Issue 831

Thursday, 7th March 2019

In This Issue


Mark Zuckerberg is really into privacy now, reckons privacy is cool

Zuck's published a new manifesto outlining Facebook's direction for the near future. It looks like he's had the sudden realisation that people give a crap about their privacy (or at least pretend they do to the extent it's damaging Facebook's reputation), so Facebook is all about privacy now. There's a lot going on in the post, mostly focused on government mass surveillance rather than Facebook's invasive hoarding, but the key theme is this quote: "I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won't stick around forever". Okay Mark, whatever you say buddy, yep, good work champ, keep smokin' those meats.

Huawei is taking the US government to court over their sales ban

Huawei is suing the USA over its ban on any government agencies or recipients of US government loans/grants from using Huawei or ZTE equipment. According to the Bloomberg article, Huawei "argues that the provision is a bill of attainder, a legislative punishment without trial that's prohibited by the U.S. Constitution". Apparently, "That's a very hard argument to win but certainly something that they can try in an effort to slow down the federal government", Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School, told Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Malcolm Turnbull (remember him?) is in the UK telling everyone who will listen that Huawei are dodgy and the Five Eyes needs our own 5G radio manufacturer or we're fucked.

NSA releases internal reverse engineering tool Ghidra, for everyone to enjoy

Big news in infosec land: the NSA has released Ghidra - a previously classified tool to decompile, reverse engineer, and analyze malware - to the public for free. I don't really know how it all works, but you chuck an app into Ghidra and all its secrets are revealed, or something. Old mate MalwareTech has a video of him trying it out for the first time if you wanna see what the fuss if you wanna see what the fuss is. I thought it was weird the NSA would release an internal tool like this, but according to Wired, "the NSA views the release of Ghidra as a sort of recruiting strategy, making it easier for new hires to enter the NSA at a higher level or for cleared contractors to lend their expertise without needing to first come up to speed on the tool". Makes sense. God speed cyber warriors, protect us from the cyber baddies!

Microsoft Store developer agreement tweaked in favour of developers

Microsoft has updated its Store developer agreement (you know, the Microsoft Store that's in Windows 10) with some very developer friendly terms. "When Microsoft delivers a customer through other methods (tracked by an OCID), such as when the customer discovers the app in a Microsoft Store collection, through Microsoft Store search, or through any other Microsoft-owned properties, then you will receive 85% of the revenue from that purchase. When there is no CID or OCID attributed to a purchase, in the instance of a web search, you will receive 95% revenue". If most of your customers come via Microsoft's exposure/discoverability efforts, Microsoft deservedly gets more money. If the customers come via your own marketing efforts, you just pay for Microsoft's hosting and payment processing costs, which is fair. This is in stark contrast to Apple who just take 30% no matter what. I wonder if it'll mean more developers using the Microsoft Store to distribute their Windows apps?

Donald Trump called Tim Cook, Tim Apple

Tim Cook is still hanging around some White House taskforce bullshit thing to do with jobs and the economy that had a press conference today. Part of it was hyping up that Apple's created a coding cirriculuum for K-12 schools and partnered with community colleges (the US version of TAFE) in Austin to teach computing skills. All interesting and important stuff - but the real reason I'm bringing this up is because Donald Trump was there and called Tim Cook, Tim Apple. Right to his face he called the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, Tim Apple. Like if you called me Anthony Sizzle because I run the Sizzle.

Not News, But Still Cool

Macstories has a collection of their favouite Siri shortcuts

Siri shortcuts are really fucking cool, but hard to find legit ones that are actually useful. Macstories has compiled 150 of the best in their curated collection. Most of them revolve around blogging and stuff like that, but some of my highlights: "Zip and Share", compresses selected items into a ZIP archive and shares it. "Live Photo to GIF", takes a live photo, makes it a GIF, saves it to the camera roll. "Search Twitter User's Mentions", view all the mentions, @replies, and quoted tweets sent to a specific Twitter user. Hopefully they add more and allow user submissions. There's gotta be loads of people with cool shortcuts worth sharing.

Mitsubishi is actually going to sell a V2H bi-directional EV charger

Mitsubishi has shown off a bi-directional electric car charger that not only puts electricity into your car, but also takes electricity out of the car and into your home also known as a Vehicle 2 Home (V2H) system. Loads of car companies have shown this sorta thing off and some power companies have done trials, but Mitsubishi is finally going to sell the damn thing to anyone who wants it in Japan and Europe this year. With the €10,000 bi-directional charger, you basically turn your car into a UPS for your house. I'd be keen for it if my EV had a bigger battery (need ~25kW for regular drive use and ~10kW for the house, so a 40-50kW battery would be the sweet spot) and if it were cheaper (probably around $6,000).

Cheap Logitech MX Anywhere 2S mouse, Exetel phone plan, Sonos gear, Dell XPS 13 laptop, Telstra 4GX USB modem

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Standing In the Way of Control - Gossip