The Sizzle

Issue 215 - Friday, 19th August 2016 - Salt, Sweat, Sugar On The Asphalt


Pittsburgh Uber riders will be able to use robocars next month
Uber announced they're going to let people ride around Pittsburgh in their robocars next month. 100 Volvo XC90s fitted with additional sensors and stuff will hoon around Pittsburgh, with a driver and a co-pilot who will only take control of the car if the car tells them to do so. To aid in this, Uber has purchased Otto, who have expertise in fitting self-driving systems to trucks. If I was making a living driving cars or trucks for a living, I'd be looking to re-skill about now.

Twitter adds some notification filtering options for us plebs
Twitter is rolling out an option for all users to enable a "quality filter" on their notifications. The filter is supposed to remove low quality content, like tweets that appear to be automated, or duplicate tweets. Dunno what it does exactly, but if you're getting hammered with shitcunts bothering you, maybe this is worth turning on. Twitter has also added the ability to only get notifications from people you follow. I have notifications turned off full stop, but if you still want to get interrupted when someone decides to talk to you out of nowhere, at least now you can limit it to people you kinda care about.

Some info on what the government's Smart Cities project will fund
One of Malcolm Turnbull's election promises was his Smart Cities pet project. The $50m initiative is designed to get Australian local councils using technology to ix "local problems". Today we got a bit more info on what it's all about. From the article: "Projects eligible for funding under the program are expected to be the likes of app-based infrastructure wear and tear detection platforms, automatic dispatch of maintenance crews, as well as computer generated programs that support or enhance city services". The Smart Cities website has some more info.

Microsoft ports PowerShell to UNIX-based platforms
Microsoft has released a version of PowerShell for CentOS, Ubuntu and Mac OS X. Apparently people like PowerShell on Windows and desire to use it on UNIX based platforms too. So Microsoft did it. Plus something about Azure. Either way, cool stuff. This new Microsoft is pretty good. Oh, Microsoft also released a tool for Mac to port stuff from Evernote to OneNote.

AMD tells us some more about their upcoming all new Zen CPU architecture
Amidst all the noise about Intel's developer conference going on right now, AMD wanted to let us know that they have some cool shit coming soon too. The Zen platform is AMD's next generation CPU architecture and Anandtech has plenty of detail about it, that I barely understand. AMD expects to ship CPUs based on Zen in 2017 - I can't wait to see the benchmarks, pricing and power consumption. Anandtech also got a look at the Zen server platform, which seems to be a bit further along than the mainstream parts.


Free Kogan SIMs and cheap Samsung flash drives
I saw a few nice deals up on Ozbargain today. First is a Samsung USB 3.0 16GB flash drive for only $8. These are great quality units and pretty fast. The other offer I noticed was Kogan Mobile giving away free SIM cards. Useful for keeping around then loading up with credit when you do Gumtree clearance and don't want to keep the number around for long - or for testing smartphones when the PR people don't give you a SIM. That's what I use em for anyways.

Video of Apple's Black Hat conf talk
Video of Apple's presentation, "Behind the Scenes of iOS Security" from Black Had USA 2016 is now available to watch. This is the talk where they outline their security priorities and their bounty program. Unless you're into infosec, there's probably not much here for you - heaps of it went over my head, hah.

Foxtel's plan to replace camera people with high res cameras and a joystick
The Olympics are still on, so here's a bit more sports TV nerd shit for ya. Last year, the CTO of Fox Sports Australia gave a talk explaining how Fox plans to get rid of camera people. They did a trial using two 4K cameras at an AFL game that covered the entire ground and then used some software to simply move a 1080p image around the dual 4K image. "Two 4k cameras can see the length of the whole ground so I get rid of four cameramen and replace them with one joystick bunny." There's a video in that article too. From Uber, to Fox Sports, everyone wants to remove the humans from their workflow.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from Bleed American, by Jimmy Eat World. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!