In This Issue


Huawei’s folding phone delayed for multiple obvious reasons

Huawei has delayed the launch of its cool Mate X folding phone so it can do "extra testing with mobile carriers around the world and developers to make sure their apps work when the device is fully unfolded". Could it also be because Google cut off Huawei from access to Android on new devices and they don't want to sell a US$2,600 phone that runs a forked version of Android that can't use the Google Play store? I know I wouldn't drop that kinda cash an Android phone that can't run the apps I want.

Xenotime hacking group ramping up for new attack on US electricity grid

Security vendor Dragos is giving electricity companies around the world a heads up that notorious hacking group Xenotime (backed by the Russian government) is up to no good again, placing the electricity grid in western counties at risk of attack. In 2017 Xenotime pulled off cyber attacks on Middle Eastern oil & gas refineries and Dragos is noticing similar groundwork in US and Asia Pacific electricity utilities. Meanwhile, the US has allegedly done the same to Russian electricity companies. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the cyberwar.

EU report finds Russia probably meddled in their elections too

The EU has released a report into how it should battle disinformation in the electorate and the report found "a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences" by using social media to challenge the EU's "democratic legitimacy". Basically Russia is making shit up at an industrial scale and people in the EU (like in the US) are finding it convincing enough to doubt the mainstream narrative. It's depressing to know that the internet is getting abused like this and there's so little we can do to stop it.

Two men charged with DoS’ing Victorian Police phone systems

Two blokes in Bendigo have been busted conducting a denial of service attack of sorts against police phone systems. These two dickheads came up with a way to automatically dial police station phone numbers, tying them up so other people can't contact them and that the police station themselves couldn't make outbound phone calls. They also sent out a "spate of text messages asking for emergency assistance" (I don't know who to - how do you SMS the police?) and "people who called the number back reported being verbally abused by a recording on the other end". What a bizarre thing to do.

Vocus take over bid fails, again

After looking at the books, AGL (yeah the electricity company) has decided not to purchase Australia's 4th largest telco, Vocus. Apparently they were "no longer confident" about the "addition of data insights from telco customers would be worth proposed price tag". A few weeks ago a Swedish private equity firm, EQT, also pulled the pin on acquiring Vocus, but didn't give a reason why. As a former Vocus shareholder, I'm not surprised nobody sees enough value in Vocus to justify investing. NBN is a ratshit game to be in and competition is so tough in business internet too.

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Not News, But Still Cool

Two more Op-Eds From The Future

The New York Times has published two more pieces in its Op-Eds From The Future series. Susan Schneider ruminates if the new brain enhancements from the Center for Mind Design in Manhattan, that " allows customers to gradually augment and transfer all of their mental functions to the cloud over a period of five years" are worth it. Hannu Rajaniemi writes as a teenage Mary Lennox who ditches her augmented reality iGlasses and leads a resistance group of kids enjoying the real world, rather than the fake one their parents (i.e: us) generated for them. I really enjoy reading these.

Long live the Pirate Bay

Can you believe its been over 10 years since the Sweden punished the founders of the Pirate Bay with a year in jail and US$3.5m in fines? Can you also believe that the Pirate Bay is still going strong, with dozens of mirrors, 50 million users and more content than ever? MEL magazine has a delightful essay on the history of the Pirate Bay - how it got so notorious and how its legacy lives on. I got to meet Peter Sunde at Webstock back in 2011, before he went to jail. We chatted for a few minutes about his talk while eating ice cream.

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🎶 Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble (Graham Coxon Remix)

😁 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.​