Select Page


US Treasury Hacked

Russian government hackers are behind a broad espionage campaign that has compromised U.S. agencies, including Treasury and Commerce

  • According to the Washington Post, 
  • Russian government hackers breached the Treasury and Commerce departments, along with other U.S. government agencies, as part of a global espionage campaign that stretches back months
  • The Russian hackers, known by the nickname Cozy Bear, are part of that nation’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR
  • The treasury was hit via an update to a network management system made by the firm SolarWinds
  • SolarWinds said the network system was surreptitiously weaponized in a “highly-sophisticated, targeted . . . attack by a nation state.”
  • It’s not just the government agencies – SolarWinds has some of the biggest names in the world as clients, including government, consulting, technology, telecom, and oil and gas companies around the world. 
  • The exploit was discovered by FireEye, a security firm which was also running SolarWind and also exploited Sunday. 

ATO reveals biggest tax dodgers in tech 

ATO reveals the IT giants that paid zero tax last year

  • The Australian Taxation Office has published its sixth annual corporate tax transparency report, which discloses the 2018-19 tax bills of the largest companies operating in the country.
  • It covers over two thousand public and foreign-owned companies with incomes of $100 million or more
  • The report shows that 741 of these companies paid no tax in Australia in 2018, including four IT companies that generated a taxable income – and that is somehow an improvement of previous years.
  • Tech companies avoiding tax include IBM, which had a taxable income of $60 million on revenue of $3.26 billion, as well as Netcom Wireless, Toshiba and Unisys.
  • Vodafone and NBN Co made a loss last year, and paid no tax
  • Atlassian, which – like IBM – paid no tax in the last three years, paid a tax bill of $11 million on a taxable income of $56.8 million in 2018-19 – an effective tax rate of 19 percent.
  • iTnews has the whole list of who paid what if you want to go check 

Apple killed gawker show

Apple TV Was Making a Show About Gawker. Then Tim Cook Found Out.

  • According to the New York Times, Tim Cook specifically stepped in to nix a series on Gawker
  • That’s just one of the juicy tidbits 
  • Gawker was home to some of the most sensationalist blogs on the web, including Valleywag, which covered tech 
  • Mr. Cook was surprised to learn that his company was making a show about Gawker, which had humiliated the company at various times and famously outed him, back in 2008, as gay.
  • Some other fun details – a Dr Dre biopic was cancelled due to too much drugs and nudity
  • Apple TV shows shouldnt show busted phones.. 
  • And more seriously, Apple exec Eddy Cue has asked no series show China in a bad light 
  • Gawker was eventually sue out of publication by Hulk Hogan, after the dite published a sex tape of his. 
  • It was later revealed tech mogul and Facebook shareholder Peter Thiel had secretly financed the lawsuit, to get back at outing him. 

Here’s another reason to feel bad about playing video games

PS5, Xbox Series X and the climate crisis facing next-gen video games

  • An hour of play in Spider-Man Miles Morales is equivalent to charging your smartphone 18 times. 
  • If 100,000 people finish the game, which takes about 15 hours around 230 tons of carbon would be emitted – the same as 45 cars driven for a year
  • Both Xcox and Ps5 ask users to set up their power usage at first run, and I admit i chose not to turn it on, because the other option was “Quick Resume” a major new feature of the Xbox 
  • Doing a bit more research, it’s crazy how much power the xbox uses in standby!
  • Playing Zelda on the Nintendo switch is positively good for the environment 
  • Both consoles have media streaming functions and lower powered chips for these situations, but still come in at around 60kilowatts per hour vs Apple Tv at 3kw