Issue 830

Wednesday, 6th March 2019

In This Issue


FBI boss makes it clear that they don't think full encryption is a good idea

New FBI Director Christopher Wray told attendees at an RSA cybersecurity conference today that "it can't be a sustainable end state for there to be an entirely unfettered space that's utterly beyond law enforcement for criminals to hide", when asked about the FBI's desire for a backdoor into smartphones and other encrypted devices. It isn't exactly news that this is the position law enforcement is taking, they've said it before and will say it again, but now it's obvious what their goal is - getting something like our Assistance and Access laws implemented in the USA.

Uber isn't criminally liable for one of its robocars killing a person

Authorities in Arizona have said that Uber isn't criminally liable for the death of Elaine Herzberg, who was hit by one of their prototype self-driving cars last year. As per The Verge, "it'll be up to Maricopa (the county where the accident happened) to determine whether Uber's backup safety driver, Rafaela Vasquez, should be charged with a crime instead. According to Tempe police, she was watching The Voice on Hulu during most of her entire shift, right up until the time of the accident". The NTSB and NHTSA are still investigating the incident too, so there's still a long way to go before we know exactly what happened and who will suffer the consequences of their decisions leading up to and on that day.

Australian tech companies agitate again for copyright safe harbour

The ACCC is looking for ACMA to set "mandatory standard regarding digital platforms’ take-down procedures for copyright infringing content to enable effective and timely take-down of copyright-infringing content". In simple terms, ACMA will have the ability to force you, or Google, or Facebook, or Twitter, to take down something off the internet if someone reckons it infringes their copyright. StartupAus is cracking the shits about it as it will mean the liability as to who has to deal with the infringing material will move from the person who uploaded it to also including the platform hosting it. They want online platforms to be added to safe harbour laws so they're not responsible for what their users upload.

Melbourne City Council formally opposes demolition to make way for Fed Square Apple Store

The dream of being able to catch a train to Flinders Street station, cross the road and enter a nice big Apple Store with heaps of staff ready to replace your iPhone on the spot when it shits the bed, is looking less and less likely with the City of Melbourne's Future Melbourne Committee not digging the idea. After over 1,100 submissions to the committee opposing the development, the committee decided, 10 to 1, to oppose the application to demolish the Yarra Building in Federation Square to make space for an Apple themed steel and glass rectangle and to formally tell Heritage Victoria to grant Fed Square heritage protection so the Yarra Building isn't demolished.

NBN's promise for 90% of homes to get 50mbit or higher speeds is dodgy

Once upon a time, all the way back in 2016, NBN promised that 90% of Australian premises will be given an internet connection capable of at least 50mbit/sec. Today they've added an asterisk to their claim. Yes, 90% of Australian premises will get speeds over 50mbit/sec, but only if you're in NSW, VIC or the NT. Everywhere else in AU will have around 15% of their population unable to see what I'd consider the bare minimum for usable internet, 50mbit/sec. That's well over 1 million homes. NBN blames in-home wiring for why speeds can't get over 50mbit/sec. A HFC or fibre, shit, even wireless rollout - anything but FTTN or FTTC would have solved this issue.

Not News, But Still Cool

Doom 2 level modeled on botched Something Awful bathroom renovation

A bloke on Something Awful (sup goons) has been documenting his amateur attempts to renovate his bathroom over 2 years. It hasn't gone well and when he completed it, it didn't look too good. It's all dark with red accents and crappy patterned wallpaper. In usual Something Awful style, people photoshopped the bathroom and made fun of it in various ways - but one goon called Dieting Hippo took it to the next level and made a Doom 2 map of the bathroom! You can wander around the hideous bathroom renovation in 90s 3D glory, chainsaw and all by downloading the BATHDOOM WAD and placing it in your Doom 2 directory (you remember how to do that, yeah?).

Corning is working on super thin & super strong glass for bendy smartphones

Get ready for a bunch of fancy folding smartphones, as Corning, the manufacturer of the industry standard "Gorilla Glass" has some bendy glass in the pipeline. If like me, you're confused as to how glass can bend yet not snap, the key is making it super thin, but also super strong. Corning general manager John Bayne told Wired that, "in a glass solution, you're really challenging the laws of physics, in that to get a very tight bend radius you want to go thinner and thinner, but you also have to be able to survive a drop event and resist damage. The technical challenge is, can you keep those tight 3-5mm bend radii and also increase the damage resistance of the glass. That's the trajectory we're on". For what it's worth, Corning is Apple's glass supplier and Apple has a few bendy phone patents.

Cheap Kogan smart plugs, Samsung SSD, Apple Watch bands, Vodafone SIM, LG 65" OLED TV, Google Play gift cards

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 S-T-A-Y - Sekiden