The Sizzle

Issue 74 - Thursday 28th January, 2016 - Passiona High


Sony buys Altair, an LTE modem design specialist out of Israel
Sony has purchased Altair, an Israeli company that designs modems and software for LTE devices. I've never heard of Altair but they're apparently shit hot and Sony snapped em up for US$212m in order to have more comprehensive Internet of Things offerings with LTE connectivity. Can't wait to be hacked via my new Sony MDR-87987VA that's constantly connected to the Internet. Seriously though, with Sony's leading imaging sensors, GNSS chips and display panel manufacturing capabilities, they're a step off licensing stuff off ARM and becoming totally vertically integrated for all sort of smartphones, tablets and IoT junk.

Stream Nine live to your device, all day, every day, never, ever stop watching Nine
Nine has added live streaming to their 9Now app, so you can watch the quality programming on Nine, Go!, Gem and Life on Android and iOS, whenever and wherever you like. Never miss a moment of TV! Big Bang Theory 24/7, direct to your eyeballs over IP, mmmhmm.

M2 and Vocus shareholders agree to merge and create a telco powerhouse
Telco rationalisation seems to be the hot thing at the moment, with TPG and iiNet cuddling up and now M2 (aka iPrimus, Dodo) and Vocus (infrastructure and corporate Internet) agreeing to merge. This will create the 4th largest telco behind Telstra, Optus and TPG. Vocus recently took over Amcom, so this further consolidates the new M2/Vocus group as a serious contender to the status quo.

Theranos an "immediate jeopardy to patient health" according to US Medicare
A few months ago the Wall Street Journal dug into how Theranos has been facing difficulty with the FDA over its blood testing procedure and how that has probably resulted in many tests not being as accurate as they should, placing patient health at risk. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are saying Theranos poses "immediate jeopardy to patient safety." with its blood tests and that unless it shows proof of certain changes taking place within 10 days, the lab will be shut down. To me, Theranos is a brilliant example of trying to apply Silicon Valley bullshit to an industry that cannot an will not accept such shit because if it does, people die.

The failed Aereo pivots towards wireless Internet with Starry
Remember Aereo? They had a cool idea to set up a PVR in the cloud, so you could watch free to air TV without needing an antenna. They got hosed down badly by the media companies and their manipulation of copyright law in the US, but the team behind Aereo are back with a new idea - Starry. Starry is a big wireless network that'll apparently bring you fast, unlimited Internet. Their point of difference is "millimeter wave band active phased array technology" operating in the 30GHz spectrum - which doesn't really explain how they're going to overcome things facing traditional wireless ISPs. Let's wait and see what Starry does or if it ends up as vapourware.


iFixit tears down a "hoverboard"
The Swagway (lol I can't get over that name, it's so good) hoverboard is one of the better known brands and touts its main selling point as "it won't explode!". Wirecutter asked iFixit and Ken Shirrff (the guy who did those great Apple USB charger teardowns) to rip apart a Swagway and see if it's actually as safe as they say it is. Good news is that the Swagway (hahah) brand can continue to rest on its craftsmanship laurels.

Newegg gives patent trolls a taste of their own medicine
No doubt you've heard all about patent trolls in IT and how shitty they are. If you haven't, get up to speed and and listen to episode 441 of This American Life. Newegg, a large PC part retailer in the USA (who also deliver to AU), has famously stood up to these jerks and often isn't the target of these patent trolls, as they know Newegg will put up a fight and its not worth their time. The latest troll to come across their path was unaware and when they realised, withdrew their litigation against Newegg. But Newegg are now asking the judge to go to trial anyway, so that the troll can have its pants fully pulled down and kicked in the arse for good.

How will cheap petrol impact the take up and development of electric cars?
The main reason electric cars are a good thing is that you don't have to pay for petrol. As petrol gets cheaper and cheaper thanks to some dickwaving by Saudi Arabia/OPEC and the USA destroying its environment with fracking, people are thinking less about their automobile's fuel economy. The Verge has an interesting think piece on what this means for electric cars and their main selling point of no fuel consumption.

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!