In This Issue


Avast AV software used as a front to collect & sell user browsing habits to third parties

Avast make popular anti-virus software that they claim is active on 435 million devices. I bet the users of those 435 million users didn't expect Avast to sell every little activity they did online to its subsidiary Jumpshot, who then sold that data on to Google, Yelp, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, Sephora, Home Depot, Condé Nast, Intuit, and many others. We aren't just talking about a little bit of innocent data either, but a wholesale collection of user behaviour, with time stamped logs of when you visited a website and what you did on that website. What a massive betrayal of those user's trust. They think they're installing AV software to help protect them, but in reality, their private info is being sold out from under them. I spit in Avast's direction.

Dr Andrew James Tridgell (Rsync & Samba) and Geoff Huston (AARNET/APNIC) bestowed Orders of Australia

Australia Day is when the government gives out awards for being a good Aussie, called an Order of Australia. One of the recipients this year was Dr Andrew James Tridgell, who you might know as the guy that founded Rsync and Samba - free, open source tools I personally use multiple times a day. Awesome to see Tridge get some formal recognition for his "service to information technology". Another ultimate boss nerd, Geoff Huston, APNIC's Chief Scientist can now add an Order of Australia alongside his inclusion in the Internet Society's Hall of Fame, for being one of the linchpins in bringing the internet to Australia in the early 90s with AARNET. Other technology related OAM receivers include Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, Janet Patricia Matton, Emeritus Professor John Frederick O'Callaghan, Peter Adalbert Fritz and Dr Peter George Thorne.

Vine has been resurrected as a TikTok competitor called Byte

Remember Vine? Those little video clips that were popular on Twitter but then Twitter shut it down to save money on hosting costs? Well Vine's co-founder, Dom Hofmann has resurrected Vine from the dead and called it Byte. The easiest way to describe it in 2020 is a TikTok clone (even though TikTok is a clone of Vine!) that differentiates itself from its bigger Chinese competitors by "helping content creators make money" and something about forcing creativity as clips are limited to 6-seconds. So there you go, a new social network for you to have to give a shit about if you're in the business of giving a shit about social networks.

Not News

The Powkiddy A19 isn’t a child punching device, but a portable video game emulation unit

Check out the Powkiddy A19 "retro handheld" - it's basically the guts of a low-end smartphone shoved into knock off Playdate case running a fork of Android 6 that emulates various game consoles (basically everything older than and including Dreamcast/PS1/N64). You can just buy it off Aliexpress (A$120) start playing as it comes pre-installed with hundreds of games. You don't even need to go scouring for ROMs, the operating system (called Pandora) sucks em down on demand via a 100% illegal Chinese app store. According to this YouTube review, the only downside is the lack of shoulder buttons, which makes some games unplayable - but for older games, it looks pretty slick.


🎶 Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones

😁 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.​