The Sizzle

Issue 88 - Wednesday, 17th Feburary 2016 - Rolling A Fat Cigarette


Californian hospital taken offline by ransomware
Ahh, ransomware, my favourite of all the leet hacks. Encrypt someone's data and make them give you money to get it back. Here we have Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center staff and patients suffering inadequate access to patient data thanks to a cryptolocker thing that wants 9,000 Bitcoin to release the data. Apparently CT scans, lab work and pharmacy systems aren't working. Reminds me of Melbourne Health and their Windows XP antics.

Vulkan, a next-gen successor to OpenGL is here
Probably not of much interest to anyone except game developers, but the consortium behind OpenGL has developed Vulkan - a graphics API to compete with Microsoft's DirectX 12 and Apple's Metal. This means other platforms besides Windows or Apple (i.e: Linux & Android) will have a quality graphics API to call their own.

Vaio, Fujitsu and Toshiba coming together to form a single PC manufacturer
If you've missed quality Japanese laptops, the time may be coming where you'll be able to pick up a nice sleek Japanese machine once again. Vaio, Fujitsu and Toshiba are planning to merge their PC manufacturing businesses in order to compete with Lenovo, HP and Dell. Dunno if they'll sell anything outside of Japan though. I remember a time when these three companies made the best laptops around - hopefully they can recapture some of that and sell some PC laptops that don't suck.

New Backblaze disk reliability survey
Blackblaze regularly publishes stats on their massive collection of over 55,000 hard drives. For the 4th quarter of 2015, their collection of Hitachi drives remain the most reliable, Seagate drives have stabilised after a rough patch of failures and Western Digital's reliability taking a hit lately with a bunch of 2TB drives shitting the bed.

Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic now on Blu-Ray
I didn't wanna watch this thing in the cinema or give the creators any money for this "movie", so now that it's out on Blu-Ray commercially, I can pirate it in clear 1080p quality without paying a cent. Just thought you'd like to know this as well, if you're in a similar situation.


Doom is getting a reboot
Bethesda and id Software have announced a date for the official rebooting of the legendary Doom franchise. May 13th will see an all new version of Doom released for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Here's a pretty bad arse trailer - makes me wanna drop a few grand on a bitchin PC and a 4K monitor.

Your text formatting woes are over
We've all been in the situation where you copy text from a website or an email, then want to paste it into Word or something and the formatting is all fucked up. Clean Text is a $37 Mac app that takes the garbled formatting and fixes it before pasting it where you need it. It'll remove weird line endings. remove errant spaces or large chunks of space between paragraphs, find and replace, and all sorts of text transformations to save you time.

Giant suitcase battery
Part of my other writing gig is to do advertorials for mainly Taiwanese companies with poor English skills. They pay me handsomely and I am generally ashamed and request my name not to be attached. In the process of writing a particularly excruciating advert, I discovered that the company makes a giant suitcase lithium battery. Literally, it is a suitcase, stuffed with cells. It has a handle and wheels and all. Holds up to 2.6kWh of energy. Enough to charge a smartphone around 371 times. You could literally use this battery on your iPhone for a year until it runs out. That's obviously not what it's for, but the thought is amusing to me because I am a dork.

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!