The Sizzle

Issue 76 - Monday, 1st February, 2016 - Mingo


Apple buy *another* company - this time it's VR related
Apple is splashing their considerable amount of cash around more than usual lately, this time buying Flyby Media, who are deeply involved with virtual reality stuff. Now everyone's thinking what Apple is up to in the VR space and wondering how serious they're taking it, particularly with Tim Cook's recent comments that VR has "interesting applications" and is "not a niche"

Facebook's Like button is so vague, use Reaction emoji instead
The Like button on Facebook is iconic, an emblem of our desire to care, but not actually put any effort in. Facebook has decided a more refined approach is required and will be adding "reactions" to items in the news feed. This set of 6 emoji will allow you (and advertisers) to better show how you feel about something, without requiring any more effort than tapping the screen on your smartphone. To warm users up to this mind shattering concept, Bloomberg reports on its creator, Chris Cox - apparently a very influential man at Facebook.

Vodafone kills roaming fees between AU and NZ
Voda's popular $5/day Red Roaming feature is probably one of the best things Vodafone have done in a while, making it so easy and relatively cheap to use your smartphone overseas. They're taking it a step further by eliminating roaming fees when Aussies go to New Zealand, starting immediately. How good is that? Just rock up to NZ and use your phone as normal, no extra cost!

ALP figures not happy with the ABC's NBN related editorial decisions
Some of the fallout from former ABC tech editor Nick Ross's resignation and subsequent venting is starting to catch the ear of opposition political figures such as Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis and federal Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare. Both have written to ABC managing director Mark Scott, very concerned about the influence Malcolm Turnbull exerted on Nick Ross's boss at the time.

Winners of SpaceX's Hyperloop idea competition announced
Elon Musk's Hyperloop transport idea sounds fanciful with its underground train that'll go between LA and SF in like 10 minutes, but is getting more and more real every day. A Hyperloop test track is under construction and over the weekend, a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won first prize at a competition to design the vehicles that run the Hyperloop. Engadget has a gallery of the competing designs.


Restoring the original USS Enterprise from Star Trek
2016 is the 50th year since Star Trek first graced our screens and the original prop spaceship fundamental to the series has been in the hands of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. To celebrate its 50th birthday, the museum has decided to restore it and place it in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall - one of the most awe inspiring rooms you'll ever enter. Arstechnica has some pics of the restoration process. I wish I could go back to Washington DC and visit the Air and Space museums again (the Udvar-Hazy Center out near Dulles airport is so fucking good).

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro - mmm, not so good
I've always wondered what it'd be like to use a Xiaomi phone in Australia, so Ausdroid's review of the Mi Note Pro was an interesting read. While the hardware and build quality is great, the software, is not. It's not a Google sanctioned Android device, so there's no Play Store and none of the Google services you'd expect. The MIUI skin over the top of the Android 5.1.1 is crap and the bundled apps are garbage. Doesn't seem like something I'd want to use as my primary phone.

Get 20% off of everything at FutuOnline until the 8th of Feb
If you've been hanging off buying any tech gear because you're a bit short on cash, check out Futu Online's 20% off eBay sale. Not only is 20% off a great deal, but postage is free and there's no credit card surcharge unlike most PC stores. After a 4TB HDD? The WD Elements is only $164, a solid $35 less than the cheapest 4TB drive at Officeworks. Loads of gaming accessories, monitors, printers, flash memory, even Apple gear. Use Cashrewards for a further 2% off - making the total discount 22%!

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!