The Sizzle

Issue 226 - Monday, 5th September 2016 - If You Hate This, I Can’t Blame You


Samsung recalls Note 7 smartphone due to some faulty batteries
Samsung is recalling its new flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to a few dud batteries that have exploded. All Note 7s around the world are gonna be sent back to Samsung to be swapped over for a new one. They've sold 2.5m of the things so far. 35 of those have had battery failures. Here's Samsung's statement. It's a bit of bad timing for Samsung as currently they have a massive booth at IFA full of their fancy new phones and people keep asking them about the bad batteries. If you're curious as to why and how something as innocent as a battery can explode, Wired explains how lithium batteries are simply mini explosive devices we put close to our genitals and heads.

Intel introduces Apollo Lake SoC for cheap low power computers
Intel has announced a new range of Socs for those cheap and nasty computers you see for $300 at Officeworks and wonder if anything productive can be done with them. This new generation of 6W and 10W TDP SoCs are in the Apollo Lake family and are built upon the Goldman architecture of Atom CPUs. They're still 14nm (remember, tick tock is dead now) and are supposed to be a bit faster, a bit cheaper, have better battery life and a significantly better GPU. The standout feature is native HEVC (H.265) decoding. I wouldn't mind trying out a laptop with the Pentium N4200, 8GB of RAM and a proper SATA or PCIe SSD attached to it (death to eMMC!).

Attorney-General coughs up the cash for ISPs to implement data retention scheme
Remember the government's plan to hoard all Australian internet user's metadata? Well it hasn't actually been happening as intended because ISPs don't want to spend any cash to set up the systems necessary to retain all our internet usage history. After months of negotiation, the Attorney-General's department has announced that ISPs will get grants to cover about 80% of the costs to implement the government's surveillance appliances. The total cost to set up systems to collect this info is $128m and half of it is going to Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.


International tax expert tears Apple a new one
Someone more knowledgeable than all of us on the topic of tax, Matt Gardner, the director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, has published a paragraph by paragraph take-down on Tim Cook's open letter regarding the EU's investigation into Apple's tax affairs. Unlike Apple's other open letters and in stark contrast to its recent brave FBI fight, their defense of tax dodging is much less noble and Matt is able to highlight Apple's hypocrisy and underhandedness on this issue.

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 American Gigolo, by Weezer. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!