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Monday, 27 April 2020

COVIDSafe app - "It's a hacker's paradise": Brad Spooner

The Australian government's COVIDSafe app: have you installed it on your phone?

More than a million Australians did, in the first four hours of its release last night. For real.

Should you or shouldn't you download and install this app on your smartphone?

According to this IT specialist Brad Spooner, from Spoontech IT, he says NO. You should not. And if you have: delete it immediately, he recommends. "It's a hacker's paradise", he says bluntly.

More about the app here is below, but first, here is what Brad thinks.

“Who developed this app?" Brad questions. "Not us in Australia, it was made in India."

He continues: "Where is the security report to say that it's not using your data unlawfully? And where is the proof it isn’t?

"Considering it is using bluetooth which is the most unsecure wireless protocol known to man, and the pairing passwords are 0000 and 1234 for most devices... like, really? And we are calling this safe?

"Bluetooth, once paired, can access everything on your phone and it doesn’t have co-ordinate capabilities like GPS, meaning they are connecting everyone via bluetooth and getting your info from the phone and using GPS to broadcast your position so they get anything you have from any phone and know where you are and how far you are away from the people you are with!

"Money making? Get ready for a fine in the mail without even realising it.

"You buy a new phone and bluetooth to your old phone and it connects to download ALL your files. Who is to say this app it not automatically pairing to each phone? What about the fact bluetooth is unstable and easily hackable.

"I can download apps to my phone that can connect to every discoverable bluetooth enabled phone (of which there are lots) and download anything I want. Also, the fact that for bluetooth to see each other the phone has to be made discoverable always. So when you pair a normal device the bluetooth is only active for two minutes or so. So for it to pickup people you walk past it has to be discoverable 24/7.

"This is a major security risk as I could use the two common passwords as per those mentioned above and connect to anyone's phone, anytime.

"Imagine if you had photos on there that you don’t want the world to see!

"One million people downloaded it in the first four hours because they want the lockdown to end early, and that's how the government have marketed it, but where did they give us enough information to assure us it's safe? They didn’t.

"This app is also going to be used for social distancing rules, so beware they are watching everything now. Watch your mailbox.

"Another point is if you remove the app who’s to say they have not still installed an underlying app to continue keep an eye on you anyway long term, like Google already do.

"Plus with bluetooth being on 24/7 and discoverable, it's going to drain battery life from people's phones.

"People are in a COVID-19 brain dead state due to lockdown and just want this over so they have all band-wagoned on this app, but really, they have just been sucked in by the whole “it will be over quicker” thing, which is bull. You know what, it's the government's way of keeping an eye on who is doing the right thing.

"I have been in IT for over 29 years and I have dabbled in the dark side of the web many times, and let's just say if you downloaded this app as much - as you thought you were doing the right thing - I would uninstall it ASAP and just stay home and stay safe in your own way."

The Australian government instead says:

Your information and privacy is strictly protected.
Read the COVIDSafe Privacy Policy for details on how personal information collected in the app is handled. 
A Privacy Impact Assessment was commissioned to ensure that privacy risks have been addressed. See the Privacy Impact Assessment Report and our Agency Response.
The Health Minister has issued a Determination under the Biosecurity Act to protect people’s privacy and restrict access to information from the app. State and territory health authorities can access the information for contact tracing only. The only other access will be by the COVIDSafe Administrator to ensure the proper functioning, integrity and security of COVIDSafe, including to delete your registration information at your request. It will be a criminal offence to use any app data in any other way. The COVIDSafe app cannot be used to enforce quarantine or isolation restrictions, or any other laws.

Source: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app

And, the site also states:

When you download the app you provide your name, mobile number, and postcode and select your age range (see Privacy). You will receive a confirmation SMS text message to complete installation. The system then creates a unique encrypted reference code just for you.
COVIDSafe recognises other devices with the COVIDSafe app installed and Bluetooth enabled. When the app recognises another user, it notes the date, time, distance and duration of the contact and the other user’s reference code. The COVIDSafe app does not collect your location.
To be effective, you should have the COVIDSafe app running as you go about your daily business and come into contact with people. Users will receive daily notifications to ensure the COVIDSafe app is running.
The information is encrypted and that encrypted identifier is stored securely on your phone. Not even you can access it. The contact information stored in people’s mobiles is deleted on a 21-day rolling cycle. This period takes into account the COVID-19 incubation period and the time it takes to get tested. For more, see Privacy.

