The Sizzle

Issue 251 - Tuesday, 11th October 2016 - I'm Just A Sucker Like You


Dash and Apple continue to argue, now with recorded phone calls
The removal of Dash from the Apple's various App Stores has taken a new twist, with Apple releasing public statements about what happened, then the developer of Dash releasing his own statement, with audio of a recorded phone call he had with Apple, seemingly asking him to put up a blog post in return for access to the App Store, at the behest of Phil Schiller. Feel free to go hogwild on your conspiracy theories on the Sizzle forums.

Samsung closes the Note 7 operation down, offers refund
Samsung has officially and indefinitely shitcanned the Note 7. The exploding phone is no longer on sale anywhere in the world and Samsung isn't making them until they figure out what's going on. Anyone with one should turn it off and return it to wherever you got it for a refund, not an exchange. You gotta wonder if Samsung will bother to bring the Note 7 back? Who'd be the foolhardy individual willing to take a 3rd chance on one?

Facebook at Work is now Workplace and out of beta
Facebook has re-branded Facebook at Work, taken it out of beta and called it Workplace. It's pretty much Facebook for businesses that they pay for and use internally (but still on Facebook's servers), with a little bit of Slack built in. Hopefully where you work doesn't inflict this upon you.

Google hiring writers to make its AI assistant more human
Google is giving its assistant voice thingo a personality via writers from The Onion and Pixar. Yeah that's pretty much it. I thought it was cool. Maybe Siri needs a few of these jokers to liven up its shitty jokes. I want Siri to dish out some of the blue material after hours. I'm sure Louis CK will take a few hundred grand to infuse some funny into an AI.

Cyanogen gets a new CEO, rethinks its commercial offerings
There's been a shake up at everyone's favourite Android ROM, Cyanogenmod. If you remember, they were trying to go legit by offering their OS and apps to OEMs to include on their phones. That plan failed and now they're offering Cyanogen to OEMs on a modular, take what you need basis, or something - it's very confusing what they actually do besides making that sweet ROM you install on your Samsung phone because you hate Touchwiz but don't want a Nexus. In this slight pivot for Cyanogen, the CEO was kicked down to chairman of the board.


Anandtech's iPhone 7 review is up
It's here, it's finally here! Anandtech's review of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has gone online and as usual it's the best way to find out what Apple has done to their flagship device. There's an interesting section of the review where the author lambastes Apple for dropping the ball on animation performance in iOS 10, saying it's no longer getting a solid 60fps all the time. I've noticed this from time to time too, which is a shame, as that butter smooth animation is a large part of why I like my iPhone over the cheap Xiaomi phone (and the camera).

What is HomeKit?
The Wirecutter has a good piece on what Apple's HomeKit is exactly. I've never paid much attention to it, so it was nice to read what it's capable of. Seems like the main selling point is using Siri to control stuff. Yelling out SIRI TURN OFF THE LIGHTS seems to appealing to people. Unfortunately Wirecutter found it pretty hit and miss, so it needs a bit more work to fulfill your 2001: A Space Odyssey (or Her) fantasies. I think most of the peripherals in the article aren't available in Australia, so, yeah.

SIM cards are actually tiny computers
This guy on YouTube decapped a SIM card and poked around with a microscope to find what's inside. Did you know there's a 32-bit micro-controller inside a SIM card? I had no idea either. It's primarily used to run primitive SMS based apps (remember those pre-iPhone?). Where there's a computer, there's of course, someone trying to hack it and the SIM is no exception. Java runs on the SIMs too. Pretty complicated for a device given out for free to anyone who wants one!

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 Track 1, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!