The Sizzle

Issue 96 - Monday, 29th February 2016 - That Good Enough?

The Sizzle now has a place for you to discuss the day's tech news if you feel like it. At the end of each news item there's a discuss link. Just follow it and you'll be taken to the forum thread about that topic. Right now it's a sad collection of posts of me talking to myself, so at least make a few posts to stop it looking so weird.


NBN's internal documents leaked that show how slow and expensive the MTM is
A beautiful patriot has leaked internal NBN documents reporting on the appalling state of multi-technology-mix NBN. NBN's own reporting states that around 1.4m homes should be ready to connect to the NBN by now, but only 660,000 are. Despite that, the cost of hooking those homes up has tripled, blowing the NBN's budget. The NBN and communications minister have both responded to the leak with essentially, "everything's cool, don't believe this leak". The entire document can be seen on Delimiter.

DVD Fab calls it quits thanks to movie industry pressure
It's no secret that as soon as a media DRM format is released, someone breaks it and allows copies of that media to be made. DVDs and Blu-Rays are ripped to a computer using software like AnyDVD or DVD Fab. AnyDVD mysteriously disappeared a few days ago, leaving a "the feds told us to stop" message on their website. Now DVD Fab has announced they won't continue. Why is this bad? Ultra HD Blu-Ray is coming soon, which introduces a new form of DRM that these guys would have likely cracked and sold software to rip. No doubt someone else will do it, but it sets an interesting precedent that two long running pieces of software suddenly stopped development at the same time.

Raspberry Pi 3 leaked by the FCC
An update to the popular Raspberry Pi ARM-based computers has been leaked by the FCC while it gets certification for its built in wi-fi and Bluetooth. The inclusion of wireless comms on the Pi is new and quite welcome, making the Pi much more versatile, but probably also increasing the cost. We should know more info about the Pi 3 in the next few days.

Pokemon is 20 years old and there's still new games coming this holiday season
I'm a little too old for Pokemon to be part of my childhood, but 20 years ago on Saturday, the first Pokemon games were released. The man to blame is Satoshi Tajiri and his creation has spawned over 277 million video games sold, 17 movies and around US$57b of revenue. The Pokemon freight train of success will continue later this year, with the release of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon on the Nintendo 3DS.

New Apple gear on the 21st of March, maybe
Some very strong rumours around that Apple's next product announcement event will be on the 21st of March. Supposedly we will see the iPhone 6SE or 5SE, a 4" screen iPhone with the guts of the iPhone 6s, but without 3D Touch. Might see some new iPads or something as well. I hope we see Tim Cook wearing an American flag shirt to prove how much he loves America.


DOTS claims to store data for 100+ years
DOTS is an ex-Kodak technology designed to store data for 100+ years. It's a metal alloy tape that is basically invincible to anything except acids. DOTS uses a laser to write to the tape and the tape has microscopic data encoded on it, either in some sort of image a computer can decode and represent or even symbols that a human can interpret, so if the restore software or hardware is dead, you can at least manually read the information of the tape visually. Their prototype writes at 120MB/sec. Dunno what's gone on with it since I first saw it, but unique ways of storing data interest me.

AWS users should grab a copy of Pocket Console for your iPhone
If you're a developer of sys admin or DevOps or whatever they call babysitting computers these days, you've probably got your fingers in the Amazon Web Services pie. Amazon's cloud services can be managed via their own website, but if you need to monitor or change things while on the go, check out Pocket Console - which is made by Sizzle reader @bok_ and is very very good.

The abomination that is the Freewrite Smart Typewriter
This "distraction free writing tool" upsets me. It's a Frankenstein Cherry clacky keyboard merged with a small e-ink display, slapped in a chassis with wi-fi that lets you sync your writing to Dropbox and stuff like that. The Freewrite Smart Typewriter is US$449 and on the shopping list of every self absorbed, ADD suffering writer in the western world, I'm sure.

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!