Issue 1500 - Wednesday 24th November, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Apple suing NSO Group for violating iCloud terms of service and wants them banned from using Apple stuff forever

Apple is suing NSO Group for abusing vulnerabilities in iOS for state surveillance and putting Apple's users at risk. Specifically, they're claiming that NSO Group's FORCEDENTRY exploit, which used Apple IDs and iCloud to carry out attacks, violated Apple's terms of service which probably has something in it that says using iCloud for state sponsored hacking isn't allowed. Apple wants "a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices". Fuck knows if it'll achieve much, but at the very least it's a nice piece of symbolism to demonstrate Apple's privacy credentials for when they do another own-goal like the kiddie porn scanner stunt.

NASA launching asteroid destroying rocket, for real, not a joke

I shit you not, NASA is testing an asteroid missile called DART - Double Asteroid Redirection Test. Weather permitting, they're gonna launch a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and "will attempt to collide with Dimorphos, a small 'moonlet' of a larger asteroid named Didymos. DART will strike Dimorphos at a rate a little greater than 6.6 km/s, aiming to slightly alter the trajectory of the asteroid". I had no idea this was a serious thing NASA would spend time on. Probably a good idea as I never expected to live through a pandemic so living through the possibility of a giant asteroid colliding with Earth isn't out of the question!

eSafety Commissioner busted appearing on anti-porn podcast

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant was recently on a podcast hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) to talk about the Australian eSafety Office's work. NCOSE might sound noble, but they've historically been behind anti-pornography, anti-LGBTQI+ education and other "won't somebody think of the children!!" crusades in the Anglosphere. The eSafety Commissioner will have broad powers to decide what Australians can and can't see on the internet, so it's worrying to see her align with prudish censorship zealots like NCOSE and thanks to an FOI request (by a Sizzle subscriber, hello again Eliza!), we now know that the eSafety Commissioner's team didn't even bother checking the views of NCOSE before appearing on the podcast.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Perth to Oman fibre cable almost done, NZ to Antarctica cable planned

Submarine cable fans (yes all 3 of us) will be excited to know about two new projects. Perth is gonna be hooked up directly to Muscat in Oman with the Oman Australia Cable (OAC) via Equinix's PE2 and MC1 data centres. It'll give Australia a new low latency path to Europe and adds redundancy for Australia's comms links to Europe, which mostly go via the Strait of Malacca - a busy shipping channel prone to damaging cables. Meanwhile, the USA's National Science Foundation is seriously looking into the costs and logistics to run fibre to McMurdo Station in Antarctica via New Zealand. Antarctica is the only continent not spoiled by always connected high-speed internet. Would be a game changer for research and education if the NSF figures out how to do it.


The End

📻 Too Many Rappers - Beastie Boys, Nas

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

💬 Checked out the paid subscriber only forum? It's a tidy little place to discuss tech with like minded Aussies.

💳 Paid subscriber looking to manage your billing info or change email address? Visit the customer portal.

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.