In This Issue


Paul Fletcher is Australia’s new communications minister

The returning government has announced their new cabinet line-up and the latest communications minister is Paul Fletcher. Fletch used to be a senior exec at Optus and previously advised and assisted former communications ministers - so he's a little less green than most entering this role. His main task is to complete the NBN rollout, which is supposed to be done by 2020. The comms minister will also be the minister responsible for "cyber safety". Karen Andrews remains as the Minister for Science and Technology. Mitch Fifield, the old comms minister is likely to end up as Australia's ambassador to the UN.

Facebook refuses to moderate fake video of US politician going viral

A clearly fake video of Nancy Peolsi (Speaker of the US House of Reps) looking drunk whilst giving a press conference has been going around on Facebook for the past week, with millions of views, spread by multiple groups. Facebook did nothing about it until today and is just gonna add a popup that says "before sharing this video, you might want to check these websites for additional reporting". They aren't deleting it, they aren't even saying it's fake. Pissweak. Meanwhile, Donald Trump tweeted it (probably doesn't even care that it's fake) and YouTube deleted it as it violates their policies.

Canva got hacked, stuffed up telling customers about it

Australian startup Canva got hacked a few weeks ago, which you know, shit happens (passwords were salted and hashed using the Bcrypt algorithm so it’s not a disaster), but what pissed people off was the abysmal messaging around the hack. Canva emailed all its users with info of what went on, but it kicked the email off with a paragraph of marketing fluff about new features and "empowering users" before getting to the important part of the email explaining that everyone needs to reset their password. After getting slapped around on Twitter about it, Canva sent out a second email to be more direct with its customers.

NSA developed spyware bites Baltimore in the arse

The Baltimore city government has been really struggling with a cryptolocker the past 3 weeks, with over 10,000 computers infected with "RobinHood" and begging for 13 Bitcoin to unlock data. Baltimore is refusing to pay and while they sort out how to restore access, the city is struggling to deliver services as practically all its systems are borked. The sad irony here is that the reason Baltimore got owned was because of tools developed by the NSA that leaked. What was designed to "protect" America is now hurting it.

The .amazon TLD now belongs to Amazon & the real Amazon isn’t happy

ICANN has decided to give the .amazon TLD to Amazon (the 3rd largest company in the world) instead of The Amazon (the geographic region in South America). Amazon has been trying to get .amazon as a TLD since 2012, but countries like Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia reckon it relates to their geographic region and shouldn't be controlled by a single company. I can't fully appreciate why ICANN took this course of action, but going by their board meeting a few weeks ago, it appears that ICANN just got fed up with how long everything was taking (7 years) and just gave it to Amazon by default. An opinion piece in Wired by a former ICANN boss reckons the process is working as intended.

Not News, But Still Cool

The Old School PC Font Pack has reminded me of PCs I long forgot about

This is pretty damn niche, but take a look at this Old School PC Font Pack. It's a collection of TTF files of your favourite bitmapped computer typography. IBM's VGA 8x16 font is what gets me all nostalgic for Sundays spent browsing BBSes. The Wyse 700 font series reminds me of the orange glowing text on the computer catalog at St. Albans library back in the early 90s. I don't know if I'll ever use these fonts for anything, but I'm glad they exist.

Back up your Gmail with Got Your Back

Picture for a moment what it would feel like to be locked out of your Gmail account. You've got important emails in there, but you can't log in and Google's human-less recovery process is so byzantine that there's no way to get the emails back. It sucks right? This is why you should back it up. At least have a second copy somewhere of those precious emails. I haven't tested this properly, but Got Your Back is a script that can make a copy of your Gmail stuff and keep it safe for when (not if, when) the Google beast turns on you. Worth investigating if you haven't already got a Gmail backup method.

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😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.​