The Sizzle - Issue 1043

Tuesday 21st January, 2020

In This Issue

  • NHTSA to investigate unintended acceleration in Tesla cars that Tesla reckons is “completely false”

  • Alphabet’s CEO is onboard for the EU’s 5 year moratorium on facial recognition tech

  • UK likely to allow Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks

  • Check out what Scottish Police do if they take your phone as evidence

  • Cheap wireless SNES controller, Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee headphones, Optus & Telstra 12m pre-paid SIMs, Google Pixel 3


News

NHTSA to investigate unintended acceleration in Tesla cars that Tesla reckons is “completely false”

The USA's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is going to investigate the reports of 127 Tesla owners that submitted a petition claiming that their vehicles "experience unintended acceleration at rates far exceeding other cars on the roads". Tesla responded to the petition's claims saying they are "completely false and was brought by a Tesla short-seller" (their default response to 99% of negative Tesla related news). Like most things Tesla related, I'm reluctant to take either side at face value. It's possible there's a fault with the accelerator, but it's also possible 127 people put their foot on the accelerator by accident and stubbornly claim they didn't.

Alphabet’s CEO is onboard for the EU’s 5 year moratorium on facial recognition tech

Sundar Pichai (Alphabet's CEO, remember?) has come out and supported the EU's proposal for a five year moratorium on using facial recognition technology in public areas, saying that "there is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to" and that "it's up to governments to chart the course". Brad Smith, Microsoft's President however, reckons an outright ban is bad because the technology can be used for good, using the scenario of an NGO using it to find missing children as an example why a blanket ban on facial recognition technology could do more harm than good.

UK likely to allow Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks

The USA & Australia have made big deals about blocking Huawei from being involved in any telcos plans for 5G networks, arguing that it's too risky to have a company so beholden to the Chinese government be embedded so deeply in vital communications networks. You'd think that the UK would have no worries following its Five Eyes buddies in telling Huawei to rack off - but that doesn't seem to be the case according to a former national security adviser. Huawei has persisted through multiple UK governments and the big telcos (BT and Vodafone) prefer Huawei not just for financial reasons, but for its superior technology. This advisor reckons Boris Johnson will announce Huawei is allowed to build 5G in the UK any day now.


Not News

Check out what Scottish Police do if they take your phone as evidence

Scottish police have posted a video about their "Cyber Kiosks" that allows them to suck in all the info off a smartphone taken off a suspect/victim/witness so it can be used as evidence. The kiosk is a Cellebrite unit, sold specifically so law enforcement cxan forensically access and store the data on a phone. Cellebrite's platform can also bypass (most) lock screen PINs, but that isn't demonstrated in this video. The cyber kiosk looks pretty slick to be honest, way nicer than I expected. I thought it was weird Scottish police would post a video about this, but there's so much disinformation around what police can do with a smartphone I guess they figured a bit of transparency around the process wouldn't hurt.


Bargains


🎶 The Fake Sound of Progress - Lostprophets

😁 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.​