The Sizzle

Issue 250 - Monday 10th October 2016 - He's Made Of Plastic

The Sizzle has a new website! It's just a Squarespace page and is nothing fancy, but it gives me a base to chuck up a searchable archive of old Sizzle issues, a blog where I can write stuff that'll hopefully go viral on Facebook and LinkedIn and shit to get more Sizzle subscribers and even let me launch a podcast eventually. Take a look at the new Sizzle website and share it around with anyone who can read and you think needs to be kept up to date with tech news.


More replacement Note 7s have exploded and Samsung tried to cover it up
Samsung's problems with the Note 7 have gone from shitty, to totally cooked. There's now five reported cases of replaced (yes, ones that are supposed to be fixed) Note 7's going kaboom. To make things worse, Samsung knew about a few of these replacement phones exploding and didn't say anything. Now AT&T and T-Mobile have stopped selling them, as have Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Samsung has apparently (but not officially) stopped making the explosive devices while they look into what the hell is going on.

The Australian public don't seem to give a shit about mandatory data retention
ANU did a poll of 1200 people, asking them what they reckon about mandatory data retention. Two thirds of those people thought it was a good idea. The full results are available as a PDF and quite an easy read if you're into this stuff. The main justification, is, not surprisingly, that the feds need to retain all this info on what we do online, to protect us from the terrorists. So while us nerds go fucking crazy about the government hoarding all our digital movements, the majority of society couldn't give a rats arse and probably have no idea who Edward Snowden is or what the hell he is on about.

Germany wants to stop the sale of petrol cars by 2030
The German government has taken steps to end the sale of internal combustion engine cars by 2030. It's only in Germany's upper house of parliament, which apparently is pretty piss weak, but has clout at the EU and the aim is to get some EU traction on ending the production of ICE cars. If the proposal gets through, the Germans reckon it'll take until about 2050 to get the majority of petrol cars off the road. The Dutch and Norwegian governments want to do the same thing, and India is also investigating the possibility.

Tesla and Solar City announcements coming next week
And speaking of electric cars, Elon Musk has tweeted that there's gonna be a Tesla product unveiling on the 17th of October and a joint Solar City and Tesla unveiling on the 28th. The solo Tesla one kinda came out of nowhere, with people thinking it's got something to do with Autopilot and some new hardware to aid the 2nd generation of it. The Solar City stuff is probably a new Tesla Powerwall & solar panel combo, maybe with a different financing model and a "Solar Roof" system that will actually replace the roof of a house with solar panels instead of a traditional roof.

Freeview and Australia's radio stations have each made an app so their mediums are not forgotten
Freeview are gonna release an app that'll let you watch all the Australian free to air channels live, as well as catch up on programs they show - a one stop shop for all your TV needs, instead of having 5 different ones on your device (which I didn't really have a problem with, but whatever). It'll be out on Android and iOS some time in November. Freeview hasn't said if there will be support for Chromecast or Airplay, but fuck I hope they aren't idiots about this. Australian radio stations have done something similar, creating RadioApp (creative name, hah) that'll have internet based streams of "Australian commercial, ABC and SBS radio stations". That's pretty nice. Would be even better if they included all the community radio stations too.


Trailer for season 3 of Black Mirror
There's a trailer for the new season of Black Mirror, which starts on the 21st of October on Netflix. It's gonna be fucking awesome. If you haven't seen S1 or S2 of Black Mirror, stop reading this bullshit and fire up Netflix. It's the best TV show I've ever seen, even better than Mr. Robot.

So long Xserve, no more macOS updates
Arstechnica has a story about the Apple Xserve. Yeah, once upon a time Apple made rack mount servers that were really good and I made a sweet living setting up and babysitting these things. Unsurprisingly, they're still operating in random places supporting Mac users and running as pretty excellent VMWare ESXi boxes - but most are finally getting decommissioned as macOS Sierra doesn't support the Xserve. There might be a load of them cheap coming to eBay soon as they're ripped out of service.

1nm gated transistor made in a US lab
What's been referred to as a US "superstar" team of engineers has developed a one nanometer gate transistor. This is pretty epic. If you don't know what a transistor is (shame on you), it's pretty much just a switch and by switching things on an off, we have computers. It was thought by some smart people that we'd never get a switch smaller than 5nm (currently we're on about 14nm) due to the limits of physics, but the big brains at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stanford University, and the University of Texas, we will have 1nm processors, one day, maybe. It was fucken hard to make that 1nm gate apparently, but they did what people didn't think could be done and that's pretty cool.

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 Pretend Friend, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!