The Sizzle

Issue 264 - Thursday, 28th April 2016 - I'm Like Ma Bell, Got The Ill Communication


New MacBook Pros and some other Apple stuff
Apple's new Mac event was 2 hours of waffle that happened to contain the announcement of a new MacBook Pro with a re-designed chassis. There's Skylake CPUs, better quality LCDs, Thunderbolt 3 and the Touch Bar that was leaked a few days ago in a macOS update. Apple and LG hooked up to make a new monitor designed for these laptops called the LG Ultrafine. CNET has the mandatory Apple exec interview/puff piece. The Apple TV will get a new discovery app called TV that combines all the TV show platforms into one (except Netflix) for easy searching. If you've got nothing better to do, watch the entire event on Apple's website, or check out Apple's YouTube channel for some clips.

Red Cross had info on all blood donors open for the whole internet to see
The Australian Red Cross has experienced a nasty incident where the details of everyone who has donated blood since 2010 ended up in an unsecured database dump on the open internet. Someone found this, sent it to Troy Hunt, who then notified AusCERT and helped the Red Cross fix up their error. The info that was just lying around in the open for anyone to grab was some very, very personal stuff, including answers to questions the Red Cross asks before you donate such as "In the last 12 months, have you engaged in at-risk sexual behaviour?", which isn't the kinda thing you want floating around the internet and linked to your real-world identity.

Samsung loses heaps of money over the Note 7 and LG still can't turn a profit
Samsung's wave of smartphone success has come crashing down in its latest financial results. The IT and Mobile division of Samsung made 96% less profit this year, than it did last year and blames the Note 7 for its middling US$88m profit, compared to $2.1b last year. Similarly, LG, who make some excellent Android phones, are also struggling, with revenue down 23% compared to last year. Unlike Samsung though, who made a profit, LG lost US$132m. LG are blaming lower than anticipated sales of their premium phones, which is where the juicy margin lives.

Uber day dreams about flying cars
Uber has published a white paper explaining how it wants to be at the forefront of on-demand aviation with a service called Uber Elevate. The 99 page document wants details how Uber wants to avoid roads all together with electric VTOL aircraft to use in cities to shuttle people around. Uber's role in all this would be to exploit its massive customer base and business model to actually get passengers into any aircraft the industry makes and the government certifies and cities make space for. Read Uber's summary and if you want read the entire white paper too if you like thinking about the future.

RIP Vine, you will be missed
Twitter decided Vine wasn't what they wanted to focus on and has shitcanned it. In the new few months, Vine will cease to exist. Right now all the content is there and everything works, but one day, soon, it will not. Of all the things Twitter needed to do in order to stop circling the drain, removing Vine wasn't it. Twitter also confirmed the rumours of mass layoffs, saying they'll sack 350 employees - which made Wall Street happy and kept the share price relatively stable.


Leo Di Caprio chats with Elon Musk about batteries
As part of Leonardo Di Caprio's doco about global warming, Elon Musk took him on a tour of the Gigafactory.It's just a little hype for the full doco coming out this weekend. I love how Elon has worked out how many batteries the entire world needs to leverage solar and wind power for all its energy needs and we'd need 100 Gigafactories to build enough batteries to meet that demand. I also like how he's not afraid of saying other companies need to pick up the slack and Tesla can't be the only ones to do it.

Man in USA gets first 10 Gbps home connection
This guy in Chattanooga has 10Gbps internet to his house because he lives in a city that realises the internet will be the great economic leveler of our generation and to have shit internet access is akin keeping a whole society in the dark ages. The dude is a radiologist, so having the fattest of fat pipes to his home makes a lot of sense considering it's just US$299/month. Attached to that is a great story about how Chattanooga has been totally revitalised thanks to its internet related foresight. Their $169 investment investment has been responsible for 2800-5200 jobs and about $1b of economic benefits for the city. Not bad, not bad at all.

An iOS app to send faxes
Every now and then there's some pain in the arse company that needs you to send them a fax. Chuck Tiny Fax on your iPhone so if you're ever in the shit situation where you do need to follow some business stuck in the 20th century's bullshit, you can do so relatively painlessly. Buy faxing credits via an in-app purchase and send any image in your camera roll as a fax to any number in the world. I found this one on The Daily App blog, which is totally worth following.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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!