In This Issue


Biometric authentication methods on Pixel 4 & Samsung S10 are crap

The biometric authentication features in some flagship Android phones have been exposed as a bit shit the past 24 hours. Samsung's new S10 smartphone has an under screen fingerprint sensor that when used in conjunction with a "cheap gel screen protector" allows any fingerprint to unlock the device. Apparently this is due to a "small air gap that interfered with the scanning". Samsung reckons they'll have a patch for it soon. According to a support document for Google's new Pixel 4, someone just pointing your fancy new phone at your face even with your eyes closed, will unlock it. This is a piss poor implementation of a common feature compared to other smartphone vendors.

Zuck gives lecture at Georgetown University about free speech

Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University last night, giving his thoughts and opinions on free expression. Apparently Facebook considered banning political advertising entirely, as a way to get them out of the constant shitstorms they're in. They decided not to however, as Zuck reckons it's important free speech and private companies shouldn't be censoring politicians. He went on to say that social media is a "Fifth Estate", allowing people to express themselves at scale. The pointy part of his speech came when he compared how China regulates social media (with an iron fist) compared to the USA (the First Amendment, don’t tread on me), asking which style of social media do we want? Here's a transcript of his speech, worth a read to see how Zuck interprets the results of his Frankenstein.

Sydney’s Central innovation & technology precinct is progressing

The NSW state government has revealed its desired plans for Sydney's latest "innovation and technology precinct". They want to reclaim about 24 hectares of land in the middle of Sydney, but covering up the train tracks between Central and Eveleigh. Most of the initial buildings will be "federal and state government offices, hotels and hostels", but Atlassian will be moving in, placing a big fancy building there that it hopes will attract other startups to be its neighbours. The area is already dotted with startups and is so close to UTS, everyone is hoping this concentration of tech companies will lead to a few more homegrown tech companies like Atlassian in the future. Here's a PDF of the plan.

Not News

Australian Synchrotron open day this Sunday

Ever driven down Blackburn Road in Clayton, gone past the Australian Synchrotron and wished you could have a peek inside to see what the nerds there are up to? This Sunday is your chance, as ANSTO, who operate the synchrotron are hosting an open day. It’s free for a tour, but you need to book. There is a VIP tunnel tour that costs $15, but it was all booked out by the time I noticed. Heaps of spots left for the self-guided tour though. I’m looking forward to the visit, maybe I’ll see you there! Thanks to @jpwarren for tweeting about this.


🎶 A Punch Up at a Wedding - Radiohead

😁 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.​