The Sizzle

Issue 118 - Monday, 4th April 2016 - I Was Wearing Tight Shorts

The Sizzle forums are pretty cool right now - with some friendly nerds discussing the news featured in the emails. If you haven't signed up, or you did and forgot all about it, take some time to check it out, you might like it!


Telstra's LTE network moved 2686TB yesterday & insight into what caused Telstra's outages
Yesterday was Telstra's 2nd free data day due to some network fuckups a few weeks ago. Telstra customers managed to snag 2686TB of data, which saw the network hold up fine, but with some severe speed and latency issues as a result. I set my Raspberry Pi to do a speed test every 10 minutes and Gough Lui did a couple of manual tests on his Xiaomi phone throughout the day. Telstra have also opened up a little as to what caused the original network issues that resulted in them giving away the free data.

Over 250,000 reservations for the Tesla Model 3 in just 24 hours
It seems like the popularity of Tesla's Model 3 has caught Elon Musk by surprise. The boss of Tesla has been tweeting updates to the number of reservations for the Model 3, whilst also answering dozens of tweets from randos asking questions about the car. As of Saturday evening (Cali time), there were 276,000 reservations placed, at US$1,000 a piece. I strongly suggest going to Elon's Twitter page and going through his responses, as he's revealing some interesting stuff about the car - like it's 0.21 aerodynamic coefficient, the matte black model will probably make it to production, a dual motor AWD option, a vegan interior, the steering wheel isn't final yet and the inevitability of a European factory.

Fresh NBN leaks - looks like FTTN is taking way longer than the already revised estimates
Another disgruntled employee (or the same fucking champ) has leaked info on the appalling pace of the NBN's FTTN rollout. NBN failed to meet its own targets that had multiple FTTN areas completed by April 1. With some areas delayed by up to 87 days. Also leaked was the latest Ready For Service update, outlining which areas are ready for ISPs to hook up. Between November and March, no new FTTN sites were available for customers to connect to. In official info, NBN has released a new Integrated Product Roadmap - basically a timeline of when they reckon the stuff they're doing will be ready. HFC is still planned to launch in June 2016, only 3 months away. Let's see if they hit that target beyond a single household wheeled out for the TV news.

Gmail's April Fool's prank upset people so it was removed quickly
Google's April Fools day pranks are usually quite good and classy. This year however, the Gmail team really dropped the ball (or should I say, dropped the mic? *boom-tish*). Their idea of a funny thing to do was to add a "Send + Mic Drop" button, which would add a GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone to the end of your email after sending it. Unfortunately, it was placed a bit too close to the regular non-mic drop send button and people hit it accidentally, adding the GIF to emails regarding the death of a family member and responses to job interviews. Gmail would then send all replies to that email straight to the archive, skipping your inbox. Bit sloppy from Google and not that funny in the first place.

Ed Snowden to "tour" Australia in May
Hero, patriot and dead set legend, Edward Snowden is touring Australia in late-May. Of course, he's stuck in Russia due to the USA wanting his arse on a plate, so he'll be speaking via video link in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra. Don't know who will be interviewing Ed, but at $86-$126 a ticket (what the fuck?) I don't think I'll bother putting on pants for this. You can talk to the guy on Twitter for free, why bother shelling out that hard earned cash when he's not even in the room?! You can even get a VIP package where you'll get a "limited edition T-Shirt" and a "tour poster". That's weird.


Why do SIM cards still exist?
Excellent question, why do SIM cards still exist? The little pieces of plastic wedged into our smartphones aren't really necessary in order to authenticate a user on the network nor to encrypt the data sent to and from the phone. It persist, mainly, because nobody can be fucked getting together to work on the removal of it. The telcos are lukewarm at best (as it makes it slightly easier for customers to switch telcos) and the handset makers haven't really formed around a single standard, with Apple going on their own, while the rest of the industry wants another standard. Seems like the SIM is here to stay and personally, I don't mind.

When media companies ask why people pirate so many damn movies, just send them this link. For some reason, only one of the best picture Oscar award winners are available to watch on Netflix in the USA. These films are supposed to be the most popular and sell-able films, yet the content owners can't be stuffed working with Netflix to make it available to US customers, or Netflix can't cough up enough cash for the owners to loosen their grip.

Chinese mobile UI is a little different to ours
A fascinating essay from an Silicon Valley ex-pat who moved to China to develop mobile software. Dan Grover has rebuked the stereotype of Chinese software developers as stuck behind the Great Firewall, naively making knockoffs of Western apps. There's actually some unique things going on, but also some worrying trends - particularly 3rd party app stores on iOS. They love QR codes, using them to visit websites, join wi-fi networks and download apps. (thanks to @ojm for tweeting this).

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!