Issue 1453 - Thursday 16th September, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Inspiration4 didn't explode on launch, all civilian crew loving the view

SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission just hurled 4 civilians into space and will keep them there for 3 days orbiting the Earth for shits and giggles. No really, there's no professional astronauts on board and none of them belong to a space agency or military division. One bloke fucken won a raffle! To be fair, one of them is a pretty accomplished pilot (Jared Isaacman, the person paying for the ride) and another did once upon a time apply to be an astronaut and they all have a few months of astronaut training - but still, what a milestone. It's tough not to be in awe of some regular people getting to hang out in space for a few days. Yeah Elon Musk is a prick, yeah some rich dude is playing out his astronaut fantasy, just let me enjoy this.

The Wall Street Journal takes a big steaming shit on Facebook

The Wall Street Journal got its hands on some internal Facebook documents and is using what they contain to show how fucked up Facebook is. In a series of three articles the WSJ exposed: that there's about 5 million "VIPs" on Facebook that avoid the same moderation as the rest of us. That Instagram's own research team knows that its platform is harmful for teenage girls but nobody inside the company seems to care. That changes intended to boost "meaningful social interactions" actually had the opposite effect, boosting divisive topics and turning Facebook into an overall angrier place. Stop me if you've heard this before, but Facebook sucks and is arguably a net negative for society.

Microsoft enables passwordless accounts for all its services

Microsoft's ditching passwords - for real now. As The Verge reports, "starting today, the software giant will let consumers sign into Microsoft accounts with its Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, a security key, or an SMS / email verification code instead of a password". They kinda already have for logging in to various online services for work and school accounts, but now plain old Microsoft accounts can get in on the action. I've been logging in to Microsoft with the Authenticator app for a while now, but if I want to, I can go into my Microsoft account settings and remove the password entirely. I personally prefer it to a password and for the vast majority of people, this is way better than SMS 2FA and a shitty re-used password.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Australia's COVID-19 vaccine certificates are still very easy to fake

Leigh Brenecki has published how damn easy it is to add a fake Australian COVID-19 certificate to an Apple Wallet. You don't even need an Apple Developer account, but if you do have one, it makes the forgery 100% identical to a real certificate. As more restrictions are removed and things open up to those vaccinated against COVID-19, it sucks to see that anyone can offer 100% real looking proof of vaccination to those who are not really vaccinated - putting those who legitimately can't vaccinated at real risk. If there was a way for a regular punter with a smartphone to verify the certificate like in the UK (via the NHS) or New York (using an app called Excelsior Pass), this wouldn't be a problem. Did nobody involved have a peek at what's happening overseas?!

Bargains

The End

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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