Issue 1531 - Friday 21st January, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

USA's American Innovation and Choice Online Act is quietly freaking out Apple

A US Senate committee has agreed to push forward with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. With this law "platforms would be barred from behavior like biasing search results in their favor, limiting rivals' access to platform data, and using non-public data from customers to compete against them". It has a decent chance of passing as it was approved by both Republicans and Democrats. Apple is spooked by the law, saying it might be forced to allow sideloading apps onto iOS devices, which it claims is a security risk. Tim Cook's even got on the blower with Ted Cruz for 40 minutes to discuss it. It must be serious if Timmy could tolerate a phone call with Cruz for that long.

Got a free G Suite plan? Time to start paying for it

Heads up for G Suite/Google Apps/Google Workspace users with a grandfathered free account - it's ending July 1st and you will need to start paying by May 1st to maintain your account. If you don't pick a plan or close your account by May 1st, Google will choose a plan for you and start charging any payment method on your account in July. It's not really an issue Google is asking for money after users have been enjoying this service for free for 16 years. What is an issue is that it's stupidly hard to migrate your data over to a competitor (e.g: Fastmail or Office365) and going by the surprise from folks in The Sizzle's Slack group, nobody got informed until it was shared in Slack. confirms hack and stolen funds, but it's ok, users were reimbursed - official cryptocurrency partner of the AFL and now the Adelaide Crows (lol) - confirmed that 483 of its users had "4,836.26 ETH, 443.93 BTC and approximately US$66,200 in other cryptocurrencies" stolen from their accounts earlier this week. That's approximately US$30m all up. They detected "unauthorized activity on a small number of user accounts where transactions were being approved without the 2FA authentication control being inputted by the user". hasn't said what caused that problem, but they've "revoked all customer 2FA tokens, and added additional security hardening measures, which required all customers to re-login and set up their 2FA token". The users were made whole by and they've now introduced a "worldwide Account Protection Program" to reimburse users up to US$250,000 if something like this happens again.

Something I Saw On The Internet

A solar powered web platform that picks a server based on where the sun is shining

I just stumbled across Solar Protocol, "a web platform hosted across a network of solar-powered servers set up in different locations around the world". When you visit the website with your browser, "the network directs internet traffic to wherever the sun is shining. When your browser makes a request to see this website, it is sent to whichever server in the network is generating the most energy". Right now I'm viewing the website off a server in someone's backyard in sunny Newcastle, NSW. What an fun little proof of concept/art project. There's a "200W" solar panel, MPPT charge controller and a 20Ah SLA battery in my garage I should really do something with.

Friday Forum Update

Here's five interesting discussions over on The Sizzle's paid subscriber forum for you to enjoy over the weekend. If you are not a paid subscriber but want to get involved, visit to get onboard.


The End

📻 Parking Lot - Spiderbait

😎 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.

👋 Forums not your thing? The Sizzle has a Slack group you can procrastinate in and chat with other nerds bored at work.

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📚 Browse The Sizzle Archive. A few issues are missing and it's not searchable, but it's better than nothing.

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.