I’m seeing some of my contract workload slow down right now. Some other parts are picking up. And freelance journalism is slooooooow. So overall, it’s not entirely balancing itself out. But I know I’m still far luckier than many.

My best guess is that we’re past the beginning and now we’re in the thick of the tunnel. But no one is quite sure how long the tunnel is. So a lot of businesses are tightening the belts a little harder. Until the other end is a little clearer, things are going to be pretty quiet.

I’m happy to live in a regional town. I’m happy to live in Australia. I’m happy I have a very good NBN connection. I’m happy my wife and kids are safe. I’m happy I live a rich digital life.

I’m hopeful for our situation, especially compared to many parts of the world. Slow and steady from here.

I hope you can find some hope too. Take care, stay safe, stay sane.

On Byteside

Marc Rogers on CTI-League's "Hackers without borders"

Jetpacks Are Overrated podcast: A fascinating chat with Marc Rogers, head of cybersecurity at Okta and long-time SecOps lead for legendary hacker conference DEFCON.

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A tracking app is just fancy contact tracing

Byteside podcast: This week’s podcast features a look at Australia’s contact tracing app plans, Minecraft RTX, playing digital boardgames and Fortnite’s next virtual concert!

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Esports aggregation with Ben Goldhaber, CEO of Juked.gg

High Resolution podcast: Ben Goldhaber, co-founder and CEO of Juked.gg, talks about his esports aggregation site, why they’ve created it, and where it all goes next.

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iPhone SE Review: a powerful new iPhone just like your old iPhone

Alice Clarke’s review of the new iPhone SE is published on Byteside! If you want to stick to that familiar, comfortable old physical design, then the iPhone SE will be that next device to cling to for another 4-5 years to come.

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'Rona roundup

Newly unemployed, and labeling photos for pennies

People who’ve lost jobs and are stuck indoors are turning to crowd work—filling out online surveys and transcribing audio for less than the minimum wage.

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Coronavirus is driving celebrities to Cameo in droves

A mixture of boredom and cashflow has a lot more celebrities heading to Cameo, where you can buy short video messages. We might end up with a special Cameo on next week’s Byteside…

www.vice.com  •  Share

Netflix releases 10 educational films and series free on YouTube

Netflix offers some films and series for free on YouTube as a way to help teachers during the COVID-19 quarantine.

variety.com  •  Share

Meetings from a galaxy far, far away

There’s been a lot of these doing the rounds. But this one was simply the best. You’ll now see me appearing live from a Rebel base or sometimes the Falcon.

www.starwars.com  •  Share

Big news

Facebook and Google to face mandatory code of conduct

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says a mandatory code will help level the playing field by requiring digital platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay news media businesses for the content they produce.

www.abc.net.au  •  Share

Ransomware is now the biggest online menace you need to worry about

Ransomware attacks have overtaken credit card theft as the top form of cybercrime according to new data.

www.zdnet.com  •  Share

Sonos launches streaming radio service

Sonos has announced Sonos Radio, a free new service that offers access to local stations on TuneIn and iHeartRadio, plus original programming like artist-curated and genre-based stations.

www.theverge.com  •  Share

Fascinating

The stockbrokers of Magic: The Gathering play for keeps

The market for the popular strategy game’s cards has started to resemble Wall Street, complete with speculation, arbitrage, and yes, insider trading.

www.wired.com  •  Share

Want to find a misinformed public? Facebook’s already done it

While vowing to police COVID-19 misinformation on its platform, Facebook let advertisers target users interested in “pseudoscience”.

themarkup.org  •  Share

Facebook’s ad tech helps Trump win

This great article is about a lot more than Trump. It’s about the machinery of AI-powered message targeting online. Well worth a read. Example:

“A ‘Facebook ad’ is less an ad and more a machine for producing ads. Instead of paying to put particular media in front of a specific audience, an advertiser now pays Facebook to deliver a selected outcome from a certain stripe of people.”

www.theatlantic.com  •  Share

Gems from the archives

I found a few links to interesting stories from last year lurking in a folder. Here’s some useful / interesting reads that aren’t so new!

Why 'ji32k7au4a83' is a remarkably common password

An interesting dissection of one seemingly-strong password leads to some fun insights into how things flow back and forth across international boundaries.

www.gizmodo.com.au  •  Share

Find and delete old email addresses

We’ve all got them. Weird old email addresses lurking in the recesses of the internet. Cleaning them up is good for your security and privacy so go do it.

www.lifehacker.com.au  •  Share

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