The Sizzle

Issue 263 - Thursday, 26th October 2016 - She's The Cheese And I'm The Macaroni

Don't forget The Sizzle Sydney subscriber's meetup next Tuesday evening (1st Nov, rock up any time between 5PM until I wanna go to bed). If you think you might go, chuck up a post on the forum.


Microsoft's new Surface Studio and Windows 10 Creator's Update
Microsoft held an event where they showed off a really cool looking Surface Studio, an all in one desktop PC with a 28" touch screen with support for the Surface Pen and a wireless control knob called the Surface Dial. The guts of the PC itself seem a bit underwhelming (last-gen CPUs, very old GPUs, no SSD by default?!) though. They also updated the Surface Book with a newer CPU and GPU, bigger battery and an internal overhaul of cooling - the exterior looks the same though. Windows 10 will get a "Creator's Update" in early 2017 that'll include Paint 3D, support for VR headsets and built-in game broadcasting via Beam. Here's a video of the entire event.

Tesla made a rare quarterly profit
Tesla made its first quarterly profit in three years. They sold heaps of Model S cars, the Model X has sorted out its reliability issues and has received large amounts of clean energy credits from the Californian government that it's then sold to other car markers who are too shit to make EVs. There's a big Tesla & Solar City announcement coming Friday too, that might give investors a bit more confidence.

Snapchat might IPO in early 2017
Snapchat is looking to raise $4b in an IPO early next year. If it goes ahead, it'll value Snapchat at around $25-$35b. Yeah, Snapchat could be worth thirty five billion United States dollars. As stupid as Snapchat is, it's actually a fantastic product - people love it, they get what they want out of it and advertisers pile cash onto it. Backchannel has a good story on how those sponsored lenses in Snapchat have become literal rivers of cash. In just two years revenue went from $50m to $1b. That's fucken insane!

Apple still making loads of cash, just a little less than before though
I missed it yesterday, but Apple announced their financial results for Q4 2016 (financial years are weird) and it marked the first time since 2001 that Apple's annual revenue declined. In 2015 they raked in $233b, in 2016 they "only" managed to extract $217b from the world's wallets and purses. For the quarter itself, there's lots of large numbers and $9b of profit. MacStories has all the details you could ever want. The iPhone is still 60% of Apple's revenue. Tim Cook reckons iPhone 7 Plus demand probably won't be met this year, but doesn't explain why.

AirPods delayed indefinitely
Apple have delayed the sale of the AirPod wireless headphones. They were supposed to be out late-October, but now there's no ETA. They apparently need "a little more time". If you're keen for some W1 chip action, Beats (aka Apple) have their Powerbeats 3 sports headphones ready to buy now.


Stop apps sucking precious internet bandwidth with Tripmode
Background data use isn't a problem on fat unlimited connections, but when you've got a few gig on LTE, all that background data moving around can be a serious drain on limited bandwidth. TripMode is an easy way to white-list what you want to give internet access to on your Mac or Windows box. Just tick the apps you want to have internet access and the rest of your system, won't. Even more useful when traveling and using foreign pre-paid data or stupid wi-fi charged per MB. Could be a very worthwhile US$7.99 investment.

A mailing list with the latest tech conference speaking slots for ya
If you're a smart person who has intelligent things to say about technology (mainly programming) and you think others should listen to you, Technically Speaking could be of interest to you. It's a little email newsletter that sends out a list of all the conferences around the world currently looking for people to submit applications to speak at their event. Free trips around the world to hang out with nerds sounds good to me! Is there a conference dedicated to stupid email newsletters? I can speak at that.

The sad story of the 2016 Census's technical failures
Stilgherrian, who, if there was an annual award for being the angriest man in Australian tech reporting, would be in the hall of fame, has aimed his grump-cannon at the Census Senate inquiry from a few days ago. It's an excellent read about just how pathetic everyone involved - the ABS, IBM and the government - were in delivering what should have been a pretty unremarkable service.

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 Get It Together, by Beastie Boys. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!