In This Issue


AOC & Ted Cruz agree that Apple is playing with fire by removing HKMap from store

It's not often you see this, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz have joined other US politicians that are normally mortal enemies in signing a letter to express "strong concern" over Apple's decision to remove HKMap from the App Store. If you've already forgotten, Apple removed HKMap from the App Store in Hong Kong at China's request, even though it didn't break any Hong Kong laws. The letter makes the point that "cases like these raise real concern about whether Apple and other large US corporate entities will bow to growing Chinese demands rather than lose access to a billion Chinese consumers". If these two people with wildly different views of the world can agree on this topic, it just shows you how squeezed Apple is right now.

Malicious Alexa & Google Assistant apps turn smart speakers into spies

SRLabs has figured out a way for hackers with malicious intent to eavesdrop on your conversations and even steal passwords using the Google & Amazon smart speakers people litter their homes with. They made apps with fake noises that pretend to end or stop the action/intent, but actually remain active in the background. The linked article has some video examples of these malicious apps in action. The password stealing one is particularly crafty as it'll pretend there's been an error and that you need to speak your password to continue (Google/Amazon would never ask for a password like this, but not everyone knows that). The apps have been removed and Google and Amazon said they'll implement stronger checks to make sure dodgy voice apps don't go live on their app stores.

Lenovo is exhuming the RAZR brand name for some sort of folding phone

It is an extremely slow news day, so I am going to tell you about Motorola's (aka Lenovo) media event happening in Los Angeles on November 13. The invitation has stuff on it saying "an original unlike any other," "you're going to flip," and "highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon", which probably means they're gonna bring back the RAZR and give it a folding screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The "fan" (there's still Motorola fans?!) renders are hyping up an old school RAZR that when you open it up you get a single long screen, but it could even be as simple as the RAZR brand name and a more "contemporary" folding smartphone. Oh my god I'm even boring myself writing this. I could not care less.

Not News

n8n is an open source clone of Zapier

Zapier is pretty damn handy, acting like the glue between multiple online services. But if you end up relying on it for anything important, you're basically giving up control of that thing to Zapier. n8n is an open source clone of Zapier that you can host yourself. It supports a wide range of services (not as many as Zapier, but still heaps) like Dropbox, Slack, Google Sheets and dozens more. It's easy to get going too, as there's a docker image ready to go. I'm not saying don't use Zapier, as Zapier is good, but if you want an open source, free, alternative, check out n8n.


🎶 Scatterbrain - 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.​