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Issue 1024 - Wednesday, December 11, 2019

In This Issue


News

Apple suing former CPU architect with info it got via personal iMessage conversations

Gerard Williams was the Chief CPU Architect at Apple and left Cupertino with an impressive legacy in the A-series SoCs used in almost every Apple product. After Apple he co-founded Nuvia along with some ex-Google people, planning to make ARM-based SoCs for datacentre use. Apple has now cracked the shits with Gerard and is suing him because Nuvia has recruited “numerous Apple engineers” and the usual non-compete crap even though Apple doesn’t make server CPUs or servers. Responding to the lawsuit, Williams says Apple “illegally collected text messages between him and other Apple employees, two of which went on to be Nuvia’s co-founders, to build its case” – if it’s true Apple abused its power as the owner of iMessage to dig up dirt on a former employee, they are massive hypocrites. The first sentence on their privacy page states that “privacy is a fundamental human right”. If you can’t give your employees that fundamental human right, why would they give a shit about giving the same to their customers?

More details about proped Online Safety Act & new eSafety Commissioner powers

The government has set up a consultation process for a proposed law called the Online Safety Act. It will give the eSafety Commissioner a range of powers including “the extension of cyber-bullying provisions from children to the entire population, with a higher threshold for adults; getting search engines to “de-rank offending content”; and handing the eSafety Commissioner the power to force transparency reporting by digital platforms”, as well as “power to have content related to child exploitation, abhorrent violence, content that incites terrorism or violence, and “other extreme material” removed, no matter where it is hosted around the world”. This is some serious modification to what Australians can see and do on the internet. Here’s the government consultation portal for the Online Safety Act if you wanna dig deeper.

Facebook tells US AG it won’t insert backdoors, US Senators raise pedo argument for forcing them to

The tech company versus government “debate” about access to encrypted communications has kicked up a notch the past 24 hours. Facebook’s lawyers replied to a letter from the US Attorney General prior to their appearance in the Senate, telling the AG that “the ‘backdoor’ access you are demanding for law enforcement would be a gift to criminals, hackers and repressive regimes, creating a way for them to enter our systems and leaving every person on our platforms more vulnerable to real-life harm”. This didn’t go down too well in the Senate hearing, with Senator Lindsey Graham telling Facebook & Apple that “you’re going to find a way to do this or we’re going to go do it for you” (this being a backdoor into encrypted chats) and “we’re not going to live in a world where a bunch of child abusers have a safe haven to practice their craft. Period. End of discussion”. All going well in the land of the free, clearly.


Not News

Please indulge me in this Mac Pro pricing rant

So, how about the pricing on that new Mac Pro hey? $10k base, almost $100k top spec and $640 for the optional wheels! What shits me more than the stupid Apple upgrade pricing (we all knew that was gonna be a shit show and the 8TB SSD option hasn’t even gone live yet) is the base model pricing. The iMac Pro/top spec iMac have similar CPUs, bigger SSDs, better GPUs, a great 27″ Retina display and costs $2,700 less than the $9,999 Mac Pro! That’s a lot of money for “expansion” (MPX & proprietary SSD slots anyone???). Don’t give me any shit about “workstation” class computers either – HP and Lenovo sell similar spec workstations for almost half the price of the base-level Mac Pro, with on-site warranties. You would need to really, really, really love macOS (or be really, really stubborn about macOS), like your workflow is impossible to achieve without it to drop the coin Apple is asking on a Mac Pro.


Bargains


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FU – WAAX

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony “@decryption” Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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.​

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