The Sizzle

Issue 133 - Tuesday, 26th April 2016 - There's Only One Thing That Really Worries Me


Quickflix dies for reals now, calls in the administrators
Ferrier Hodgson (a name you're maybe familiar with via Dick Smith's demise) has been called in to clean up Quickflix's mess. Despite many efforts to find a lucrative business model, Quickflix is calling it quits. The CEO of Quickflix has blamed Stan, who own a share of Quickflix and have somehow prevented Quickflix from raising the capital it needed to grow. Despite this, Quickflix is still operating as usual, taking cash from the customers it has and providing a streaming service. God bless 'em.

Lionsgate partners with Steam to sell video rentals
On the topic of streaming video empires - Steam has entered the game (Steam? Game? Get it?) by entering an agreement with Lionsgate to allow Steam users to rent movies via the platform. Pay US$3.99, download the movie and watch it within 48 hours. Lionsgate has provided just over 100 movies to Steam. I wonder if it will be popular? Heaps of people use Steam and even if a fraction of people check a couple of movies out, it's some money versus no money for Lionsgate I guess?

iiNet founder Michael Malone is now on the NBN board
Simon Hackett has left his position as board member at NBN and has been replaced by iiNet founder Michael Malone. Simon sold Internode to Michael's iiNet, then left Internode and not long after that, Michael himself iiNet. Now Michael is replacing Simon on the board of NBN, where, let's face it, Simon faced a massive uphill battle against cronyism and the agenda set by the Liberal party. I don't know what Michael has planned as a board member, but part of me hopes its that he believes the ALP will win the next Federal election and he can white knight the shit out of the NBN and become a national hero for every fibre optic loving nerd in the country.

UNSW launches a fancy quantum computing lab
Malcolm Turnbull has rocked up to a launch of UNSW's new quantum computing lab. The Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) is working on building a 10-qubit prototype of a quantum integrated circuit and the government has slung them $26m, together with $10m from Telstra and $10m from the Commonwealth Bank. Meanwhile, in Europe, they've just announced a billion euro package to further quantum computing research across the EU.

Android Gmail users can now connect to Exchange servers
Android users pining for Exchange access to their email now have a new option - Gmail. The Gmail app on Android will now hook up to an Exchange server. Don't even need a Google account, just grab the Gmail app off the Play Store and sign in to whichever Exchange server you wish. I'm not sure why you'd use it over Microsoft's own Outlook app, but if you really like Gmail but also need Exchange support, enjoy.


This VPN provider comparison chart is very comprehensive
If you're in the market for a VPN service (which I now consider essential for using any public wi-fi), this massive chart of VPN providers is right up your alley. This guy has constructed a very thorough comparison of VPN providers based on dozens of different criteria - are they in a friendly jurisdiction? Do they log your activity? Do they undertake shady business practices? - as well as price, number of countries they have endpoints in and strength of encryption.

Someone stuck a Raspberry Pi into an IKEA Lack table
Element14 has a guide on how to make your own table top gaming system by embedding a Raspberry Pi, monitor and some arcade buttons into an IKEA Lack side table. Thanks to the easy malleability of the Lack, you just cut your way into it and stick the parts in. The Raspberry Pi just runs the wonderful RetroPie, all set up for old school gaming goodness. Would make for a nice weekend project I reckon.

Backblaze show off version 6 of their Storage Pod
I enjoy seeing the progress Backblaze make in trying to shove as many goddamn hard drives into 4RU as possible. Their latest attempt crams in 60x 3.5" drives, for a total of 480TB (using 8TB drives) of raw storage. What's also nice is that they make the blueprints to manufacture such a case readily available, so anyone can do this! If you're running one standalone and with RAID, you'll obviously get much less than 480TB, but even if you ran it in a gigantic RAID-10 setup, you'd still get around 218TB of usable space - plenty for all your illegally downloaded movies and TV shows.

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!