Issue 807

Friday, 1st February 2019

In This Issue


Apple booted Google off their enterprise dev program, then let them and Facebook back in

Apple temporarily banned Google from using its Developer Enterprise Program overnight, on the same grounds as it did to Facebook. Google's app was called Screenwise Meter and was made to monitor how people use their iPhones. They were more up front about it than Facebook, but it was still against Apple's Developer Enterprise Program, so they got the boot, breaking a bunch of internal Google apps. The impasse didn't last long though, as Apple restored both Google and Facebook's Developer Enterprise Program access this afternoon. I've seen a lot of people say that it's great Apple is standing up for privacy and whatnot, but really they're just enforcing the terms outlined in the contracts these companies agreed to. Apple still takes billions from Google (for making Google the default search on iOS) and still lets Facebook remain in the App Store, so I wouldn't go slapping them on the back too hard.

Tesla made another profit - two in a row!

Tesla announced its Q4 2018 financial results yesterday. Good news for Musk-fans who want old mate to save the world (that's seriously how people view Musk, as some sort of hero, I like Tesla and SpaceX, but get a goddamn grip ya sycophants) is that Tesla turned a profit again. It's not massive, at just US$139m for the quarter, but two consecutive quarter profits are better than the decade of losses Tesla has had before! In the conference call Elon said that they're going to build the Model Y (an SUV version of the Model 3) in Nevada and China and probably go on sale in 2021. Elon also said a few times that all of Teslas cars are fully self-driving, but that isn't true and nobody pulled him up on it.

The CFA is having trouble with its digital radio network in some parts of Victoria

Telstra won a contract in 2014 to convert the Victorian CFA's radio network from analog to digital. Encrypt it, make it sound better, shit like that. Well 5 years on and the CFA has reverted back to the analog network in a few districts because the digital one sucks. Basically in in District 8 in the South East (down along the Mornington Peninsula) and District 14 (Melton & Bacchus Marsh, where I live!) in the West have had such a poor experience with the digital radios that the United Firefighters Union has said it's a safety risk to keep using it - apparently there's blackspots in network coverage "including when firefighters have entered structures". All the emergency services in VIC use the same digital radio network, but for some reason it's only the CFA experiencing these issues.

Another Chinese bloke got caught trying to steal Apple's robocar secrets

A Chinese national has been busted trying to steal Apple's self-driving car technology: "Jizhong Chen was seen by a fellow Apple employee taking photographs Jan. 11 with a wide-angle lens inside a secure work space that houses the company's autonomous car project, about six months after he signed a strict confidentiality oath when he was hired, according to a criminal complaint in federal court in San Jose, California. Prosecutors said Chen admitted to taking the photos and backing up some 2,000 files to his personal hard drive, including manuals and schematics for the project, but didn’t tell Apple he had applied for a job with a China-based autonomous vehicle company". I hope Jizhong enjoys prison with his mate Zhang Xiaolang who got busted last year doing the same thing.

Federation Square applies for a demolition permit to make way for an Apple Store

Looks like Federation Square has applied for a permit to demolish the Yarra building - the location of a proposed flagship Apple Store. This is pretty ballsy, as Fed Square is undergoing a process to be added to the Victorian Heritage Register and there's an order forbidding any development of the site until then. There's a good chance the precinct will receive heritage protection, making development of the area much more difficult and an Apple Store way less likely. I still don't know where I sit on this issue - I would love an Apple Store there as it would be easy to go to, but I also like Federation Square the way it is and don't like the idea of the world's biggest company setting up in that kind of space. I wish Apple would find somewhere else in the CBD for their giant temple to capitalism.

Not News, But Still Cool

I would like the Dell UltraSharp U4919DW monitor on my desk

The Verge has a review of Dell's UltraSharp U4919DW 49-inch, 5120x1440 monitor. Like I said when I first saw it announced a few months ago, it's basically two 27-inch 2560x1440 monitors stuck together. This monitor is better than two separate 27-inch monitors as you don't get the annoying bezel in the middle and a subtle curve so you can see the entire thing in your field of view. Sure, it's not glorious HiDPI/Retina beast like a 27-inch iMac, but there's so much screen real-estate in such a usable form factor, unlike a 40-inch 4K monitor that's just an immense slab to stare at. I could see myself selling the iMac Pro and getting a U4919DW with a new Mac Mini. Or maybe a Mac Pro whenever Apple decide to release that unicorn.

LIFX smart lights store wi-fi network details in plain-text on the device

If you've got some of those fancy LIFX bulbs, you probably don't want to put them in the bin or give them away, because if a hacker gets their hands on one they'll be able to "extract the owner’s Wi-Fi login and password, as well as other valuable data". Apparently your wi-fi credentials are stored in plain-text in the LIFX bulb's embedded computer's memory, making it easy to extract and then use against you. "The device didn’t appear to have any security settings whatsoever, LimitedResults wrote. They said there was no secure boot, which ensures that the device can’t be controlled by unauthorized software or hardware, no flash encryption, and JTAG was enabled, meaning anybody could write data to a device’s memory". I don't know if this is an as bgi problem as it sounds like, but still, just another thing to add to your threat profile.

Cheap Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, Viofo dashcams, Synology DS918+ NAS, DJI Mavic Pro drone, Samsung 1TB SSD

Lots of bargains using the code PASSIONATE on eBay right now:

That's it, see ya Monday!

 Black Skinhead - Kanye West