In This Issue


Miscellaneous pre-release COVID-19 contact tracing app information

Australia's COVID-19 contact tracing app derived from Singapore's is still being worked on, but according to the health department secretary we've "drawn on the code and used it, but we have added and changed it so that it’s unique for our circumstances". She added that the data collected will reside in an encrypted "national data store" that the Commonwealth and cops won't access - only the state health departments. It was also revealed by the ABC that Amazon Web Services will be where the data is stored - presumably only in the AU region. Finally, Apple and Google plan to make their contact tracing API public next week, but it probably won’t be used by the Australian app.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa is ready for production use

There's a new long term support release of Ubuntu - 20.04, Focal Fossa. The main new feature is a way more recent Linux kernel (5.4) that adds built-in Wireguard VPN support, exFAT read & write, way more support for various AMD & Intel CPUs, USB 3.2 and Type-C and general speed improvements. Check out the release notes for a full run-down of what's new. Phoronix has benchmarks of 20.04 versus the previous LTS release 18.04 and found that it is significantly faster. Serve the Home has a nice rundown of the new features and what they mean. Might fuck around with this on my home server over the weekend.

Facebook won’t let you advertise pseudoscience & Google is making you put your name behind your ads

Up until yesterday, Facebook used to let you target ads towards people who claim (or Facebook think) are interested in pseudoscience. Apparently this would let you aim ads for bullshit remedies and therapies to people, despite Facebook's years long battle against disinformation. It's almost as if Facebook couldn't give a flying fuck about anything besides making money??? Also in internet advertising news, Google is going to make all its advertisers verify their identities and which country they're from. This used to be for political ads only but will be for all ads now. Users will then be able to see who placed the ad.

Not News

LabGopher lets you filter different specs for servers for sale on eBay

Lockdown got you in the mood for buying former enterprise computer hardware to use at home? LabGopher lets you search eBay (yep, even eBay Australia) for servers based on certain specs. It scrapes the listings and puts them in a table where you can filter out things you don't want. The most useful feature would be the CPU Passmark rankings (good for multi-user Plex servers) and filtering out servers with 2.5" or 3.5" bays. For what its worth, I wouldn't bother with any gear older than the G8 for HP stuff and the R620/720 for Dell. The CPUs are too old and suck too much electricity for the performance they provide.


🎶 Don't Light My Fire - Otoboke Beaver

😁 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.​