The Sizzle

Issue 249 - Friday, 7th October 2016 - I Don’t Mind The Sun Sometimes


Oculus keynote stuff
Oculus (aka Facebook) had a 2 hour keynote about what they're up to these days. Almost all of it is "stuff coming soon, one day, in the future!". Facebook is making a place for people to hang out in VR and Mark Zuckerberg took a photo with his wife for a 21st century portrait. Oculus is planning a standalone headset that sits between the beefcake PC a current Oculus needs and the empty shell of a headset like a Gear VR. Oculus in-ear headphones and motion controllers will become available in December and lots of talks about how awesome VR will be 5 years. The full keynote can be viewed on Twitch. Oh and Luckey Palmer wasn't there because Facebook didn't want to be embarrassed by his stupid meme antics of late.

Apple boots Dash app from store citing fraud, but gives no evidence
Apple has pissed off soooo many app developers today, by booting off the popular Dash app from the Mac and iOS app stores. Dash was a useful tool for developers to look up API documentation, but the app going missing isn't what's pissed off developers the most - it's the fact Apple has removed the app due to what it thinks is review fraud, i.e: Dash paid for people to spam the app store with reviews to boost its rankings. The developer of Dash is adamant he hasn't done this, yet Apple and even Phil Schiller said too bad and now this guy's business is over with no recourse and Apple not having to provide a scrap of evidence. Fuck ya Apple.

Theranos flushes the toilet that is their business model
The sad and sorry saga of Theranos has reached a new chapter - the closing of all its blood testing clinics embedded in Walgreens around the USA and the closing down of its blood testing lab. Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is positioning it as a pivot away from centralised testing and an opportunity to focus on their "miniLab" platform - but really, they're only doing that because the FDA told them their product didn't work, was putting patients lives at risk and banned Theranos and Holmes from operating any sort of testing lab for 2 years.

BitTorrent gives up trying to be a content company
BitTorrent has tried for ages to be a legit company serving up legit media to paying customers utilising the peer to peer technology Bram Cohen created. That all seems to be dead now, with Variety reporting that the two co-CEOs Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson, plus a bunch of other staff, have been sacked. At the same time, BitTorrent Now and and its LA production studio have been closed down. Apparently they ploughed millions of dollars into it, but nobody used it. That's that then, I guess. Of course BitTorrent the protocol still lives on for people who wanna share files.

Bureau of Meteorology has an official app now
The Bureau of Meteorology finally has an official app for iOS and Android. Now you can get the weather near you, straight from the horse's mouth, not some US company. It's not bad, works well. Took em almost a decade since the launch of the iPhone to make an app, but still, good on em. I think I'll still keep using Pocket Weather though.


Sony announces new a6500 and RX100 MkV cameras
Sony has some nice cool cameras for you. There's the a6500, an update to the a6300, which I think is a very fine camera. This one now has image stabilisation in the body and better ISO and AF speed thanks to an improved CPU. There's also a new iteration of the RX100, the best pocket camera you can get, which now has fast phase detection AF, like the a6500. I don't really know it's true value in this day and age of Google Pixels and iPhone 7s.

Quick guide to understanding important HDD SMART statuses
HDDs have built in diagnostics called SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) that let you know how the HDD is going. It's useful to know if a drive is about to die or playing up, causing havoc in your RAID. Backblaze, who have loads of HDDs, understand this SMART info inside out and have posted a useful guide on what to look for in the SMART info to spot a dodgy HDD.

Sharp demos an 8K 27" monitor
Sharp has shown off a 27" 8K monitor that operates at 120hz and supports HDR at a Japanese trade show. It's nothing you'll be able to buy any time soon, or even hook up to a computer, as an uncompressed 8K image at 120fps with HDR needs 15GB/sec of bandwidth (120 gigabits/sec) - which DisplayPort just can't handle right now. This is Sharp waving its dick around to remind everyone it's still got some the best display tech. I could see Apple chucking this into a new iMac at some point though - double retina, mmm.

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 Pepper, by Butthole Surfers. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!