Tech Related Coronavirus News
Government formalises law forcing ISPs to block “online crisis events”
New Windows 0-day floating around for stressed people working from home to get phished with
Detailed Dell XPS 13 9300 laptop review
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MyGov is still shitting all over the bed despite capacity getting boosted increased from 55,000 to 150,000 concurrent users. What the hell did these clowns expect to happen? They themselves knew over 1m+ will be unemployed, did they think 900,000+ of them would just fend for themselves?
If you're trying to make a phone call and getting a recorded message saying "service to the telecommunications network you are calling is temporarily congested" you aren't alone. All three telco networks are struggling with the volume of voice calls.
Jitsi is an alternative to Zoom you might like. It's open source and uses WebRTC to communicate between participants so no central server is required. There's Linux, iOS, Android and web apps available.
If you're curious about the privacy implications of using Zoom, Protonmail has a blog post explaining some of the creepier (but imho not that bad if you know it’s happening) things they do.
Like Israel, Singapore and Taiwan, Russia is developing a smartphone app "to track people who have come into contact with anyone with coronavirus by using mobile phone geolocation data".
The WHO made its own official chatbot for Whatsapp so anyone around the world can ask it questions regarding COVID-19. Send "Hi" to +41794752209 to get the chat started.
This anti-virus software claims to protect against COVID-19, then installs malware on your PC. Anyone who downloads this app should throw their computer in the bin.
The Australian Information Industry Association has a portal for assisting organisations with internet based business continuity - stuff like how to use Teams, how to remotely handle employees and so on. It just launched but more will be added soon.
Mozilla has re-enabled TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Firefox to "better enable access to critical government sites sharing COVID19 information". Due to Chrome's development hiatus the proposed disabling of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 won't happen either.
The eSafety Commissioner and Australian ISPs have agreed on a framework to continue blocking websites hosting graphic material that depict terrorist acts or violent crimes, as a way to "stem the risk of its rapid spread as an online crisis event unfolds". Basically the eSafety Commissioner will determine an "an online crisis event" and tell ISPs to block it and they will block it because they agreed to do so. It's basically what happened during the Christchurch terrorist attack, but now it's a permanent law ready to be used the next time some dickhead decides to display how much of a dickhead they are to the world.
There's a fresh unpatched Windows 0-day being actively exploited in the wild that allow the execution of malicious code. "The security flaw exists in the Adobe Type Manager Library, a Windows DLL file that a wide variety of apps use to manage and render fonts available from Adobe Systems. The vulnerability consists of two code-execution flaws that can be triggered by the improper handling of maliciously crafted master fonts in the Adobe Type 1 Postscript format. Attackers can exploit them by convincing a target to open a booby-trapped document or viewing it in the Windows preview pane". Microsoft reckons "a successful attack could only result in code execution within an AppContainer sandbox context with limited privileges and capabilities" and is yet to provide an ETA on when a fix will be available. Add it to the pile of shit currently strained IT departments have to deal with.
Dell's latest iteration of the popular XPS 13 laptop has been given a once over by Notebook Check. Overall they liked it and there's some nice touches like the 16:10 ratio screen (a few more vertical pixels are always welcome) and the metal casing for very little chassis flex. Unlike previous XPS units, this one didn't exhibit any annoying coil whine during Notebook Check's testing. The 9300 is a fraction smaller and lighter than its predecessor, but it’s also slower because the CPU can’t sustain high levels of performance due to thermal constraints. Probably good advice for any laptop user that if you need sustained high clock speeds, you need some sort of external cooling (like a cooling pad) or use a desktop instead.
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