The Sizzle

Issue 31 - Monday 16th November, 2015 - Business Man: The Netherlands

In today's issue of The Sizzle:


Now all the state racing ministers want warrantless access to federal metadata
A few weeks ago, the Victorian Minister for Racing asked the Federal Attorney-General to allow his department access to the giant source of metadata the federal government is building on all of us. Now all the other state ministers for racing want in on the action, saying such access to data without a warrant is important to the viability of the industry. If you already didn't think the racing industry and horse racing in general is awful, well here's some more proof. I wonder who else will come out of the woodwork wanting warrantless access to the metadata of every single Australian?

Microsoft fails to deliver on the promised Android to Windows app bridge
Back in April, Microsoft hyped up Project Astoria - Microsoft's attempt to bolster their smartphone and tablet app range by allowing developers to easily port their Android and iOS apps across to Windows 10. Microsoft calls them Windows Bridges and an iOS bridge is active and available for developers to use. The Android bridge however, is still yet to be seen. Re/code asked Microsoft what's going on with it and Microsoft confirmed that "it was not moving ahead with Astoria as planned". I don't know if this is an as big deal as it seems - most app developers use iOS as their primary platform anyways, with Android second. So if there's an iOS to Windows bridge anyways, just port your iOS across to Windows instead of the Android one? There aren't that many Android exclusive apps people on Windows are chomping at the bit for are there?

Optus are the most complained about telco in Australia
More people are complaining about Optus than Telstra, even though Telstra has way more customers and services than Optus, hahaha. Suck shit Optus, you gigantic bag of piss. Your billing system is the most decrepit thing in this country and we have Aboroginal culture dating back 40,000 years. Optus has blamed "the weather" (I shit you not) and "more people are using 4G" as reasons the amount of complaints made to the TIO about them have increased. Yeah, ok, sure, whatever. I can't wait until TPG buys Optus off Singtel when they've had enough of Optus's shit.

Fallout 4 - better than masturbating for 10% of Pornhub's visitors
If you've been living under a rock, Pornhub is a huge website full of porn videos. Fallout 4 is a very popular video game that was released on November 10. Pornhub noticed that on November 10, at around 5AM when Fallout was ready to play, traffic started to decline. By 6PM that day, Pornub noticed 10% less traffic than usual. The next day traffic spiked 15% as everyone went back to normal proceedings and then some. You know a game is good when people stop jerking off to play it.

Sneaky ads are using high frequency sounds to communicate between our devices
Human ears are shit. We can't hear a lot of the sound going on around us. The speakers in all our smartphones and TVs and computers can actually reproduce sounds at frequencies high enough we can't hear with our crappy ears. They also have microphones that can listen to those high frequency sounds. Some smartarse engineer working for an ad network realised this and developed software that'll listen for these high frequency sounds in ads on TV that talk to ads running in an app or browser on a smartphone or tablet. Then the advertiser can track if you paid attention to the TV or changed channel/fast forwarded through it. Sneaky as fuck, hey?


My extremley good and important hot takes and feels on the iPad Pro
I spent most of my weekend fucking around with the iPad Pro and seeing if it's something I can use to publish an issue of The Sizzle on. Whilst it can be done, it's incredibly frustrating. I wrote about the experience up on Reckoner, so if this is something that interests you, check it out. It's 2000 words so like, get comfy. It's probably a good thing the iPad Pro didn't end up being the most awesome thing in the world - fucker is expensive and I can't afford shit like that right now.

The EO1 is a cool digital art screen designed to look good in your house
@zacdavies on Twitter showed me this very cool digital art screen, painting thing called the EO1 fro Electric Objects. It's basically one of those kitschy little digital photo frames, blown up to 23". I'd love a couple of these around the house actually, with some nice frames. It's basically a Rasperry Pi hooked up to a monitor that had the ugly bezel removed and replaced with a cool looking frame. You can then use a companion smartphone app to display any picture you like on the screen, or select from a range of nice art images curated by Electric Objects. It's not cheap, at almost A$900 delivered, but I love the concept. A 65" or 70" 4K display would make an awesome statement piece. It'd suck at night, with the monitor glowing all the time. And it'd use electricity 24/7, unlike a physical painting, but still, I like the idea of changing the art whenever I want.

People using Macs where Macs don't belong
Apple hasn't sold a rackmount server since 2011, but some people are very, very determined to use Apple gear in a datacentre. These guys at imgix have taken it to the extreme by building custom made rackmount enclosures that hold Mac Pros like torpedoes in a submarine launch chamber. This is insane and I disagree with it on many levels, but man, props to hammering a pretty elegant solution. I don't know why what imgix does (basically a web API for image processing) can't be done on Linux or Windows, but I'm sure that was the first thing their sys admin raised. I guess it was more effort to change their software than to move to a different platform. Wonder how that will work out for them in the long run if it takes off.

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.