The Sizzle

Issue 92 - Tuesday, 23rd February 2016 - In Bay 13

I'm probably gonna launch a forum that's only open to paid subscribers of The Sizzle. Every day as I work on The Sizzle or at the end of the day once it's emailed out, I post a new thread for each news item I bring up. Then all the paid members can discuss the topics amongst other subscribers. Seeing as the only way to get in on it is to pay for a subscription to the newsletter, it would hopefully keep morons out and discussion with a high signal to noise ratio. Disruptive jerks tend not to want to pay $5/month just to annoy other people.

It'd be totally optional to use - the email continues as normal and unless you tap the link in each newsletter, you'd never know it existed. But if you did want to shoot the shit with some other nerds, it could be good? If you've got any opinions about such a thing (yeah, I'd use it, nah, this is dumb, oh this might be a good thing to do on the forum as well), lemme know!


GoCatch launch GoCar to compete with Uber X
Now that Uber is legit in NSW and the ACT, it was only a matter of time before a competitor came around. GoCatch, who made their name offering a taxi booking system alternative to jerks like Cabcharge, have now launched GoCar - pretty much Uber, but with a different pricing structure. Their main selling point is the lack of notorious surge pricing, which is the bane of drunks and morons, and loved by favourite of lazy journos all across the western world.

Sony does a thing at MWC
Sony had its MWC launch, showing off the Xperia X range of phones. There's the Xperia XA with a MediaTek SoC, The Xperia X with a Snapdragon 650 SoC and the X Performance with the Snapdragon 820 SoC. Runs Android 6.0, have a rather modest 5" screen, and is designed to be Sony's "mid-range" phones. No pricing yet, but they'll be out around mid-year.

Qantas is gonna have in-flight wi-fi by 2017
Qantas has finally announced that they're going to implement in-flight wi-fi across their domestic services in early 2017. During 2016 they'll be trialling the service with ViaSat, who will work with NBN to make use of the Sky Muster satellites to provide sweet sweet Internets in the sky. Apparently it will be free too, which sounds too good to be true.

More from the Ultranet IBAC hearing
The deep, rich and vulgar stench of the Victorian Department of Education's failed Ultranet program has become even more fragrant yesterday, with more proof of corruption during the tender process coming out of IBAC. During the tender process, independent consultants warned DoE often that the evaluation of tender front runner CSG was dodgy as all hell and should be stopped. But the dude in charge wanted CSG to win as his company was about to purchased by CSG and would mean he would get a mega payout, which he did. Disgusting greed at the expense of children's education.

More Apple vs. the FBI stuff
Apple has added an FAQ style update to their explosive open letter regarding them being asked and then refusing to create a backdoored version of iOS for the FBI. The director of the FBI has written an op-ed in some fancy law site to have his say. Tim Cook sent an memo around to Apple's staff to further explain the situation. Brian Krebs gives his valid 2c as well.


What's Laurene Powell-Jobs gonna do with her estimated US$17b?
Steve Job's widow, Laurene Powell-Jobs was a relatively successful businesswoman before she met Steve Jobs and while she was married to Steve. But when Steve died, the vast majority of his wealth transferred to her. I, like others, wondered what she'd do with it, knowing she's a strong philanthropist. This Vogue profile explains her new initiatives to give money to people innovating within schools in an attempt to improve education outcomes for kids across America. Good luck with that Laurene, good luck.

Nikon unveil some new compact cameras
Nikon's compact camera game hasn't been anywhere near as good as Sony's, Fuji's or Olympus's. But their latest announcement of the Nikon DL range might change that. The three cameras feature a 1" sensor (the bare minimum for a camera to be worth bothering with over a smartphone, IMHO) and each one has a different lens fixed to it. The DL18-50, DL24-85 and DL24-500 have lenses with the focal lengths in their product name. Available mid-year, starting at US$650 for the DL24-85. I'm keen to see how this goes vs. the RX100 and Panasonic LX100 as a nice travel camera.

Japan loves to tweet
The Japanese love Twitter. In most western countries, Facebook trounces Twitter, in the USA, Twitter is seen as a failing pile of junk versus the Facebook advertising juggernaut. But the Japanese appear to like Twitter instead due to Facebook's focus on boasting about your life, which is seen as uncouth in Japanese culture. Twitter is more humble. Maybe that's why I enjoy Twitter more than Facebook.

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!