Issue 797

Thursday, 17th January 2019

In This Issue


Most people don't realise that Facebook keeps a list of what you're interested in

The Pew Research Center asked a bunch of Facebook users some questions and found out that 74% of em didn't know that Facebook maintain a list of their interests and traits. I know the general public isn't tech savvy, but I didn't know they're so oblivious as to how Facebook makes its money. I bet they don't know that Facebook has a dossier on basically every human and trades that data with other companies either. Also in the survey, 59% of people said the interests list Facebook generated on them is accurate and 51% said they don't like the fact Facebook does this profiling. If Facebook was more transparent about the data they have on you and what it's used for, would people stop using it?

Just thought you'd like to know that Slack has a new logo, thanks

The phrase "opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one" would be high on my mind if I was the designers of Slack's new logo, announced today. I'm no designer, so I really couldn't give a shit, but the internet's gone mental about it - particularly old mate John Gruber. Slack said the reason for the change was due to the fact their old logo was "extremely easy to get wrong. It was 11 different colors — and if placed on any color other than white, or at the wrong angle (instead of the precisely prescribed 18-degree rotation), or with the colors tweaked wrong, it looked terrible. It pained us". Which is fair enough. You know it's a slow news day when I'm dedicating an entire paragraph to a new logo.

Fortnite has a bug that allowed hackers to access linked social accounts like Facebook

I'll cut to the chase: "Researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point found that they could redirect traffic from Epic Games's main login page— — to another page on the company's website. There, they could then steal login tokens, a sort of digital key that allows Fortnite players to login with their accounts on other services such as Facebook, PlayStationNetwork, Xbox Live, Nintendo, and Google+". Nobody's saying if there's been a mass exploit of this, but Epic's fixed it now. Just as well, as you don't want your US$2.4b cash cow getting screwed! That's right, Fortnite pulled in an estimated US$2.4b during 2018. That's a lot of silly costumes and dances.

A handful of leaked screens from Android Q (Android 10)

A leak of Android Q (aka Android 10) has hit the web, with screenshots galore. What looks new? There's a system wide Dark Mode, a revamp of privacy permissions that includes an option for "only while the app is in use", a force desktop mode setting to enable a more traditional UI with a mouse and keyboard when connected to an external display, a native screen recording setting and a few more you can view over on the linked XDA-Developer site if you're keen. Expect Google to make a formal announcement about Android Q and give it a cute name like Pie or Kit Kat in a few weeks.

USA thinking about banning US chip exports to Huawei & ZTE

The cold war between the USA and Huawei/ZTE has been kicked up a notch, with a bunch of politicians floating a bill to "ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd , ZTE Corp or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws". Without US made chips from companies like Qualcomm, it would be hard for ZTE and Huawei to have competitive products - that is until they spend a few years developing their own and beating the US at their own game (i.e: Huawei/HiSilicon's Kirin SoC).

Not News, But Still Cool

IEEE's Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame

The IEEE Spectrum blog has compiled a Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame. 25 gadgets over the past 50 years that are the best and most innovative devices of their time. On it are stuff most of us are familiar with like the original Xbox, the Walkman, Sony's Trinitron TV, the GoPro and the Apple Watch. But there's some gadgets there I'm not familiar with like the Garmin StreetPilot, which was I guess, the first turn by turn GPS navigation unit sold at an affordable price. The Grundig Satellit 650 radio is another, that back when it came out in the 80s, would have been revelation, as it allowed you to receive radio signals from all over the world via the magic of shortwave radio with a clarity and affordability unlike anything else on the market.

Japanese mechanical keyboard shopfront

Are you going to Tokyo soon? (you lucky fuck) Do you have a penchant for mechanical keyboards? Then make some time to stop in to Yushakobo - a little store stocking nothing but fancy mechanical keyboards! I don't know what you'd do there, but if you wanted to try before you buy, I assume this is the place to be. I still find it amazing a shop can justify existing off such a narrow niche like mechanical keyboards. I'd love to retire from The Sizzle one day and do something similar. Open a small shop selling something only I and a few other nerds give a real shit about and somehow make a living out of it.

Cheap Alienware 34" monitor, Yamaha soundbar, Telstra $30 prepaid kit, Samsung 75" TV, 8TB external HDD

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Army of Me - Bjork