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💡 Weekly: Is anyone *not* getting hacked out there?

News rounded up from Google, USB 4, Medibank, Spotify exclusive pods, positive social apps for teens, and AI bias issues in the jobs market.

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
6 min read
💡 Weekly: Is anyone *not* getting hacked out there?
"tendril hacker, infinite machines, vaporwave, steampunk, photorealism" (Midjourney)

Welcome to another fine Friday!

In some ways it is a sad occasion, though, as Byteside's fab Content Producer, Chris Button, is off on a new adventure next week. Huge thanks to Chris for all his work published on the site, his work behind the scenes, and his dulcet tones on this year's edition of the High Resolution podcast.

Here's what we've found interesting around the web this week.

Byteside latest

PAX Australia 2022 looked different, but does it hurt the show’s future?
The biggest platforms and developers weren’t on the show floor in 2022. But does the spirit of PAX protect it against the changing nature of games marketing?
Google Pixel 7 & Pixel 7 Pro review: because you love Google’s brains
The same price in an inflationary market and some solid updates in camera and features makes it a good year to upgrade if you’ve been waiting for a few years.

Brain food

Is Spotify’s podcast exclusivity strategy working?
The open podcast ecosystem isn’t dead yet.

Good analysis of what's gone right and wrong when Spotify has bought successful podcast companies and then forced their existing shows into platform exclusives.

AI tools fail to reduce recruitment bias - study
Artificially intelligent analysis of job applications or videos is “pseudoscience”, researchers say.

Shout it again for those up the back. AI is not bias-free!

The Hottest App Right Now? One Where Teens Have to Say Nice Things About Each Other
Gas is topping Apple’s App Store charts even though it’s live in fewer than a dozen states.

Always interesting to see where new social apps are finding cut through. Can positivity win? Or will the kids always find a way to turn good vibes into a new vector for bullying or ostracism?

YouTube more likely to recommend conservative vidoes to all
There goes Woke Big Tech again, downplaying traditional liberal views

No matter your preferences, all roads seem to lead to conservative videos.

Everyone Wants to Be a Hot, Anxious Girl on Twitter
We’re more predictable than we thought.

A very interesting look at the Twitter accounts that rehash videos, quotes and trends and mine attention for follows.

Big news

What we know about the Medibank cyber attack and what to do if you’re a customer
Medibank, which has more than 3.7 million customers, says a hacker claims to have stolen 200GB of data and given 100 policies as proof. Here’s what we know.

I was on ABC with Richard Glover discussing this one yesterday. Maybe there's a little less identity theft at stake here, but there's also a much deeper level of private information that the attackers are threatening to exploit. The potential to reveal private medical insights about high profile individuals is a very nasty threat to make. And it's the kind of data we should be able to trust an insurance provider to hold on our behalf as needed.

Inquiry ‘absolutely necessary’ after Optus breach: Dominello
A national inquiry into identity and data sharing is “absolutely necessary” in the wake of the Optus data breach, according to New South Wales Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello. With investigations into Australia’s largest data breach since 2018 now underway by pr…

Tied together with the above, there really should be audits and investigations that are triggered automatically against companies that are holding critical personal information and are hit by a breach. It feels like the news cycle is ready to leave the Optus situation in the past and everyone just shrugs and moves on. We need real transparency and real accountability when big companies fail at security.

Your ads, your choice
Today, Google is starting to roll out My Ad Center, a new way for users to control the ads they see on Search, YouTube and Discover.

New tools are going to make it easier to control ad tracking without having to shut off other useful features within the Google experience. Progress.

Chrome for Android Gets Some Tablet-Friendly Touches
The update brings abilities like tabs and a drag-and-drop mode, but it’s for Android tablets only.

In other Google news, these new tablet-friendly features are another win for the Android ecosystem. With the Pixel tablet on the way too, delivering a better experience that embraces larger and wider screen formats will help people to see the value on choosing such devices.

Jack Dorsey-Founded Bluesky Unveils Roadmap for Decentralized Social Networks - Decrypt
The group, formed within Twitter, is building a decentralized protocol that limits corporate and governmental influence on social media platforms.

I hadn't read much into Bluesky before, but this latest update does speak to a social protocol that holds great potential as a truly open platform. 'Decentralised' doesn't have to mean crypto. Email is a wonderful decentralised, federated means of communication everyone can use. Getting it right in a similar fashion for social could be great.

Meta gives up fight to get $400m Giphy buy approved
Facebook to dump GIF super-gallery after just enough pestering from UK

"OK, you can have Instagram, but a searchable index of GIFs is a bridge too far."

Secret agents targeting drug cartels in Australia exposed in data hack
A massive leak of classified government documents has exposed the identities and methods of secret agents working to stop major drug importations to Australia.

A leak in Columbia has put Australian feds at risk. The ripple effects of cybersecurity cross the world.

USB 4 Version 2 Doubles Transfer Speed to 80Gbps -- even 120Gbps if You Push It
The new data transfer tech could arrive in late 2023, but you’ll only get top speeds when you upgrade all cables, peripherals and PCs.

Think about the timeline from here to 2030. A few more generations of USB, all based on the same USB-C port. It seems like we'll 'save on cables', but there will absolutely be some cables that are more USB-C than others, and knowing which is which will get harder by the year.


Seamus Byrne Twitter

Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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