The Sizzle

Issue 45 - Friday 4th December, 2015 - I Got My Rocks Off

Today's issue is really early because I have stuff to do today that interferes with my normal afternoon writing time. If I've missed a few things in today's issue that were announced later on in the day, that's why. Upside is that you get to read The Sizzle at lunch time instead of home time!


NBN Co doing more dumb things like overbuilding existing fibre networks
Before the NBN was promising fibre for everyone, fibre optic networks did exist in many new developments across Australia. When the multi-technology mix NBN rolled around, these fibre networks were encouraged to ramp up again, to fill in spots with fibre so NBN didn't have to. Instead of encouragement, NBN has decided to overbuild in those areas where fibre was installed or planned for by private companies and effectively ruining their investments. The kicker is this quote from the article: "A spokesperson for Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said in a statement that the Government was not aware of any NBN overbuilding in new developments." They don't even know what the fuck they're doing.

Apple open sources the Swift programming language, develops it in public on GitHub
If you didn't know, Swift is Apple's programming language, designed to be more powerful and easier to use than Objective-C. It's now open sourced so that hopefully, other people will use it on non-Apple devices. It's up on GitHub for everyone to play with. If you've been looking to learn to develop software, maybe Swift is a good place to start. Craig Federighi, Apple's VP of software engineering said to Arstechnica that “We think [Swift] is how really everyone should be programming for the next 20 years” and “We think it’s the next major programming language." Bold claims but if anyone can influence and industry these days, it's Apple.

Qualcomm and Xiaomi come to an agreement on patents
Qualcomm and Xiaomi have finally signed a patent licensing agreement. Xiaomi, China's largest smartphone maker is notorious for just doing whatever they want and not bothering with things like copyright and patents. Qualcomm invented a lot of the stuff almost every smartphone uses, so if you make a smartphone, Qualcomm wants their cut. This could mean we're a step closer to Xiaomi gear hitting the west legitimately, but they'd still have to deal with the other people they rip off, like Nokia and Microsoft and Apple, who all have patents Xiaomi uses and I doubt they have agreements with. Shame really, as from what I've heard, the Xiaomi phones are cheap and well made. But maybe they're only cheap because there's no patent royalties getting paid.

Windows 10 officially on the Xiaomi Mi 4
Also in Xiaomi news - Microsoft has released a version of Windows 10 for the Xiaomi Mi 4. It's available as part of the Windows Insider program and there's even has a video from Joe Belifore (head honcho of operating systems at Microsoft) saying how happy he is to make Windows available to all the Xiaomi Mi 4 users. All 10 million+ of them (as of Jan 2015). Microsoft wishes it could sell 10 million Lumias. I actually really want to try this out. The LTE enabled Mi 4 is ~$400 at DX right now and I have a 5% off coupon for DX. Hmm.

Australia isn't getting a mandatory data-breach notification law until at least 2017
When a company holding personal information on people gets hacked, there's no legal requirement for them to tell their customers or users that their data could be in the hands of some nefarious types. A data breach could take place and nobody would ever know if the company or government department manages to cover it up properly. To combat this, there is draft legislation from the Attorney-General that would make it a crime not to tell impacted users if their data has been potentially stolen. Unfortunately due to the government's slowness on the issue, the earliest we could see such laws come into play is 2017. There's gonna be a lot of hacks between now and then, particularly not that Australian telcos are required to retain all our metadata.


Experience how genuine and real and slow the Internet was back in the 90s
Some of you youngins might not remember what the Internet was like on Mac OS 8 and Internet Explorer. They were the good old days my friend, when you were a giant nerd if you were on the Internet and the normies left us nerds alone. Then the Internet became popular and things like Facebook and YouTube happened - now look at us, disgusting. Anyway, to pine for the old days or to laugh at how we Internetted back in the 90s, has been setup and lets you view old versions of websites in ancient browsers. In my old man of the Internet opinion, doesn't go back far enough. Where's Windows 3.1 in Netscape 1.0? Looking for porn with that setup was my childhood.

25% off iTunes credit at Big W this Saturday
25% off iTunes credit at Big W this Saturday, a nice increase from the usual 20% off. 2x $30 cards for $40. No limits either, so you can stock up either for your own personal use, or as stocking stuffers/gifts for people you don't like. Earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points while you can, before it's ripped away from Everyday Rewards come December 31st. To pad this story out, I will tell you about the time I purchased $10,000 of iTunes credit for $5,000 when Big W had a 50% off iTunes credit sale. I used the credit to pay MacTalk writers and forum mods for a year, so they'd get $50 of credit and I'd only pay $25 for it. Please don't dob me in to Fair Work.

A little thing about how in-flight Internet works
In-flight Internet is one of those things you'd think I would like as it combines planes (which I like) and Internet (which I have a mild penahcnat for). Unfortunately I have never used it as none of the flights I've been on have ever had it! But I know how it works thanks to this post on The Points Guy, which explains the two different types of in-flight Internet access - air to ground (antenna on the bottom of the plane that talks to LTE ground stations pointing up) and satellite (antenna on the roof of the plane receiving signals from space). The plane needs to get wi-fi installed too, which is surprisingly more advanced than just chucking a few Ubiquti APs to the interior roof with some duct tape and hooking em up with Ethernet cables.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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.