The Sizzle

Issue 16 - Monday 26th October, 2015 - The Seats Are Disgusting

I'm happy to announce that The Sizzle just hit 87 paid subscribers! Not bad for just 3 weeks in I reckon. My aim was to have 100 subscribers by the end of the year, so I think I'm on track to meet that goal. I really enjoy writing this thing every day, so thanks to the subscribers for indulging me and letting me share something I love with you all. It's either this or scribbling my thoughts on random public toilet walls throughout Victoria, which really won't scale. It would be awesome if you posted about The Sizzle on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever social network you like - just tell people why you subscribe and send them to


Nexus 5X and 6P are on sale in Australia now
If you're an Android fan who's been hanging for the new Nexus goodness, you can now put down your cold hard cash to pre-order a the LG made Nexus 5X or Huawei's Nexus 6P on the Google Play store. They're unlocked and outright, with the 6P setting you back $899 (32GB), $999 (64GB) or $1099 (128GB). For some reason all variations of the 6P are out of stock or "coming soon" - the only one with a shipping date is the Aluminum 64GB, which will ship on November 2nd. The 5X has much more stock and all variations will ship November 2nd - $659 for the 16GB and $739 for the 32GB. JB Hi-Fi and the telcos will be selling the Nexus phones as well, if outright isn't your thing. If you just want a taste of the new Nexussessesses, Google has a 15 day change of mind return policy. I think I'll grab a 5X and give it a spin, not that I can afford to keep it.

Uber has paid $600,000 in fines from the Victorian government, keeps on going
Apparently, Uber drivers have been fined close to $600,000 in Victoria and Uber just keeps on paying the fines for the drivers. The Taxi Services Commission has issued 355 fines and 12 drivers have been taken to court and are awaiting dates for their cases to be heard. I've known for a while Uber was handling the fines any government regulator handed out, but I had no idea $600,000 worth were handed out. The government really needs to get their act together and either re-define the laws surrounding taxis to include ride-sharing, or just ban it straight up. Either decision is gonna piss someone off, it's just a matter of who you can afford to piss off the least - the taxi companies or the users of UberX that will remember what you took away from them and possibly not vote for you at the next election.

The good version of Popcorn Time has died
The wonderful and awesome Popcorn Time, is no longer. The main fork of this digital piracy nirvana app has been taken offline amidst the core developers departure due to the prospect of a lawsuit and hackers trying to take over their domain name, which breaks the app. It was basically Netflix, tied in to BitTorrent. Every single movie or TV show on BitTorrent at your fingertips, no downloading required. It all just streamed, like Netflix. There are other variants of Popcorn Time, but none as good as this one. Goodnight, sweet prince.

USA thinks that those pesky Russians could deliberately cut under sea data cables
It's not news that the Russians and the Americans haven't been really been friends, even though they tried to be back in the 90s. A three decade Cold War with the threat of nuclear annihilation kinda does that to a population. But now the Americans have a new concern about the Russians - purposely damaging the submarine cables that carry Internet traffic. The USA has noticed a lot of Russian warships floating around these important cables, which they think is not a coincidence, but rather the Russians are just getting ready to sabotage American commerce and communications by cutting those cables. Basically, the superpower equivalent of slashing the tyres on the ute of that fucken dog who slept with your missus. Nice work Russia.

Theranos taken down a peg by the Wall Street Journal
You may have heard about a company called Theranos, started by a young woman go-getter, Elizabeth Holmes. Only 31 and she's the CEO of a huge startup that's supposed to revolutionise medical testing, by only requiring a pin-prick of blood for a test, instead of multiple large vials of the red stuff. A recent Wall Street Journal article (no link because it's pay-walled) eviscerated Theranos test accuracy and the company has been back-pedalling ever since. Apparently a former employee has said that the tests are not as accurate as they should be and it's incredibly difficult to get this information out of Theranos so it can be verified. The Verge has a great backgrounder on Theranos and the mess they’ve found themselves in. Elizabeth Holmes seems like a great role model for a lot of women in technology, so it would be a shame if Theranos has been found to be fudging results and putting people's health at risk.


Free Toca Boca iOS games!
Toca Boca make some of the best kids app around. No shitty in-app purchases, lots of fun and every kid I know (which isn't many, but still) adores them. Toca Boca have chucked up a bunch of their games for free for a limited time, so if you have kids or are the aunt/uncle of some kids that you need to distract on a regular basis, you want to grab them while they're free. Even if you don't have kids, Toca Band is fun for adults too.

A home user's perspective on Ubiquiti UniFi equipment
There's an excellent review of Ubiquiti’s UniFi gear in a home situation over at Arstechnica. I've deployed hundreds of these wireless access points over the years in heaps of places and love em. Ubiquiti make robust and highly configurable enterprise grade wi-fi (and other stuff) gear that is at the price of consumer gear. Perfect for those with large homes or offices where one access point doesn't give a strong enough signal (P.S: if you want this stuff installed at your home work, give me a shout, I can give you a quote and set it all up for ya, including Ethernet cabling & routing/switching).

You thought you knew how to use Excel? Haha, you don't know shit about Excel
I thought I am pretty handy with Excel. But I am not. I am an Excel loser. I am a pathetic little spreadsheet weakling. Joel Spolsky gives a one hour, yes one hour, bad arse tutorial on how to use Excel like I've never seen Excel used before. I watched the whole thing and agree with the first YouTube comment. Watching it, I also realised how extensively Excel has been developed for over 20 years and remembered how it's used by millions (if not billions) of people. No wonder there's so much it can do.

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 & tell your friends about The Sizzle!.