The Sizzle

Issue 17 - Tuesday 27th October, 2015 - Graffiti, Graffiti Is The Worst

In today's issue:


Watch ads on your Android phone and get extra data or credit in your account
Unlockd is a new startup flush with $15m of Murdoch and Leibovich (Catch of the Day founders) money, with the aim to show ads when you unlock your Android device. Using Unlockd, the telco gets cash from Unlockd (who get cash from advertisers) and as an incentive to get you, the customer, to care, the telco hands out free credit or data packs in return for your renting your eyeballs. Lebara is the first telco to make it available to customers, offering 2GB of data. Anyone else remember a dialup ISP back in the 90s called FreeNet? You installed a program that displayed a banner ad and you had to click it every now and then to remain connected. That's what this seems like, but for 2015 instead of 1998. Good luck to them, if I was a teenager no doubt I'd be figuring out a way to game the system so I didn't have to beg my parents to add more data to my pre-paid SIM.

Douchebag threatens SXSW, SXSW pull panels about online harassment
SXSW is a big conference in Austin, Texas (in the USA, on planet Earth, somewhere in the Milky Way Galaxy) that was supposed to have two panels - "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community" and "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games." take place. Touchy subjects for some people, but apparently so touchy, that SXSW was threatened with something, we don't know what exactly or by who, that made SXSW cancel those panels. People are bit shitty with SXSW, as instead of growing a backbone and providing protection for those panels, they caved and snuffed out that discussion.

The new Apple TV can be pre-ordered now, delivery next week
Like Tim Cook said last week, the Apple TV is ready to pre-order. The 32GB unit is $269 and 64GB is $349. There's a pretty decent Australia tax on these - the straight conversion to AUD from USD and adding 10% GST would mean the 32GB should sell for $229 here, but there's an extra 16% on top of what an American would pay. I guess Apple reckons the AUD is gonna take a further dive. As much as I want one right now, I'm gonna hold back and see what 3rd party apps come out and wait for all the Australian streaming services to get their apps on-board.

Sydney transit directions arrive in Apple Maps - but they kinda suck
Apple's been going around the world, adding transit directions directly into the Maps app and supporting those transit directions themselves, rather than relying on a 3rd party app to do all that stuff. Transit directions for Sydney suddenly appeared in Maps yesterday and while it's nice that they're there, I wouldn't rely on them too heavily. Check out this wacky set of directions from Gosford to Central.

Telstra 4G to reach 99% of the population by mid-2017
Australia is a big country. A big country with nothing in the middle. There's more nothing, than something, on this big island continent of ours. So Telstra bringing 4G to 99% of the land mass where people live, is quite impressive. This 4G network also includes LTE Advance (aka 4GX, the fast LTE that has a theoretical 600mbit/sec of bandwidth) and Voice Over LTE. Telstra has even confirmed to launch a 5G network by 2020, which is supposed to support 10gbit/sec, which is off the goddamn chain. Right now Vodafone has 4G to 95% of the metro population in Australia and Optus apparently hits 90% of Australians with its 4G. I guess now you know why Telstra costs more than Optus and Vodafone. I wonder where the 1% that cannot be reached is?


Find out how much your old smartphone is worth with Gumtree's price checker
Gumtree Australia has launched a used smartphone price checker. Select the model of phone you've got and it'll tell you how much you might get if you sell it on Gumtree. Seems pretty accurate too, particularly with the iPhones. I like how they've made it a sliding scale where they inform you of the price to sell at if you want it gone quickly and what to ask for it if you're happy to wait longer and get more money.

Microsoft Lumia 532 - $29 at Woolies
If you listen to the Reckoner podcast, you've probably heard me bang on about the Nokia Lumia 532 - a $29 phone that runs superbly and is well built considering it is $29! It will even receive an upgrade to Windows 10 whenever Windows 10 comes out for smartphones. It's back on sale at Woolworths for $29 on Wednesday (28th Oct). It is locked to Telstra tho. The 532 is an excellent phone to have if you need a burner/2nd phone, or even if you're hard up for cash and can't afford an iPhone or whatever. It works well as an awesome GPS too - Here Maps is quite good, works offline and is free. If I wasn't such a goddamn precious phone queen I'd probably be using the Lumia 532 daily.

A beautiful story about growing up in the 90s as a kid on the Internet
The Internet in the 90s was great. We were left alone and the mainstream didn't care about us. Just a bunch of misfits and dorks who either loved computers or saw computers as a way to extract ourselves from whatever bullshit was going on in our crap lives. At least that's how it was for me as a kid. It formed who I am in a way that doesn't exist now and only existed for a brief decade before disappearing. Sam Machkovech wrote an incredibly piercing story about his experience with the Internet as a kid and how it's so different now. I even met my wife as on the Internet, as Sam met his first girlfriend on the Internet, so his words hit me even harder. I'm sure there's a lot of you reading this email who would also relate heavily. I love the Internet so much.

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.