The Sizzle

Issue 175 - Friday, 24th June 2016 - Jack Ya Zipper


Twilio lists on the New York Stock Exchange
Twilio, a "Cloud communications platform for building Voice & Messaging applications on an API built for global scale" has had a pretty successful IPO on the NYSE, with shares jumping 90% from the opening price. This is mainly news because tech IPOs have been rare lately, with massive "startups" (think: Dropbox, Uber, Airbnb, Slack, etc.) shunning IPOs for some reason.

Certificate authority Comdo acting like dicks towards Let's Encrypt
Certificate authority Comodo is attempting to trademark the name of non-profit certificate authority, Let's Encrypt. Comodo, if you don't know, sell SSL certs. Let's Encrypt is giving them away for free and unsurprisingly, Comodo are being dicks about it. The Comodo CEO (Melih) reckons they're the good guys though, as they've been giving away free 90 day certs since 2007!

Amex has a Facebook Messenger bot coming soon
Bots! Bots are the future, etc. etc. but it looks like Amex will have the first, actually kinda useful bot soon on Facebook Messenger. You'll be able to ask Facebook "hey matey, what's my Amex balance" and the balance will appear. It can do other stuff too, like tell you where the Amex lounge is at certain airports and do the same things the Amex concierge do on the phone.

New paper released in Science about people's attitudes towards self-driving cars
A paper has been published in Science, based on a large set of Amazon Mechanical Turk surveys about people's attitudes towards self-preservation in an autonomous car. The results are fascinating. Most people agree that in the scenario where the car can choose to kill the driver and the driver alone, or, plough into a crowd, killing more than one person, the decision to kill the driver should be taken. However, only if the driver isn't them, haha. Read the conversation with the survey authors too.

Jony Ive gets a doctorate from Oxford and Apple to stop selling Thunderbolt Display
Two bits of Apple news: first, Jony Ive has been given an honorary doctorate in science by Oxford University. Second, Apple ditched the Thunderbolt Display. Once the current stock is sold, that's it, no more overpriced monitors for you. Until of course, Apple release another one, that'll cost way too much. Or maybe they won't bother. Bigger fish to try than selling monitors.


Boston Dynamics has a new robot: SpotMini
Boston Dynamics has a new robot - the SpotMini. It's a smaller, pure electric version of its other creepy robotic cousins. The SpotMini's limbs have no hydraulics, they're all electric motors and is waterproof, There's a bunch of new sensors and a weird grabby gyroscopic claw arm thing. The demo video is fantastic and the bit where it falls over on some banana peels is hilarious.

ACMI's Retrolmypiad - 23rd July
ACMI is hosting a Retrolympiad on the 23rd of July - a night of competitive gaming with Olympic themed video games, some comedians and a DJ set from the Midnight Juggernauts. There will even be a medal ceremony for the best video game Olympians. Looks fun!

COMPUTER MAN (Shareware Version)
That Tamicon 800 is a fine machine. A very professional system. Funny video from the people that made the also funny Danger 5 TV show.

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!