The Sizzle

Issue 32 - Tuesday 17th November, 2015 - Nice Guy, Fun, Dancer

There's 107 paid subscribers of The Sizzle! This is awesome but it's still only $500/m for something that takes me about about 4 hours a day to compile. 20 hours a week, 87 hours a month. That's the equivalent of working for $5.74/hr, which obviously isn't sustainable long term. So if you like what you're reading and get value out of it, forward a favourite issue of the Sizzle on to your friends with a nice message like "hey I like this thing, it is good, if you like it, subscribe at". Post a link to it on Facebook or even a tweet or two is better than nothing! If you've got any ideas for spreading the word about The Sizzle, I'd love to hear it - could even give you a free subscription if it leads to a decent amount of new subscribers.


Rdio is bankrupt and Pandora purchased their IP
Rdio is bankrupt. If you were a fan of the streaming music service, prepare to move your playlists somewhere else. Pandroa is snapping up some of Rdio's intellectual property for US$75m and then shuttering the brand. Bit of a shame, as Rdio had one of the better services, particularly if you're an old codger who likes to listen to albums. In the scheme of things though, Spotify had it covered pretty well, with a bigger library. It probably didn't help that Apple and Google are also muscling in on Rdio's turf. Let's see what Pandora (which I never got into) does with Rdio's scraps.

My local Apple store hits international news for being insensitive racists
Probably should have mentioned this yesterday, but it was too far down in my list of bookmarks and I forgot about it. But a few days ago, some black kids at the Highpoint Apple store (my local Apple store unfortunately) were kicked out and when they asked the store manager why they were kicked out, they were told "because we think you will steal something". Now I don't know the context behind it, but that phrase alone is just wrong. Just because you think someone will steal something, that's not a reason to kick someone out of a store, regardless of race. This unfortunate incident was noticed by Tim Cook who issued a formal apology and instituted some extra training for Apple retail staff, starting at the Highpoint store. Pretty shit performance by the Apple store employee, wonder how he'd act if he's told to leave the store just because they "think" you'll steal something.

NSW police don't like memes about them
Some NSW police didn't like the fact a bloke was making memes about them on a private and closed Facebook page, so they gained access to the private page by pretending to be someone else and then arrested the bloke for "using a carriage service to offend police and a further three counts of publishing an indecent article". When the case went to court, the judge realised that this was a private page and told the coppers to piss off and pay the costs of the guy who made the page. What a bunch of sooks. Maybe there's a lot of back history between this guy and the police, but still, haha - memes hurting police feels, aww.

Apple Pay launches in Canada, hits same issues as Australia
Apple Pay has launched in Canada, exclusively with non-bank issued American Express Cards. The Globe and Mail has a write-up on how relatively insignificant this is in Canada. Canada has has NFC for a while, just like Australia and has AMEX has just ~4m cards compared to approx 70m for Visa and Mastercard. All which sounds very similar to Australia. The banks are holding out for less of a cut, simply because they don't (and neither does most of the world to be honest) see it as important and fascinating as the (dumber) American banks do. Apple Pay in Australia will probably launch any day now too - if you're keen, AMEX have a new card with a free annual fee, seemingly designed to bring in the nerds that want to use Apple Pay but don't care about the perks available on the other AMEX cards.

Australian kids kinda suck at using computers
A report from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has determined that about half of the kids in Australian schools are practically useless at operating a computer for anything constructive. Read the article to see the sort of things a grade 6 and year 10 kid should be able to do - they're very basic, yet half of them can't do all of them. Schools are apparently assuming kids know how to do this and just aren't teaching them. Wonder how this sort of test would go at university student level?


Melbourne Apple Admins meetup group kicks off December 3rd
If you live in Melbourne and have anything to do with administering Apple hardware, there's a new meetup of nerds just like you! The Melbourne Apple Admins group kicks off on the 3rd of December at 6:30pm. There will be a few talks, some networking, then off to the pub. This sort of stuff still tickles my fancy, even though I don't earn a living off of it anymore, so I might come along and keep my knowledge a little fresh in likely event this writing thing fizzles out eventually.

Intel's NUC gets Skylake and other udpates
Intel has updated their popular NUC line of tiny little computers. The new NUCs have Skylake based CPUs, support for DDR4, the much improved Intel Iris Graphics (so 4K@60Hz works a treat) and support for M.2 SSDs. If that M.2 SSD supports NVMe and runs off the PCIe bus, you could chuck in a Samsung 950 Pro SSD and this little computer would scream along. Craps all over the Mac Mini, which Apple totally don't give a shit about. No word on local pricing or availability on the new NUCs - they're still a bit too fresh for that.

uBeam - using a low understanding of science to rip off investors
You may not have heard about uBeam, but it's a typical hot startup in Silicon Valley, backed with $20m of VC cash. It's aim is to build electricity that works like wi-fi. No more power cables! Electricity is beams to whatever needs it via a central transmitter in an area. They envisage public spaces with uBeam transmitters, charging everyone's devices passively while they go about their business. The problem is, its' all bullshit. There's fuck all chance of it ever working, but uBeam vehmently deny it in the face of all facts. This fascinating IEEE Spectrum (one of the best tech websites around imho) article highlights just how uBeam got this investment and how it's all smoke and mirrors.

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.