The Sizzle

Issue 130 - Wednesday, 20th April 2016 - Hot Dogs


Intel to sack 12,000 people as demand for CPUs fall
Intel's lack of a competitive mobile product, the decline of desktop/laptop PC sales and the impact that's having on Intel's bottom line is well known and reported on. The inevitable side-effect of that is mass sackings. Intel announced alongside their Q2 financials that 12,000 people will get the arse across all sectors of Intel's businesses. Apparently Intel will also focus more on its strengths in the datacentre space and on emerging markets like the Internet of Things.

Apple silently updates the MacBook and MacBook Air
Apple finally chucked in Skylake versions of the Core M CPU in the MacBook - Core m3-6Y30, the Core m5-6Y54 and the Core m7-6Y75. They also made the battery slightly larger (an extra 1.7 Wh) and introduced a rose gold design, for a total of four different colours. The MacBook Air got a small upgrade too, with the 13" versions receiving a timely 8GB of RAM.

Silicon Valley darling Theranos, under criminal investigation for misleading bloodtests
Theranos isn't well known in Australia, but in the USA, they hooked up with Walgreens (closest equivalent would be Priceline I guess) to offer blood tests using a microscopic amount of blood. No more nasty blood draws and taking multiple vials of the red stuff. Apparently its too good to be true and this much lauded and celebrated startup is now under investigation by the SEC and DoJ. This is after getting kicked in the nuts by the FDA for using a loophole to offer medical testing that we now know was wildly inaccurate. You can read the whole sorry affair on The Verge (work your way from the bottom up). A perfect example of Silicon Valley charlatans forgetting the real world impact of their bullshit.

Telegram offering a $1m bounty for bot making
Telegram, my IM client of choice these days (oh god there's so many), is offering a prize pool worth about US$1m for making chat bots. Telegram will dole out grants for bots it thinks are interesting, in order to kickstart replacing any task a human call centre drone does now. God speed Telegram, but Facebook Messenger is gonna be where any bots worth a damn will be hanging out - we all know it. Ya mum and her mates aren't gonna sign up to Telegram and companies like Australia Post or Telstra aren't gonna use Telegram either. Facebook's where its at and we're all gonna be sucked in to using it.

Victorian government slings some cash at Code for Australia to gussy up their online services
Bit late to the party on this one, but the Victorian government is giving Code for Australia $365,000 to start the "Code for Victoria Innovation Challenge". Code for Australia will use this cash to give three teams an "Nnovation Fellowship" within some state government departments for six months, where they'll work on using code to make government info and services easier to access online. A roundabout way of doing it, but I guess this makes them look cool, rather than letting their staff come up with some ideas and hiring people the old fashioned way to work on a project.


Walkthrough of the Blackmagic ATEM switcher setup
Yesterday I crapped on about Blackmagic and how cool their gear is. If you're a little curious as to what their gear does, check out this video of a dude demonstrating how he uses the Blackmagic 4K ATEM switcher to livestream multiple cameras to YouTube. This used to cost tens of thousands of dollars and required a whole radio broadcast facility. Now any schlub with a few bucks and some cameras can broadcast live to the world in *better* than TV quality.

Raspberry Pi thin client project
The Raspberry Pi Thin Client project is all about hooking up to Microsoft RDP or Citrix servers with nothing but a Raspberry Pi, keyboard, mouse and monitor. The new Raspberry Pi 3 which has significantly more grunt than the previous models makes running it as a thin client an even nicer proposition. There's an alpha of the thin client project for the Pi 3 up here, but it's still a bit raw. Keep an eye on it if this sort of stuff interests you - you can connect an infinite amount of these little cheap computers to a big fast computer somewhere else, running Windows (or Linux) and manage them remotely without having to deal with all the things a traditional desktop computer brings with it.

Never underestimate the dramatic impact the Internet has made on today's youth
This story by some guy who lived in bumfuck North Dakota in the 80s, moved to New York for college and returned in 2016 to see how technology has changed the pissy little 61 person town he grew up in, is amazing. Back when he was a kid, there was no Internet, no cable TV, no Spotify, not even CDs. The school library had a grand total of five magazines and they only received three TV stations. His world view was so tiny. Now he's back to see how the kids of 2016 manage living in such a small place. They've got the Internet, so it's no big deal. Kids there are pretty much the same as kids all over the western world with their Facebooks and Snapchat and access to popular culture at their fingertips.

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!