The Sizzle

Issue 107 - Wednesday, 16th March 2016 - You Can Take My Licence, But You'll Never Take, My Tequila!

Thanks to the dozen or so people who helped promote The Sizzle by giving this a retweet yesterday. If you still feel like retweeting stuff, give this one a shot. I scored a few more people signing up for the free trial yesterday, so your retweets really do help!


NBN blocked from providing cheaper fibre by dumb and stubborn politicians
Lateline managed to get their hands on more leaked NBN docs that outline a combination of FTTdp/skinny fibre can bring the cost of installing fibre down to only $400 more per premises than FTTN. Yet, NBN isn't pushing this idea any further after successful trials in Ballarat and Karingal. The NBN board is acting like the tech doesn't exist and when asked why NBN is acting this way, Bill Morrow replies: "That’s a question you really have to ask the politicians." - even he's starting to crack now, no longer able to sustain the politician's lies.

Man responsible for hacking celebrity iCloud and Google accounts arrested 2 years later
Remember the Fappening/Celebgate? That series of celebrity nudes leaked in the middle of 2014 that kinda woke people up to the fact that their stuff isn't really safe online? (if it can happen to my favourite celebs, it can happen to me!!) The guy that did it has been charged by police today and all he did was some stupid phishing scams to get account details. The jerks who were raking in hundreds of Bitcoin from gross horny Reddit users who "donated" to get more pics and videos uploaded are still unknown.

Tesla provide date and time for Model 3 unveiling
Tesla have confirmed that on April 1st, at 2:30AM AEDST, we will finally get to see the Model 3. Not much else to report on the Model 3 other than that. I've been pumped about the Model 3 for a while, since Tesla confirmed there will be a launch on the 31st. I did a writeup on Reckoner, hypothesising about the cost and comparing the running costs to my current car. Even though the Model 3 is cheap(er), it's still a way more expensive car than I can justify.

PlayStation VR gets a price and date
If you're keen on some VR action but the Occulus Rift is too rich for your wallet, Sony has announced that the PlayStation VR will launch in October. Doesn't seem to be any games announced yet, but at least Australia hasn't been left out of the fun, with Kotaku confirming we will be able to buy a PlayStation VR in October too. Apparently you need a Move controller and a PlayStation camera as well as the head unit. If like most PS4 owners, you don't already own those accessories, you'll probably be up for around $700, instead of the $550 for the PlayStation VR on its own.

Ex-CEO of Nokia now works for Telstra
You know who Stephen Elop is yeah? The former CEO of Nokia who wrote the now infamous "burning platform" memo, putting a rocket up everyone's arse to say how shit Nokia's handsets are versus the iPhone? Yeah, well, that guy is now in Australia, working for Telstra, in some innovation bullshit role (Group Executive Technology, Innovation and Strategy). They also hired the ex-chief of Optus, Kevin Russell to lead Telstra's retail operations.


No more Here Maps for Windows phones
March 29th will see the removal of Here maps from the Windows Phone platform and by June 30th, the apps just won't work ( assume they're pulling down the servers that host the data). Since Here was purchased off Nokia by Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz, I wondered if they'd bother continuing with smartphone apps and it seems like they will, but just on Android and iOS, not Windows. Sad, as Windows doesn't have Google Maps either. The built in maps app on Windows 10 uses Here data, but the app itself isn't as nice as standalone Here maps app, particularly for driving and public transport.

Tricorder XPrize seems a long way away
Qualcomm has offered $10m to whoever is first to make a Star Trek-esque tricorder that can monitor vital signs and diagnose diseases. Unfortunately all the teams involved haven't been able to do it quite as required. In real world testing, the vital signs weren't an issue, but diagnosing ailments was virtually useless. The XPrize judges now expect a winner to be declared in early 2017. I had no idea this was a thing, it sounds awesomely cool if it can actually work.

The Ideas Boom is a money swapping farce
We all saw Malcolm Turnbull's innovation dog and pony show around the end of 2015 and maybe even a few of us were like "cool Malc, sounds good buddy, thanks for not being a totally ignorant boomer" - but after a few months to ruminate on the Idea Boom plans, it's clear that they'll achieve precisely nothing. Nick Feik's story in The Monthly explains just how shallow the proposed initiatives are, that most of them are just reversals of proposed cuts and how little money is actually going towards science and technology.

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!