When an app user tests positive for COVID-19

When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, state and territory health officials will ask them or their parent/guardian who they have been in contact with. If they have the COVIDSafe app and provide their permission, the encrypted contact information from the app will be uploaded to a highly secure information storage system. State and territory health officials will then:
  • use the contacts captured by the app to support their usual contact tracing
  • call people to let them or their parent/guardian know they may have been exposed
  • offer advice on next steps, including:
    • what to look out for
    • when, how and where to get tested
    • what to do to protect friends and family from exposure
Health officials will not name the person who was infected.

After the pandemic

At the end of the Australian COVID-19 pandemic, users will be prompted to delete the COVIDSafe app from their phone. This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained in the information storage system will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.

Deleting the COVIDSafe app

You can delete the COVIDSafe app from your phone at any time. This will delete all COVIDSafe app information from your phone. The information in the secure information storage system will not be deleted immediately. It will be destroyed at the end of the pandemic. If you would like your information deleted from the storage system sooner, you can complete our request data deletion form.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, 20 April 2020

Nat's What I Reckon: INTERVIEW

There is a very good chance you have seen this guy Nat in amongst the recent increase in time on your phone, during this uncharted madness we call coronavirus lockdown... if you haven't, introducing: 'Nat's What I Reckon.'

Nat's simple approach to deconstructing the basics in the kitchen, and demystifying sauces you might be buying jar versions of ("fuck jar sauce" is a credo of his) has seen his star rise 'overnight' to the masses.

The thing is: Nat's been doing what he's doing for the past EIGHT years, and was mid way through a sold out tour around Australia with his particular brand of full on, expletive filled stand up comedy and vids on stage, when he started fucking around in the kitchen (he's been feeding people for eons, it's just that now he has started filming it) and BOOM: Nat's videos have gone completely, ballistic-ally VIRAL.

He has released a series of videos, starting with his 'Carbo-rona' sauce, a play on words with the classic Italian carbonara sauce and of course the 'rona (aka, coronavirus, aka Covid-19, the reason we are in this god forsaken pandemic which has fucked with our lives immensely).

One such videos is his Carbo-rona sauce, and he doesn't, well, mince words...

"What the fuck is that", he says as he holds up a jar of commercial, supermarket bought pasta sauce. 

"What's going on jailbirds - you're fucking locked up in your house and you're still buying jar fucking sauce. You know how I know you're still buying jar sauce, because I've been to the shops and I'd seen people fucking buying this shit.

"Carbonara my fucking arse!"

"If that's fucking carbonara pasta sauce, I'm the president of Australia.

"Fuck this shit, let's make some real sauce!"

And off he goes, telling you what every authentic Italian will agree with: DO NOT PUT CREAM IN A CARBONARA SAUCE. So, he's already a champion in my eyes...

Here is that video in full:

I interviewed Nat today about his sudden surge in subscribers and shares, and asked him how he feels about this explosion in people who may not have been fans NOW talking about him and sharing his videos and tagging their mates.

"I feel good about it I suppose," he tells Josie's Juice in his trademark laconic and laid-back style, though I can tell immediately he is immensely grateful.

"It’s not something I expected to go so well so quickly, and it’s something I am grateful for... seeing as I have been working fucking hard at this for so long," he adds matter of factly, and suddenly you want everything to go super well for this down to earth bloke, more than ever.

"I have been making these videos for eight years now, and I have been online making stuff, transitioning from YouTube to Facebook and kind of spreading myself a bit thin, and doing all sorts of things... I made short skit videos, then I started reviewing techno and trance festivals, and sort of started actively going to events I didn't want to go to," he tells me with a laugh (can relate Nat, can relate), adding he'd go to these events "with a microphone and take the piss out of them, which is why I got the channel going."

"Yeah I have always just tried to do my own thing, and not having any semblance of following a trend really, and it has been, as it is with all that kind of stuff, slow going until you get your crowd, but at the moment it’s been… fuck… I have spent so much time and money… it’s nice to see such a positive response."

At time of publication, Nat's Carbo-rona sauce video has reached over 6.2 million views on Facebook alone, going live three weeks ago, while his 'sin bin soup' video has amassed 5.7 million views having been posted only a week ago, his 'end of days bolognese' 4.5 million views since Thursday last week, his 'quarantine spirit risotto' (like, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', get it!) 6.5 million views, and his very first foray into the cooking vid madness 'how to make quarantine sauce' is now at over 6.5 million views just on Facebook. Here are this legend's videos so far:

Nat's latest video came out only four days ago and the video had already amassed four million views. Asked how he feels about this, he tells Josie's Juice:

"Yes, at the moment yes... these cooking videos have hit a real spot out there in the market," he agrees.

