Issue 1527 - Monday 17th January, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

UK government plans creepy encrypted messaging app FUD campaign

Rolling Stone got its hands on leaked documents from advertising agency M&C Saatchi, who came up with a campaign to smear and delegitimise encrypted messaging apps on behalf of the UK government. One of the stunts in this campaign features an adult and a kid in a glass box in a public space, both playing away on smartphones. Throughout the day the glass box will become opaque so people can't see inside in order to "create a sense of unease by hiding what the child and adult are doing online when their interaction can't be seen". The aim of the campaign is to "force Facebook to evaluate their sense of responsibility". It takes a lot for me to be on Facebook's side in an argument, but fuck me, the UK government's spin doctors have done the job.

Free TV Australia wants the government to mandate TVs make it easy to watch FTA broadcasts

Free TV Australia (7, 9 and 10's lobby group) submitted their thoughts to the Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety and want the government to come up with a "prominence framework" to ensure "free-to-air services are prominent on connected TVs". This framework would have 3 principles - "Australians must have free, easy and universal access to terrestrial services and BVOD apps", "Australians must be made aware of the availability of FTA services" and to "maintain free, easy and universal access as new technologies emerge". Their argument seems to be that people don't realise their TVs can get FTA TV and it's unfair multi-national companies (Netflix, Disney, Samsung, Sony etc) have too much leverage, which to me sounds absolutely insane and glosses over the actual problem of nobody wanting to watch their ratshit infested broadcasts.

News, news, news and more news

Something I Saw On The Internet

AMD CPUs have programmable fuses that lock it to specific vendors

AMD has a thing called Platform Secure Boot (PSB) as an optional feature on its latest Ryzen and EPYC CPUs. The CPUs have field programmable fuses that when blown, lock themselves to that vendor. You can't take a CPU that has PSB enabled and install it in another computer from a different brand (i.e: put a CPU from a Lenovo PC in a Dell PC). A real ball ache for secondary market. It was first noticed on servers a while ago where it might make sense, but now it's trickling down to "enterprise" desktop PCs. Apparently it allows a "silicon root of trust" to "protect the OEM's BIOS" - but they still allow it in other Lenovo PCs, so I don't know how secure that is really. Sounds more like OEMs being pricks under the disguise of security. Serve The Home has a video explaining the practical side of PSB.


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.