The Sizzle

Issue 69 - Thursday, 20th January 2016 - Alright, That's Good Stuff


Twitter shares spiked on a rumour that News Corp was gonna buy em
Someone started a filthy rumour about big evil News Corporation (the main character in the James Bond documentary, Tomorrow Never Dies), taking over Twitter. That rumour made Twitter's languishing stock spike 14%. News Corp denied these rumours, probably remembering how its purchase of Myspace turned out, all those centuries ago. Also Jack Dorsey is no longer a billionaire, aw.

Apple releases new "Music Memos" app for iOS and updates Garageband
I guess Jony Ive or Tim Cooked asked the mini-van full of people working on their music apps for a status update, so the team released Music Memos - an app designed for musicians to record stuff just using the built in mic on their iPhone or using an external mic. It's kinda like a mini Garageband. Apple also updated Garageband to version 2.1 and added Live Loops, a looping track maker. Good to see the audio team at Apple still exist.

Telstra still installing copper infrastructure in new estates
In new estates around Australia, Telstra is returning to the dark old days of installing copper cabling. In the past these areas would receive fibre to the home from the NBN, but according to Telstra, new government regulation mandates it install copper in developments with less than 100 premises. I don't know how Telstra interprets its requirement to be a provider of last resort as a mandate to install copper over fibre, but it has and in 2016 there's new copper going in the ground - what a farce.

Microsoft Band 2 is now available in Australia
The predominately fitness focussed Microsoft Band 2 can now be purchased in Australia, from Harvey Norman, JB and Rebel Sports for $379. It was released in the USA months ago, so nice of Microsoft to eventually give us a shot to part ways with our cash. If you're into keeping fit and all that stuff, seriously look at the Band 2 - it has some of the more advanced sensors and software built in. Even has an iOS app.

Google Chrome might get a bit faster thanks to Brotli compression
The more junk you have to send across the Internet in order to make a website show up on the other end's screen, the slower it gets. There's techniques to reduce what's sent and one of them is compression. Google has been working on a new compression algorithm called Brotli and it will appear in the next release of Chrome. It achieves 20-26% high compression than the previous Zopfli standard.


50% off 1Password
If you don't have a password manager, you are a lazy fool, waiting to be hacked with the single password you use everywhere. Take this opportunity to buy 1Password at 50% off (~AU$37) and sort your shit out before your importan online accounts are compromised.

Dick Smith's clearance sale starts now
The vultures have probably already cleaned all the flesh off the bones of this carcass, but the liquidation sale of Dick Smith's stock begun this morning. According to the cheapskates on Ozbargain, there's bugger all actually worth buying and hardly anything reduced. Maybe give it a few more days until they're really desperate. Hopefully it gets to the point where I can walk in to the store and just start offering stupid low ball offers to relieve them of their laptop floor stock and demo model burden. I want a $100 Chromebook.

Review of littleBits Gadgets and Gizmos kit
Introducing electronics and programming to the kiddies is one of the best ways to make sure they'll have a job when the robots take over all the shitkicker jobs nobody wants. Scott Hanselman has reviewed the littleBits Gizmos and Gadgets kit and how his 8 year old used it. Worth a look if you have a kid or if you need to buy a gift for a kid in the near future.

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!