The Sizzle

Issue 199 - Thursday, 28th April 2016 - Can't Steal It, Can't Keep It


Apple has sold it's one billionth iPhone
Apple announced overnight that they've sold one billion iPhones. 1,000,000,000 hunks of metal and glass (forget the 3G/3GS), comprising of the most advanced consumer electronics, are floating around the world. Apple wasn't the first to make the smartphone, they didn't invent all the things inside, but damn they did an awesome job constructing such a memorable product. Less impressive (but still pretty useful) the incredibly useful parking database, Parkopedia has announced it's struck a deal with Apple to provide car parking garage info directly into Apple Maps. But not in Australia, yet. Boo.

Facebook made $2b profit last quarter
Facebook is still the undisputed king of social media, backed by its latest financial results announced earlier today. Facebook made US$2b in quarterly profit - its 15th straight quarter of profits. 1.12b people use Facebook daily - a 17% increase over last year, generating approximately US$14 of revenue per US user, but only US$3.82 per user worldwide. Check out the full results for yourself if you like.

Xiaomi have continued their Apple flattery by releasing two laptops - the Mi Notebook Air 12.5" and 13.3". The 12.5" unit uses the Core m3 CPU, the 13.3" an i5-6200U. Pretty decent specs on both, look nice and are pretty damn cheap. The 12.5" is 3499 yuan (A$699), the 13.3" is 4999 yuan (A$999). Only sale in China right now, but I'm sure it'll be easy to import if you're keen. Xiaomi also released a smartphone with dual rear cameras and a ten core CPU.

Google Play now has a family library feature
Google has launched a Family Library feature for Google Play accounts. Each family member can have their own Google account, but be a member of a "family" where all the eligible purchases (TV, music, apps, books) can be shared across everyone in that family. There's a max of 6 people in a family and not everything can be shared. For example, only apps that the developer has decided they want to to be eligible can be included in a family's library. You can also make sure kiddies in the family can't buy stuff (including in-app purchases) unless you approve the purchase. Full details are in the Google Play Help pages.

Tor completes its investigation into abuse claims against Jacob Appelbaum
The Tor Project has concluded a seven week investigation into the sexual misconduct claims made against prominent internet privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum by some of its members. The statement about the investigation can be found on the Tor blog, but not the report on the entire investigation. As a result of the investigation, Tor has created an anti-harassment policy, a conflicts of interest policy, procedures for submitting complaints, and an internal complaint review process. Jacob Appelbaum left Tor back when the allegations were made.


A thesis on the storytelling in GTA4
Sizzle subscriber Peter Wells showed me this thesis by James O'Connor who decided to tackle the issue of player driven narrative experiences in GTA 4 (the best GTA imho). I've only read the intro, but it seems quite interesting. I've never thought of dissecting a video game in such a fashion. I'm not sure if I'll read the rest, but if you're the sort of person interested in the changing state of entertainment and story telling, you'd probably get a kick out of this thesis.

Pocket Casts 6.0 for iOS is out now
Pocket Casts 6.0 is live on the iOS App Store now. My personal favourite podcast app has been re-written in Apple's fancy new programming language, Swift, bringing better performance and reliability. There's also a new, cleaner UI with a dark theme option, automatic audio levelling on the fly (for those shitty podcasts that don't edit their tracks properly) and more. If you use any other podcast app that Pocket Casts, you are un-Australian, simple as that. Check it out now!

Something for the keyboard fanciers
Are you into keyboards? Able to sense the key press depth difference between different keyboards? Indulge in your keyboard fetish on Geekhack - a forum dedicated to keyboards. These guys take their button mashing pretty damn seriously. There's loads of cool key mods and other keyboard accessories on that forum. Maybe pretty custom made keycaps are more your thing? (you already have your clicky keyboard already) Then KeyPuller will tickle your fancy, with its giant database of all the different key caps around. There's some pretty looking boards out there.

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 Pace It, by Magic Dirt. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!