The Sizzle

Issue 86 - Monday, 15th February 2016 - Talkback Mountain


1.841 petabytes of crap was transferred over Telstra's mobile network on Sunday
Telstra enabled freeleech on their mobile network on Sunday, as a way to apologise for screwing up for a few hours earlier on in the week. Not surprisingly, Telstra announced that it was the most amount of data ever transferred in a 24 hour period, across their network, with a total of 1841TB moved around - double what normally gets used on a Sunday.

Wikipedia turning its hand into search, but not like Google
The Wikimedia Foundation, the over-arching body responsible for all the Wiki-esque sites, has received $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to start the "Knowledge Engine". The Knowledge Engine is described as a "a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy information on the Internet". I don't quite know what the hell it is, but Wikipedia will spend their $250,000 over the next 12 months building a prototype.

Asics buys Runkeeper, continuing the trend of activewear companies buying fitness apps
Asics owns Runkeeper, Adidas owns Runtastic, Under Armour owns MyFitnessPal and Nike has been doing its own thing for a long time now. All these apps are basically cross-marketing opportunities for the respective companies. Asics has its logos all over Runkeeper so whenever you use Runkeeper, you think of Asics and next time you need new runners, you think "Asics!". I can't wait for the Dunlop KT26 collaboration with the Centrelink app.

Apple asks judge to decide if it has to unlock a suspect criminal's iPhone or not
Apple sent a letter to a New York judge, asking him to shit or get off the pot when it comes to the issue of Apple having to unlock iPhones for law enforcement, as a decision has been in limbo since October last year. Devices running iOS 8 and above can't be unlocked by Apple, but those devices used by potential criminals who haven't upgraded are still able to be opened and the data extracted by Apple. If Apple is made to do so, it'll be an interesting precedent for future cases.

Apple producing a Dr. Dre biopic?
When it's not writing letters to judges in order to uphold our privacy from a fascist state, Apple also apparently produces semi-autobiographical dramas. It's all still a rumour, but people say Apple is bankrolling Dre's life story as a TV show and will run as part of Apple's streaming video service, whenever that launches. I'd watch it, even if I didn't enjoy Straight Outta Compton all that much.


Mho's Resistance - iOS game for kids learning about electronics
Got kids into electronics and want to teach them a few things about resistors? This cute little iOS game from Adafruit will make sure they learn Mho's colour bands properly so the Blue Smoke doesn't kill him! I'm 31, studied electronics at TAFE (failed it) and still don't know those stupid bands off the top of my head.

The economics of in-flight wi-fi
I've never used in-flight wi-fi because I've never been on a plane with that capability (come on Qantas you mongrels), but I imagine it would be great to Tweet from the skies. If you have been on a few airlines that offer in-flight wi-fi and wonder why pricing is all over the place (e.g: JetBlue give it away for free, yet Delta charge $10, but Southwest give it away for frequent flyers or only want $8), Forbes explains why there's such discrepancy between airlines for what appears on the surface, to be the same thing.

Exploring the Internet - A Technical Travelogue
Early on in the Sizzle's history, I dumped a lot of my favourite links and a few of those included wonderful stories about the physical aspect of the Internet and glorious fibre optic cables carry all the little packets of data around the globe. If you liked those links, you may also like this PDF I found of a book called "Exploring the Internet - A Technical Travelogue", by Carl Malamud, published in 1993, just when the concept of a global data network was reaching fruition. It mentions the phrase "Internet Explorer" often and I think this book could be where Microsoft nicked the name for IE from (first version of IE was released in 1995). I haven't read it all, but so far it seems deliciously retro. If you want it in dead tree format, it's sitting, probably covered in dust, at many uni libraries around Australia.

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!