Global Pop Sensation Janet Jackson can add yet another string to her highly erratic bow: she’s the cause of a fairly major vulnerability among users of elderly laptops, according to Microsoft.

The singer is arguably most famous for being groped by Justin Timberlake and having her boobie “accidentally” exposed in an obviously choreographed “wardrobe malfunction” at the American “football’s” Super Bowl XXXVIII in MMIII.

But she’s entered the halls of infamy once again, after it was revealed that her song Rhythm Nation is not only capable of shattering eardrums and causing severe intestinal distress – it can, and will, destroy a certain brand of laptop hard drive.

A super-quick lesson in how a hard drive works. Back in the old days, before solid state drives were a thing, hard drives worked by having an extremely delicate circle of metal spinning at phenomenal rates inside a hard, crunchy outer shell.

Data could be written to the disc and retrieved using Advanced Witchcraft, and the whole thing was powered by a drop of blood from a child that had been personally cursed by the reanimated mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, which has been kept alive in the basement of the Museum of Cairo since 1989.

Anyway, it was discovered that certain hard drives (no one really wants to say which ones) reacted suboptimally to Jackson’s song.

The reason: the choon – a reliable floor-filler at any 21st birthday held at your local bowling club or harbour cruise – contains sustained quantities of a particular sound frequency that causes the drive head (the bit that reads the data) to touch the hard disk.

And, given that the incredibly delicate disk is spinning at 5,400rpm (about 70kph in second gear for a ‘76 Datsun 120Y) anything touching is catastrophic.

The good news is that the manufacturer of the drive was informed, and subsequently fixed the drive’s design… but anyone who already has one of the old ones is on their own.

The company is likely very sorry about the potential vulnerability issue, but it clearly says, right there in the Terms and Conditions that we all sign without reading, in the event of an unpatchable security issue, “Lol. No Backsies”.

But it’s a double-dose of bad news for anyone with an old laptop with a vulnerable drive inside. Not only will they lose all of their precious family snapshots and every scrap of malware that the internet could possibly dish out, they’ll also have to listen to Janet Jackson while it happens.

Sometimes, the world is just a cruel, cruel place.

 

TO MARKETS

Aussie markets opened with the slightest of stumbles out of the gates, before everybody’s coffee kicked in and we were off to the races, rising to a peak at 7132.90 points by 11am before retreating to a nice, round +1.0% before lunch.

Across the sectors, the results are as mixed as a well-made mojito, with Energy (+3.89%) the stand-out performer as the sector continues to build on its mid-week surge.

Real Estate, however, is stinking like a noseful of rental agent cologne, down -1.50% so far today, with Utilities (-0.48%) adding to the market’s dead weight today.

Lighting cigars with $100 bills this morning is Karoon Energy (ASX:KAR), which is completely bucking its sector trend on no particular news. It’s up +6.50%, and the only better-than-a-billion market cap to sit in the top 50 Gainers this morning.

It’s a different tale over on the unhappy side of the profit coin, with ISP TPG’s (ASX:TPM) HY22 EBITDA of $837m (down 5.3% on 1H21) and $167 NPAT tearing -10.5% off its 18 AUG VWAP, and giving acronyphobic people aneurysms.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (ASX:FPH) has dropped 4.75% on completely untrue rumours that a recent heart-lung machine product demonstration went horribly awry, after technicians delivered the wrong device to the venue, resulting in a dead lab monkey with perfectly clean, dry and streak free organs, every time.

Let’s take a very rapid look overseas, to see what’s happening in the markets, and maybe find somewhere to hide from the barrage of libel litigators that are pounding on the door.

 

NOT THE ASX

In the US, the markets leapt around like a frog in a sock, before landing on a safe green lilypad just above the water line.

The Dow, ensconced in its mahogany armchair by the fire, harumphed from behind its copy of the Wall Street Journal to a stately 0.06% “gain”, while the more playful S&P and Nasdaq wrestled on the rug, with the techies beating the public school kids, +0.26% to +0.21%.

As Earlybird Eddy reports, there was a lot of US economic data released overnight, with the highlights including initial jobless claims which fell by 2,000 to 250,000 in the past week vs survey: 265,000.

Also, existing home sales fell by 5.9% in July to a 4.81 million annualised rate, vs survey of 4.89 million.

In Asia, it’s just Japan on its way to a gain around lunchtime, currently waving its tentacles suggestively with a 0.16% lift.

Over in Hong Kong, things are less good, with the market down 0.56%, and Shanghai was flatter than the mood in the West Coast Eagles change shed, at -0.01% as we roll into lunch.

And in the wonderland that is  CryptoWorld, where the gambling’s unregulated and the decks sport 9 aces, a rising US dollar has wrapped the market in wet blankets overnight.

