The Sizzle

Issue 216 - Monday, 22nd August 2016 - Feels Alright As Long As Something's Happening


Australian content ratings slowing down Netflix
Netflix reckons the Australian classification board is taking too long to give a rating to content and that means Australia will get stuff later. So when Netflix makes something like Stranger Things, Australians have to wait until our government decides on a rating and this process is taking longer as the classification board is swamped with new content. Netflix wants something like what the games industry has, where they can use an "approved classification tool" and rate their own content.

Samsung to shut down Milk (don't cry)
Samsung will close its music streaming service that you probably didn't even know existed. Milk was launched in 2014 and was only open to Samsung device owners. Hardly anyone used it, so Samsung will can it in September. Pour a litre of milk on the curb for another fallen music streaming service.

Windows 10 update busted heaps of webcams
Webcam enthusiasts and aficionados are upset with the latest Windows 10 Anniversary Update, as it has rendered some webcams useless. The update made a change to the webcam drivers in Windows so only webcams that send uncompressed data to the OS work, which for many cameras using USB 2.0 and 720p/1080p, isn't possible, so they compress the video to H.264 or MJPEG, which results in Windows shutting the camera down, hah. Microsoft said they're gonna release a fix for this, but no info when.

Xiaomi's prepping to launch in the USA
Rumours are swirling that Xiaomi is planning to finally sell products in the USA. The world's largest consumer market. Xiaomi's vice president Hugo Barra chatted to Bloomberg about their plans for the US. October will see the first batch of products land in the home of the brave with progressive products roll out over time. Hopefully they'll come to AU soon too! I love Xiaomi gear. It fits in perfectly with my cheapskate aesthetic.

New battery tech on the horizon that might actually happen
Battery tech is always on the horizon of the next big thing, but a new product from an MIT spin-off actually looks kinda realistic. SolidEnergy has developed a new battery utilising lithium metal that can pack double the energy into space of a current lithium ion battery - or rather, make a battery half the size as an existing one with the same amount of power. All battery developments should be taken with a grain of salt, but what's promising about SolidEnergy is that they plan to release a product for smartphone batteries on the market in 2017 - not that far away!


Stories of a Defcon noob
I've always wanted to go to Defcon, as it seems like there's a lot of interesting stuff going on. But like I thought, it's probably best to leave the smartphone and laptop in a Faraday cage, with a heavy duty lock, in your hotel. This self-proclaimed noob went to this year's Defcon and wrote a thing about what it's like for someone pretty uninitiated with tech to visit a crazy joint like Defcon. Hint: author was paranoid as fuck, hah.

OpenStreetMap introduces OpenStreetView
OpenStreetMap has kicked it up a notch and has implemented an open source version of street view. Now anyone can contribute images to OSV and have it appear in OSM. Here's a 20 min talk about Open Street View and a blog post explaining it. I look forward to contributing some footage of my locale, eventually.

Watch out for VPN snake oil sellers
If you're interested in finding out what makes a secure VPN, Arstechnica has a great guide on what exactly a VPN secures you from and what it doesn't. Pretty much all a VPN is good for is encrypting your traffic. They don't really stop you being tracked or make you anonymous.

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 Tribulations, by LCD Soundsystem. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!