The Sizzle

Issue 91 - Monday, 22nd February 2016 - I Was Born And Spawn On This Game


New stuff from Samsung, LG, Huawei at MWC
Over in Barcelona Mobile World Congress got under way this morning. Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 with what sounds like the best quality smartphone camera on the market. LG showed us their G5 phone with a weird removable battery that can also take different accessory modules like a high end camera and better speakers. Huawei had no new phones, but a very slick looking 2-in-1 laptop tablet that runs Windows.

Telstra remains on the cutting edge of LTE networks worldwide
Also at MWC, Telstra has announced their plans to upgrade its mobile network in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to support category 16 LTE, which will enable speeds of up to 1 gigabit down and 150mbps up. Nice, very nice. It'll also include Voice Over LTE support as part of this upgrade, so you can talk on the phone a the same time as utilising LTE speeds for data (instead of it dropping down to 3G now). Telstra also announced its plans to trial 5G services at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, utilising "millimetre-wave" tech.

Mint Linux distro was hacked and served up malware invested ISOs
Linux is generally the OS you run if you're sick and tired of malware, but the relatively popular Mint distro was targeted by Bulgarian hackers who managed to upload a modified ISO of the distro that contained a backdoor of some sort. This is why it's important to check those MD5 signatures!

3 in the UK is the first telco to block ads at carrier level
We all hate ads right? It's why we run adblockers in our browsers on the desktop and on our smartphones. 3 has taken it a step further and decided to run an ad blocker at the network level to stop its users viewing ads that it deems are "bad". No doubt it's a long play for 3 to charge brands to be added to its whitelist. Smart, I guess, if you're a telco struggling to remain relevant in a world where everyone just wants you to be a dumb fat data pipe. doesn't know when to give up and releases a smartwatch
I've been lucky enough to visit the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. There's the beautiful Pioneer Zephyr train, a full German U-boat that was captured by the Americans, a full Boeing 727 that you can walk in and lots of other awesome stuff. But they also had's stupid fucking phone case camera thing, alongside these marvels of science and technology, like it was an equal, like it deserved to be in the same room, let alone the same building. It upset me and I left them feedback about how undeserving that piece of trash was to be in their otherwise fine museum. Now is back with a smartwatch and I hope to God that it doesn't end up in a museum except to say "look what happens when you surround yourself with idiots who don't know how to tell you to stop for your own good" *spit*.


Awesome price for a Nikon D3300 DSLR
I hate buying stuff from Harvey Norman, but if I was in the market for a new camera, the Nikon D3300 DSLR would be at the top. Wirecutter reckons its the best entry-level DSLR and my personal opinion is that unless you spend $2k+ you won't find a camera that takes noticeably better quality photos. To get this for only $256 is a great deal. Partner it up with a 50mm f/1.8 lens and you're set.

NexDock - smartphone dock laptop thing looks cool
It's a crowdfunding project, I know, but it looks interesting and could actually work. The NexDock is essentially a laptop but without a CPU, RAM or HDD. It's got a screen with a HDMI input, big battery and a bluetooth keyboard in a 14" laptop form factor. Designed for the Continuum feature in Windows 10, it would allow your smartphone to act for all intents and purposes as your laptop. Could also use it with those mini-PCs around, like the Intel Compute Stick. I love this concept and what a coincidence, HP just announced something practically identical at MWC.

Tumblr teens were making loads of cash until they tried to sell diet pills
This story about a couple of teenagers making mad cash off stupid Tumblr memes is set against the classic trope of "those crazy kids, what are they doing?" and "whhaaaa they're making money?!" - which I found useful as I had no idea all this was a thing. I knew Tumblr was a thing and I like Tumblr but I had no idea people were monetising it. Of course, the monetisation ended up in dodgy diet pills and content farms, like it always does. The protagonist, a 19yo girl named Jess who went by the alias Pizza (hahah) is now some sort of Tumblr hero. Fascinating stuff.

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!