The Sizzle

Issue 192 - Tuesday, 19th July 2016 - Now The Cool Kids Are Nerds And The Nerds Got The Cool

The Sizzle cracked 200 paid subscribers today! Thanks to everyone who subscribes to this thing for enjoying it enough to pay for it. Convincing people to pay for media is a tough thing these days and knowing that 200 of you reckon what I do is worth a fraction of your hard earned money gives me motivation to keep putting in the effort every day.


Netflix didn't get as many customers this quarter as it hoped
Netflix stock has dropped 15% after announcing its 2nd quarter financial results. It looks like Netflix didn't get as many customers it had hoped, gaining 1.7m customers in the last 3 months, instead of the 2.5m it aimed for. It blames the negative press it received around price hikes. They're making more money though, which is good, but the market loves growth. Also in Netflix news, they now have every single episode of all the Star Treks and its available to watch globally, not just in the US. Captain Picard is the best Star Trek Captain I reckon.

GlaskoSmithKline release a HealthKit app
Remember HealthKit? Apple's big attempt at improving medical research via the use of iPhones? While a few universities have made some apps utilising it to gather info for their research, it's not until today that a large commercial pharmaceutical company has used it. GlaskoSmithKline (GSK) has announced a study into rheumatoid arthritis that uses ResearchKit to collect info from sufferers of the illness via an app called GSK PARADE. Participants answer questions over a period of time and the app will use the iPhone's sensors to collect info too, though the press release doesn't go into much detail. Only those in the USA can participate by the way.

Victorian government releases an ICT dashboard
I frequently mention busted government IT projects here, as it's good for us know how much of our tax money is wasted on them. The Victorian government is making it easier to see how badly projects are going by launching a Victorian Government ICT Dashboard. It lists all the projects currently in progress and which stage they are at. It appears that all 214 projects are on time or late, but under control. Why do I find that hard to believe? You can check out the dashboard for yourself.

Xbox One S gets an Aussie date and price
Microsoft's new Xbox One S has an Australian launch date and price. It'll start shipping on August 2nd and sell for $549. The One S is basically a souped up Xbox One that supports 4K output (but not 4K games) and is in a smaller chassis with an internal PSU. I guess if you've been hanging for an XBox One and have a 4K TV it's nice, but you can also get an older, refurbished Xbox One from Aldi for $279 with a game.

Say hello to Australia's Cyber Minister
Australia now has a Minister Assisting the PM for Cyber Security. Dan Tehan is Mr. Cyber will work with the Cyber Ambassador (yes really) and the Chief Cyber Security Advisor to make sure Australia isn't hacked into oblivion by the Chinese. In other cabinet reshuffles related to technology, Greg Hunt now has the innovation and science portfolio - a man known for his innovation in killing coral reefs and his ignorance of science.


Landed: an app for ill prepared travelers
Whenever I go overseas I have a detailed spreadsheet with everything I need to know, based on the meticulous research I did in the months beforehand. Apparently not everyone does this, let alone enjoys doing it like I do. That's why an app like Landed exists. It's designed to be used when you arrive in a foreign airport and have no idea what the fuck to do next. It recommends how to get from the airport to the city, shows some last minute hotel ideas, where to get a SIM card from and a bunch of other stuff that all works offline. Handy for people who go overseas often and suck at preparing for it.

Little Voices: gets RTs and replies off Twitter
Sometimes on Twitter, the stuff people say can be drowned out by all the conversations you don't really give a shit about. Little Voices is an app that strips all the @ replies and re-tweets from your Twitter feed and just shows you what people are saying out loud. It's like a microphone that only picks up the things people are shouting into the void, rather than things people are shouting at you and and other people. I like it.

Horizon Camera: auto-leveling camera app
Horizon Camera makes damn sure that your photos are straight. It uses some sort of magic algorithm to rotate the image live to make sure you aren't taking a photo or video that's not properly in landscape and aligned with any horizons in the view. To be honest, I would way prefer to see this idea implemented in Camera+ (my camera app of choice) or at least in the default iOS camera app. There's an SDK for it too, if you want to implement the horizon finding self-leveling feature into your app too.

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 All Fake Everything, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!