The Sizzle

Issue 62 - Tuesday 12th January, 2016 - Flowers, Flowers Drifting by The Pane

Today's issue of the Sizzle is a little more brief than usual because I was at Sunshine hospital with my dad until 3AM last night. The old man decided to go balancing on a chair stacked upon another chair to cut a tree branch and unsurprisingly, fell off his leaning tower of chair monument. The fall fractured his skull and bruised his brain. He's still in hospital and I'm supposed to be going to Sydney on Thursday and Friday, so if tomorrow or the rest of the week's Sizzle is late or wonky too, that's why.


Elon Musk getting mouthy about autonomous cars
Elon Musk has been talking big about self driving cars on the back of Tesla's latest update to the Model S - "Summon" mode, where your car will drive towards you via a press on the keyfob. Elon reckons this is just the first baby steps, and that by 2018, a Tesla will be able to drive from LA to New York all on its own, without a person in it. Elon also described Apple's plans to make an electric car "an open secret" and that it'll be "compelling".

GM gives us more concrete info on the Chevy Bolt
Also in electric car news, the GM released more info on the Chevy Bolt at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday. We now know the Bolt will have a 60kWh battery (nice) and a 7.2kW charger that'll go from 0-100% in around 9 hours, with the option for a fast charging kit. A bunch of other specs and details were announced too. Wired has a long form article (whcih I haven't read yet, argh) detailing the creation of the Bolt and how it's very likely GM will beat Tesla in making the first "affordable" EV with decent range. Tesla's Model 3 is supposed to be their lower priced car, which will apparently be revealed in March.

Apple announces iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 with some interesting new features
Apple has released betas of iOS 9.3 and tvOS9.2. iOS 9.3 has a new feature called "Night Shift", which is f.lux, but now integrated into iOS. It changes the colour balance of your device's screen to match the time of day and is supposed to improve your sleep. There's a few more Force Touch actions for Apple's built in apps (shortcuts for items in Settings!) and a way to secure specific notes in the Notes app with a password or a Touch ID fingerprint. tvOS 9.2 brings a podcast app, support for a Bluetooth keyboard, Australian Siri support and MapKit (so apps can display Maps and shit now).

Vertu and Bentley join up for a grotesque display of wealth
Vertu, the phone brand I love to loathe, has partnered up with Bentley - manufacturer of the horrible rich person cars, to make even more horrible rich person smartphones. The Vertu Signature Touch for Bentley is $9,000. Mmm, just look at it, how disgusting.

Box office records smashed - tell me more about how piracy is hurting your industry
By the way movie studios so aggressively target pirates and crap on about lost profits ad nauseam, you'd think they're poor and this is a tough time for them. Hahaha, no. 2015 saw a global and US box office record! There's never been more people paying to watch movies than there is now.


Terrible CES stuff
Yesterday I listed the things I saw at CES which caught my eye. Ed Zitron was at CES and tweeted the things he thought were (and are) just awful. I sooooo have to go in 2017, I need to see this for myself, I need to be immersed in it, bathe in it.

A documentary about the FIFA video games
If ya like the FIFA range of video games from EA, you'll like this 20 min doco about their creation and cultural status as one of the most popular video games around the world.

John McAfee is back and he wants to be President of the USA or sell you a security dongle
A man now better known for being batshit crazy, that once upon a time made anti-virus software, John McAfee, has decided he wants to run for President of the USA. Sure, why not. It'll be fun. He also has a new startup (of course he does) selling some security dongle RFID thing called Everykey. Engadget indulged him in an interview.

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!