Issue 732

Wednesday, 26th September 2018

In This Issue


Qualcomm has new evidence Apple tried to rip them off

As part of Qualcomm gathering evidence in its lawsuit against Apple for infringing on Qualcomm's intellectual property, Qualcomm reckons it's found a smoking gun to back up its claims - emails between Apple and Intel engineers, as well as "source code development history and the code used in Intel-based phones" that prove "Apple engineers repeatedly provided source code and other confidential information to Intel engineers so they could improve the performance of Intel's chips". This is particularly interesting as the latest iPhones exclusively use Intel's modems, which are looking not so good versus the previous Qualcomm equipped models, lending credibility to the theory that Apple helped Intel get their modem up to scratch by illegally dispensing knowledge from their decade-long use of Qualcomm products, so that they could wean themselves off the Qualcomm teat.

People are upset with Chrome automatically logging users into Google services

Google has been copping shit for changes in the latest version of Chrome that meant "every time you log into a Google property (for example, Gmail), Chrome will automatically sign the browser into your Google account for you". I don't know why you'd use Chrome without logging in to Google stuff, but whatever, it's rightly pissing people off. Today, Google acknowledged the simmering outrage and is making it more obvious when this auto-login happens (but they aren't changing the default behaviour). Google is an ad company who built an empire by harvesting user data! This is Google's modus operandi. An engineer working on Microsoft's Edge browser adds a lot of context to this issue.

Surprise, surprise, almost half of AU govt agencies suck at cybersecurity

Only 60% of 93 audited Australian government agencies are fully compliant with Australian Signals Directorate's mandatory information security controls. To make matters worse, the INFOSEC4 requirement ("document and implement operational procedures and measures to ensure information, ICT systems and network tasks are managed securely and consistently") is still the one agencies are struggling with. The Attorney-General's Department said that compliance with the ASD's mandatory controls has only increased 1.1% since the 2015-2016 report. Apparently a lack of money and in-house expertise are why 40% of our government is vulnerable to getting hacked. Reading between the lines, this business as usual IT stuff isn't sexy enough to splash the cash on and nobody in-house knows how to do it, making the task even more costly when outside contractors are called in.

NZ to introduce further electric car incentives while Australia does nothing

Unlike Australia, New Zealand is ashamed of their lack of progress on reducing carbon emissions and is planning to introduce a range of extra electric car adoption measures as a way to reduce the amount of shit they spew into the atmosphere. One of those incentives is that "high emission vehicles would incur a fee, while lower emission vehicles would receive a rebate". This is on top of existing incentives like EVs not getting charge for road usage until 2020. In the US & UK it's common for EV owners to get $10,000+ government grants & tax rebates for purchasing an EV, plus government grants for charging infrastructure at home or in the workplace. I can't see the current Australian government ever doing anything similar considering their stance on carbon emissions (it's no big deal, get over it greenies).

Small news items

Not News, But Still Cool

Girls achieve the same results as boys in STEM subjects

Men in the tech industry love to argue that computing jobs are male dominated because men's brains are just better at the type of skills required to be good at that job. Sure, some women are outliers and do well, but on a whole, women don't work in IT because their soft squishy brains are no good at it. A recent study of 1.6m students has shown that that boys and girls perform about the same in STEM subjects and girls do better than boys in non-STEM subjects. So the bullshit argument that a woman's brain isn't cut out to work in the tough and demanding (lol) field of IT is absolute horseshit and the reason there aren't more women in IT is social conditioning and the generally terrible way the IT industry operates to exclude them.

Extended validation certificates are a waste of money in 2018

Let's Encrypt has virtually demolished the industry for SSL certificates, so companies who used to make a healthy income stream selling them are now trying to flog "extended validation certificates" instead. EV certs cost more than a basic cert and are usually purchased by anyone who wants their company name to show up in a browser's address bar, instead of just a green padlock. An EV cert is supposed to give the impression that the site is extra-legit as there's a deeper vetting process to get one. Troy Hunt reckons due to changes with how browsers display whether a site has an SSL cert or not has turned EV certs from barely useful and expensive, to totally useless and a waste of money - and I agree with him. Sure, if your boss wants to splash some cash on one, let em, but I wouldn't go around recommending it or buying the vendor snake oil that without one you're screwed.

Cheap Jabra Elite Active earbuds, Telstra plans via JB, RX580 GPU & 10% flashback at Amazon & Lenovo

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Blur - M.O.R.