The Sizzle

Issue 14 - Thursday 21st October, 2015 - Marslando Calrissian


YouTube Red - a subscription service for YouTube that gets rid of ads
No, it's not porn on YouTube like I thought, but YouTube Red is a subscription service that removes ads from YouTube videos and passes revenue on to the creators of those videos. US$9.99 a month if you subscribe via the Android app or on the website, US$12.99 if you subscribe via iOS, thanks to Apple's 30% cut of in app purchases. YouTube is also making original content, much like Netflix, that you can only watch with a subscription. PewDiePie is getting a bucket of Google money and the creator of the Walking Dead to help him make exclusive content. I wonder how the Walking Dead guys feel about this downgrade. Must be a big bag of cash. The Verge has a rather lengthy article about the subscription service that's worth a read if you're more than slightly interested in this topic.

Twitter apologises to developers for ignoring them
At Twitter's Flight developer conference, Jack Dorsey got up on stage apologised for ignoring 3rd party developers the past few years and recognised that a lot of the success of Twitter is attributed to the things 3rd party developers have done. Great to see this symbolic gesture from Twitter. They haven't actually announced what they're doing to make things better for 3rd party developers, but they to have a #helloworld hashtag developers can submit ideas to. Let's see what Twtiter actually changes. Right now they need the developers more than the developers need them.

What the hell happened to Victorian public transport data getting into Google Maps?
One of the election promises of the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was that he'd finally make PTV give Google what they need to implement transit directions into Google Maps. So everyone voted for him, he won the election (no seriously, he won pretty much based on public transport policy which this is part of), promptly announced Google has what they need and it'll be in Maps any day now. 7 months later and Melbourne transit data is still not in Google Maps. Apparently the data Google received from PTV isn't in the correct format. PTV reckons it is and Google's just picky. Pardon me while I roll my eyes and exhale loudly.

iOS 9.1 is out and has new emoji
Apple pushed out iOS 9.1 this morning. It includes Apple News, which from my 10 minutes of use, seems really nice. Kinda like baby's first RSS feed sort of thing. I can see this being really popular. iOS 9.1 also brings 150 new emojis! 149 of which will go ignored whilst the new middle finger emoji takes pride of place in the frequently used section on my iPhone.

Western Digital buys Sandisk for US$19b
WD is purchasing SanDisk in a deal worth US$19 billion. I guess WD can see the writing on the wall - flash storage is getting cheaper and cheaper and will overtake magnetic spinning disks eventually. Godspeed to this new corporate marriage, hopefully both families get along as I'm a fan of their products. WD Red HDDs are my go to for NAS setups and SanDisk SD/CF cards are practically the industry standard for reliable flash media. SanDisk's SSDs are great too (though Samsung have the lead for consumer SSDs and Intel are the benchmark for enterprise SSDs).


Design students make iTunes so much better
There is a strong undercurrent of loathing towards iTunes. It's confusing for lots of people, let alone those of us who have been using it for over 10 years. Some students studying interface design at the the Univserity of Applied Sciences in Postdam, Germany, were assigned the task of re-designing iTunes to make it better. Each function of iTunes was split into its own app and each student got an app to design. I think it's been split up into too many apps (probably so each student has an app to design, hah), but other than that, they're all really well done. The results are pretty awesome. How good is the Albums app? This is how I listen to music and will until the day I die. The fact a university is using iTunes as a case study for a program to re-design should piss off people at Apple enough to make iTunes stop sucking.

How to get more women working at your tech joint
When I was at TAFE studying network engineering, it was a total sausage factory, with the only girl in our classes leaving after a semester probably because we were all pigs. Then when I got into a computer science degree at uni, there were more women, but it was still a 10-90 dick ratio in all the classes. When I dropped out of uni and went to work, it was dudes everywhere. Dicks as far as the eye could see. Maybe a woman or two, but they were the exception, not the norm. That still persists today, to the last full time job I had about a year ago. It sucks and actually makes it an awkward place to work in, let alone impacting the quality of our work and the way it relates to the people who use the result of our work (who aren't 100% men). So if you are responsible for hiring people at your job and your work place sounds like the places I've worked at over the past decade, read this website which explains how to encourage women to work in your awful penis dominated environment.

Shitty Kickstarters
Here's a subreddit full of shit kickstarter ideas, that has more people subscribed than the actual proper Kickerstarter subreddit. Here's some of my favourites: an external USB keyboard with a single # key on it, for hashtagging stuff (failed to get funding). A 12 year old kid wanted $70,000 to make an app that draws facial hair on people during a Facetime call (failed to get funding). Pay $5 for what is effectively 5c of heatshrink tubing to strengthen joint between a cable and plug so they stop fraying (successfully funded for CAD$9,123!). There's so many more examples of human stupidity, enjoy.

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.