The Sizzle

Issue 146 - Friday, 13th of May 2016 - I've Been Parked There for AT LEAST Thirty Seconds


Apple invests $1bn into Didi Chuxing, the Uber of China
Whenever Apple invest in a company, it's generally a wholesale acqui-hire for a few hundred million. This investment of US$1bn in a Chinese ride-sharing company, Didi Chuxing, is way out of character for Apple. US$1bn, in a Chinese clone of Uber!? Tim Cook has confirmed that it isn't a joke, saying "We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market". This is for their Apple Car right? Has to be.

Victorian government announces its 4-year ICT strategy
The Victorian government has released its four year ICT strategy yesterday. The aim of this strategy is to replace old school phone & mail processes with online services, so Victorians can submit forms and find information way easier than now, where stuff can be spread across dozens of websites. There is also a push to make more government data available, so developers can take advantage of it and create the apps people actually wanna use. State governments have a bad track record implementing technology, so let's see how many millions they piss away over the next 4 years and how little they'll have to show for those millions.

Google to stop advertising loansharks
Google has grown some sort of morality and decided to no longer advertise pay day loans on their platform. As of July 13th, Google won't allow adverts that promote loans where payment is due within 60 days or has an annual interest rate of 36% or higher. Shithouse 35% loans due within 90 days are still cool, but at least the worst loansharks will now have to resort to toilet cubicles and talkback radio to promote their junk.

Inquiry into why the hell the creators of Myki are getting a second shot
A few weeks ago it was revealed that the creators of Myki, the shittiest ticketing system I've ever used, anywhere in the world, were in the box seat to get a second crack at ruining the already poor experience of Victorian public transport. The Victorian Liberal opposition is now pushing for an inquiry into how the hell the people who made such a crap system can win the contract a second time over the proven track record of the other bidders - a question any sane person has been asking themselves too.

Company that makes its fortune collecting data promises it won't collect data off its new iOS keyboard
Google released a keyboard for iOS that does Google stuff like add a search button right there in the keyboard so you can search in any app, direct from the keyboard. Kinda nifty, but I'm a little "hmm, Google seeing every key I press on my phone, hmm". Microsoft also has a fancy keyboard app, which is designed for one handed use. For some unknown reason, these apps are not on the Australian App Store. Once again, the yanks think us simpleton Aussies can't handle the awesomeness.


Rimowa made a suitcase with an e-ink screen on it, to replace bag tags
Rimowa, makers of fancy luggage for well to do jetsetters have announced another innovation in the luggage market. They've added an e-ink screen to their aluminum suitcases, which talks to an app on your smartphone that adds the luggage tag info to it. No need to attach those annoying stickers all over your bag! Thanks Rimowa. Oh wait, there's a catch - the airline's smartphone app has to support this feature, which at the moment, only Lufthansa supports. The other catch is how much this costs - US$500-$1300, ouch. Still cool but.

Yesterday's hyper loop demo barely scratches the surface of what's required
That hyperloop demo thing I linked to yesterday - yeah it's kinda bullshit. Sure, the demo worked, but it's nothing really better than what rollercoasters have been using for 20 years now according to this critique on The Guardian. As cool as the hyperloop idea is, it's 100% unproven and will take billions to actually show something that's better than current high speed rail. So don't hold your breath for 1000km/h subterranean travel between Melbourne and Sydney.

Wiki of pre-paid SIMs with data
Going overseas and want to know what SIM card you need to grab so you can get data on your phone? This wiki of pre-paid SIM info will help you out. Some parts aren't the most up to date, but the general info is good. In general - if you're on Vodafone it can be cheaper just to use your Red Roaming thing for a few days, but if you're staying longer than a few days or are not on a Red Roaming plan, you should grab a local SIM card.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!