The Sizzle

Issue 112 - Thursday, 23rd March 2016 - Standing Up To The Thugs In The Scallop Industry


Victorians rejoice for we finally have public transport info in Google Maps
Getting Victorian public transport data into Google Maps was an election promise from Daniel Andrews and finally, it has arrived. It's available right now on Google Maps on all platforms. Google Maps will even include service changes for stuff like maintenance and special events. It seems to be working well, giving pretty much the same directions I'd take. Now tourists can visit Melbourne and not laugh at our lack of directions in Google Maps!

One dude removed a package from NPM and loads of Javascript apps failed
I'm no programmer, but this is apparently big news in the Javascript scene. The package left-pad was removed from NPM because its developer chucked a hissy fit and removed all his packages from NPM after he was asked to remove a specific package called kik, which the lawyers for the messaging app Kik thought was infringing on their rights. left-pad was apparently used in many, many places and its removal broke the building of heaps of Javascript based software packages that required it. The maintainers of NPM added it back in though, so yeah, all good now.

Day of the Tentacle remastered and on every platform you care about except Xbox
Lucasarts made some killer games back in the 90s and Day of the Tentacle was one I played as a kid but didn't really grasp, probably becuse I was too naive of a kiddie to get the jokes. Now I'm an adult with an excellent sense of comprehension, so I can now play Day of the Tentacle and enjoy it to the fullest. It was released today on PS4, PC (Steam & GOG) and Mac (via Steam). No Xbox *sad trombone*

Streaming music generates more cash than digital downloads & physical sales
When it comes to making cash off recorded music, 34.3% of it comes from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. 34% comes from straight up download sales, like iTunes and Google Music and 28.8% is from physical media like CDs. I dunno where the other 2.9% went (something called Synch?), but that's the breakdown the RIAA has announced for 2015 music sales in the USA. Why am I reporting on this? Because it's the first time streaming has been the dominate source of music sales in the USA.

Intel dropping the successful Tick Tock strategy for processors
Intel built its recent microprocessor dominance on a Tick Tock strategy for releasing new products. The Tick got us new fabrication processes (e.g: 22nm, 14nm) and the Tock got us new architectures (Sandy Bridge, Haswell, Skylake etc.). The Ticks in Intel's strategy are becoming harder and harder to achieve, so they've announced to investors that they're moving to a Process-Architecture-Optimisation strategy instead. This is a pretty big deal and gives companies like TSMC and Samsung a chance to get to the cutting edge if Intel takes too long of a nap.


Netflix's way of making sure all the trans-Pacific fibre cables don't melt
Business Insider has an interesting look into the gear Netflix chucks into Australian ISPs datacenters to make watching Netflix less bandwidth intensive. The servers dubbed Open Connect, cache what's popular with local viewers so data isn't transferred between Australia and the USA over and over - a costly proposition for Australian ISPs. Instead it's grabbed locally from a source the ISP pays little or nothing for so its customers can enjoy Netflix reliably.

Samsung make tiny SSDs that are very fast
Samsung have announced a PCIe SSD in an M.2 BGA form factor that performs fantastically. The PM971 is designed for 2-in-1 laptops/tablets that have space constraints but still need super fast storage. I can't wait for this to hit tablets and smartphones, as just like desktops and laptops, storage seems to be the bottleneck on these devices too.

A collection of cool fonts from old computers
Are you a fan of old school PC fonts? Monospace, bitmap and everything in between? Well this collection of TTF fonts from DOS-era IBM and clone (Amstrad, Tandy!) PCs will bring back all your ASCII-art related memories. IBM VGA8 will forever be etched into my brain.

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!