The Sizzle

Issue 306 - Monday, 9th January 2017


The first iPhone was revealed at Macworld this day 10 years ago
Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone for the first time. The "widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device" has been remembered in probably the lowest key way possible, via a press release from Apple stating how cool their current iPhone 7 is and reminding us how far they've come. I'm personally hoping for a special 10th anniversary cool as fuck, limited edition, probably stupidly expensive iPhone. For a bit of nostalgia, watch the entire Macworld 2007 keynote.

Uber Movement, a program to share Uber's travel data with governments
Uber has started to release all the traffic info it gleams from all those smartphones sitting in Uber driver's cars across the world. The scheme, called Movement, is designed to give aggregate info to cities so that they can tackle traffic issues. Here's a case study of Uber's data being used by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane to create a "travel time index" that over time, can show whether a city's travel time has increased or decreased.

FTC sues D-Link for making insecure garbage devices
America's FTC has sued D-Link for making shit routers and webcams. The FTC alleges (and every nerd who's ever used a D-Link product agrees), that D-Link put out half-arsed software on their devices that allowed them to get hacked and did nothing about it, impacting the privacy of the owners of these products. D-Link wasn't even trying, with the FTC stating that D-Link "failed to use free software, available since at least 2008, to secure users’ mobile app login credentials, and instead have stored those credentials in clear, readable text on a user’s mobile device." - ASUS had to lift their game and is subject to 20 years of government security audits after being stung by the FTC just under a year ago.

Russia and China tell Google and Apple to kick apps out of their country
A little while ago, Russia made a law that said any online services that want to sell to Russians must be operated on Russian soil. LinkedIn hasn't bothered to do this, still keeping all its data outside the motherland. Russia blocked the LinkedIn website a few days after enacting that law. Now they've told Apple and Google Play to kick the LinkedIn app out of the RU App Store and Play Store, so private information on Russians are not kept outside the safe and secure Russian borders. China told Apple to get rid of the New York Times app from the App Store too, which was providing a loophole for Chinese being able to read the treacherous American propaganda "newspaper".

Amazon Echo tries to order stuff for heaps of people after it hears words said on TV
Here's a dog on a skateboard story for ya. Some TV news guy in San Diego said "I love the little girl saying, Alexa ordered me a dollhouse" and some of the Amazon Echo units in people's homes that were watching the news at the time, considered that a request to buy a dollhouse. How long until ratbag TV ads to do this on purpose and actually wait, then verbally confirm the purchase?


Good CES entrails
CES is done and dusted. All the good stuff was covered in Friday's email, but here's a few other random things I saw around the blogs from CES. First, the good stuff: A portable spectroscope designed to test if pills are legit - looks like some Star Trek level magic tech to me. A portable Game Boy emulator that doesn't look like a home made bomb. A touch screen with haptic feedback so fine, that it's currently being demoed as a way to experience how pants feel before you buy them online.

Awful CES snouts
Now the bad stuff: A stupid US$150 camera you install in your fridge that knows what's in there and what's taken out and automatically adds things to a shopping list for you. Another useless US$150 camera you install in your bin that does a shit job scanning any containers you throw away, so that you're saved the excruciating pain of buying a new one of whatever you chucked in the bin from Amazon. A weird bracelet that emulates that mega phat bass feeling in live music because you're so miserable and the only thing giving you joy is that sensation of your guts dropping.

Some Ozbargain stuff
eBay is having another attempt to remind you that they're a great place to buy new items from, not just used shit nobody wants and as a result, are subsidising a 20% off sale for any purchase from a bunch of retailers. Some deadset bargains include a Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (the very same laptop I use for writing this stupid newsletter when I'm not at home) for $320. Crucial MX300 SSDs in capacities 275GB up to 2TB for crazy prices ($92 for a 275GB SSD, nice). TP-Link Archer D9 and D7 wi-fi routers for $187/$124, which are pretty solid units. I actually purchased this Dewalt 3.5mm to Bluetooth adapter for $16.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!