In This Issue


Heaps of new Google stuff - Pixel 4, Pixelbook Go, Nest Mini, Nest Wi-Fi, Pixel Buds

Google unleashed a load of new gear last night:

Government asks ACMA to do something about how easy it is to steal someone’s mobile number

The communications minister has "issued a formal direction" to ACMA, asking them to "make new rules mandating stronger identity verification processes before mobile numbers can be transferred". A-fucken-men. The weakest link in most multi-factor authentication setups is how damn easy it is for someone to port your mobile number away from you, onto a SIM they control. Sometimes all you need is a date of birth! There's no details around what these new requirements are, but the minister wants ACMA to lay down some strong minimum requirements pronto. I reckon it should be something as simple as a phone call or SMS to the number being ported, asking for confirmation.

Twitter refines how politicians get special treatment to flaunt the rules on its platform

Twitter is slightly refining its policy regarding "government officials" who tweet stuff that's against Twitter's rules, but Twitter leaves up because they think it's important people see the horrible message. They're still going to hide the tweet with a "this is a bad tweet" message that lets you read it, but now they're going to "limit the ability to engage with the Tweet through likes, Retweets, or sharing on Twitter, and make sure the Tweet isn't algorithmically recommended by Twitter". Reading between the lines, Twitter is still piss scared of upsetting politicians and their crazy followers who claim their views are being silenced, but also wants to appease the opponents of those views who think Twitter is the reason we can't have nice things. Here's the full Twitter policy outlining how they treat politicians better than us plebs.

Not News

Lines of code that changed the world

Slate asked various authors of computer related books to give their favourite or notorious code snippets and compiled it into a wonderful article. There's code that has generated enormous wealth, like Google's PageRank Algorthim and Facebook's Like button. Code that has lost wealth, such as a rounding error in the Vacouver Stock Exchange's algorithm from 1982. Code that's killed people on purpose when used to launch missiles from drones and killed them accidentally with the Boeing 737 Max and Therac-25 radiation therapy machine. Seeing all these examples of how computers can be used for amazing things is a great reminder that technology is always a reflection of our society. How it's made, how it's used and how we respond to the changes technology brings about.


🎶 Lonely Boy - The Black Keys

😁 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.​