The Sizzle

Issue 312 - Tuesday, 17th January 2017


Zuckerberg to testify he knew nothing about Carmack & Oculus stealing ZeniMax IP
Mark Zuckerberg is gonna give testimony tomorrow in a lawsuit involving Oculus, Facebook and ZeniMax (the parent company of iD software and Bethesda - aka Doom and Fallout). Zenimax reckons John Carmack worked on the Oculus Rift's SDK while he was working for them and used code that belongs to ZeniMax to make the Oculus Rift so good, that it made Facebook buy Oculus. Before Carmack was involved, the Oculus was a turd, allegedly, so ZeniMax wants a cut. Facebook and Zuck are dragged into it because they own Oculus now and the court wants to know how much Facebook knew about this before they bought Oculus and took Carmack with them.

Samsung's boss might get done over for bribing the South Korean President
Samsung's Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong might be arrested and charged with bribery and other naughty business stuff. This is wrapped up in the clusterfuck that's South Korean politics right now, where a psychic to the President ended up being a middle-man between business leaders and government, taking bribes for access and feeding info to the President in a way that made it sound like it's coming from a cosmic source that outlines your future. Fucking batshit stuff. Don't forget that Samsung is a gigantic company, more than just the smartphones and TVs us in the West associate them with.

Victorian parents upset they're being forced by schools to buy tablets for their kids
Kids are gonna be going back to school soon and in Victoria, a bunch of schools are asking parents to buy iPads or other tablets. Some parents are pissed off and feel like they're being forced to do this for no good reason. Plus there's many parents that simply can't afford a tablet, let alone an iPad - but are being told they have to or else their kid will miss out on the learning going on in class. There's no payment programs, no "class sets" of tablets either. Buy one outright, or you miss out. Even if kids break the tablet, stiff shit, there's no insurance available.

Geoscience Australia gets $12m to investigate GNSS augmentation
The Australian government wants better accuracy GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). GPS itself isn't enough to give location info down to centimeter level, so Geosceince Australia has been thrown $12m to get some sort of GNSS augmentation going on. This sytem will use the satellites we know now in the sky for GPS and augment it with some sort of land based location info. We don't know what Geoscience Australia will choose, but other countries do this already. Wouldn't surprise me if we just join up with the Japanese and use QZSS, seeing as it already covers Australia and we have no major beefs with the Japanese (don't mention the whales).

New York unions start whinging about robocars taking their jobs
It has begun! New York's Upstate Transportation Association and Independent Drivers Guild are lobbying the government there to ban self driving cars. They actually want a 50 year ban on self driving cars. The two groups don't even try and spin it to be about safety or think of the children type shit either. Nope, their argument is straight up "if these things exist, we won't have a job and that is the worst thing imaginable on the face of the earth". That's not to say the impending collapse of a huge source of income for low-skilled people isn't a big deal, but, like, come on guys, use this time to get your shit together instead of staring into the abyss.


Watch some random YouTube home movies
I found this on Hacker News today (it's good for something besides laughing at entitled programmers commenting on social issues they have fuck all idea about) - It finds YouTube videos with titles like DSC or IMG, which are what most cameras name their files and if they're unchanged, chances are it's not gonna be found via a search. Astronaut just plays the first 10 seconds of these videos, one by one automatically and if you want to keep watching, you can click the circle below. Fascinating stuff. I had one guy show me the barn he keeps his goats and I watched a wrestling match where Billy needed to lift his game.

The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is up and running
The CSIRO has begun scanning the skies with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder set of antennas. 12 of the 36 antennas are operational and from those, it's sucking in 5.2 terabytes per second of data. The blog post says terabytes, but I think it's terabits, but maybe it is terabytes? Either way, fuck me that's a lot of data per second. The first project is WALLABY - a group of 100 scientists trying to find hydrogen gas out in space. Very cool. If you wanna know more about the ASKAP and it's relation to the international Square Kilometer Array effort, check this out.

Last man to walk on the moon died today
And on the topic of space, Gene Cernan, an astronaut on Apollo 17, the last human to set foot on the moon, died. He was 82. Only six of the twelve people who were lucky enough to walk on the moon are still alive. Here's NASA's obituary to him. There's a documentary about him on Netflix, called Last Man on the Moon, if you're looking for something to watch tonight.

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!