Issue 800

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019

In This Issue


Google fined for breaching GDPR in France

Google has received a €50 million fine from the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) for breaching the EU's GDPR laws. "CNIL explained that Google had violated two provisions of the law: first by not making its data-collection policies easily accessible enough and second by not obtaining sufficient and specific user consent for ad personalization across each of Google's numerous services, including YouTube, Google Maps, and more". Google told The Washington Post in a statement that it is "deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR". Mmmhmm, sure it is.

Government auditors call botched biometric database project a turkey

The Australian National Audit Office has ripped the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's botched Biometric Identification Services Project a new arsehole, saying that the project was "was deficient in almost every significant respect". This thing was supposed to replace the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System and give it facial recognition capabilities. The project was budgeted at $52m, kicked off in 2015 and was due by late 2017. In June 2018 the whole thing was called off as not a single milestone was met, they spent $12m on work that was unnecessary and resulted in the old system remaining in service at a "significantly increased cost". The definition of dog's breakfast.

Whatsapp makes small tweak to reduce chances of hoax messages going viral

In countries like India and Brazil, people spreading shit via Whatsapp is a huge problem to social cohesion. This article from October on Buzzfeed about the new Brazilian President's use of Whatsapp and this one in the Atlantic about Whatsapp role in Indian lynch mobs, go some of the way in explaining how potent it can be to intensify existing tensions within a community. In an attempt to try and limit the influence Whatsapp is having (or to placate governments/critics), Whatsapp is going to limit how many groups you can forward a message to. It used to be that you could push a message to 20 groups at once, but now it's only 5. It's already been done in India, now it's getting pushed to the rest of the world.

Netflix reckons Fortnite is its biggest competition

Buried in Netflix's latest earnings report is a statement that they reckon Fortnite is a much bigger concern to them than other TV or movie platforms like HBO or Disney. Fortnite is free, on every platform worth a damn, has over 200 million players and keeps players engaged by adding new in-game items every "season" so people have stuff to look forward to (like a new season of a TV show!). Fortnite also has something Netflix may never have - a sense of community. People just hang out in Fortnite as a way of socialising, like what us oldies did hanging out on IRC, or people who aren't socially inept did at shopping centres.

NSW to invest in electric car charging infrastructure

The NSW state government has thrown a bone towards "clean transport", with a $3m co-investment fund for electric vehicle fast chargers "major regional corridors including the Newell, Great Western, New England, Pacific and Princes Highways and the Hume Motorway" and an additional $2m for "charging points in commuter car parks such as at train stations". Also in the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Plan is "a target of 10 per cent of its entire general purpose fleet starting 2020/21 to be either pure electric or hybrid", an electric bus trial for the inner-west of Sydney that will start in mid-2019 and some much needed guidelines and standards for EV charging infrastructure.

Not News, But Still Cool

Big Assistance and Access Bill FAQ in progress

Alfie John and Lizzie O'Shea have started a GitHub repo to answer questions about the Assistance and Access Bill. It's still a work in progress and could probably be better formatted, but there's some solid info in there about this new law that many Australian IT workers have questions about. Eventually this will be turned into a website so there's a plain English explanation to the topics that'll come up now that the AA bill is live and in action. The answers are merely for information only and doesn't constitute legal advice, of course. Go see a lawyer if you're suddenly hit with a TAN, TAR or TCN.

WiFiman is a nifty wi-fi diagnostic tool from Ubiquiti

Ubiquiti has a new app called WiFiman that lets you get detailed info about the wi-fi situation wherever you are. It does the basic wi-fi network signal strength & network info, along with a channel graph, a speed test and stuff like that, but it also adds a link analyser. This feature allows you to get a graph of signal strength as you move around so you can spot gaps in wi-fi coverage. Best bit of all, is that it's free, with no ads. WiFiman is fully featured on Android, but is gimped on iOS as Apple restricts many wi-fi related functions.

Cheap refurb smartphones, 15% off iTunes, Xbox Live Gold, Civ6, PS Store games, 10% off Macs

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

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