Have a look at the comments section of the videos on socials, and you'll see that the response to all Nat's video's are overwhelmingly positive. Many even thank Nat for teaching them how to cook.

I ask Nat what has been the most surprising feedback so far from his new cooking videos.

"I got a message from Dave Grohl yesterday which is pretty wild," he reveals, referring of course to the singer and drummer from Foo Fighters, and Nirvana before that.

Nat recounts: "One of his mates booked in for a cameo on my 'cameo service', and I ended up making him a video, not knowing who the Dave was he was referring to, giving him a bit of a rev up for being stuck in Hawaii, while all his mates are suffering in their jocks [during this pandemic and associated self isolation].

Dave has been sharing my videos, and, well... he is a bit of drumming icon of mine, as a drummer myself, and it’s incredible to get a message from him," says Nat. Talk about meeting a musical hero!

So how and why did Nat come up with this idea of cooking for dummies?

"You just have to go to the fucking shop and see what people are buying, it’s frightening," says Nat, referring to our collective pandemic food and toiletry stock up.

"I mean, I understand this quick fix shit, but it’s not like we don’t have time on our hands, so I thought there was a good gap to go: "Oi, you know that shit over there, you can actually make that shit."

Before this interview with Nat, I was pretty convinced that Nat had some kind of formal training as a chef, considering he has techniques and recipes down pat, but nope!

"I am not a professional cook, no," he says.

"It's just something I have been practicing and working at for years, I've always cooked for my friends, I've always lived in big share house, I have always cooked for big groups of people, I actually love it," he tells Josie's Juice.

"It's also a little bit of a mental health escape, a bit of meditation," he adds.

A few weeks ago, someone on social media took it upon themselves to send Nat a private message with this pearler:

Apart from publicly posting this punter's comment on his own page, captioning it with "Glad everyone is digging the cooking videos hahaha 😂 #quiche #getfucked" (with 'quiche' a cheeky nod to Chris Lilley's character 'Ja'mie Private School Girl' and 'her' use of the word quiche), just what did Nat think of the Jamie Oliver comment?

Nat lets out a raucous laugh: "Oh I love it!"

Yep, people can get precious about food, though I wonder if he's had any other scathing criticism which has made him laugh.

"That's gotta be up there, that one," says Nat.

"Cooking food is anyone's game really, you can put in anything and everything really, and that's the point of my videos... I don't think you should [put everything in]," he laughs, "It’s not a fucking garbage bin, it’s a dish, and that’s part of the shtick."

"To be honest, it has been so overwhelmingly positive, I mean I also get comments like, "You fucking grub, don’t put milk in that, and I just find it funny, I’m not sure you are getting the point of the video," he laughs, referring to milk being added to his recent bolognese sauce menu.

"It’s a performance, it’s a show, it’s a laugh."

Okay, so the milk thing intrigued me, but even as an Italo-Australian who is mostly a purist when it comes to classic Italian recipes, I am willing to give the 'latte' thing a go.

"That’s the thing with stuff like that. I became quite puritanical about things for a while with cooking, I'm like, what’s the true original way this dish is made, and I'd research that, and find the facts behind it, but that can end up being a little risky on the internet to see what exactly is true, but then I figure well this particular version is the way I like it, so...

"[Food] is often not that complicated, right, we just sometimes put all the 'shit' in it. Food doesn't have to be so complicated."

With all events around the country, and world, put on hold, Nat's first huge solo tour was also collateral damage after already selling out his tours around Australia.

"We just sold out Melbourne and Brisbane and Sydney, we just finished the Sydney leg and then we had to postpone the rest of the tour, this was all before all my cooking stuff, and all the videos.

"We kick back off again on September 30 [this year]. It was a bit of a kick in the guts at first... now it has kind of been a blessing," he tells us.

The Tattoo Expo he was to host "didn’t end up happening" ("that’s quite a populated and handsy event, so that was cancelled fairly quickly", he laughs), but, he adds, "You have to keep positive and keep your head up."

"You look around and everyone is going through it but it doesn’t mean it makes you feel heaps better."

Nat's 'book a shout out on Cameo' - find it on his website or follow the link on his Instagram - is a pretty cool addition to Nat's talents, which started before his now popular videos.

"It’s a shout out service. Often people will message me and ask to have me say happy birthday to a friend, or ask me to wind them up about how they cook something or whatever or just a say g'day to a friend, or sometimes people book it for themselves, and ask me to sing them a song or do a dance, and that is there to help monetise things so I can continue making videos," he says matter of factly.

