Issue 753

Friday, 26th October 2018

In This Issue


Andy Rubin joins the Silicon Valley sex pest club & Google covered it up

You know Andy Rubin? Mr. Android? One of Google's key executives? Add him to the list of Silicon Valley sex pests. The New York Times has solid info that he often "berated subordinates as stupid or incompetent", that "security staff found bondage sex videos on Mr. Rubin's work computer", "dated other women at the company while married" (his wife also worked at Google) and when one of the women he was having an affair with wanted to end it, he "pressured her into oral sex". And Google, the shitbirds, gave him $90m and $2m/yr for 4 years instead of sacking him and telling him to piss off of being a creep. Other top level execs were similarly pathetic sacks of dirt and also made to "resign" quietly with giant payouts, while the victims of their bullshit got nothing. Google's actions here remind me of the Catholic Church.

It's now legal in the US to reverse engineer DRM to fix broken electronics

Motherboard reports that the US federal government "has ruled that consumers and repair professionals have the right to legally hack the firmware of "lawfully acquired" devices for the "maintenance" and "repair" of that device. Previously, it was legal to hack tractor firmware for the purposes of repair; it is now legal to hack many consumer electronics". It's still a world away from manufacturers not doing this sort of software locking in the first place, but at least now people won't get in trouble for reverse engineering the locks just so they can get their hardware going again. Good signs for the future though - maybe there will be legislation around making service manuals freely available and parts sold to anyone that wants them.

Google's forcing OEMs to release 2 years worth of Android updates & security fixes

Leaks have shown that Google recently updated their contract with Android device makers so they "must provide "at least four security updates" within one year of the phone's launch. Security updates are mandated within the second year as well, though without a specified minimum number of releases". "The terms cover any device launched after January 31st, 2018 that's been activated by more than 100,000 users. Starting July 31st, the patching requirements were applied to 75% of a manufacturer's "security mandatory models."" Starting on January 31st, 2019, Google will require that all security mandatory devices receive these updates". Halle-fucken-lujah, 2 years of security updates is the least an OEM can do - it should be 3 years I reckon, but hey, I'll take this.

Q3 2018 results for Amazon, Alphabet, Intel, AMD & Microsoft (spoiler, they're all fucken loaded, except AMD)

It's Q3 2018 financial report season in the USA, so all our favourite tech companies are telling investors how much money they've made or lost. Here's some I found interesting:

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out and ready to waste a month of your precious free time on

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on sale today and so are reviews of one of the most anticipated games of the year. It's received a score of 97 out of 100 on Metacritic, from 76 reviews already - universal praise for GTA with horses. Kotaku has a video with "six amazing details in Red Dead Redemption 2" - things like game character's beards growing in real time, the ability to interact with almost every person or animal in the game and just the overall realistic dialogue and scenery. I'm sad the video didn't mention the horse testicles that "adjust" to weather conditions. Another thing I like about RDR2 is a tablet app that lets you use an iPad or whatever as an in-game map, very cool. If you want to enjoy horse balls the way Rockstar intended, the best console to play it on is the Xbox One X with a 4K HDR TV.

Not News, But Still Cool

Control your $150,000 Tesla from your $7,500 Mac

Valet for Tesla is a Mac app that lets you control your Tesla from anywhere in the world. It sits in the menu bar, shows you were the car is, its charging status, set charge limits, unlock the car, honk the horn, open the frunk or flash the lights. To top it all off, you can even turn on the heating/AC remotely. These are all things you can do in the smartphone app, but having it on your Mac too? Love it. I think I'll hold on to my Model 3 pre-order just a little while longer. But I wish Michael Meloni didn't tweet this towards me as now I have that horrible consumer lust for an object I can't even buy in Australia, let alone afford, and I hate it. Cheers Michael, love your work.

Google's Night Sight app is goddamn amazing

Google's new Night Sight app for Pixel phones is absolutely fucking amazing. It literally takes clear, grain-free pictures in horribly lit or even dark areas. Check out The Verge's post full of examples on it. Go on, look at it! Noisy photos are clean as a whistle. Photos so dark that it looks like a black rectangle with no detail, look like they're taken in full sunlight. It's creepy magic level shit man. Night Sight is still beta software, but you can grab it now off XDA Developers, but soon enough it'll be included by default in the Pixel camera app. Finally, machine learning and artificial intelligence is good for something and this is maybe the first time I've been jealous of an Android phone.

Cheap Sony XM3 headphones, buy an Android thing & get a free Google Home Mini, 120GB WD SSD, Xbox One X RDR2 combo, PS4 controller, Xbox Live Gold, $500 off an iPhone XS, Fallout 76 pre-order

That's it, see ya Monday!

Eagles of Death Metal - Miss Alissa