The Sizzle

Issue 258 - Thursday, 20th October 2016 - We’ll Be The Doves In Your Purple Rain


Apple event for the 27th of October, confirmed
I'll just get this one out of the way first - Apple have formally announced there will be an event at the Cupertino campus on the 27th of October, at 10AM San Francisco time, which is 4am on the 28th in Melb). Get the credit cards ready! Let's hope it's a wholesale refresh of the entire Mac line and a clarification of their approach to the Mac going forward.

Tesla announced a big upgrade in robocar hardware
Tesla announced today that all new cars they make will have level 5 automation hardware built in. Level 5 automation is defined as "other than setting the destination and starting the system, no human intervention is required. The automatic system can drive to any location where it is legal to drive." - and yep, the Model 3 will include this hardware. Here's Tesla's blog post. They predict that the software required for level 5 autonomy will be available by 2018. That's pretty fucking amazing if they do manage to achieve that. Elon Musk wants a Tesla car to go coast-to-coast across the USA on its own next year! Even if Tesla's timeline is blown out to 2020, that's still sooner than I expected. You can order this new stuff on a Model S now - for an extra AU$15,000 ($9k for the new autopilot and $6 for self driving capability). That brings the price of my desired Model S to almost $200,000 - I should sell my house.

Victoria gets real time train tracking
Victoria has entered the 21st century and finally made public a real time tracking system for metropolitan trains! Trams already had it and so do some buses. It's available in the official PTV app which is garbage, so use NextThere instead to see how late your train is. This info just came out, so it's gonna take a while for the various apps to integrate it properly and there's still a few train stations it doesn't support. Still though - progress! Over time I hope it'll cover every vehicle in Victoria's network.

UK might be making a database of internet porn users
The UK government is floating the idea of making sure people looking at porn on the internet are over 18, using more advanced and intrusive methods of age verification. Obviously, many people are saying how bad this is going to be and will create a database of UK porn users. On one hand the plan is shocking and is an intrusion of privacy by the state. On the other, you can see why the idea exists - we've had laws forbidding the sale of porn to people under 18, so naturally trying to extend that to the internet is natural. Of course, the devil is in the detail applied in the middle, which isn't as straightforward as everyone thinks, from both sides of the argument.

Medicare's 30 year old payment system to get an upgrade
The Australian government is going ahead to build a new Medicare payment system to replace the currently 30 year old system that's way past its use-by date. They were going to initially privatise this part of Medicare's operations, but it was used as a very effective "omg libs gonna privatise Medicare" campaign during the election, so now the government will do it itself. A tender will go out once the Department of Health decides what they actually want the system to do. I'm very confident this system will not meet any of its budget or time targets.


Netgear release a wi-fi router that supports Plex server, 802.11ad and 10 gig SFP
Netgear has a new wi-fi router that supports being a Plex Server! Buy the Nighthawk X10 (aka R9000), hook up an external HDD and it'll be your Plex server and distribute content to any Plex client you've got. It's even got a 10 gigabit SFP+ port on it and supports 802.11ad (a 60Ghz radio that'll do around 4gbit speeds with the caveat that it needs line of site to operate) - even though there's no 802.11ad devices I'm aware of. It'll sell for US$500 and will be available in the next few weeks. Hopefully they send me one to review for PC & Tech Authority.

Winners of the 2016 Google Material Design Awards
Here are the winners of the 2016 Google Material Design Awards. Google chose these winners as examples of "specific aspects of Material Design used in creating apps which satisfy their users while appropriately expressing their brand" and "represent the finest application of aspects of Material Design". I don't use any of these apps and have no use for them either. They look great though. Se Apple apologists, it's possible for Android apps not to suck!

The Drudge Report is a web design mess that is actually great web design
The Drudge Report is a stupid website for stupid people. But, it's also a great, timeless design, that much like its content and audience, gives no fucks. This post is old (from 2008) but is an interesting look at how at face value, the Drudge Report website looks like a turd, but dig a bit deeper, it's actually perfect for what it needs to do. I wonder if anyone's done a similar assessment of the MSY website? I think MSY's website is just horrible though and has no redeeming properties.

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 We Love You!, by Regurgitator. Like The Sizzle? Tell your friends!