Issue 795

Tuesday, 15th January 2019

In This Issue


US federal judge says its not okay to force someone to unlock their phone

Over in the land of the free and the home of the brave, a federal judge has said it's against the 4th and 5th parts of the US constitution to force someone to unlock their smartphone or computer. It makes a lot of sense - the 4th and 5th amendments are to do with unreasonable searches and self-incrimination, so by being compelled to unlock a phone, you're also opening yourself up to self-incrimination. Many other judges over in the US have said the same thing, but this is the highest court to lay down a ruling. By the way, Australia hasn't got any pesky amendments in our constitution, so it's a free-for-all in our little police state.

Mandatory open banking APIs delayed until 2020

Are you familiar with the concept of Open Banking? It's where a bank has an API exposing customer info that other companies can access and integrate into their applications. For example: you want to apply for a loan, so instead of asking for copies of your income or spending history, the lender can just pull stuff in from the API and it's all there for them to see (with your permission of course). The federal government wanted to make this mandatory for all deposit taking banks to enable in mid-2019 but on Christmas Eve they changed their mind and now it's set to become "open to the public no later than 1 February 2020". We are such a goddamn backwater sometimes.

Pwn a Tesla Model 3 hard enough and you can legally win it

Tesla is putting up a Model 3 to be used and abused by the hackers at an upcoming Pwn2Own contest in Vancouver. Whoever manages to hack it first gets to keep it! There's a vast range of areas for people to smuggle their digital probes into the Model 3, with the juiciest prize ($250,000) reserved for anyone who can get into the "Gateway, Autopilot, or VCSEC" parts of the car. If you manage to make your hack persistent between reboots of the vehicle, you get an extra US$50,000 and if you can somehow control the CAN Bus (basically god mode on any modern car), you'll get another US$100,000.

Dropkick who DDoS'd hospitals sentenced to 10 years in jail

You don't often see people launching DDoS attacks end up in jail, but just this week "34-year-old Martin Gottesfeld was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $443,000 in restitution for damages caused by a series of DDoS attacks he launched against several Boston-area hospitals in 2014". What kind of scumbag does a DDoS against a hospital? What does that achieve? Old mate got busted because "prosecutors reportedly linked him to a video he uploaded to Youtube about the attack campaign" and was caught by law enforcement when rescued by a cruise ship when his plan to flee to Cuba with his wife on a small boat met rough seas.

Apple testifies that Qualcomm refused to sell it the latest LTE chips since the "troubles"

Apple's COO Jeff Williams testified in court today that they wanted to use Qualcomm's chips in the latest iPhone XS but Qualcomm said no, so they used Intel's arguably sub-part chips for LTE access instead. According to Jeff, Qualcomm's been acting like jerks for a while, demanding high royalties for patents, but to not even sell Apple their flagship product is next-level sour grapes. This fight between Qualcomm and Apple will probably end up impacting the iPhone getting 5G. By this time next year, every Android OEM will have a 5G flagship model, but Apple won't. Some might consider that a good thing as 5G is kinda half-baked right now, but it makes for poor spec sheet comparisons.

Not News, But Still Cool

How to turn your lame MacBook Air into a gaming powerhouse via Thunderbolt 3

If you've ever thought that your MacBook Air needs more gaming grunt, 9to5 Mac have a solid guide on how to add an external GPU to your laptop and turn it into a gaming powerhouse. They use a 2018 MacBook Air in their examples, but really, it applies to any Mac laptop with Thunderbolt 3. Old mate got an Nvidia RTX 2080 ($1139), chucked it in a Razer Core X eGPU enclosure ($469), installed Windows 10 via Boot Camp and frame rates in the Rocket League benchmarks Heaven and Valley went from 2-4fps at 3440x1440, to over 90fps.

Move over Y2K, it's time for the 2038 UNIX bug to scare us

Some of you may be too young to remember the Millennium Bug, but it was a massive deal in computing circles in the late 90s. Software was patched, systems were upgraded and come Jan 1, 2000, planes didn't fall from the sky, nuclear reactors didn't melt and it was mostly business as usual. We might need to do it all over again for the 2038 UNIX bug - "In January 2038, the 32-bit time_t value used on many Unix-like systems will run out of bits and be unable to represent the current time". 2038 might sound far away, but we are closer to 2038 than we are to 2000!

Cheap Surface Go, PS Plus & Xbox Live Gold with bonus Aliexpress finds

Very few bargains today:

So here's some more Aliexpress gear:

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Naughty - Skulker