Lots of news today and I’m procrastinating from other work I should do, but don’t want to do, so here’s an extended version of The Sizzle for ya.
NBN busted by ACCC for giving different RSPs different enterprise ethernet pricing
Telstra to turn off 3G network in June 2024
Federal government sponsored info sec conference removes pro-whistleblower speakers from schedule
Blizzard bans professional Hearthstone player for making pro-Hong Kong comments during tournament
PlayStation 5 will be called PlayStation 5 and go on sale late-2020
Andy Rubin (sexual predator) shows off fancy prototype Essential smartphone
Twitter “accidentally” used phone numbers provided for 2FA for ad targeting too
Cheap Thinkpad E490s, Raspberry Pi 4, Samsung Note 9, Telstra pre-paid, Kindle Paperwhite
The ACCC has slapped NBN with a formal warning for giving one RSP pricing info on enterprise ethernet services months before other RSPs, as well as "materially different commercial terms to different RSPs". The NBN is supposed to be a non-discriminatory wholesaler of internet services, so this is a pretty obvious fuck up on NBN's behalf. Typical of NBN's entire history to be honest. Also in NBN news, they're going to start a "managed wi-fi trial" where it will add a "tool, firmware agent, or feature" to wi-fi routers distributed by RSPs into people's homes so it RSPs can tell their users if their internet is slow because of shitty wi-fi or NBN's shitty network. I guess NBN is sick of people whinging about the NBN when the problem is often just crap wi-fi.
June 2024 - that's when Telstra will turn off its 3G network. NextG (ahhh NextG) kicked off in 2006, so it's had a good run. Telstra is turning 3G so "the spectrum that is used to carry data and voice calls over our oldest mobile network technology can be repurposed to help grow 5G". Telstra will also grow the 4G footprint to match its 3G footprint, so by the time 3G is turned off, everywhere that had 3G will get 4G. If you've got any cellular enabled devices hanging around (POS terminals, elevator emergency phones and fire alarms spring to mind as the most vital), you've got a few years to plan how you're gonna upgrade those with minimal disruption and cost. Good luck!
Thomas Drake (former NSA exec) and Dr Suelette Dreyfus (infosec researcher) were shitcanned with a day's notice with no reason from speaking at the government sponsored CyberCon conference in Melbourne this week. The conference was planned almost a year in advance, so it was kinda weird to suddenly have these two speakers dropped just before the conference kicked off. CyberCon is run by the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), in partnership with Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). These two speakers are extremely pro-whistleblower. These government departments are very anti-whistleblower. I think it's pretty obvious what happened here and it fucking stinks of the usual spineless shit our government does daily.
Chung 'Blitzchung' Ng Wai is a professional Hearthstone player that lives in Hong Kong and recently gave an interview at the end of the 2019 Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters Tournament wearing a a gas mask and dark goggles, saying "Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!". Days later, Blizzard removed Chung from the Grandmaster series of Hearthstone tournaments for 12 months, rescinded his winning and fired the two Taiwanese interviewers that talked to Blitzchung post-tournament. Blizzard said that "while we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules" - aka, a cop out to appease their massive mainland China audience.
Sony have confirmed that the next PlayStation will be called the PlayStation 5 and that it will go on sale in "holiday 2020" (aka Thanksgiving/Christmas 2020). Wired has an "exclusive deeper look" at the PlayStation 5, which outlines that it will support ray-tracing (like the Nvidia RTX), come default with a solid state drive and a "completely revamped user interface". The controller (which may or may not be called "DualShock 5") will have "adaptive triggers that can offer varying levels of resistance to make shooting a bow and arrow feel like the real thing" plus "haptic feedback far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to" and a built in speaker. It's gonna be 12 months of pissweak info drops like this, strap yourselves in.
Andy Rubin (sex pest removed from Google with a massive golden parachute for being a sex pest, who was also the co-founder of Android before Google took over and is now busy at Essential making smartphones) has shown off an experimental smartphone called "ProjectGEM" on social media. There's sweet fuck all detail about these devices except the photos he and Essential posted on Twitter, so go take a look. They remind me of a fancy touch screen TV remote control, but with a camera and fingerprint sensor on the back. Due to the shape, there's also a custom UI that's hard to judge until you've used it. I don't know what else to say about it really, but nice to see people still experimenting with the smartphone design despite being led by a sexual harasser.
There's a thing in digital marketing land called "tailored audiences" right, which lets you upload a list of phone numbers and/or email addresses to specifically target your ads to. For example, I could upload a list of all the Sizzle subscribers emails to Twitter (and Facebook and Google) and say "show these people ads for my new Sizzle Deluxe++ service" and it would do it. Twitter let out a cheeky tweet today saying "oops, that phone number you gave us for 2FA, yeah we used it as a way for advertisers to target you - sorry, it wasn't on purpose!!". They also said they don't know how many people were impacted, but the "issue" has been "addressed".
Thinkpad E490s (14" 1080p, i7-8565U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, RX540X GPU) - $1055 shipped from Lenovo AU
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 1GB - $54 + shipping from Core Electronics
Refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 9 128GB - $699 at Phonebot
$30 Telstra prepaid kit - $12 from The Good Guys eBay Store
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (10th Gen) - $159.20 also from The Good Guys
🎶 Ashtray Heart - The White Stripes
😁 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.