The Sizzle

Issue 138 - Tuesday, 3rd May 2016 - Airmail: The Best Way To Get A Puppy From A To B


Australian man says he created Bitcoin & provides "proof" - Internet tells him to piss off
Last night relatively legit news outlets like the BBC, the Economist and more claimed they discovered the identity of whoever created Bitcoin - an Australian bloke called Craig Wright. Craig posted what he said is Satoshi's digital signature on his blog and has declared himself Satoshi. But that's bullshit, thick manure, great fertilizer according to Motherboard, Dan Kaminsky and Reddit.

Optus the most complained about telco
Optus is the most complained about telco in Australia. Our mates at the TIO have released their Q1 2016 stats and for every 10,000 customers Optus has, 7.9 of them had to contact the TIO about something. Telstra had 6.4/10,000 and Vodafone a very low 3.7/10,000, which is great or them as last quarter it was a 8.6/10,000 - Vodafone managed to lower complaints by over half. The NBN has had a shit time of it though, accounts for 43% of internet related complaints.

Chrome overtakes IE to be the most popular desktop browser
It happened, it finally happened! A browser took over from IE as the most popular way to browse the web - unfortunately it is Chrome and not Firefox. According to some research stats firm joint called Net Applications, Chrome captured 41.66% of the visits to 40,000 popular websites. Internet Explorer had 41.35%. Also interesting is that Windows now holds less than 90% of desktop web user activity, with the rest Mac users and then Linux users as a rounding error.

Brazil forces telcos to block WhatsApp for 3 days
WhatsApp will be shut down for 3 days in Brazil, as punishment for not co-operating with a 2013 police request for WhatsApp to hand over data, even though WhatsApp probably doesn't even have that info thanks to the fact it encrypts messages. The block works by targeting Brazil's five telcos, which will be fined 500,000 reals (approx AUD190k) if a single bit of WhatsApp related data traverses their network. This happened in December, for 48 hours and all it did was let Brazilians know about Telegram, which is also pretty safe from police eyes, haha.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (aka infinite cash) announced
In video game news, there was a new Call of Duty announced overnight. If you didn't know CoD is one of the largest gaming franchises around and generates more revenue than almost any Hollywood film - so it makes sense to be aware there's a new one so you're not totally out of touch with mainstream society. The latest incarnation of CoD is called Infinite Warfare and all the action happens in space. Ya shoot shit in space and pilot a spaceship or something. I guess they ran out of middle eastern war cliches. It comes out November 4th on Xbone, PS4 and PC. Check out the trailer which has a slow jam rock version of Space Oddity in it.


Point and laugh at the rich nerds too good for Burning Man, doing weird stuff in the desert
Eric Schmidt and a bunch of other 1%'er tech people made their own version of Burning Man, called Further Future. This article on the Guardian highlights some of the weird arse shit they get up to there. "The dinner party included a beer tasting, and the bartender was frustrated because the foie gras torchon was too fatty for a proper beer pairing." and "An espresso line stretches 45 minutes long for lavender lattes." and there's pictures of eric in his "party hat" and a vest made of mirrors. I hope if I was ever this rich (lol) I wouldn't end up at a place like this. Or maybe you need to go to places like that in order to be rich?

Don't damage that book's spine, there's a better way!
Ripping out a book's spine in order to feed its pages to a sheet fed scanner is a sacrifice many bookworms aren't willing to take on their precious tomes. That's why this DIY book scanner community exists. It's full of instructions and methods on non-destructively digitising books using digital cameras instead of scanners. There's kits to build these wonderful contraptions and software to help automate the process of collating all the images and turning them into PDFs and eBooks.

Sci-Hub is cool and popular and good
Also related to freeing otherwise locked up information, Sci-Hub's popularity is growing and all sorts of different people use it. If you're unfamiliar with it, Sci-Hub has been described as the Napster or Pirate Bay of research, extracting papers from expensive journals and allowing people to download them for free. Since Alexandra Elbakyan, a Kazakh student, founded Sci-Hub in 2011, it's managed to amass 50 million papers and 6 million are downloaded every month. The number 1 paper? "Full-scale modal wind turbine tests: comparing shaker excitation with wind excitation" can't wait to get stuck into that light bedtime reading tonight.

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!