The Sizzle

Issue 275 - Tuesday 15th November, 2016 - Mr. Dre, Mr. N.W.A, Mr. AK


Reviews of the Touch Bar enabled MacBook Pro are in
Apple's controversial MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar has hit reviewer's laps and they've given their opinions on the machine. Arstechnica's review is good. Gruber's may as well be an Apple press release (but even he's cracking the shits about the damn thing costing too much and the nickel and diming with cables and dongles) and MacRumors has a summary of the other reviews. Backchannel/Steven Levy has the obligatory puff piece on the Touch Bar Macs that includes an interview Phil Schiller. My hot take: they're nice laptops, very expensive, but stiff shit, what ya gonna do, use Windows? Pay up.

Google and Facebook disable ads on sites spouting fake news
The internet's role in letting fake news flourish in return for juicy ad dollars has been talked about a lot since the election of Donald Trump and in response to that, Google and Facebook have decided to ban websites promoting fake news from using its advertising platform. Hopefully that results in there being less incentive for people to actually operate such sites. Gizmodo has reported on Facebook actually having the ability to identity and remove fake news, but didn't do it because it was mainly right-wing shit and they didn't want to be seen as picking on them. Facebook refutes that, of course.

Samsung drops US$8b on buying Harman
Samsung is spending US$8b to buy Harman (who you might know from the audio brand Harman/Kardon), the largest acquisition ever by a South Korean company. Samsung purchased Harman (and their associated brands AKG and JBL) due to their expertise in creating in-car infotainment systems, which compliments Samsung's skills in displays and semiconductors. Samsung's CEO said that "This acquisition immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform". So there ya go, the progression of cars from smelly noisy things that rumble and clunk into iPhones on wheels is coming along nicely.

Telstra dominates the mobile network market in Australia
Telstra is absolutely killing it when it comes to market share and customer loyalty for mobile networks. According to a market research study getting pimped around by Kantar, Telstra own almost 40% of the entire mobile phone market and have 94% customer loyalty, the highest in the industry. Optus make up 22% market share and Vodafone 15%. The other 23% of the market is a random assortment of MVNOs led by Virgin and Amaysim. I guess Telstra's network being so good still sells itself, even if these days, it's not as good as it used to be.

Qantas delays onboard wi-fi
Anyone looking forward to wi-fi on Qantas flights is gonna have to wait longer. Planned trials on a single 737 that were supposed to be happening now, will be pushed back until early 2017. The hardware seems to be installed on one plane (VH-XZB), but it is taking longer than expected to get it operational. Qantas still plans to have its entire domestic 737 and A330 fleet fitted out with wi-fi by 2018. No word on international flights though. I love Qantas but the lack of wi-fi disappoints me.


Miles Deep is very good at tagging porno
Someone has gone and made a "deep convolutional neural network with residual connections" that makes custom edited porn. Miles Deep can detect, with 95% accuracy, 6 sex acts (I'd love to tell you which ones, but if I do, this email will never get through even the loosest of spam filters) in any video and stitch them together to make a porno of your own. It's also, probably more usefully, able to tag scenes in a video, so they can be sorted without having to manually watch each one and describe what's going on. This, my friends, is how deep learning will change the world. Give this network more sex acts to describe and soon enough will we have perfected the organisation of pornography and can place that achievement alongside going to the moon and mapping the human genome.

Rumours of Apple invading Federation Square to build a shop
The strong stench of another rumour about a Melbourne CBD Apple Store are wafting to the surface, this time on The Age, who claim Federation Square is where Apple will construct a glass monolith suitable for their fancy computers. Apple would take over and demolish the Yarra building, which currently holds SBS and ACMI. The article is full of shit anyways, saying it's Apple's "first" stand alone store in Asia Pacific (Sydney? Perth? Brisbane?) and that Apple has three existing stores in Melbourne (there's 5 you fuckwit). I really hope Apple put a store in the CBD one day, but it better not be in Federation Square unless they expand it down towards Spring Street and chuck the Apple Store down there. Leave the original buildings alone.

The 10 port USB charger of your dreams
I saw this Orico 10 port charging station for sale on Ozbargain and thought you might find it useful. It's A$66 delivered off Aliexpress and supplies 2.4A to all 10 ports, simultaneously (total of 24A!). An absolute beast if you have heaps of devices to charge. It's even got a fan to make sure stuff doesn't get too hot and is partitions to hold all the devices neatly. I don't really need one, but damn I am tempted. I'm sure there's a few of you reading this that'll find it handy though. Let me know if you buy one and what you think of it when it arrives.

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 Guilty Conscience, by Eminem. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!