The Sizzle

Issue 187 - Tuesday, 12th July 2016 - This Is It Folks, Over The Top


Day 3 of Pokemon Go
Here's a dump of stuff you need to know as to be cool with the kids. People are chucking a fit that the iOS version of the game requires full access to your Google account. A new version is coming soon that scales back the Google access it wants. The game isn't out yet in the UK or Europe, or Japan. USA, NZ and Australia are the only places with the Pokemon Go app. Four people in Missouri were caught by police robbing Pokemon gamers at gunpoint. An American fighting ISIS in Mosul posted a pic of Pokemon go and The Verge talked to him. In the UK, there's a Pokemon lure set up at a popular gay beat that's outraged a mum. An Australian man working in Singapore swore a lot on social media because the game not being available in Singapore and was sacked because of it. In NZ, there's a Pokemon lure at a Hells Angel clubhouse. The NSW Justice department tweeted to warn people that you aren't allowed to go inside a court to get Pokemon.

Qualcomm has a new flagship SoC - Snapdragon 821
Qualcomm have announced a new SoC - the Snapdragon 821 (aka MSM8996 Pro), which is a souped up version of the 820 present on a bunch of last year's flagship Android phones. It's basically the same as the Snapdragon 820, but with a higher clock speed. Qualcomm claim the 821 is around 10% faster than the 820. It should start appearing in devices towards the end of 2016.

Reviews of the Moto G4
Reviews of one of my favourite Android phones, the Motorola Moto G4 (the 4th generation of the Moto G) are appearing online. The Verge's reviewer really doesn't like it - saying it's way too slow and is unresponsive. Other reviews however (TechCrunch and Mashable) don't seem to mention any unresponsiveness like The Verge does. Interesting to note that the G4 isn't on sale in Australia - just the G4 Plus, which goes for $399. Not really as cheap as previous models. I dunno if I'd recommend the G4 Plus over a Xiaomi phone to be honest.

Warner Brothers slapped by the FTC for paying YouTubers and not disclosing it
The US Federal Free Trade Commission settled a case with Warner Brothers yesterday, over WB not disclosing it was paying a whole bunch of YouTubers to pimp the Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor game in 2014. One of those YouTubers was PewDiePie. Warner Brothers would give YouTubers stacks of cash to make videos about the game if it met certain "criteria", like not showing bugs, no negative comments about it and a "strong verbal call to action to click the link", as well as sending tweets and posting on Facebook about Shadow of Mordor. Never trust anyone on the Internet. Except me.

MIT nerd comes up with a better Tor, calls it Riffle
The big brains at MIT have come up with an alternative to Tor, called Riffle. It's supposedly more secure than Tor, which, whilst secure, has had NSA/FBI breaches in the past. I won't even begin to understand how this one is different, but smarter people than me reckon it's pretty cool. It's still very much in beta stage, with only one implementation of it that isn't a full implementation of the system based on the academic paper, but it's a start.


4TB SSDs in a 2.5" form factor are a thing now
Samsung has released a new SSD stuffed to the gills with flash memory that manages to hold 4TB of stuff in a 2.5" package. The 4TB 850 Evo goes for US$1499 and seems to perform more or less the same as the 1TB and 2TB variants already on the market. I dunno what the use case is for this - if you can think of a purpose you'd use 4TB of flash storage for in a consumer 2.5" package, lemme know on the Sizzle forums!

This guy spent a decade trying to crack the Sega Saturn's copy protection
You gotta really love the Sega Saturn to spend a decade trying to crack its copy protection system, but someone did and there's a nice video to show us. After all that time, trying different techniques, "Dr Abrasive" eventually made a device that plugs into the back of the Sega Saturn and pretends to be a legit game, but is actually a USB flash drive with an ISO on it. Never underestimate how many people love old video games.

A decent looking documentary about Stuxnet
Alex Gibney, the creator of the Scientology doco, Going Clear, has made a new documentary about Stuxnet and cyberwar. It's called Zero Days and is out now on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and dozens of other places, but none in Australia, grrrr. It's on Usenet tho, but that is naughty and you'd never pirate a movie because you're a good person.

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 Take A Long Line, by The Angels. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!