The Sizzle

Issue 111 - Tuesday, 22nd March 2016 - There's Never Been A Better Time


Apple's event concluded with no fatalities, a safe morning for all involved
We saw some stuff about Apple's commitment to the environment, Liam the recycling bot, some new things happening to ResearchKit and CareKit, lots of talk about iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2, new Apple Watch bands, the iPhone SE and a 9.7" iPad Pro. The iPhone SE is basically an iPhone 6s in a slightly refined iPhone 5s case, without 3D Touch. The 9.7" iPad Pro is a smaller version of the 12" iPad Pro. That was about it, no Mac updates, no updates to the other iPads or iPhones. You can watch the full keynote on Apple's website if you're keen.

FBI gives up on forcing Apple to do its dirty work
It looks like the FBI has realised how hapless their situation is and has now asked the judge to suspend the case involving the San Bernardino iPhone. The FBI claims its discovered a way to get in to the iPhone, via an "outside source" and may not require Apple's help - something security experts knew from day one. If the FBI gets what they want off the phone (100% likely), the case ends and we wait for this to happen all over again with a different judge and a different set of circumstances, but the same inevitable outcome.

Bitcoin no longer hit with GST in Australia and other fintech happenings
The Treasury released a policy statement called "Australia's Fintech Priorities", which outlines what they reckon is required to kick our financial technology industry into the next gear. The headline grabbing reportable from the statement is the axing of GST on Bitcoin. This was a pain in the arse for any Australians wanting to sell Bitcoin to other Australians, as you had to add 10% on top of it! (e.g: you sell AU$100 of BTC, it'll actually cost $110). The report also talks about "Crowd Sourced Equity Funding" as a method for businesses to raise money legitimately via crowd funding and better credit reporting and access to data so peer to peer lending can flourish (e.g: I can be a loanshark from the comfort of my own home!)

The man who put the silicon into Silicon Valley, Intel founder Andy Grove, passes away
Andy Grove was the first employee of Intel in 1968 and went on to become President of the company, then CEO and served as Chairman until 2005. He passed away this morning. He was 79 and suffered from Parkinson's disease, but the actual cause of death hasn't been made public. If you're unaware of Grove's legacy, read his Wikipedia page. He turned Intel into the microprocessor behemoth and industry leader it is today. He was also one of the most revered business leaders in the Silicon Valley. Andy's story is also a classic example of an immigrant fleeing a war torn country who thrives once they're free of tyranny and oppression.

Tesla reveals more info on the Model 3 launch
As the 31st of March creeps closer, Tesla has revealed a little more info on how reservations for the Model 3 will work. On the 31st of March, you can go to a Tesla store and plonk down AU$1500 to reserve a spot in the queue, or you can wait until 8:30PM San Francisco time (2:30PM on the 1st of April here), and place your reservation online. Tesla also confirmed that they plan to start production of the Model 3 in late 2017. Right hand drive markets seem to be last. There's a good chance we won't see the Model 3 in Aussie garages until late 2018. Gives me a solid 2 years to work out how to afford it.


Kogan takes 20% off gear on their eBay store
Kogan's currently running a promo with eBay that sees 20% off a bunch of their wares. Some highlights include, the Nexus 6P 32GB for $540.18, Nexus 5X 32GB for $393.59, 42mm Apple Watch for $369.59 and a 32GB/64GB Apple TV for $202/$258. You can scout Kogan's eBay store yourself for any other gear you're after.

Sony's Everspan Blu-Ray archive server thing
You may have heard about Facebook using Blu-Ray discs as a backup method for their giant databases and it's rumoured Amazon uses Blu-Ray discs for its Glacier file storage service. Sony has revealed a shed sized box with 64 Blu-Ray burners and robotic disc loading arms that act how tape drive would, but faster and with a 100 year life span on the discs. For when you absolutely, positively, can't lose a single damn file. Each unit houses 13PB and up to 14 units can be linked together to create 181PB of storage. You can then have four groups of 14 units working together in a single datacentre for a total of 724PB. Just enough for your filthy porn collection.

Dropbox ditches Amazon to roll its own huge storage system
Continuing the storage theme, Wired has the inside gossip on Dropbox's move away from Amazon's AWS and rolling their own gigantic amount of storage. Dropbox's storage requirements grew to the point where it became more cost effective to store everything themselves than to continue paying Amazon millions and millions every 6 months. My favourite bit is the photo of the beard on the Dropbox co-founder. It's some serious Ned Kelly imitation that the hippest hipster would be proud of. The actual story of how Dropbox made their system is very light on technical details - it's pretty much a puff piece for Dropbox to appear innovative "hey check out our sweet giant file server we made all by ourselves, aren't we great?". Maybe we will see a conf talk or two from the Dropbox engineers with more detail.

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!