The Sizzle

Issue 154 - Wednesday, 25th May 2016 - Holding Women's Underwear Like Trophies


Apple's gonna make Siri more useful and hired Secret Circle's CTO
Apple has been throughly outclassed in the "speaking to a computer" area, by Amazon's Echo thingy and by Siri's creators with Viv. Apparently, Apple are working on an SDK that'll allow 3rd party apps to work with Siri, e.g: the AFL could get off it's fat arse and let me shout at my iPhone "are the kangaroos premiers yet" and the iPhone will be able to respond with "soon" or "yes". Apple also want to release their own version of the Amazon Echo, with HomeKit integration. Separately, Apple hired the CTO of Secret Circle and Blackphone - one of the most secure messaging apps and smartphone platforms, designed for security conscious people - read into that what you will.

Volkswagen and Toyota invest big in ridesharing companies
If you were under any impression that ridesharing isn't that big of a deal, that it's just a fancy taxi, maybe the vast amounts of cash the world's two largest automakers are ploughing into the scene will make you reconsider. Volkswagen announced it will invest US$300m into Gett, an Uber clone that operates in Israel and New York. Toyota has formed a "strategic alliance" with Uber that includes an undisclosed amount of investment as well as Toyota offering Uber drivers a deal on leasing cars to use for Uber. Combine that with GM's $500m in Lyft, Apple's $1b in Didi, there's a lot of cash swimming around for what is a glorified taxi service.

Australia probably isn't gonna get an online piracy three strikes rule
It appears as if the government's (*cough* Village Roadshow's *cough*) dream of a three-strikes internet piracy law in Australia has hit the skids. After much debate between rights holders and ISPs as to how it'll all work, the concept has stalled indefinitely as no cost effective way can be found to send out "oi, stop downloading shit" infringements. The relatively useless site blocking method is still working its way through the courts, again, to mostly decide who pays for the system that blocks stuff and how should the sites be blocked.


The Australian National Library's PANDORA service is fun to reminisce with
I was hanging out at the National Library in Canberra yesterday (what, you don't visit libraries on your holidays?) and among the excellent national treasures there, I saw a kiosk locked to PANDORA, an initiative by the NLA to archive important Australian websites, which has been operating since 1996. It's kinda like the Internet Way Back Machine, but specifically Australian. The 2000 Sydney Olympics website looks glorious and the 1996 election campaign (20 years ago!) had a tiny internet presence. It's good fun to browse around the different categories of websites PANDORA has archived and get a taste of what Australian Internet was like 10-15-20 years ago. If you find anything cool, post it on the forums!

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!