Starting December 17th, Tumblr will be a porn free zone. I don't know if you've ever visited Tumblr in the last few years, but porn is pretty much what was keeping that joint alive. Why is Tumblr suddenly getting rid of the thing that makes people use their service? Apple. A few weeks ago Apple got rid of Tumblr's app from the iOS App Store due to Tumblr's inability to properly censor child porn. Tumblr decided it's better to remove all the adult related content from their service than to not have an iOS app, so here we are. Tumblr was a nice little area of the internet for everyone to safely indulge in their kinks, but because Apple are a bunch of uptight pricks, that's all gone. Thanks Apple.
SpaceX successfully launched 64 satellites simultaneously today. Off a rocket that's been used twice before. That landed on a barge, ready to be used again. From their third launch site. This launch also marked the 19th launch for SpaceX in 2018 - that's almost one rocket launch a fortnight from a single company. SpaceX is absolutely smashing their KPIs to make the dream of commoditising rocket launches a reality. It's become relatively routine and ordinary - which is amazing and will lead to so many space related businesses because one of the most expensive parts of using a satellite (putting it into space) is now a small portion of the cost.
Thanks to a $910,000 grant from the federal government, University of Technology Sydney, the Northern Beaches Council and Lake Macquarie City Council are going to start installing sensors at various beaches to collect data on "beach conditions, the number of people using public facilities and the quality of services". Apps and websites will be developed to people can see the data and go "oh yeah, the beach is packed, might stay at home" or "surf's up, time to ditch work and head on down to the beach". I really like the idea of knowing how busy a beach or park is, so I can go when there's less people around - sometimes this smart stuff isn't so bad.
For those of us who survived the Browser Wars of the late 90s and people who make a living creating websites, I have some interesting rumourmonging: Microsoft's apparently given up on Edge (aka Internet Explorer 2 Electric Boogaloo) and will replace it as the default browser in Windows. This new as yet unnamed browser, will drop EdgeHTML and replace it with Chromium - the open source engine developed primarily by Google. Microsoft's struggle with trying to get people to use Edge is well known, so it's not surprising they've given up and will just reheat whatever Google's doing and stick some Microsoft branding on it. Bit of a shame as Edge was always more kind to a laptop's battery than Chrome or Firefox.
Quora, that website that appears in so many Google search results and annoyingly forces you to sign up to view the content, has been comprehensively hacked with over 100 million users exposed. "Compromised information includes cryptographically protected passwords, full names, email addresses, data imported from linked networks, and a variety of non-public content and actions, including direct messages, answer requests and downvotes. The breached data also included public content and actions, such as questions, answers, comments, and upvotes". Looks like the entire database was stolen. Hope those passwords were properly hashed and salted. This kinda thing happens so often, I wasn't even sure if I was gonna put it in today's issue.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has released a new version of their Information Security Manual. This document outlines how computers handling government data must be configured to avoid getting hacked. One of the new additions is that workstations must - not optionally, or best practice - must block ads. Yep, the government is mandating itself to install adblockers on their computers because the risk of some nasty shit being delivered via an ad is pretty high. I will take this opportunity to remind you about UBlock Origin and Pi-Hole.
It's pretty obvious to most tech people that the blockhain is hype driven by snake oil merchants looking for a quick buck, but someone's taken the time looked at 43 blockchain related projects and found that all of them are duds. They saw a lot of claims like "operational costs reduced 90%" and "accurate and secure data capture and storage", but no documentation or evidence that the blockchain was responsible for that. They didn't even get any love from the blockchain developers when asked to share data or evidence - probably because even they know it's a ponzi scheme. At this point, even if you had a good blockchain application, would anyone take it seriously?
That's it, see ya tomorrow!