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Issue 1189 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020

In This Issue


News

Covidsafe is still a turd on iOS despite tweaked algorithms

We’ve known for months now that Covidsafe sucks at logging the social interactions of iOS users. Unfortunately not much has improved. The Guardian got its hands on updated data from August 1st that shows locked iPhone to locked iPhone success rates range from 27% to 47%, whereas locked Android devices capture a beacon 87% of the time. The DTA tweaked the algorithm to “determine a pattern of behaviour over a 15-minute window, rather than requiring a full set of 15 consecutive handshakes” and changed the portal used by state health officials “to overcome any lost handshakes following improvements to its filtering algorithm”. None of which would be necessary if the DTA swallowed their pride and used Apple and Google’s technique instead of their crappy current techniques.

Oculus users will be forced to log in via a Facebook account soon

Oculus users will soon have to use a Facebook account to enjoy their fancy VR devices. “Starting in October, all new accounts will need to be Facebook accounts – or more specifically, users will need a Facebook account to log into the Oculus ecosystem. Meanwhile current stand-alone Oculus account holders will be grandfathered in for a time on their existing devices, however any future unreleased devices, even when paired with an existing Oculus account, will still require a Facebook login. Facebook will then maintain support for grandfathered accounts through the start of 2023. At that point the company will officially drop support for stand-alone Oculus accounts”. I’m not surprised, I mean, Facebook owns Oculus. Of course they want you to log in to a Facebook owned service using a Facebook account.

Canon lost people’s photos and videos uploaded to their new cloud service

Confirming that the cloud is just someone else’s shitty computer, when Canon “switched over to a new version of the image.canon software on 30 July, the code to control the short-term storage operated on both the short-term storage and the long-term storage functions, causing the loss of some images stored for more than 30 days”. At first people thought it was malware, but no, it was just human error. Too bad if you thought Canon would safely store your photos, as “there is no technical measure to restore lost video files, but that photo files can be restored – albeit not at their original resolution. This means that if the affected users have not backed up their files, then they will have lost them forever”. Ouch, how could Canon not have backups???


Not News

Not all UPS units are created equal, get a line-interactive one

Fitzcarraldo got a nice shiny APC brand UPS and discovered that when needed the most, it didn’t deliver. Unbeknownst to me, a “standby” UPS like what Fitzcarraldo had won’t provide power if the battery fails even if there’s proper mains supply. So when the battery in Fitzcarraldo’s UPS failed without warning while away from home it took the machines it was running offline with it even though there was ample mains power to operate stuff. The moral of the story here is to buy a line-interactive UPS, don’t waste time with anything else. This article also reminded me to get my shit together for this summer as last summer my power went up and down like a yo-yo with brownouts. That can’t be good for the ol’ spinny disks in my file server.


Bargains


Blindness – The Fall

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

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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.​

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