In This Issue


Educational info sec videos on YouTube are now at risk

YouTube recently updated its list of content it doesn't want to include videos "showing users how to bypass secure computer systems or steal credentials and personal data", with the change not getting much attention until today, when YouTube placed a "strike" on Null Byte - a channel with over 227,000 subscribers making educational videos about computer security. YouTube interpreted one of their videos as against the policy and blocked them from uploading more, until a bunch of angry nerds yelled at YouTube and YouTube changed their mind. No damage done for now, but it just shows how fragile YouTube's moderation is.

Superhuman was inserting tracking pixels into every email its users sent

That US$30/m email app called Superhuman I mentioned yesterday went problematic within the time I wrote it and now. Superhuman embedded a tracking pixel in all messages you send, so you can narcissistically check if the recipient opened the email you so benevolently sent them, along with the location and time stamps of where and when the email was opened. All that data was sent without the other party's knowledge or consent. By default. With no option to turn it off. After the backlash, Superhuman has turned it off by default and removed the location info, apologising for their obliviousness to the consequences of such a feature.

Westfield & banks gets together to use the blockchain for something

ANZ, CBA, Westpac, Westfield owner Scentre Group and IBM have been working on a blockchain platform for managing bank guarantees since mid-2017 and have now progressed to live trials via a new company they've formed called Lygon. The pilot involves ending the old paper based process for bank guarantees on lease agreements for tenants in selected Westfield shopping centers. The whitepaper is a mildly interesting read to understand how blockchain is used in a practical sense, but I still don't get what this does that an old school database doesn't.

Not News

New iOS 13 feature uses AR to fake paying attention in FaceTime

Lots of buzz around the net (do people still call it the net? Are we still surfing it?) for a new feature in the latest beta of iOS 13 that uses augmented reality to make your eyes appear as if you're looking directly at the camera in FaceTime. The feature is called FaceTime Attention Correction and here's a demo video of it in action. Kinda useful, kinda creepy, but also quite disingenuous. It gives the impression of undivided attention, but in reality the other person could be staring at a funny dog off to the side and totally ignoring what you're saying.


🎶 Arluck - Russian Circles

😁 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.​