The Sizzle

Issue 177 - Tuesday, 28th June 2016 - A Rabbit Always Smashes Me


Rights holders and telcos debating how site blocking should work in Australia
Australia's largest ISPs were back in court on Friday arvo, still arguing with Village Roadshow and Foxtel about how the government's site blocking law should be practically implemented. Telstra, Optus, TPG and M2 want rights holders to get a court order for each domain name they want blocked, but the rights holders want to lump the domains of every mirror of a website into a single case and continually add to it whenever a new domain linked to the original (i.e:, etc.) pops up. The issue for who pays for all this is still in debate as well - telcos want the rights holders to pay the related costs of blocking a domain name, where as the rights holders argue that they shouldn't have to pay to enforce their legal rights.

US$4 smartphone ships in India this week
Remember that US$4 smartphone coming out of India that everyone thought was a scam? Well it's getting ready to ship by June 30. The Ringing Bells Freedom 251 runs Android 5.1, has a 4" screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, front and back cameras, and a 1.3GHz processor. 200,000 of these bad boys will ship every month, despite the fact they're losing money on each one (about US$2). Either way, trickle down computing at its best. A computer with full I/O and storage for less than a Big Mac Value Meal.

Woman Microsoft for US$10,000 because it auto-installed Windows 10 and wins
A Californian woman sued Microsoft for $10,000 because her computer auto-upgraded to Windows 10 and it didn't work very well after that. The judge agreed and she won after Microsoft refused to appeal. "I had never heard of Windows 10, nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update." she said. Apparently her computer was really slow after the upgrade and was "unusable for days at a time", upsetting her travel agency business. Fight the power lady, show those nerds who's boss!

Google Maps satellite imagery gets a big upgrade
Google Maps is taking advantage of the sweet pics coming out of NASA's Landsat 8 bird, so we get to see the roof of our homes in even more detail. Check out the improvement in the detail of New York. It's like getting a new pair of glasses. It's still fucking amazing how we have on demand access to pictures of the entire earth in such fine detail, for free and easy to use. Go to the National Library, check out the first maps of Australia from ~350 years ago, then look at Google Maps.

Twitter stickers and Facebook slideshows
You can now add stickers to your photos directly in Twitter. Place a cute hat on top of your friends. I dare you. Facebook has a new app to make slideshows out of your photos.


Kodi is sick and tired of shitty pirate versions of its open source software
Kodi, the amazing piece of HTPC software that does everything you could ever want it to do, costs nothing and is regularly updated, is getting its arse whipped by people selling half arsed versions of Kodi they've modified to include pirated material, ads and malware. People then think Kodi is a pile of shit, complain to the developers of Kodi all upset that they paid for something that doesn't work and then crack the shits even harder because Kodi can't help them. To try alleviate this, Kodi took out a trademark on the word Kodi and is using it to take down all the shit versions of Kodi sold on eBay and other joints. Godspeed to them on their good mission.

Government software expert gives his 2c on the Liberal's Parakeelia rort
Heard of Parakeelia? No? Read this first, then come back here. Caught up? Fucken dodgy, right? Well Adam Cogan thought the same and as someone who works on government software for a living, wondered how the hell something relatively simple (a voter CRM) cost so damn much. He did the sums and worked out such a system shouldn't cost more than $380k to setup and a max of $60k/yr to maintain. So where's the rest of the $1m/yr Parakeelia gets going? A comprehensive rorting of the system indeed.

Final Frontier Festival starts in Melbourne tomorrow
The Final Frontier Festival starts tomorrow in Melbourne - a multi-day series of talks and workshops all about space exploration. Robotics demonstrations, mock space missions, hands on geology and a bunch of other cool and fun sounding things for not so young kids to get involved in. If you've got a bored kid that could do with some space learning, maybe send them to this.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from Little Fury Things, by Dinosaur Jr. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!