The Sizzle

Issue 183 - Wednesday, 6th July 2016 - All The Killers & Hundred Dollar Billers


Hilary Clinton evades punishment for hosting her own email server
Big news in the USA, is that Hillary Clinton has been cleared by the FBI of doing anything dodgy by running her own email server whilst acting as US Secretary of State. It was revealed that there were top secret emails on this non-government run server, but the FBI reckon it's nothing criminal. Why did I mention this pretty US specific story, predominately about politics with nothing really about tech other than the fact email is involved? I think the situation is just another example of how integral technology is now in how the world works. Someone powerful was able to set up their own email server and dodge the official protocols, possibly putting the largest democracy in the world at risk due to security flaws and suffers no consequences for it.

DeepMind will plough through eye scans, looking for disease
The UK's NHS is partnering with Google's DeepMind system (remember that thing that played Go and beat a person?) to analyse the medical records and eye scans of one million patients from the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. These scans apparently take a long time for doctors to look at, and sometimes they miss stuff. By automating the process they wanna detect diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration much faster than current methods.

BlackBerry kills off the Classic, now only makes Android phones
BlackBerry has decided to finally stop making the BlackBerry Classic smartphone, the only remaining handset from BlackBerry besides the Priv, which runs Android. There will still be BlackBerry 10 software updates, but the future of BlackBerry's OS is uncertain beyond that. BlackBerry plan to release three more Android phones, one of which will include a hardware keyboard.

Amazon's Picking Challenge 2016
The robofication (is that a word?) of jobs moves forward, with a Dutch team winning an Amazon competition to find the best picking and sorting robot. Amazon's challenge shows off the best robots in the world and gives us a look at the leading edge robotics tech. Unfortunately, the tedious task of grabbing stuff off a shelf and placing it in a box still isn't solved by robotics, but the progress from last year is decent. Here's a video of the winning robot and here are the full details on what the competition entails.

ABC apologises for dodgy science on Catalyst program about wi-fi
In February, the ABC's Catalyst science program did a story about how wi-fi and mobile phones are killing us and giving us cancer. People complained that the story was full of quackery, so the ABC investigated the story and found that it was misleading and breached the ABC's quality guidelines. The full report is available from the ABC and the episode in question has been taken off ABC's iView. The comments on the ABC website's correction are a fun read...


Documentary about Shenzhen
I linked a few weeks ago to the first part of Wired UK's series about the rise of Shenzhen - the entire 1hr doco is available as a single video up on YouTube now. You gotta watch it if you have any sort of interest in how technology shapes a society and economy. The Shenzhen way of product design and manufacturing is probably well known to most of you reading this, but this documentary is a great explanation of it.

An external battery that’ll charge your MacBook
Got a MacBook and wanna charge it up via an external battery pack over USB-C? The 12000mAh MOS Go is what ya want (not related to MOS Burger in any way). It'll also charge up any USB device - one portable battery pack to rule them all, for US$120+shipping.

Someone found Douglas Adam’s Mac SE/30
Some lucky bastard found Douglas Adam's Mac SE/30! Douglas Adams, if you don't know, is the famous author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and other stuff). The person who found the computer, powered it up and discovered Douglas's user account and a bunch of his email, contacts and calendars, as well as documents he wrote. The computer has been given to the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge for them to hopefully memorialise appropriately.

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 Shook Ones, Pt. II, by Mobb Deep. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!