The Sizzle

Issue 35 - Friday 20th November, 2015 - Grant Spatchcock's Gourmet Pizza


Australian site blocking laws to get its first test
Simonds Homes, a large Australian builder, is shitty that CHM Constructions, an Indian builder, has ripped off large parts of the Simonds webpage. Simonds is now asking some small ISP (the name of which we don't know) to block access to the CHM website, under section 115A of the Copyright Act. This section allows copyright owners to ask ISPs to do so and if they don't, the owner of the copyright can take the ISP to court for not co-operating. This is the first time we've seen this section of the copyright law used in Australia to block a specific website and what happens next will set an interesting precedent. I wonder how far Simonds is prepared to take this?

30 years of Windows
Can you believe Microsoft's been pumping out Windows for 30 years now? On November 20, 1985, Windows 1.0 was unleashed on the world, by a very enthusiastic Steve Ballmer. The Verge has a trip down Windows memory lane, highlighting how far we've come. My first home computer was a 486 DX 33 running Windows 3.1. Ahh memories. Copying crap to floppies using File Manager, enjoying Wingdings in Word 2.0, creating bullshit programs in Visual Basic, fiddling with Winsock and Netscape to get on to the Internet. Such a simpler time.

iPad Pro Pencil vs. Surface Pro 4 Stylus in a head to head, no holds barred, two men in, one man out, fight to the death
Nah, just a couple of nerds scribbling shit onto glass. Apparently the iPad is slightly better the Surface in all stylus related aspects, with the only redeeming feature of the Surface being a "hardware eraser" where you can use the other end of the stylus to erase stuff from the screen. But the Surface has a bit more capability, because it can run full Windows apps, not relateively cut down versions on the iPad. Meanwhile, The Verge has a pertinent story about iOS suffering from a lack of profitable small developers, which in the long run will result in a lack of the sort of innovative professional apps a device like the iPad Pro is crying out for.

TPG are cracking the shits at the government again
It's no secret that TPG have a huge war chest and are looking to expand at every opportunity. They currently have one of the largest data networks in the country and one of the few telcos to own a trans-pacific fibre optic cable (PPC-1). They've purchased AAPT and iiNet just in the past 2 years and are now the 2nd largest ISP in Australia. Now TPG has submitted their thoughts (something they rarely bother with) to the government in regards to a concept for losses made by the NBN in the satellite and fixed wireless areas to be subsidised by a $6 monthly levy on each high speed fixed lined in Australia (what a fucked up idea). Of course, TPG doesn't want this, no ISP wants this. TPG has said that if the government was to do this, they'd stop investing in fixed line broadband and go to wireless instead, as to avoid the tax. The consequence of which is that the NBN's fixed line services would be undermined as the 2nd largest ISP will tell its customers to use its wireless network instead - hurting the NBN's ability to recoup costs.

Windows Phone worldwide market share a tiny 1.7%, Android still the king
According to Gartner's latest stats (who are generally well regarded when it comes to this sort of thing), Android has the largest mobile market share, with almost 85% of all smartphones sold in 3Q15 running Google's operating system. iOS has 13%, Windows has 1.7% and BlackBerry a rounding error at 0.3%. Apple are making money hand over first at "only" 13% market share, whilst Google have all the eyeballs at 85%. Where's that leave Microsoft with their 1.7%? Is this sort of thing sustainable for them? Will it be a problem to attract developers to the platform in order to grow the platform? Does the entire ecosystem even need Microsoft selling a smartphone OS?


Ausdroid reviews of the Nexus 6P and 5X
Ausdroid has some of the best Australian coverage of Android around and they've finally put up some detailed revies of the Huawei Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5X. It's good to get some info on these phones from locals as some features (like Now on Tap) just aren't as useful in Australia as they are in the USA. The boys at Ausdroid found the 5X to have a pretty slow camera (likewise) but otherwise is great. They liked the 6P a bit more, which makes sense, as it's a more "premium" phone with better specs. Their reviews are definitely worth a read if you're in the market for a new Android phone.

Sandisk 960GB SSD for ~AU$320 shipped
Praise be to the cheapskates at Ozbargain for unearthing this deal over at Amazon for a 960GB SanDisk SSD for only A$320 including delivery. This deal might not hang around for long, so if you need a big chunk of SSD storage (a nice video editing scratch disk perhaps?), snap it up quickly.

Hasbro's Joy for All Companion Pets are a thing now
If you've watched Aziz Ansari's Master of None up on Netflix (and if you haven't, you should, particularly if you're in your early 30s and floundering through life whilst the rest of your contemporaries are doing amazing things that probably aren't that amazing but look amazing on social media), you may have seen Paro, an adorable robotic seal that keeps one of the character's grandfather company. Hasbro has just announced a real Paro you can buy, just it's a cat instead of a seal. Part creepy, part cute, part poor reflection on our society. Robots man, they're the future and shit.

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.