His now famous viral videos are filmed with his partner: "We do this all together. I edit and kinda direct the video and write the script and stuff, although most of it is off the cuff really.

"She films them, and also designs all the logos and everything."

She's clearly a legend...

"Yeah she's a fucking legend."

Nat also reveals he "often tries to talk about elements of health care, and part of my journey with this stuff is managing my mental health as part of my expression in reaching out to people, in ways that are accessible."

"I am an ambassador for the big anxiety event, which was a mental health festival in Sydney last year. It's something that's important to me.

"This whole thing has a bit of an underpinning, of people looking after themselves and opening that conversation in subtle ways."

It may be a cliche, but it's true: blokes don’t really talk about their feelings. Historically, men need to work harder at getting their causes noticed.

"The patriarchy has men in a spot where they self perpetuate some pretty poor behaviours. Fellas might want to talk about their stuff, but feel ashamed. It’s of course true for women as well. But men traditionally don't talk and the whole strong silent type thing can be pretty dangerous." 

For now, Nat is "pretty happy doing my own thing," but stay tuned for some quirky collabs ahead of his return on stage. And many more of those food vids like the "bloody champion" he is.

Monday, 13 April 2020

'Tiger King' NEW episode: 'Tiger King and I'

Caught the wildly popular 'Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem' docuseries on Netflix yet? You have?
Well buckle up because the rumoured extra episode IS NOW HERE!
Premiering today on Netflix Australia/New Zealand (released Easter Sunday U.S. time) has a follow-up episode. The after show is titled 'Tiger King and I', and it's essential viewing.
Hosted by the inimitable Joel McHale, the episode features new interviews with the key people who appeared in the docuseries.
"I talk to a lot of people involved in the project - Jeff and Lauren Lowe, Saff, Erik Cowie, John Finlay, John Reinke, and Rick Kirkham - to see what’s happened in their lives since the release of the series,” Joel said in a teaser unveiled on Twitter late last week. “It’s eye-opening and hopefully, funny."
Here is that Tweet:
The Tiger King and I — a Tiger King after show hosted by Joel McHale and featuring brand new interviews with John Reinke, Joshua Dial, John Finlay, Saff, Erik Cowie, Rick Kirkman, and Jeff and Lauren Lowe — will premiere April 12
The central person in this docu-series is of course the controversial Joe Exotic (aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage), who remains incarcerated after being found guilty on murder-for-hire charges and wildlife violations.
Sentenced to 22 years in prison, Joe Exotic does not appear in the after show, and neither does his nemesis Carole Baskin.
One thing we do know is that since the series has aired, it has come to light that Carole is a person of interest in the disappearance of her former husband, Jack Donald 'Don' Lewis
While Carole has denied any involvement, since the airing of 'Tiger King', Florida’s Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister is seeking leads in the disappearance of Don.
Not just a bunch of interviews, the after party sheds light on how each person interviewed feels about Joe being in jail and if he should be released, and incredibly insightful parts like the fact that Joe Exotic is SCARED OF BIG CATS.
TV producer Rick Kirkham says that Joe was scared of his own animals, saying Joe would regularly pose with two tigers who were blind and tranquilised, and therefore posing no threat to him.
Another extremely disturbing story is Kirkham tells us is that Joe took in an old horse from a woman who visited his zoo. Joe then instructed Kirkham to keep the cameras rolling as he agreed to take care of the horse, but then shot it dead when the woman left, saying “I don’t take care of nobody’s animals. Now they’re tiger meat." He then proceeded to chop up the horse’s body and fed it to his tigers, according to Kirkham. 
Kirkham also reveals he has had consistent nightmares since he filmed with Joe, exacerbated since the Netflix series was released.
Joe's campaign manager Josh Dial, who lived at the zoo for while, says: “When the folks first started filming Joe, I was already working for Joe,” he began. “So, I’ve known the producer and directors since day one. The way they did this documentary, it’s fair, it’s balanced and I just think it’s a wonderful production", adding: “Well, the truth hurts. The truth hurts.”
More juicy bits: this couple and their hot nanny... (you're going to have to watch). Anyway, THIS is their nanny: https://www.instagram.com/mashadiduk/

Joe's ex-husband with his new teeth:

And here is Joel's post post show on Instagram:

'Tiger King and I' is now tagged onto the end of the 'Tiger King' series you'll find on your Netflix menu.