The Sizzle

Issue 114 - Tuesday, 29th March 2016 - Nickelback


DoJ officially drops its case against Apple
This morning, the US Department of Justice officially dropped its case against Apple, no longer requiring it to crack open the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. In papers filed with the court, the FBI has apparently been able to get into the phone itself - despite insisting for months that only Apple could do it. So the FBI are liars and there's an iOS exploit out there we don't know about. Nice.

Microsoft's AI chat bot shits the bed
Just before the Easter break, I mentioned Microsoft's Tay AI bot that at the time, was minding its own business, interacting with humans rather pleasantly. Only a few hours later, and Microsoft had to shut Tay down because it was espousing racist and homophobic rants to whoever interacted with it. Microsoft's posted a statement explaing how it went from mild mannered teen to neo Nazi shithead so fast.

Social media traps you in a spiral of depression
According to a study of ~1700 19-32 year olds, those that check social media most frequently are 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those that least used social media. It may not be that social media causes depression as such, but that those who are depressed may entrench themselves with social media rather than "direct social relationships". Also FOMO, a fair bit of FOMO actually.

The Oculus Rift is finally here
The Oculus Rift has started to arrive in customer's hands and so too tech website reviewers. Wired, The Verge, Ars Technica and Engadget have given their 2c on the finished shipping product. Apparently it's pretty cool, but expensive once you pair it up with the high end gaming PC it requires. There's 30 games out at launch and some of them are a bit shite, even though the hardware seems solid.

Remember Uniloc? It got told to rack off with its patent troll act
You might remember Uniloc & Ric Richardson, who were the subject of an episode of Australian Story where founder Ric was portrayed as a genius who had his idea ripped off by Microsoft. Well Uniloc has been court again lately as for years it's been wielding a product activation patent agaisnt Sega, Ubisoft and others, but has failed to get any traction once again. I don't know if Richardson has anything to do with Uniloc's patent troll strategy - I hope he doesn't.


Google's Nik Collection of sweet photo editing apps is now free
If you're a keen photographer, you may have come across the Nik collection of plugins and apps Google has been sellign for US$149. For some reason Google just made them all free. These excellent sharpening, noise reduction and colour adjustment apps are well worth a download for anyone who enjoys tweaking their photos, pro or beginner.

Lightning Internet fixed wireless could relieve you of your ADSL burden
I saw this pop up on The Age today and while it's scan on details and I feel dirty repeating the PR pitch for free, it's interesting enough to mention briefly. Lightning Internet is a new wireless Internet company backed by the dude who sold his stake in Energy Matters to Sun Edison. They're basically rolling out decent speed fixed wireless Internet in areas the NBN is taking way too long to arrive in or won't service any time soon. If you're after some speedier Internet, this could be a great option, seeing as they service residential customers unlike most fixed wireless providers.

Fake Steve Jobs ends up at a trendy startup full of wankers
Ahh Dan Lyons, remember him? He's gone from writing a paraody of Steve Job's life one day (Fake Steve Jobs!) to ending up at some Boston startup/cult called HubSpot where he details exactly why we all hate startup culture so much. Pretty funny article and I also had no idea he wrote an episode of Silicon Valley.

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!