The Sizzle

Issue 57 - 5th January, 2016 - He's Not Worth It


DSE goes into voluntary administration, stops honouring gift cards
Dick Smith Electronics has officially gone into voluntary administration, due to DSE not keeping up with its debt. As a result, the new administrator of the company has announced that DSE gift cards are no longer valid (just after Christmas too, ouch) and that any deposits on orders won't be refunded. The employees of DSE can't catch a break either, with the DSE buyers told to return from CES immediately and not to spend a cent on the company credit cards.

Acer's CES announceables
Acer has unveiled some relatively mundane laptops pre-CES and one interesting iMac clone. A decent looking Chromebook, dubbed the CB3-131 will be out some time in Feb for US$180 (approx AU$275). A laptop sporting 802.11ad (aka WiGig) running on 60GHz, with not much end user applications right now, it's designed for short range data transfer with lower latency. And the Chromebase 24, a 24" 1080p iMac clone running Chrome OS, which looks kinda interesting.

GM invests US$500m in Lyft
General Motors has invested US$500m in Lyft, Uber's much smaller competitor, in order to have a stake in the service side of automotives, rather than just their manufacture and design. If this self driving car thing takes off, there's a chance that less people will buy cars and will share them instead. That means the large share of profits will go from making cars to hiring cars - and GM wants a slice of that via Lyft.

Windows 10 is on 200m devices right now
There's now 200 million active Windows 10 devices since it launched in August 2015. Apparently this is the fastest ever adoption of a new version of Windows. I guess the fact it's a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users helped. More people are using iOS 9 than are using Windows 10 though. 71% of iOS devices are running iOS 9 and there's approx 700m iPhones and 250m iPads, so yeah, close to 650m devices are running iOS 9 vs. 200 million running Windows 10. Something to think about.

Facebook planning what to do if Google kicks its app off the Play Store
Facebook is planning for the possible day when Google has had enough of Facebook and removes the Android app from the Play Store. I don't know what makes them think Google will remove Facebook from the Play Store, but Facebook thinks it's a serious enough threat to run tests on the Android using Facebook users, making the app fail in various ways and try to find out at what point would they just switch to using the Facebook mobile website instead of the app. Facebook discovered that almost nobody left the app and put up with the failures instead of using the website.


Migrate from Evernote to iCloud Notes
If one of your new year's resolutions is to ditch Evernote and use Apple's iCloud powered Notes app instead (which is a weird resolution dude), Larry Salibra has created a little bit of AppleScript to transport your stuff out of Evernote and into Notes. Personally, I'm just using Dropbox and a bunch of text files. It's not hip or cool but it works everywhere, on everything. No good if you like the fancy drawing stuff and pictures and bookmarking thingies though.

Malware for good, not evil
Malware is traditionally bad. But what if malware was actually, good? We all know that malware spreads by finding exposed services then using known vulnerabilities about those services, the malware inflicts some sort of damage or holds your device ransom. A group of hackers known as The White Team decided to turn the part of malware that does bad stuff, into good stuff - instead of wreaking havoc on a system, it fixes the problem that lead to it being installed in the first place and prevents malicious stuff from taking hold.

Xiaomi's In-Ear Headphones are fantastic value
Gough Lui has taken apart and reviewed the popular Xiaomi In-Ear Headphones. They're only ~AU$30 but deliver sound quality way above their price. Gough liked them better than the much pricier Sennheiser CX300-II and Ultimate Ears 200vi. If you're gonna buy one, make sure it's from a legit site like Deal Extreme and not off eBay, as fake Xiaomi stuff is rampant.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!