The Sizzle

Issue 265 - Monday, 31st October 2016 - Like The Knicks, I Got Game Like I Worked At Hasbro

Sydney Sizzle subscriber meetup is tomorrow! Tuesday, 1st November, 5PM onwards, Civic Hotel. Pop in after work and say hello, can't wait to meet some of you weirdos that pay me money to read this.

Also there won't be a Sizzle tomorrow because it's Melbourne Cup day and I'm using the public holiday to go to Sydney. There will be an issue on Wednesday though.


Tesla's new Powerwall battery and solar roof tiles
Tesla has announced a 2nd version of the Powerwall battery and a solar roof tile product. The new Powerwall is twice as energy dense as the previous one, is a nicer looking enclosure and comes with a built in inverter. A single battery is $8000 excluding install. Gotta provide your own panels though, which, if you have a roof that needs replacing or building a new home, Tesla can hook you up with roof tiles with embedded solar panels that don't look like solar panels at all! Tesla will start installing these roofs mid-2017 in the USA. No pricing available yet either, which is concerning. Watch the 20 minute product launch on YouTube.

London tells Uber its drivers are employees, not contractors
A London equivalent of the Fair Work tribunal has deemed Uber drivers to be employees of Uber, not independent contractors. This means Uber needs to pay the drivers minimum wage and provide other conditions of permanent employment like sick leave, holiday pay and other superannuation. It's not just Uber impacted either - all forms of "gig economy" jobs could be open to the same interpretation. Uber, of course, is appealing the London tribunal's decision. It only has to hold off regulation until it can replace the meatbags in the driver's seat with a robot anyways.

Geohot shitcans the Comma One because the NHTSA asked some questions
Geohot's Comma One el-cheapo self-driving car kit thingo that he's been pimping around as the best in the world and calling companies like Tesla and Mobileye chumps, has been canceled before it was released. The USA's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a rather reasonable looking request for more info on how the Comma One works and instead of complying with it, Geohot chucked a fit on Twitter and decided to cancel the Comma One and not release anything in the USA due to the (as he sees it) regulatory burden.

Government to set up a revenge porn reporting system
The Australian government is going to create an online portal where people can report cases of revenge porn (i.e: someone uploads nude pics of ya to the web without your permission) and access support services to help with the situation. It'll be operated by the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner, which already has a similar system for cyberbulling incidents. Revenge porn is fucking horrible, so anything that can be done to stop it, help those who are victims of it and punish those who do it, is a Good Thing.

Qualcomm to buy NXP creating a US$47b semiconductor juggernaut
Qualcomm has officially decided to purchase NXP, creating a company worth US$47b and wants to wrap the deal up by the end of 2017. Qualcomm you're probably familiar with thanks to their smartphone SoCs and associated radio ICs. NXP are not a household name, but if you've ever used NFC, there's a chance an NXP chip was involved somewhere (plus loads of other ICs they make). Ditto MIFARE public transport and RFID tags galore. NXP used to be known as Philips Semiconductor and has been around since the 70s. The combination of Qualcomm and NXP is supposed to help assist both companies to compete in the Internet of Things market and in the 5G connected devices space. God speed to them both.


Books for Black Mirror fans
If you were disappointed after watching all of Black Mirror on Netflix and feel like some more stories of a fucked up future, here's 12 sci-fi books you might enjoy. Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, Version Control by Dexter Palmer and Infomocracy by Malka Older look the most interesting and I've added them to my list of books to read, which I should hopefully catch up on over Christmas.

New MacBook Pro washup
Here's a few rando links to do with new MacBook Pro: a decent video review of the base model 13". Arstechnica gets into some detail on the specs of the new MBP. A blog post going over the kinda complicated USB-C cable situation. The first Thunderbolt 3 dock, which could come in handy for anyone considering a purchase. Loads of comments (mostly disappointed ones) on Michael Tsai's blog about the new MBP and Apple's disdain/disinterest in the Mac.

1.6 million animated GIFs from the 90s
The Internet Archive has hoarded so many glorious 90s animated GIFs and made them available to search at There's 1.6m unique animated GIFs! Under construction GIFs, dollar sign GIFs, email GIFs, Australian flag GIFs, and random things dancing GIFs. Gonna add a couple of these to the Sizzle website soon I reckon.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Wednesday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Today's subject line is from B-Boys Makin’ With The Freak Freak, by Beastie Boys. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!