The Sizzle

Issue 185 - Friday, 8th July 2016 - In The Comfort Of A Loungeroom In Suburbia


Pokemon is back
If you're wondering why everyone's talking about Pokemon again, it's because there's now an augmented reality version of Pokemon for smartphones called Pokemon Go. You wander around the real physical world (i.e: outside, where the sun lives) collecting virtual freak animals. People are finding this fun. Darwin police had to tell people on Facebook not to walk inside police stations looking for Pokemon and this guy found a use for the cup holder on Woolworths shopping trolleys. Gotta catch em all!

The Light L16 camera has been delayed
Remember that weird looking camera covered in 16 different lenses and image sensors? The Light L16 was supposed to be later htis year, but has been delayed until some time in 2017. They also scored an addition $30m in VC funding and tweaked the lens specs a bit - the effective focal range will be 28-150mm now (instead of 35-150mm). There's a video of the prototype cameras being made.

Nvidia GTX1060 is a thing
Nvidia saw AMD's release of the mid-range RX 480 going pretty well and decided to announce the GTX1060. A US$249 graphics card that performs around the same as the previous generation GTX980 for like, half the price. It'll be out July 19th and looks like it'll be the best bang for buck 1080p 60fps graphics card on the market.

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra enter public beta so anyone can give them a shot
Keen to try out iOS 10 and macOS Sierra? You can now download them without a developer account. These public betas are designed for wide spread testing by people who want to provide Apple with feedback before the proper launch. They're still not 100% and really shouldn't be used as your primary OS, but more to see what the new features are like. It's also pretty hard to go back to iOS 9 on your iPhone or iPad if you change your mind (easy to go back to Mac OS X tho).

UFS is the new Micro SD and Samsung has some cards ready to go
UFS is the successor to Micro SD and allows way faster IO and larger capacities (think PCIe vs. PCI). Samsung has announced that they'll be first to make some UFS cards. The thing to note with UFS is that it isn't backwards compatible with Micro SD. A UFS card won't fit in a MicroSD slot and vice versa, even though they look pretty similar. I don't know of any devices that use UFS yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if Samsung's smartphones start adopting the card format soon.


Make your own GSM base station
Thanks to the advancement in software defined radios and the development of open source GSM software like YateBTS, you can now build your own GSM base station. A Raspberry Pi, a bladeRF x40 SDR (a full duplex SDR that costs about $700) and a big ol'battery make the unit portable, so you can sniff the unencrypted data flowing through the various GSM networks around ya (who is calling who, how long they talked for. Of course, this is all for fun and education *cough*

NSW wants to make learner's log books digital
The NSW RMS has created the Learner Driver Log Book Innovation Challenge. They wanna take the log book learner drivers currently fill in on paper and digitise it. Some sort of app, maybe. Kids like apps. If it's digitised, they'd be able to not fake it. They'd actually have to traveling around for the 100 hours or whatever it is, instead of just writing down that they did it. The competition started back on the 23rd of June and ends on the 15th of July, so you probably don't have enough time to enter, but it'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

How to buy a good monitor
Monitors are one of the few computer bits that you keep for many years. Not only do you keep it for years, you stare at it for years, so it's important to get the right monitor or your eyes will hate you. Tom's Hardware has an excellent guide on how to pick a monitor that doesn't suck. It goes through all the different panel types and what to look for in a monitor depending on your use case (gamer, pro, general use). Very handy.

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 ! (The Song Formerly Known As), by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!