The Sizzle

Issue 12 - Tuesday 20th October, 2015 - A Cheese Powered Economy

Went to a HP press event today, on behalf of PC & Tech Authority. Some fancy new laptops and printers were announced for the Australian market. The Spectre x2 detachable tablet thing is way nicer than I expected and they had a fancy rose gold laptop with B&O speakers that if Apple made it, my friend Pete Dillon (yo pete) would bust a nut over. There was a Star Wars promo laptop, which is only of interest to rich dorks. I saw some new printers as well, that nobody should care about unless they are in the market for a printer. Now to pitch this in a way to PC&TA (which is a great abbreviation) so that the pay me to write something about it.


Tim Cook confirms that Apple TV will start pre-orders 26th of October, shipping at the end of that week.
At the launch keynote for Apple's fancy new Apple TV, they said it'll ship late October. Well it's late October and we haven't heard anything - until now. Tim Cook has announced at some Wall Street Journal conference event thing, that yep, the Apple TV will be out on time, with pre-orders starting on the 26th of October. The pre-orders will ship by the end of that same week. I assume this includes Australia as we're a real country now as far as Apple is concerned (suck shit NZ!). I'm pretty pumped for the new Apple TV - apps! Finally we get apps! I dunno how developers are going porting their apps across to the Apple TV, but the future is bright for me and my big TV and comfy couch.

The new Nexus 5X and 6P reviews have begun.
The Nexus 5X and 6P are on sale in the US now, so a bunch of outlets have reviews online. Arstechnica have a review of both phones, Marques Brownlee has his usual slick unboxing and setup video and I had no idea you could plug one Nexus into another and charge it. People like the phones, with no major failings. The camera is great (but not as good as the iPhone 6s) and battery life with Android 6.0 is as good as an iPhone. The 5X and 6P are probably the best Android phone you can buy right now (maybe until someone puts an Android 6.0 version of Cyanogenmod on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact). Unfortunately, there is still no Australian release dates for these new Nexus phones. Why leave Australia off? We goddamn love smartphones!

MVNOs are all the rage - Kogan teams up with Vodafone and Coles hooks up with Optus.
A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is basically a reseller of a bigger telco's service. There's only 3 phone networks in Australia - Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. But to make more money, the owners of those networks sell access to it at a wholesale rate and let other companies manage the annoying stuff like customers and support. Kogan had a rather infamous attempt at being an MVNO back in 2013, but now they're back, reselling Vodafone's 3G network, with plans to resell 4G in 2016. Coles are doing what their competitor Woolworths does and reselling Optus 4G services, also just like Woolworths. Dunno if I'd bother with either of them though - Optus is ratshit and 3G only, in 2015? Nah, Kogan isn't not cheap enough to bother ditching the sweet low latency of LTE.

A Gizmodo article about data retention is ripped to shreds by Renai Lemay.
I saw a post Gizmodo AU yesterday about how data retention isn't a big deal and the ISPs and government are so incompetent that using a VPN is a waste of time. I thought it sounded a bit off, so I didn't bother mentioning it in The Sizzle, despite my initial interest in the story, as it was written by someone supposedly working at an ISP who has to implement data retention. Well Renai Lemay at Delimiter read it and proceeded to tear that guy a new arsehole, shoving a bunch of facts in that mangled new orifice. I won't bother summarising the two articles, go read it for yourself, I won't do it justice.

1Password leaks metadata about your passwords.
Sizzle subscriber, Jono Ferguson (who I heard is handsome, funny and intelligent) told me I might like this story about 1Password - and he was right. Basically a software engineer who works on Office for Mac & iOS at Microsoft has discovered that if you're using the older vault format, Agile Keychain, that info like the name of the website and the URL are not encrypted like the password is. Anyone who has a copy of that Agile Keychain file can see all the sites you have accounts on, which you may not want them to know. This is fixed in the new file format, OP Vault, but a lot of people (me included!) are still using the old file format. The developer of 1Password responds to this feedback on Hacker News.


Female Coders Lab - get stuck into this sheilas.
Do you know any women that ya reckon would have fun making websites? Maybe you're a woman who would like to make websites herself! Female Coders Lab is a regular Melbourne meetup where women can catch up and help each other learn web development in a lab environment. Mainly targeted at beginners, but any skill level is welcome so everyone can help each other out on whatever project they're working on, or get started on a project they have in mind. If you're a man who knows a woman that is even remotely interested in making a website, encourage them to attend and get a feel for what's involved. Worst case scenario, they don't like it and don't go back, big deal.

Very cheap Samsung SSDs on eBay right now.
My favourite bargains are the ones where you can double dip and this latest find on Ozbargain is killer. eBay has an active promo where if you use the Woolworths Click & Collect feature to have your item delivered there instead of home/work, you get a $100 eBay voucher when you buy something worth $200 or more. One of the eligible stores is Futu Online who are selling the Samsung 850 Evo 500GB SSD for $245, already the cheapest price for this SSD in Australia. So spend $245, get a sweet SSD and then get a $100 eBay credit on top of that for your next purchase. Oh and use the Qantas/Virgin online mall to get extra frequent flyer points.

Just Press Record - an iOS app to simultaneously start an audio recording across multiple devices.
Found a weird little app called Just Press Record, that is on iOS, Mac and Apple Watch. It's an audio recorder that can be triggered on one device, to record on all the others. So for example - you've got a Mac, an iPad, an iPhone and an Apple Watch. Tap record on your watch and all 4 devices will start capturing audio. I'm not sure what you'd use it for, but someone more creative than me probably has some ideas.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Convert your free trial into a paid subscription now and never miss an issue! Already a subscriber? Thanks for being awesome!