven't listened back to much of it as the sound of my own voice makes me feel sick, but maybe you'll be able to tolerate my blabbering and find this episode of the Uncommon podcast interesting.
Did you know that you can rent a Tesla Model S in Sydney with Thrifty? There's only one at Sydney Airport, so availability will be poor but it's there and you can hire it! To get your arse in the seat of the Model S 75, you need to use a specific promo code (it's in the article). The Model S is surprisingly affordable. I mean, it's still $220 a day and a $1100 deposit chucked on your card, but as far as Model S renting goes, it's by far the cheapest for an entire day. I'm totally gonna try rent it next time I'm up in Sydney. Might drive down to Wollongong as I've never been there before.
That's it, see ya tomorrow!