Issue 805

Wednesday, 30th January 2019

In This Issue


Facebook's paying kids to install an app that spies on them

TechCrunch has exposed Facebook paying teens to sideload an app that spies on everything they do. This new app called Facebook Research is basically the same as Onavo (which was banned from the App Store), but Facebook's been getting around the ban by abusing Apple's Enterprise Certificate program. Facebook offers random people (as young as 13), $20/m to have the app pushed to their device outside the App Store and in return for that $20, Facebook can literally see everything you do on that device. It's a blatant breach of the App Store & Enterprise Certificate rules and if Apple has any guts, they'd revoke Facebook's developer access. Anything less means their privacy marketing stance is like most marketing - bullshit.

Apple's Q1 2019 financial results show iPhone sales falling, just like they predicted

And speaking of Apple, they released their Q1 2019 financial results today. As expected, they made less money than the same quarter last year, the first time that's happened since the iPhone was released. iPhone revenue fell 15%, but the rest of Apple's business is up 19%. Tim Cook said that they're likely to drop iPhones prices overseas because as the US dollar gets stronger, it raises prices in international markets to a level that's unattractive. Also mentioned in their financial garbage is the fact that there's 1.4 billion active Apple devices (iPhones, Macs, iPads, Apple TVs, iPods, and Apple Watches) around the world and 900 million of those are iPhones.

Queensland Health's electronic medical records system is a total dog's breakfast

The Brisbane Times has unloaded all over Queensland Health's ratshit medical records system, "ieMR". AMA QLD wrote to the QLD health minister outlining their concerned and were ignored. A consultant hired to give an honest assessment of the rollout was bullied by the government to modify their report. There's been incorrectly labeled blood tests and patients given double doses of medicine. To top it all off, it's going to cost twice as much as budgeted and the Crime and Corruption Commission is investigating the entire thing because it stinks so bad. There's so much wrong with system, that it's hard to contain in a single paragraph summary! By the way, tomorrow's the last day to opt-out of My Health Record.

Microsoft's killing off IE10 and Office365/Azure authentication was down for hours

Microsoft is finally taking Internet Explorer 10 out the back and putting it (and us) out of its misery. They put up a blog post aimed at enterprise users, saying "you will have until January 2020 to complete the transition from Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) to IE11. After this, we will not release any security or non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content changes for IE10". Also in Microsoft land, something to do with their cloud authentication system shit the bed and people were unable to log in to "Office 365, Azure Portal, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn" for hours. Looks like it's all good now though.

Assistance and Access Bill has been used already, but nobody's saying when, where or why

The Assistance and Access Bill passed late last year and been in effect for over a month - but we haven't heard much about it since. A bit weird considering how eager the government and law enforcement was to pass it, citing Bad Things will happen unless it's passed urgently. A Senate Committee examining the laws was told by the Department of Home Affairs that their new powers have been used to "support" the work of federal agencies, but nothing further than that as it's all confidential secret national security stuff. The Federal Police and Home Affairs have begun training for the NSW and Victorian police, so expect a lot more use of the powers contained in the Assistance and Access Bill/Act/Law to start happening soon.

Not News, But Still Cool

AirBuddy is a Mac app for your AirPods

Guilherme Rambo has made a Mac app called AirBuddy that brings the AirPod experience to the Mac that I reckon a few of you fancy Mac users (I'm a Mac user, but I'm a bogan Mac user). Flip open the case and a dialog box showing battery life will pop up on your Mac, just like it does on iOS. You can then choose to connect to the AirPods and send your audio through em. Apparently its easier to do this than fiddle around in the Mac's Bluetooth settings. It costs US$5. I just realised I've never paired my AirPods to my Mac and didn't realise it's such a pain in the arse for some people.

This GPS tracker lasts 6 months before the battery dies thanks to LPWAN tech

One of the shit things about GPS trackers is that they don't last long before the battery dies. Invoxia has a solution to this - use the Sigfox LPWAN network. This new radio network (it's kinda like LORAWAN) has a huge range and low power usage, at the expense of low bandwidth. But that's perfect for a GPS tracker that only needs to send a few bytes of data at a time. So instead of 4-5 days of tracking, the Invoxia GPS tracker lasts up to 6 months. There's some Sigfox coverage in Australia, so you could use it here! As long as you keep it dry, as it's not waterproof, which seems like a big oversight. Oh and it's not live tracking, it pings the server every 5 to 10 minutes, which may be a deal breaker for ya. Still, I thought it was cool.

Cheap Dymo label printer, OVH dedicated servers, Fuji Instax printer, Nikon D3500 DSLR, LIFX wi-fi bulbs, 65" LG OLED

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Flashing Lights - Kanye West