Wanna know more? Badman’s got you covered over at Mooners & Shakers, voted Best Crypto Market Wrap in the World by the Badman Institute of Rigged Awards.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for August 19 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
MTM Mt Monger Resources 0.205 64% 2,053,471 $4,688,754
ADS Adslot Ltd. 0.014 56% 11,004,806 $19,840,308
XST Xstate Resources 0.003 50% 1,000,000 $6,430,363
PTB PTB Group Limited 1.56 36% 2,218,973 $146,283,516
MCT Metalicity Limited 0.004 33% 1,030,316 $10,376,118
NYM Narryer Metals 0.14 33% 175,139 $2,930,813
TAS Tasman Resources Ltd 0.023 28% 6,941,198 $12,080,741
WA1 Wa1Resourcesltd 0.19 27% 21,639 $4,355,251
GLH Global Health Ltd 0.44 26% 56,482 $19,827,418
CFO Cfoam Limited 0.005 25% 2,000,000 $2,935,363
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.005 25% 4,050,000 $36,935,861
ROO Roots Sustainable 0.005 25% 929,832 $2,998,531
ANP Antisense Therapeut. 0.135 23% 4,725,158 $73,567,338
M2R Miramar 0.135 23% 1,084,935 $7,060,533
DMG Dragon Mountain Gold 0.018 20% 28,122 $5,905,075
DCX Discovex Res Ltd 0.006 20% 90,498 $16,512,840
AMM Armada Metals 0.095 19% 1,007,571 $4,000,000
ATR Astron Corp Ltd 0.74 18% 21,082 $76,548,174
IXC Invex Ther 0.66 18% 475,712 $42,086,155
PG1 Pearl Global Ltd 0.02 18% 2,489,844 $17,038,204
CBE Cobre 0.41 17% 20,725,590 $70,734,627
DDT DataDot Technology 0.007 17% 5,850 $7,463,217
MTB Mount Burgess Mining 0.007 17% 2,680,837 $5,155,027
BRX Belararoxlimited 0.7 16% 431,860 $18,954,662
VAL Valor Resources Ltd 0.008 14% 1,215,000 $25,609,744
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It’s a good day to be a Small Cap on the ASX, especially for penny racer Adslot (ASX:ADS), which issued an announcement this morning to let us all know that we’re invited to a webinar on 29 August.

It’s highly likely that the inclusion of the words “Commercial Upgrade” in the title of the webinar is what’s caused the sudden interest in the company, which broke the sound barrier to move through a +55% gain this morning.

Fighting Adslot for top spot is Mt Monger (ASX:MTM) which is celebrating an absolute ripper set of aircore drill results from its East Laverton REE project.

The drill program has indicated continuity of mineralisation in excess of 1.2km, and returned these Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) mineralisation eye-popper intersections:

  • 15m @ 1,461ppm TREO, from 21m (22ELAC048)
  • 5m @ 1,790ppm TREO, from 27m (22ELAC003)
  • 6m @ 1,493ppm TREO, from 12m (22ELAC043)
  • 2m @ 1,889ppm TREO, from 15m (22ELAC046)
  • 3m @ 1,753ppm TREO, from 27m (22ELAC039)

It’s a huge find for Mt Monger, which was rewarded with a better than 56% jump before easing on the way to the pub for a well deserved liquid lunch.

There aren’t any monumental disasters among the small caps today, however Singular Health (ASX:SHG) has had a rough week, with its price swinging violently like an Gold Coast clubber and hitting the concrete, down 15% so far today.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for August 19 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
PRM Prominence Energy 0.002 -33% 1,305,901 $7,273,826
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.009 -18% 31,714 $6,663,597
SHG Singular Health 0.14 -15% 171,455 $10,772,696
LNU Linius Tech Limited 0.006 -14% 3,640,017 $15,759,564
SYN Synergia Energy Ltd 0.003 -14% 5,000,000 $29,462,267
TSC Twenty Seven Co. Ltd 0.003 -14% 1,460,000 $9,312,849
W2V Way2Vatltd 0.04 -13% 211,574 $7,329,447
MCE Matrix C & E Ltd 0.205 -13% 137,629 $34,326,786
TMX Terrain Minerals 0.007 -13% 696,500 $6,086,088
DTR Dateline Resources 0.105 -13% 791,471 $59,487,638
SMN Structural Monitor. 0.405 -12% 15,000 $58,987,167
FLX Felix Group 0.155 -11% 6,637 $23,237,161
AQC Auspaccoal Ltd 0.12 -11% 4,000 $6,815,449
TPG TPG Telecom Limited 5.905 -11% 6,893,792 $12,308,841,849
DOC Doctor Care Anywhere 0.21 -11% 166,359 $53,396,726
ING Inghams Group 2.68 -10% 3,131,547 $1,103,888,415
UCM Uscom Limited 0.056 -10% 257,142 $12,315,425
BIR BIR Financial Ltd 0.031 -9% 115,983 $6,848,830
KNM Kneomedia Limited 0.021 -9% 2,348,729 $30,955,186
ODE Odessa Minerals Ltd 0.016 -9% 268,396 $9,400,144
PVS Pivotal Systems 0.1375 -8% 132,761 $23,919,938
NVU Nanoveu Limited 0.011 -8% 348,335 $2,799,243
LRD Lordresourceslimited 0.1975 -8% 109,414 $6,833,694
NTM Nt Minerals Limited 0.024 -8% 74,662 $16,481,419
GFN Gefen Int 0.12 -8% 40,000 $8,832,217
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