In This Issue


Who made COVIDSafe, was AWS a good choice for its infrastructure & 2.44m people have installed it

We've got a bit more detail on who was involved in the development of COVIDSafe. Apparently Atlassian was involved in the "initial setting up" and "technical aspects" of the development of the app. Boston Consulting Group helped with "usability and design issues". Canberra based "digital transformation firm" GoSource and Melbourne "app development firm" Shine Solutions Group were responsible for making the app itself. As we know, Amazon Web Services is heavily involved with the infrastructure and storage of COVIDSafe, which has upset a few people who would prefer an Australian owned business (e.g: Vault Cloud, Sliced Tech or AUCloud) got the gig instead of an US company (Amazon) using a Chinese owned datacentre (Global Switch in Sydney). 2.44 million people have installed COVIDSafe as of Tuesday night.

Announced in October, Google Pixel Buds are on sale now (in the USA)

Google's new Pixel Buds were announced back in October, but are now available to buy (in the USA, for US$179). Honestly, they're pretty much Google's answer to Apple's AirPods, albeit a generation behind the AirPods Pro. The Pixel Buds do the whole fast pair thing, adaptive sound quality to "temporarily and subtly adjust your volume to accommodate for the new noise in your environment", a Find My Device mode if you lose em and "clear calls, even in noisy and windy environments" with "beamforming mics and a special sensor that detects when your jaw is moving". Google claims they can do real-time language translation (when paired to a Pixel phone of course), but that sounds too good to be true. Unlike the AirPods Pro, the cheaper Pixel Buds don't do the active noise cancellation or transparency mode AirPods Pro users love.

UK city council leaks 8.6m records of ANPR data, including time-stamped locations of car plates

Sheffield City Council in the UK unwittingly made public 8.6m records of movement activity from its automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) system. The system's dashboard was publicly accessible, with no authentication. Infosec expert Chris Kubecka and writer Gerard Janssen found the door wide open, showing the movements of various licence plates - e.g: BD51SMR went from location A to location B at this time, making it a piece of piss to track where someone's been. The system was installed to monitor Clean Air Zone movements (i.e: if your car enters a specific area and isnt' an EV/hybrid you get charged a fee) but ended up being a mass surveillance system for anyone who knew the right URL! They were even able to find the IP address of each camera and a huge archive of the ANPR images that sometimes include the faces of passengers and drivers.

Not News

New app from Canon allows you to use your nice camera as a webcam on your PC with just a USB cable

Got a relatively modern Canon digital camera? The new EOS Webcam Utility app will let you use that high quality unit as a webcam to make your video conferencing look wayyyyy better than it does now. All you do is turn the camera on, put it in manual mode, adjust the image settings to your preference, install the utility on your computer, plug the camera in over USB and it appears as a new device your video conferencing software of choice can use to broadcast your face across the internet. The app is currently in beta and only runs on Windows 10, but still - great way to not only get a great quality image, but also actually get a camera as it's probably way easier to find a new or 2nd hand Canon camera than a webcam right now.


🎶 Saturday Saviour - Failure

😁 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.​