In This Issue


Australian telcos hand over location info of entire country to government

Vodafone has handed over aggregate location data of all its customers to the NSW and Federal governments as a way to track people's movement during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Telstra and Optus haven't said if they've done the same (I'd be shocked if they didn't). Google has published a COVID-19 Community Mobility Report using data it collects via Google Maps. I get why this is being done and honestly, I'd probably do the same thing, but if you feel uncomfortable about it I don't blame ya. This opinion piece by Lizzie O'Shea does a good job exploring the fine line between good and bad use of this precious data.

Too many people think coronavirus is a symptom of 5G radio waves

5G conspiracy theorists reckon coronavirus is a symptom of the radio waves put out by this new technology and have been spouting their shit all over social media for a while, but over the weekend it jumped from internet weirdos doing their thing to a Real Fucking Problem with phone towers in Birmingham, Merseyside and Belfast in the UK set on fire. Apparently things have become so bad over there that "engineers working for BT Openreach have taken to posting public pleas on anti-5G Facebook groups asking to be spared the on-street abuse as they are not involved in maintaining mobile networks" - fuck these crackpots and the companies that enable their nonsense.

Facebook wanted to buy spyware off NSO Group so it could deeply monitor iOS user activity

If you had any doubt at all that Facebook is rotten to its core, Motherboard has a story explaining how in 2017 they tried to buy spyware from the controversial NSO Group. According to a court filing from NSO's CEO, "Facebook was concerned that its method for gathering user data through Onavo Protect was less effective on Apple devices than on Android devices" and "wanted to use purported capabilities of Pegasus to monitor users on Apple devices and were willing to pay for the ability to monitor Onavo Protect users". Onavo Protect was banned over a year ago but it just goes to show how craven Facebook is in its quest to know everything about you just to show you ads.

Not News

Bose really wanted to find out what users were complaining about after a QC35 firmware upgrade

Bose has posted an extremely detailed investigation of customer issues with v4.5.2 firmware on the QC35 headphones. People were having years of issues with new firmwares and perceived chances to noise cancellation effectiveness that ultimately ended up in Bose sending engineers to people's homes and doing A/B testing to see what the fuck is going on. The problem ended up being "the result of hardware related issues with earcushions, aftermarket parts, or mechanical integrity", not the v4.5.2 firmware update. I loved this report and I kinda want to buy some Bose gear now because of it.


🎶 Too Many DJs - Soulwax

😁 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.​