Issue 773

Tuesday, 27th November 2018

In This Issue


Federal government pushing hard to rush Assistance and Access Bill scrutiny

A four hour secret presentation from ASIO, AFP, Victoria Police and the Department of Home Affairs was given yesterday to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) that's currently assessing the extremely controversial Assistance and Access Bill. It's unknown what was said exactly, but these agencies apparently went hard on convincing the committee that it's urgent to get this bill passed due to all the bad things happening they can't stop because of encryption. Dutton & Morrison are really pulling out the big guns to try get this bill passed aye? It's so obvious they're trying to get this done before they're turfed out of Parliament. What a shithouse legacy to want to leave behind.

Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill sails through scrutiny process untouched

Meanwhile, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill (aka, the site blocking bill) has sailed through its Senate committee inquiry with little scrutiny. The committee came to the conclusion that because most of the feedback on the bill supported the bill, it should go through. But 16 out of the 26 feedback items submitted came from the media industry (i.e: the ones who have been lobbying for this law). The ALP seems missing in action here, so chances are they support it too and the ability for media companies to ask Google to delete search results it doesn't like will be a thing sooner rather than later.

NASA's InSight lands on Mars

There's a new robot on Mars! NASA's InSight successfully landed on the Mars surface this morning and is already sending back pictures. According to Wikipedia, InSight will "deploy a seismometer and burrow a heat probe. It will also perform a series of radio science experiments to complement the studies of the internal structure and rotation of Mars". I didn't realise that there's relatively few Mars landers - only 8 (including InSight) have made it to Mars successfully. To add to the cool factor, InSight was joined by two cubesats, MarCO-A and MarCO-B, that are orbiting Mars and relaying data from InSight back to Earth. And just because it's Mars related and I haven't mentioned it yet - Elon Musk wants to not only send others to Mars on a SpaceX rocket, but he wants to go there himself even though there's a good chance he will die doing so.

Javascript npm module taken over by hackers to steal crypto

Javascript coders will be familiar with npm, a package manager that imports bits of code you can use in your own apps. One such bit of code was called event-stream, created by a lone developer years ago and is incredibly popular. The creator of event-stream never wanted to spend their entire lives maintaining it, so he gave it away to someone else to worry about and move on. Unfortunately the new owner stuffed it with malicious code that targeted certain cryptocurrency wallet providers so when they used event-stream the development of their apps, the contents of user's wallets would go to this new maintainer of event-stream. The original creator's comments post-hack, highlights the thankless world of maintaining open source software.

Hyundai releases full info for AU Ioniq launch & Rivan demos cool EV pickup truck

Two bits of EV news for you today. Hyundai has finally released pricing & specs for the Australian Ioniq release. Mid-December and the battery electric will start at $44,990 + on-road costs. I've placed a deposit on one already and can't wait to get rid of my petrol contraption. For those who want/need a beefy car to haul crap around like a caravan or trailer, you might be interested in the Rivan R1T announced at the LA Auto Show overnight. Will get around 600km range with the biggest battery and can tow 5,000kg. Pricing isn't cheap, starting at US$61,500 and will go on sale in the US late 2020 (so probably 2023 in Australia, if ever). Good luck Rivan, please don't end up like a Faraday Future.

Not News, But Still Cool

More apps scamming Google ads and Google not caring

Another day, another story about how there's heaps of Android apps out there, totaling over 2 billion downloads, stuffed full of fraudulent ads ripping off advertisers and Google doesn't seem to care. Kochava, an app analytics firm, has detected a huge rort by a Chinese app developer called Cheetah (who are listed on the NYSE!) who use click injection and click flooding to claim credit for a user installing an app a developer has paid Google to advertise. Google has been told about it, but the apps remain on the Play Store. The article argues that Google turns a blind eye to it all as it gets its slice of the ad payment, as well as Cheetah. Taking action against Cheetah would also reduce the available inventory on offer to advertisers, an important stat Google uses to entice developers to advertise. What a grubby industry.

Kayo Sports out of beta, get around it

Kayo Sports has officially launched now and has all the sweet iOS, Apple TV and Android apps ready to go. I'm a subscriber and love that I no longer need to give Foxtel $65/m for their sports package, but can just pay $25/m and get the same thing. Absolutely brilliant for sports fans as you get a wide range of content - literally everything Foxtel has. I can't wait to use it when the AFL season starts as it's so much better quality than the pissweak Telstra mobile app and its postage stamp sized stream. The Sizzle has a Kayo affiliate link, but it's pretty crap in terms of revenue earning for me and you get no bonus for using it like a free month or anything, so I'll just mention it once here for some pocket money.

Cheap Nintendo Switch, DJI Tello drone, Emby lifetime, PS4 Pro, 2018 Kindle, TB3 eGPU enclosure, GoPro Hero 7

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Monotonix - Body Language