The Sizzle

Issue 268 - Friday, 4th November 2016 - From The Satellite Dish To Your Joystick


Amazon coming to Australia, soon, maybe, according to a dude
Rumours of Amazon launching in Australia have intensified thanks to a story in the AFR quoting some fund manager that's saying he's been briefed by Amazon on their plans. Apparently Amazon was supposed to launch in Australia in March 2017, but its been pushed back until September as to include selling fresh food online, as well as general merchandise. Talk is cheap, launch already.

MyRepublic launches cheap 100mbit NBN plan
Singaporean internet "disruptor" MyRepublic has been talking up their launch in Australia for about a year, but has finally launched a website and has a date for when it'll offer NBN services here. MyRepublic will offer 100/40 NBN service with unlimited data for just $60/m, which is way cheaper than the usual $90-$110/m such a service costs. Don't get too excited though, as in NZ, where MyRepublic has been operating for just over a year, speeds are shit during peak hours. What I am kinda hopeful for, is that they'll introduce faster than 100/40 speed tiers. 250/100 for $125/m would be nice, if the performance is okay in peak and solid outside peak.

Huawei has a new flagship phone
Huawei has a new flagship smartphone - the Mate 9 is a 5.9" big bastard with a custom Kirin 960 SoC (designed in-house by Huawei), 4GB RAM, UFS storage (death to eMMC!), a 4000mAh battery, its special Lecia dual camera setup (which is did before Apple did it) plus all the other usual shit you expect from a top of the line Android phone in 2016. According to Ausdroid there's no AU pricing or date, but I'm sure it'll come soon. Unless its like, $700, I dunno why you'd bother getting it over the Pixel XL either.

US government to invest in a huge network of highway EV charging stations
The US government has announced it'll work with power companies and EV charging networks to build 48 national electric car "corridors" across 35 states. The plan will allow EV drivers traveling along highways to have peace of mind that there will be somewhere to charge their car every 50 miles (about 80km) and provide signage along the highway to indicate where the charging stations are. Would make road trips in an EV much nicer! It'd be nice to have the same along Australia's Highway 1 or at least on the main corridors between cities on the east coast.

Google gives devs option to offer introductory subscription pricing in apps
Google announced that it'll allow developers to offer subscription pricing in apps with temporary intro discounts. So an app will be able to offer its services for say, $10/m, with the first 3 months only $1, or something like that. Good to see a bit more flexibility in price offerings on app stores, as they're becoming pretty much the main way people can monetise any sort of software besides advertising and advertising generally sucks.


Another nerd discovers the joy of Ubiquiti networking gear
I'm a huge fan of Ubiquiti gear and have used loads of it for various applications over the years. Troy Hunt, who I'm also a fan of has writen about how he's decked his house out in Ubiquiti gear and loves it too. No more shitty wi-fi for Troy. I reckon he could have saved some cash by using different switches and not using the Cloud Key though. Anyways, good read if you're wondering what the fuss about Ubiquiti gear is. By the way, if you do want some help in setting up wi-fi and networking type shit, I can help, just ask!

Adobe makes a Photoshop for audio
Adobe's MAX conference is in full flight right now and one of the more interesting things coming out of it (besides that creepy video I linked to yesterday) is Project VoCo, which it claims wants to be the Photoshop for audio. In a demo of the still very alpha version software, it was able to analyse a 20 minute section of audio use that learning to turn any text into audio that sounds like the audio just analysed. In theory, you could take the audio of the Prime Minister off the radio, feed it into this app, then type in "I love refugees, coal is killing our planet and believe fibre broadband is the best thing since sliced bread" and you'd swear it was actually an Australian Prime Minister saying that. Or maybe your bullshit detector would go off when an Aussie politician denigrates our glorious coal.

Microwave data links are still in fashion with high frequency traders
Arstechnica has tried to do a bit of digging into the "secret" microwave networks used by high frequency traders to conduct trades between London and Frankfurt. They didn't get very far into finding out much detail (the operators of these networks aren't too keen to share), but I thought microwave networks were pretty much obsolete thanks to fibre. They're actually still very popular for applications where low latency is critical. Microwave links are the preferred network tech here because it allows for data to flow through fewer routers than a fibre network, even though there may be multiple repeater stations along the way, it's still slightly faster than fibre optic cable.

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 Remote Control, by Beastie Boys. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!