The Sizzle

Issue 149 - Wednesday, 18th May 2016 - Absolute Bollocks

I spent all day playing Civ 5 again.


Aussies the first outside the US to get YouTube Red
YouTube Red is now available for Australians, actually, we're the first country outside the USA to get access to it. For A$9.99/m you can watch YouTube without ads and view exclusive subscriber only YouTube channels. Included in that $9.99/m is Google Play Music, making it a very sweet deal. I'll sign up for that and probably ditch Spotify and Apple music. YouTube with no ads will be great.

UberX is kinda legal in Victoria now
You might remember a guy called Nathan Brenner, who was an UberX driver taken to court by the Taxi Services Commission for breaking the pretty obvious law of being a taxi without having a taxi licence. In December he was found guilty of doing that, but today, his appeal was successful. Uber's lawyers found some loopholes in the law and just like that, ya can't be fined as an Uber X driver in Victoria, even though it's technically not legal here.

There's gonna be Tetris movie with a budget of US$80m
Someone gave $80m to "Threshold Entertainment" to make a film based on the video game Tetris. Yeah, Tetris. Threshold Entertainment was also responsible for the 1995 movie adaptation of Mortal Kombat. It's an American-Chinese production an will be shot in Chinese locations with Chinese actors. The producer even reckons there's the possibility of a trilogy of Tetris films. I can't wait to see how the fuck they turn Tetris into a narrative.

Benchmarks of the Nvidia GTX1080 start to surface
The embargo seems to have dropped for reviews and benchmarks of the Nvidia GTX1080. Just like Nvidia promised, it is an order of magnitude faster than the previously fastest card, the Titan X. Tom's Hardware has the most detailed review I could find. The specs I care about, 4K performance on GTA5, look good. At 3840x2160, 4x MSAA and "Very High" settings, the GTX1080 manages an average of 42.4fps vs. 32.2 on the GTX980 Ti. Two GTX1080's in SLI and it should be a smooth 60fps at 4K in GTA5. Time to start saving!

Motorola's new Moto G4 and G4 Plus - maybe a new cheap Android favourite?
Motorola has shown us its new Moto G4 range of phones - the first under Lenovo's full tutealge (Motorola's mobile phones are just a brand name Lenovo use now). There's now a Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. They're the same physical size, but the Plus has more RAM and storage, as well as a fingerprint reader and improved camera. They use the relatively mid-range Snapdragon 617 chipset and will come with Android 6.0.1 installed and with its usual very stock Android interface. Dunno when it will be out here, but will be out in the UK in June for £169 ($333) and £199 ($392) for the Plus. Dunno why you'd bother with that price difference, just make the Plus AU$375 and be done with it.


UNSW create world's most efficient solar cell
A team at the University of NSW has made the world's most efficient solar cell, with 34.5% efficiency. Apparently the previous best was 24%, so this is a big leap and not expected to happen for a few years. It's not commercially available, but it's still pretty cool this sort of research is happening in Australia, despite our government's reluctance to give a damn about renewable energy.

How to cover your arse on the Internet
Troy Hunt has posted an excellent guide on how to be relatively anonymous on the Internet. If you're signing up for stuff you might be embarrassed about if someone was to find out you signed up for it - don't use your real name and address. Don't use your normal email address. Get a virtual credit card or use Bitcoin. Use a VPN or Tor. Use a private browsing session. It won't cover you from say, ASIO, if they were watching you, but like the hand gel you see at the supermarket, it'll take care of 99.99% of germs (it's the .01% that'll get ya).

Battery Share iPhone app - why?
If for some reason you need to view your mate's iPhone's battery life on your iPhone, take a look at Battery Share. What a weird concept. In what circumstance would this be useful?

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!