The Sizzle

Issue 225 - Friday, 2nd September 2016 - Early To Finish, I Was Late To Start


IFA day 2 - more announcements
HTC released a phone nobody will buy on purpose. Huawei spat out some new phones and a tablet too. TP-Link tries their hand at making smartphones. HP showed us some fancy looking desktop computers you also probably won't buy. Sony's new Xperia smartphones probably won't turn a profit and neither will the rest of its announcements, including a Signature line of high end audio gear nobody except oil barons from the middle east can justify, an in-ear smart assistant (aka Siri that works over a wireless in-ear headphone) and a mini projector stuffed with sensors that may not ever be released. DJI have made a 3-axis auto stabilising gimbal for smartphones that looks very cool. Fossil made a smartwatch that looks ok and runs Android Wear. TomTom announced some fitness bands.

Plex adds DVR feature
Plex has added a DVR feature to its wide range of abilities. It's currently in beta, only available to Plex Pass holders, only works with one specific DVB-T tuner (HDHomeRun HDHR4-2DT) and doesn't stream live TV within Plex, but it's still pretty cool. Think of it as a new way to add content to your media library - TV shows can be added to your collection via the FTA EPG (that Plex have licensed, so it's properly up to date with good metadata) rather than the old school style of scheduling where you pop in a time and record whatever's on. I'd like to see Plex add a whole new Live TV tab and add full PVR functionality - that would be great.

SpaceX rocket explodes and destroys a Facebook satellite
A SpaceX rocket has exploded before launch, taking with it a satellite that was going to be used by Facebook to bring internet (and of course, Facebook) to 14 African countries. Elon Musk tweeted that the explosion occurred while the Falcon 9 rocket was fueling up, a day before it was supposed to launch. Why it happened, we don't know yet, but Mark Zuckerberg is a little salty. Check out this video of the kaboom.


Why Android phones get so few updates
With all the nice new smartphones getting pumped out by dozens of OEMs at IFA this week, this article on why Android phones don't get updates very often, or at all, is prescient. There's no one particular person or group to blame, but a lot of it can be placed on Qualcomm and other SoC manufacturers who abandon driver support for new versions of Android. But the SoC makers blame the OEMs who apparently, never ask Qualcomm for new drivers, so Qualcomm don't bother. People who say Apple force their devices to become obsolete after 2-3 years are taking the piss compared to Android OEMs - the iPhone 5 (5 years old by the time Apple ends support for iOS 10 in late 2017) and I bet it will work fine.

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 Minor Threat, by Minor Threat. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!