The Sizzle

Issue 75 - Friday, 29th January 2016 - Woe Betides Anyone Who Has The Hide to Criticise It


Attack of the killer duckheads
Your duckhead might kill you. Yep, the plug bit that goes into the wall on your MacBook, early AirPort Express, Apple Battery Charger, early iPhone and iPad chargers is called a duckhead (colloquially, Apple doesn't use that term) and according to Apple "may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched", so they're recalling them. It's a bit of a pain in the arse to swap over, as you need to provide the serial number of the device in order to get a new, non-electrocuting one. Dunno if I can be bothered.

Computer beats man at Go, bringing the singularity closer<
The Zuck posted on Facebook (where else?) that his company is close to making artificial intelligence so advanced, that it can beat humans at the ancient Chinese board game, Go. This is apparently a very difficult and long standing problem for AI, so no wonder Zuck was proud and made the post. The next day, Google's DeepMind shits all over a human in Go, laughing at its fleshy weakness. Just one more step towards the singularity.

Apple buys LearnSprout so it can teach kids good
Another day, another Apple acquisition. This time it's LearnSprout, a San Francisco startup that helps teachers track student performance. Apparently Expect to see it rolled up as a feature in some new push from Apple so they can stop the surge of Chromebooks in schools and get kiddies back onto the iPads and MacBooks.

Facebook closes down Parse, upsetting nerds

A bunch of smartphone developers are salty today as Facebook closed down Parse after acquiring it for US$80m just a few years ago. Parse was some apparently important thing programmers needed in order to make fart apps. This is what you get when you hitch your wagon to Facebook. Why would they give a shit about such a thing when their game is selling ads to the world?

Tesla poach Apple's CPU dude
For your daily dose of spicy rumour action, I have a delicious meatball for you to gorge on. Tesla have poached Jim Keller from Apple - the bloke responsible for the arse kicking line of A-series CPUs Apple has built their gigantic fortune upon. I wonder what Tesla has in store for him as their Vice President of Autopilot Hardware Enginering, I wonder...


30 years since Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed and we've learned very little
It's been 30 years since Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed just after take off, killing seven brave astronauts. Unfortunately their deaths were avoidable and were the result of the never ending struggle between management's wants and needs versus engineering's facts and figures. Something I didn't know about the Challenger disaster was that it was the first shuttle launch beamed live into schools across America as one of the astronauts, Christa McAuliffe was a teacher. NASA inadvertently broadcast the death of seven astronauts live to hundreds of schools and thousands of children. I wonder if it had any impact on these kids taking an interest in science?

Arq backup on sale
My favourite backup app for Mac OS X and Windows is on sale in order to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Use this link and get 20% off the price of Arq, bringing the price down to US$29.99. I wrote a lengthy piece on Reckoner a few months ago about how I backup my data and explained Arq as an important part of that.

Booster is a stupid startup for rich babies
Here's a stupid startup I stumbled across today - Booster, a purple truck that comes to your car and fills it up with petrol. I assume it's because you're sooooo busy with your such important work, that you can't take fucken 5 minutes out of your drive home, pull in to a petrol station and fill it up. Nah, you have to get your phone out, tell them you want fuel, wait for the fuel to come, meet them in the car park, open the fuel tank for them and then go back into your office to do your very important job. The $9m they raised is $9m that could have been donated to something useful.

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!