The Sizzle

Issue 179 - Thursday, 30th June 2016 - The Cheddar Breed Jealousy


Vocus buys Nextgen Networks
Some big moves happening in Australian internet infrastructure right now, with Vocus buying Nextgen networks. Vocus merged with M2 and Amcom not too long ago and this $861m acquisition gives Vocus a huge transit network across Australia. It'll mean Vocus can lift itself up to be a competitor with Optus, sending data around the country, from datacentre to datacentre.

AMD's RX480 is excellent bang for buck if you game at 1080p
Reviews of AMD's latest graphics card, the RX 480 have hit the web, but Anandtech's "preview" (if this is a preview, the actual review is gonna be huge) covers everything you wanna know. This mid-range card using the all new Polaris architecture and 14nm process is perfect for those gaming at 1080p. It only sells for US$199 and can play all the latest games at 1080p at around 60fps. Doesn't use much power either, only 150W. That said, it's no match for the GTX1070 or GTX1080 if you have a 4K monitor.

NBN finally launches HFC services
NBN has finally launched their HFC product, 2 days before the federal election - probably so they can say "see we delivered it before the election". Apparently 18,800 premises in Redcliffe, QLD can now get internet via HFC on their preferred ISP (so no need to get it from Telstra or Optus, who used to own their own HFC networks, which now belong to NBN). I'd love to see how long it takes for a customer to actually get a working service and how it performs when everyone else in their area gets it.

Cirrus Logic release a Lightning audio hardware developer kit
The rumours of Apple nixing the 3.5mm audio jack on the next iPhone and making everyone use either Bluetooth or Lightning headphones have gathered steam with the release of a development kit from Cirrus Logic that aids the creation of a 3.5mm to Lightning adaptor - something sure to be in hot demand if Apple take this approach. Why would Cirrus Logic (who supply audio chips to Apple) bother making this if Apple wasn't gonna ditch the 3.5mm socket? :thinking_face:

Amazon starts selling ad-subsidised smartphones
Amazon is selling the Moto G, preloaded with ads, for a $50 discount. What is normally US$199 is now US$149. Every time you unlock the device, boom, an ad. I wonder if you could buy it for $149, then just nuke the ROM, install a fresh one from a non-ad infested Moto and enjoy the discount and no ads? Would you take a 25% discount on a smartphone purchase if all you had to do was look at a few ads? Maybe combine that with a subsidised telco service also based on ad viewing?


Audio of Mike Quigley's NBN talk from last week
The audio from Mike Quigley's talk at Melb Uni about how the Liberals shafted the NBN is up on Soundcloud. The audio quality isn't 100%, but still very listenable. Might want to listen to it whilst flicking through his notes and slides. Mike's talk goes for just under 50 minutes.

Tesla opens a fancy store in Martin Place
Tesla opens a flagship store in Martin Place tomorrow. Gizmodo got a preview of the joint and took some nice photos. To be honest, there's not much here for me beyond some eye candy and wishful thinking. Hurry up and tell a few thousand of your friends about The Sizzle so I can buy a Model S.

What will the political parties do for science funding if they get voted in?
Lateral Magazine has a great overview of what the Liberals, ALP and Greens are pledging to do for science funding in Australia. Something to read in order to assist in your voting this weekend, unless you've voted already. Related: here's where to find the democracy sausages.

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 Ten Crack Commandments, by The Notorious B.I.G.Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!