WWDC 2019: Mac Pro & Pro Display XDR
WWDC 2019: iOS 13, iPadOS, watchOS 6, macOS Catalina
ANU’s 19 year data breach & Westpac’s PayID security loophole
US government, DoJ & FTC are lining up to take their shots at big tech
Xiaomi and Oppo have prototype smartphones with cameras under the screen
Sponsored Job Ad: Software Developer – Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
New York Times Op-Eds from the future
Microsoft no longer recommends forcing password resets on a regular basis
Cheap Kingston 480GB SSD, Audio Technica NC headphones, Google Home Hub, Logitech MX Master 2S, Telstra 50GB mobile plan
Apple finally let us gaze upon the all-new Mac Pro this morning. Here's a Jony Ive special video explaining the design of the Mac Pro. I won't bore you with specs and shit, all you gotta know is that it's fast and if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it (the price price is almost A$10,000 inc GST). It'll go on sale some time in "fall". There's also a new 32" Pro Display XDR monitor that's got amazing colour gamut support and 6K of pixels. It'll also go on sale in fall, costs ~A$8,000 and doesn't include a stand. Apple will sell you a fancy one for US$999 or get a VESA mount for US$199 and you bring your own stand.
There's new software stuff too of course. I'm extremley paraphrasing here, so click the links for proper info. iOS 13 - dark mode UI, a swipe keyboard (like Swiftkey) and Files gets full local storage support. iPadOS - kind of a fork of iOS with features just for the iPad like a proper home screen, seriously improved multi-tasking with multiple windows, mouse/trackpad support (!!), a floating keyboard. watchOS 6 - install apps on the watch itself, new APIs to allow audio apps to stream, "taptic chimes" that tap your wrist every hour. macOS Catalina - use an iPad to extend your Mac's display, no more iTunes, tighter Gatekeeper rules.
Australian National University (ANU) and Westpac have been involved in separate data breaches. ANU's particularly nasty, with "significant amounts of personal staff, student and visitor data extending back 19 years" being stolen since late-2018, but nobody noticed until May 17th 2019. Student academic records and employee payroll info were nicked. Someone else used seven compromised Westpac accounts to conduct 600,000 NPP PayID lookups to verify/detect someone's mobile number or email address. This is more of a privacy breach due to how the NPP works rather than a hack, but it's been known about for a while and Westpac did nothing to mitigate it.
The US government is launching a "bipartisan, sweeping antitrust investigation into major tech companies". According to Axios, "the committee's investigation is set to focus on three main areas: documenting problems with competition in digital markets, determining whether dominant firms are conducting themselves in an anti-competitive manner and determining if existing competition policies and antitrust laws and enforcement are up to taking on these issues". In addition to this, Google and Apple are getting investigated by the DoJ and Facebook and Amazon will receive attention from the FTC. Silicon Valley had it coming, I hope they get fucked right up by Washington DC.
Xiaomi and Oppo have been flexing their tech muscle on social media, showing off smartphones with front facing cameras under the goddamn screen. This black magic shit means no more notch. According to Oppo Vice President Brian Shen, "at this stage, it's difficult for under-display cameras to match the same results as normal cameras, there's bound to be some loss in optical quality". Ahh, there's the catch. That said under-screen fingerprint readers work really well now, so maybe there's hope under-screen front facing cameras can be half decent in the near future.
Interested in using your tech skills to fight for workers' rights? The ACTU is looking for a Software Developer to join their data team based in Melbourne. You would be working across a wide range of technologies and projects, with plenty of opportunities to build tools to help the union movement campaign and grow.
Sizzle subscribers paying for job ads is still a thing! If you’d like to let ~700 tech savvy Aussies know about your job vacancy, drop me a line.
The New York Times has launched a series of fictional opinion pieces called "An Op-Ed From The Future", where they get some sci-fi writers to come up with New York Times opinion pieces that might happen in the future. They kicked things off with Ted Chiang who writes from the year 2059 in a world where genetic interventions in the womb are normal, but the rich babies are getting superior treatments than the poor babies relying on government subsidised treatments. If you love speculative future sci-fi (yes that's me), you'd dig this and the upcoming series from the NYT.
Microsoft has changed their security baseline settings for Windows to no longer force users into changing their password every 30/90/180/whatever days (who are the poor bastards forced to change passwords every 30 days?!). According to Microsoft, "if a password is never stolen, there’s no need to expire it. And if you have evidence that a password has been stolen, you would presumably act immediately rather than wait for expiration to fix the problem". Makes sense to me and who am I to question the big brains at Microsoft?
Kingston SA400 480GB SATA 2.5" SSD - $72.24 from Amazon AU
Audio Technica ATH-S200BT wireless noise canceling headphones - $119.19 from Swamp Industries
Google Home Hub - $120 with eBay Plus free delivery
Logitech MX Master 2S - $89 from Amazon AU
JB Hi-Fi is offering 12m Telstra plans for $45/m with 50GB of data and a $200 gift card
🎶 Beastie Boys - Flute Loop
😁 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.