Issue 714

Friday, 31st August 2018

In This Issue


Apple event confirmed for Sept 13 plus new iPhone & Apple Watch leaks

Apple's announced an event for September 13th @ 3AM (AEST), where normally we'd guess that there's new iPhone and maybe some extra stuff, but 9to5 Mac found pics on Apple's website or a test video stream (not quite sure) that contain new products. The photos show that there will be a 5.8" and 6.5" iPhone XS that comes in gold, a new Apple Watch with an edge-to-edge screen for 15% more display and fancy complication that could be exclusive to the new watch only. That's literally all we know about the devices because all 9to5 Mac found were some pics, no specs or prices. I can't wait to see how expensive these things are, complain about it, then buy a new iPhone XS and Apple Watch anyways because I have no self-control.

NBN gets more money (again) from the government to finish off network

NBN's corporate plan for 2019-2022 is now available and it outlines how the NBN plans to complete the rollout by 2022. It's gonna cost $2b more than they thought, bringing the total cost of this piece of shit to $51b. Delays with NBN's HFC network cost it $900m on top of what it planned to spend. $200m of that was upgrading the network and $700m of it was due to the sales freeze that lost it revenue it would have otherwise made if ISPs could sell HFC between December and April. The rest of that $1b will be spent upgrading the beleaguered fixed wireless network. The corporate plan also outlines upgrade paths to 10Gbps for FTTP, FTTC and FTTN - clearly fattening up the pig for sale in 2023.

Five Eyes countries remind tech companies that they want backdoors, or else

Top government officials from Five Eyes countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US) got together on the Gold Coast this week and laid down the law to tech companies that won't give them backdoor access to secure communications platforms. In the "Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption" the governments expressed their desire for providers to "create customized solutions, tailored to their individual system architectures that are capable of meeting lawful access requirements" and if governments "continue to encounter impediments to lawful access to information necessary to aid the protection of the citizens of our countries" they may "pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions". Just another reiteration that law enforcement around the world is sick of crims using encrypted comms and because they have no way around it, need to brute force tech companies into ratting out their users.

Details of Google and Mastercard's data sharing deal stink, but shouldn't shock anyone

Google and Mastercard have a deal where Mastercard will share the purchases of US customers with Google, so Google can link your purchases with advertising interactions. "It starts with a customer who's logged into a Google account on the web clicking a Google ad. That person browses a certain item, but doesn’t purchase it. Later on, if they use their MasterCard to buy that item in a physical store within 30 days, Google will send the advertiser a report about that product and the effectiveness of its ads, with a section for "offline revenue" listing the retail sales". This sorta thing has been the bread and butter of financial institutions for years, it's just that when it's hooked up with Google, it's even more gross than usual. Combine it with the location data Google gleans from its apps on your phone, it's amazing how much time and effort has been devoted to such a boring thing like advertising.

Cool stuff from day 2 of IFA Berlin

More gadgets announced at IFA Berlin:

Not News, But Still Cool

RIP Pocket Weather, you will be missed

Shifty Jelly has decided to discontinue development of Pocket Weather and is yanking the app from the App Store and Google Play. It's been a permanent fixture on my home screens for 10 years, so it really sucks to see it go. The Shifty Jelly crew is busy with fancy podcasting stuff and this little weather app is no longer worth the effort. They even tried shopping it around to other developers, but nobody wanted the burden of its upkeep. I would have been happy to pay $1/m via an in-app purchase to keep Pocket Weather going, but I assume for Shifty Jelly it's not just about the money, but their priorities as a small team. There's a rumour going around that Bjango might be up to something though...

The cheap HP 8300 Elite SFF PC is a great Hackintosh platform

If you just want a cheap as chips Mac for some basic task that can only be done on a Mac, don't go spending heaps of cash on a brand new one, or scrounge around for a 2nd hand unit (that's probably still overpriced). Get a HP 8300 Elite SFF PC and Hackintosh it. These ~$200 i5 quad core boxes can be found all over eBay and Gumtree as corporate ex-lease devices and are really compatible with Hackintosh, running High Sierra pretty damn well. Chuck in an SSD and baby, you got a stew going. TonyMacx86 has two thorough guides on how to do it. Of course, the usual Hackintosh stuff applies - updates break things and something you least expect may not work when you really want it to, so buyer beware.

Cheap Google Home Max, Switch games, DJI Spark drone, PC hardware, Samsung USB 3.0 flash drives, external HDDs, 10% Amazon AU cashback

That's it, see ya Monday!

The Chemical Brothers - Go