Issue 1435 - Monday 23rd August, 2021

Fellow subscriber Ashe want me to let you know they've made a RSS feed of the Victorian coronavirus exposure sites. Some of you might find that handy. There's also COVID-19 Near Me, which has a map of vaccination providers like chemists, GPs and state government hubs. Stay safe and get vaccinated ASAP!

In Today's Issue

The News

Flaw in Medicare app allows easy creation of fake COVID vaccine certificate

Richard Nelson, a Sydney software engineer (and Sizzle subscriber - hello Richard!) made the news today after finding a flaw in the Express Plus Medicare app. Richard was able to add a valid COVID vaccination certificate to the app, including an animated Australian coat of arms, in less than 10 minutes. He was able to make a certificate for the journalist interviewing him, who was not fully vaccinated. Richard has not revealed how it's done so the anti-vax crowd don't go around pretending they're vaccinated, but it's an "obvious" security flaw that really should have been picked up in a security audit before the certificates went live.

Facebook suppressed earlier transparency report because it made them look bad

Last week Facebook released its first official report highlighting the most popular content on its platform, in an attempt to pretend to be transparent. Over the weekend it was revealed that Facebook did a report a quarter earlier with the same intention, but the top result was so embarassing, it shelved the report and waited for more favourable content to float to the surface. Apparently the most popular piece of content from Janurary to March 2021 was from the South Florida Sun Sentinel claiming a doctor died as a result of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. That was later found to be false. The top 100 viewed items were peppered with bullshit about COVID-19, so they scrapped the report.

Google effectively bribed game developers & smartphone OEMs to not use Epic's game store

Fresh unredacted sections of Epic's lawsuit against Google have revealed they secretly operated a "Premier Device Program" in 2019 that would give Android handset OEMs a 12% cut of Google's search revenue instead of the usual 8%, if they agreed to not pre-install "apps with APK install privileges" (aka app stores) on their devices. Google never made this public and made the OEMs agree to an NDA so they wouldn't tell anyone. Makes it hard to make a competing app store when Google is offering this sweet bribe money not to. Google also spent "hundreds of millions of dollars on secret deals with over 20 top developers" in a program called Project Hug, to keep them on the Play Store and not use Epic's.

Something I Saw On The Internet

TP-Link's outdoor wi-fi access points make cheap & easy wireless extenders

Arstechnica has a nice review of the TP-Link CPE210 & CPE510 outdoor wi-fi access points. These are only $70 and $100 each in Australia, are widely available and allow you to get internet/network access from one building to another without a lot of fucking around depending how far apart they are. The reviewer put one access point in a house facing a window (ziptied to a cat tree, hah), the other in a shed (outdoors, on a shelf) about 80m away through a small amount of trees that obscure the view. For this basic scenario, they were able to saturate the 100mbit ethernet port on the access points with ease. The more regional/rural you are, the better it'll work as the 2.4GHz band won't be full of crap like in metro areas.


The End

📻 Edie's Dream - SUUNS

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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.‚Äč