The Sizzle

Issue 168 - Wednesday, 15th June 2016 - Dijon Mustard, That's From France, Which is in Traralgon


Chairman of the NBN breached government caretaker conventions, now what?
Old mate Ziggy Switkowski, the chairman of the NBN board has breached caretaker conventions regarding his rant in the Fairfax press about the AFP raids on NBN staffers. The Secretary of Malcolm Turnbull’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Martin Parkinson, has laid down the law and confirmed the ALP's allegations of breaching the caretaker conventions (here's the full letter). NBN's retort to this news is simply "well he had to defend NBN, what's the big deal". I dunno what actually happens to someone for breaching these conventions - just looks bad rather than any actual punishment. Storm in a teacup style stuff that's only of interest to people with nothing better to do.

The OnePlus 3 is out and damn good value for money if you like Android phones
The OnePlus 3 is now out, no invite required! It looks like a slick smartphone, with top of the line specs (Snapdragon 820 & 6GB RAM!) at a mid-range price (US$399). The Verge, MKBHD and AndroidCentral have reviews. Everyone seems to like it! Unfortunately, for us Australians, the OnePlus 3 is a bit lacking in terms of LTE bands and isn't available locally - something to keep in mind if you're keen on the OnePlus 3.

Samsung Pay works in Australia now, with Amex and Citibank cards
Samsung Pay is now a thing in Austraia. Works virtually the same as Apple Pay. Add your Amex or Citibank card to the Samsung Pay app on your Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ or Galaxy Note 5 and use the fingerprint reader whilst hovering your phone over card terminal. An interesting aspect of Samsung Pay is that it doesn't just use NFC, it also can use MST, Magnetic Secure Transfer, for card readers that don't have NFC installed.

Nintendo shows off new Zelda game for the Wii U at E3
Nintendo's E3 event happened overnight and the thing everyone is talking about, of course, is the new Zelda game for the Wii U. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be out in 2017 and I can see many people buying a Wii U just for this game. Here's a trailer and some gameplay. Also E3 related, Sony announced that the PlayStation VR will go on sale in Australia October 13 and cost $550 ($640 if you don't own a PlayStation Camera).

Twitter invests US$70m into SoundCloud and doesn’t say why
Twitter slapped $70m into SoundCloud's bank account for some reason. This values SoundCloud at US$700m. Twitter hasn't said anything about the investment besides "yeah we did" and SoundCloud has said that "Both companies facilitate and inspire contemporary culture to happen in real time while reaching millions of people around the world". I wonder what will come of this and whether it's worth $70m (prob not).


Nexar - the app watching you drive and judging you
Drivers in San Francisco and New York have been tracked by an iOS app called Nexar that records everyone on the road and takes note of when they do something stupid like tailgate or brake suddenly or change lanes without looking. All those incidents are automatically captured on camera and analysed, then added to a database of shitty drivers you should avoid. Nexar hopes this sort of info will improve road safety. Fascinating concept. I'd probably run this in my car if it was available to me.

President Obama is now rocking a Samsung Galaxy S4
Obama, on his way out of the White House, has been given a Samsung Galaxy S4 to use instead of his decrepit BlackBerry. Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the only smartphone the Defense Information Systems Agency supports. I would have thought they'd try use an iPhone, as like, Apple is an American company and the iPhone is to America in the 21st century as the Corvette and Cadillac was to America in the 20th century, but I guess not.

OpenSignal's first report on Australia's LTE network quality
OpenSignal has released its first report on the quality of Australia's LTE networks, placing Telstra as king of the hill when it comes to speeds, but placing Vodafone as the best for maintaining LTE coverage. Apparently Vodafone LTE users are more likely to stick to LTE than drop down to 4G (possibly implying there's more LTE coverage where people actually hang out) than Telstra and Optus. The entire report is available to the public and is collated from the results of 7904 OpenSignal users in Australia during Feb and April 2016.

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!