The Sizzle

Issue 106 - Tuesday, 15th March 2016 - I've Been Parked There All Day

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Tasmania's Internet is rooted
Poor Tasmania - the vital BassLink cable between it and mainland Australia was damaged recently, removing the ability for it to import electricity from the mainland grid. It's become so bad, they've had to bring in diesel generators to make up the shortfall. To make things worse, the fibre cable running adjacent to the electricity cable has been cut as part of the repair process, bringing Tasmanian Internet speeds to dial-up levels for those on ISPs using the BassLink cable (i.e: everyone but Telstra customers). Customers on TPG seem to be suffering the most, as TPG can't come to an agreement with Telstra to use its spare capacity to the mainland. Is it TPG being notorious tight arses or Telstra extorting TPG?

Kogan scores Dick Smith's intellectual property
Ruslan Kogan has been smugly been in the news lately for buying Dick Smith's intellectual property. Ruslan now owns the branding and customer database of Dick Smith and plans to run it as a separate online only brand, alongside Kogan. There's around one million customer details on the list, and those people have been given an opportunity to unsubscribe from the list before it's handed over to Kogan. Kogan reckons suppliers that don't want to deal with Kogan because they're afraid of getting blacklisted by JB or Harvey Norman, might deal with the new, online only Dick Smith.

Foxtel & Village Roadshow in court to get permission to block pirate media websites
The heavy hitters in Australia's anti-piracy crusade, Foxtel and Village Roadshow have appeared in court today in order to enact site blocking legislation for the first time. They've submitted to the court a list of domain names and IP addresses they want blocked by all Australian ISPs. Reps from the largest ISPs in Australia, Telstra, Optus, TPG and M2 are also involved to make sure everyone is on the same page as to how to block the sites. They'll be back on the 6th of May wth details on how they'll block it and evidence that the sites they want to block are primarily involved in piracy.

Microsoft lifts restriction on cross platform online gaming for Xbox Live
The holy grail of online gaming inches closer with Microsoft announcing at GDC 2016, that it will allow games on Xbox Live to have cross-platform multiplayer features. Popular game Rocket Leauge will be the first to support Xbox One, PS4 and PC gamers to play against each other.

Updates on the Apple vs. FBI encryption debate & Whatsapp joins the fight
President Obama spoke at SXSW defending the right of the government to have access to all your communications. John Oliver gives a fantastic overview of the encryption debate that you can watch on Facebook. Meanwhile, United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch stood up for the FBI on Stephen Colbert's Late Show. A Florida Sheriff has said he'll arrest Tim Cook and "lock the rascal up" if Apple doesn't comply with any Florida court requests. Whatsapp is now facing the same issue as Apple, now that law enforcement can't see what people are chatting about.


Chicago man creates own "quiet car" on train by using a mobile phone jammer
Infuriated by the yip yap and chitter chatter of those damn kids on their damn phones whenever he got on the train, Dennis Nicholl used a mobile phone phone jammer to shut them up whenever he rode the L in Chicago. He was eventually busted by a group of people dobbing him in and a subsequent undercover operation by the FCC, CTA and the Chicago police. Dennis hasn't been sentenced yet, but is currently on a $10,000 bail until the judge decides what to do with him, considering this is the second time he's been caught blocking mobile phone signals.

Ten years of Aamazon Web Services
On the 14th of March, 2006, Amazon launched S3, a "reliable, highly scalable, low-latency data storage service". It was the first part of Amazon's now gigantic Web Services business that encompasses practically every single IT infrastructure service you could ever want or need. Ten years later, Jeff Bar, Chief Evangelist for AWS, has written about the decade of rapid change within IT and AWS's role in it. This post highlighted to me that everything I learned about IT is practically obsolete now, with only some very basic fundamentals still useful.

Charlie Rose shoots the breeze with Jony Ive for half an hour
If you're an Apple nerd, check out this 35 min interview between Charlie Rose and Jony Ive. I haven't had time to watch it myself, but these longer chats with Apple executives tend to be kinda interesting, particularly Ive who is second in charge after Tim Cook - Jony is arguably the boss when it comes to products though.

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!