The Sizzle

Issue 143 - Tuesday, 10th May 2016 - It’s A Lie, A Flaming Lie!


Spotify is producing its own video content now
Spotify has announced that it's getting into the original video content game. Free and premium users in the US, UK, Germany and Sweden will get to see 12 new shows, all around 15 minutes long. One of the programs Spotify highlighted is called Landmark, which is a mini documentary series about music history. The two episodes made so far are about the Beach Boy's album, Pet Sounds and Metallica. In the USA there's already ESPN, MTV and Comedy Central clips within Spotify. Australia, of course, is nowhere to been - as usual. We don't watch video here, the moving pictures still frighten us.

Vodafone wants a slice of the 700Mhz spectrum for $600m
Vodafone has expressed interest in buying some of the 700MHz radio spectrum that went unsold at the 2013 auction. Voda wants 2x 10MHz chunks of 700MHz spectrum to use nation wide and is willing to cough up a total of $594.3m for it. Air is expensive. Telstra is a bit shitty saying it's not fair Vodafone can waltz in and buy spectrum now, when everyone else back then had to compete at an auction for it and the price Vodafone is offering is too cheap.

Ubiquiti announces consumer wi-fi gear
One of my favourite tech companies, Ubiquiti, has released consumer level gear called Amplifi. It's much like the eero, but made by a company that knows what they're doing. They've made a wireless router and access point in a cool looking cube with an LCD on the front, and fill in any coverage gaps in your home with wireless repeaters that go into spare power outlets. There's three models, starting at US$199 going up to $349 and they should ship in the USA around the middle of the year. Hopefully it doesn't suck and I can start recommending this to people who want to blanket their house in wi-fi but don't want to install any ethernet cables for Ubiquiti's UniFi products.

HTC has probably forgotten how to make money
Smartphone maker HTC's revenue is in the shitter and its profits are pure effluent. They've lost more than half of their revenue since this time last year and managed to lose US$148m, a 17% drop from last year's quarter. They're pinning their hopes on a return to profitability on the HTC 10 and the Vive, but it doesn't seem HTC has much else up its sleeve. I wonder how long HTC can stick around until it's gutted for some sweet juicy patents?

FCC announces inquiry as to why Android smartphones are so shit at getting updates
America's FCC (think of them like our ACMA) is curious as to why Android smartphones take so damn long to receive security updates and why phones only a few years old sometimes miss out on security updates all together. They've launched an inquiry to get to the bottom of this question many frustrated Android users have asked and maybe, the telcos and the handset manufacturers will get their act together.


If you liked SimCity, play Cities: Skylines
Did you like playing the various SimCity incarnations over the years? Yeah, we all did. Were you disappointed by the latest release of SimCity in 2013? Yeah, me too. We should check out Cities: Skylines. It's a Finnish game made by people who loved SimCity and made a city simulation game that lots of people love. The story of their success post the 2013 SimCity debacle is chronicled on Polygon.

Nerd hooks Doom up to Linux processes so they can be killed via virtual shotgun
Sticking with video games - back in 1999, someone hooked up Doom to their Linux server's processes and made it spawn a new soldier in the game for each process the server starts up. If you want to end a process, you get out your shotgun and blast that process back to the hell it came from. Some of the processes even shoot back, hah.

New tech podcast, Control-Z
The ABC has a new tech related podcast called Control-Z, hosted by Will Ockenden (who's name you might find familiar from a bunch of tech related stories on the ABC) and Yasmin Parry, who's name I also recognised from the AM and PM shows I listen to on Radio National. Their latest ep about the blind people trying to make the internet more user friendly for the blind rather interesting.

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!