May 1st, 2014
Episode 345 of 421 episodes
On this week's Byte: Guests: Maia Sauren and Fiona Tweedie of the Open Knowledge Foundation join the team to discuss GovHack and HealthHack - doing awesome things with government and health data, to aid better governance and health research. GovHack is nationwide from July 11-13 HealthHack in Melbourne from October 24-26 News: The Guardian has reported that journalists' sources are vulnerable - a simple request (or order) by a government department for telecommunications metadata could expose any number of sources. The Australian, US and UK Governments have recommended that people not use Microsoft Internet Explorer (specifically versions 6-11) due to security concerns (cue wild cheering from developers everywhere). Mozilla have released Firefox 29, which has been in the works for five years - a lot has been completely rewritten. The Federal Government's MyGov website (which gives citizens one-stop access to Medicare, Centrelink and other government social services) has been criticised for using single-factor authentication (and generally weak passwords), leaving sensitive personal data particularly vulnerable. Rumours of the death of Google+ have begun circulating after the head of the department Vic Gundotra announced that he would be leaving Google. Aereo (who hook into TV broadcasters' live signals and stream them to users) are being taken to the US Supreme Court by copyright holders - check out the EFF's stance. In Heartbleed news, OpenBSD (led by the charismatic Theo de Wraadt) have had a go at improving OpenSSL (calling it "OpenSSL Valhalla Rampage" - poetic, huh?), and in response a number of corporations (IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook and Google among others) are putting cash in to develop OpenSSL themselves. Will this result in a free vs proprietary turf war? Watch this space... With the closure of SilkRoad, a Toronto BitCoin hackathon has given rise to a contender to take its place - DarkMarket is a fully decentralised peer-to-peer system, meaning authorities would need to arrest every user. Of course, it's not all about drugs, though... Geeks Without Bounds is an accelerator for humanitarian projects - got an idea to help the world? Get involved! Lighter News: Notch, the people who brought us MineCraft, have released their latest - Drowning in Problems is beautifully simple and incredibly thought-provoking. Seattle-based band NetCat have released their album as a Linux kernel module - earn your music, everyone (or you can just buy the album if you can't be bothered...). Amazon have bought Comixology, the go-to app for tablets and phonesfor purchasing and consuming comics, and in true Amazon style, have removed in-app purchases on iOS devices. Firefox phones are here- and discussions have begun about which is the best... The University of Miami's WeRobot conference (focusing on the legal and policy issues surrounding robotics) talks are now available online. Event: Wired and Whole Earth Catalogue's Kevin Kelly is hosting a roundtable discussion about artificial intelligence on Google Hangout, 4am AEST, Thursday 01/05. Presented by Vanessa Toholka, Lachlan Simpson, and Dan Salmon. Keep up with all things Byte on Twitter, Facebook, and G+ - see you next week!