Squiz Today / 28 September 2022

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 28 September

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Squiz Today Podcast

We talk, you walk. 

Today’s listen time: 9 minutes

14 / 21
12 / 16
17 / 25
10 / 17
11 / 28
8 / 16
25 / 34
7 / 17

Squiz Sayings

“I wish I hadn’t won… The 3rd prize may have been better.”

Said Anoop, a driver from the Indian state of Kerala who’s tired of being asked for money after he won $4.7 million in a state government lottery. Mo’ money, mo’ problems…

Optus hackers supposed backflip

The anonymous online account that claims to be behind the Optus breach that exposed the personal information of 9.8 million Aussies has unexpectedly apologised and promised not to release the data. Taking to a data breach forum yesterday, the post said: “Too many eyes… We will not sale data to anyone…. personally deleted data from drive (Only copy).” But cybersecurity experts remain sceptical that the hackers will simply give up given it was just hours earlier that the same account released 10,000 Optus customers’ data and said it would happen again unless the ransom demand of $1.55 million in cryptocurrency is paid by Friday.

Aside from the hackers? Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has laid the blame squarely on Optus, saying the company “effectively left the window open for data of this nature to be stolen.” She’s also rejected the company’s suggestion that it was a complex attack. And yesterday, O’Neil expressed frustration about the leak of Medicare numbers saying the government hadn’t been told those were also leaked. In response, Optus boss Kelly Bayer Rosmarin defended her team and said “we are not the villains”. She also said statements that the data was inadequately protected are inaccurate. Rosmarin also refused to buy into calls for heads to roll, including her own. “In these situations, you want someone to be focused on helping customers avoid any harm, and that’s all I’m thinking about.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the FBI is helping our Federal Police with ‘​​Operation Hurricane’ to find out who has got their grotty paws on the data. As for Optus customers, he says they should consult the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner on how to minimise their risk. And several state governments will help those whose driver’s licence details were leaked get a replacement at the expense of Optus. And the company’s next move? Optus says it has contacted customers whose data has been exposed and will pay for a credit monitoring and identity theft protection service for those most impacted. CEO Rosmarin says she’s committed to rebuilding trust with Optus’s 11 million customers.

Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Four former PMs walk into a state funeral…

Many locals weren’t supportive of yesterday’s big funeral for former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July. But more than 10,000 people laid flowers and bowed in silent prayer ahead of the nation’s first state service for a civil leader in 55 years. Along with paying tribute to Abe – who was remembered as someone who wanted to make Japan better – PM Fumio Kishida has talked about “peace, stability and prosperity” with US VP Kamala Harris, India’s Narendra Modi, South Korea’s Han Duck-soo, and Australia’s Anthony Albanese. Accompanied by his merry band of Liberal PMs past, Albanese said the group was there to “show our respects to not just Mr Abe’s family, but to the people of Japan.” The funeral necessitated some interesting travel arrangements… John Howard, Tony Abbott and PNG leader James Marape got a lift to Tokyo with Albanese on the government jet on Monday. Malcolm Turnbull made his own way to Tokyo from the US.

AusPol World News

Sham Russian vote in Ukraine ends

There have been allegations of intimidation during the 5-day referendum in 4 Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Analysts say the sham vote will likely escalate tensions because Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to announce the inevitable ‘yes’ result that paves the way to illegally claim the area. And then he has what he sees as a legitimate excuse to threaten to use nuclear weapons when Russia’s sovereign territory is attacked by Ukraine using conventional weapons. Meanwhile, Russia’s latest mobilisation push continues to inflame tensions at home. And the Kremlin has admitted mistakes were with many men with no military experience asked to report for duty. It’s led some to joke that even new Russian citizen Edward Snowden may not be immune…

World News

One for true economics nerds…

We got a bit of a sneak peek last week when Treasurer Jim Chalmers revealed that our federal finances for the 2021/22 financial year could be $50 billion healthier than expected. And today, Chalmers will reveal what is enticingly called the ‘final budget outcome’ for that period. Why is that important? The Budget – usually announced to great fanfare in May – is a projection for the coming 4 years, whereas this is what those in power actually did with our money looking back at the last year. And this year, the final budget outcome is even more relevant because Team Albanese is delivering a new budget on 25 October to deal with all the challenges, so today’s numbers represent the starting line for the new government. Also high on the list of things to watch from Parliament House today: Labor’s legislation for a National Anti-corruption Commission will be introduced. Heady times…


La Niña drops a bomb

The wet weather ain’t messing around with a ‘rain bomb’ forecast to hit “virtually all parts of Australia” over the coming week. A collision of weather systems will see all states/territories get some rain and storms for the next bit, but South Oz and Tassie are the only 2 likely to avoid a proper drenching. Northern Victoria and southern NSW are expected to be the worst hit areas, and the weather bureau has warned that will worsen the risk of flooding in already-saturated regions. It follows its earlier statement that flooding in NSW will likely “continue for months” thanks to the relentless rain. Boo… And across to Florida, 300,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Ian heads that way as a Category 3 storm after smashing into Cuba yesterday. It’s seen NASA’s Artemis mission to the moon delayed yet again


Putting politeness over productivity

If you’re someone who has to fight the temptation to tell the people you’re in a meeting with that the discussion could have been an email, here are some numbers to back your POV… Steven Rogelberg, a professor of organisational science, psychology and management at the University of North Carolina, has run the numbers and says about a 3rd of the meetings we attend don’t need us. At a big company, that costs $150 million a year in time wasted. Long story short, employees are doing an excellent job at turning up when they’re invited even though they know it won’t be helpful to doing their job and that their attendance isn’t critical to those issuing the invitation. “You get a meeting invite and say, ‘I don’t need to be there,’ yet you say yes. Why?” Rogelberg asks. The answer is most people are polite. Who knew?

Quirky News

Apropos of Nothing

King Charles’ official cypher – his symbol that will appear on royal letters, government buildings and red postboxes in the UK – has been released by Buckingham Palace. His mother was ‘ER’ – for Elizabeth Regina – while he’ll go by ‘CR’. And no, that doesn’t stand for Country Road

James Earl Jones – the iconic voice behind Star Wars villain Darth Vader – is retiring from the character. The 91yo and the films’ producers have sold the rights to his voice to a Ukrainian tech company that can use AI to recreate his dulcet tones. Fans will be praying they don’t alter it any further

You probably already know it’s magpie season, but experts warn of a few other swooping bird species to watch out for. That includes seagulls and kookaburras – a phenomenon that writer Benjamin Law knows all too well

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

12.00pm (AEST) – Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk delivers a ‘State of the state’ address – Brisbane

12.30pm (AEST) – Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, addresses the National Press Club in Canberra

7.30pm (AEST) – Dally M Awards

Treasurer Jim Chalmers releases the final Federal Budget outcome for 2021-22

ABS Data Release – Retail Trade, August

International Right to Know Day

World Rabies Day

Anniversary of
• the release of Stevie Wonder’s 18th studio album Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
• the release of Olivia Newton-John’s single Physical (1981)
• SpaceX launching the first ever private spacecraft, the Falcon 1 into orbit (2008)

Squiz the Day

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