The Sizzle

Issue 252 - Wednesday, 12th October 2016 - I've Got All I Want, I'm On Top Of The Heap


Facebook, Twitter & Instagram cancel police spying app access
The American Civil Liberties Union has found out that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have inadvertently been ratting out users to the police. A company called Geofeedia got access to the "firehose" of Twitter's public stream and used the Facebook and Instagram API to integrate all these into a single app designed for law enforcement to track who's posting what, where. Since the ACLU went public, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram canceled Geofeedia's access. While it's not necessarily illegal and people are voluntarily posting this info on the internet, it's bad optics for companies that are usually on the side of protesters and don't want to be associated with co-operating with the police.

PC market continues to shrink
Gartner has released their worldwide PC shipping estimates for the 3rd quarter of 2016 and the downward spiral continues. Overall the industry is down 5.7%, entering a 2nd year of continual contraction in the PC market. Apple has seen a big decline in in Mac sales, down 13.4% versus this time last year. The big three OEMs are still Lenovo (20.9% share), HP (20.4%) and Dell (14.7%). HP and Dell saw 2.3% and 2.6% increases in shipments. MacRumours has some good charts. This decline is simply due to the fact people aren't upgrading their PCs as often, and some just ditching them all together.

Pauline Hanson is on the NBN Senate Committee
Pauline Hanson somehow got chosen to be on the Joint Standing Committee for the NBN. She'll get the opportunity to quiz NBN staffers and industry experts about the progress of the rollout of Australia's largest ever infrastructure project, that the Prime Minister recently referred to as the "one of the great achievements of the Coalition government". Like my mate Raj said on Twitter, it's not like she can fuck it up any more than it already has been, can she?

Obama wants the USA to go to Mars too
Mars is the place everyone wants to be, apparently. A few weeks ago Elon Musk gave us a grand plan for his timelime to go there, then Boeing said they'll shit all over SpaceX's Mars rocket because they're fucken Boeing and went to the goddamn moon 50 years ago. Now President Obama has published a yarn on CNN wanting NASA to work with private companies to get humanity on to mars by 2030. It all sounds lovely to me. I can't wait to watch live streaming video of people walking on Mars.

$250m Singaporean VC fund looking to launch in Australia
AFR has news on a $250m Singaporean government startup fund launching in Australia. Element 8 is rumored to have John Sculley and Steve Wozniak involved somehow, which is great for grabbing headlines. According to the rumor, it's focused on "local tech, biotech and cleantech" startups and is an incubator/accelerator - a one stop shop for startups really. If you've got even a half arsed shitty idea you think would appeal to a VC type person, it seems now is the time to get your slide deck ready, you never know how desperate these people might get to throw money at something.


Samsung's fireproof mailing box for Note 7 returns
With the Samsung Note 7 officially dead, Samsung wants the phones back before someone is hurt. But how do you post back a potentially explosive item? In a fire proof box that Samsung provides, hah. XDA-Developers has posted a video showing the safe return kit Samsung sent them. It even includes a pair of gloves.

Internet connected kettles suck
Here's a funny thing from Twitter moments where a bloke tries to set up an IP connected kettle and ends up wading in a pool of disappointment for 11 hours until water is boiled. Poor guy even has to pull out Wireshark to try find where on his network the kettle is, so he can connect to it. Then his wi-fi lights needed an update.

Wireless electric car charging exists
If you're lucky enough to be considering a Mercedes-Benz S550e plug-in hybrid, you can also have the option of wirelessly charging it. Qualcomm has developed a big version of its smartphone wireless charging tech to charge up cars. A plate hooked up to your home's power supply is embedded in the ground where you park your car. Just drive the car over it, align the plate on your car to the plate on the ground and charging begins at a 3.6kW rate. It'd be useless for charging a Tesla or any other EV with a big battery, but still, kinda 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 I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!