The Sizzle

Issue 318 - Wednesday, 25th January 2017


Developers finally get the ability to respond to App Store reviews
iOS and MacOS developers will be able to respond to user comments on the App Store! Part of a new API released by Apple today, where users can give app reviews without leaving the app and developers, can respond to that user. The review and the reply will be visible to all App Store users. Apple is also limiting how many times an app can ask for a review (fuck off Reddit app, I don't want to leave a review), to three times per year. I can't wait to read the snarky responses left by developers to shitbag users.

Dropbox isn't really deleting files when you tell it to
If you thought Dropbox was actually deleting your files when you clicked delete, hahahaha, they've kept all your shit for the past seven years! A few users have noticed folders they deleted in 2009 popping up again. If Dropbox was really deleting your stuff like they should, this would be impossible to occur. Dropbox blames "a bug" and while fixing this "bug" some users saw their files return. Hmmm, yes, a bug. I see.

Five groups aim to claim the Google Lunar XPrize by the end of 2017
Google's Lunar XPrize is still going on and five teams are very close to getting their lunar rover thingo to the moon. They are, "SpaceIL, a non-profit based in Israel; Moon Express, a lunar-resources-oriented company based in the United States; international Synergy Moon, which is aiming for more cost-effective space exploration; for-profit Team Indus from India; and Japan-based Hakuto". These guys have contracts signed to launch their rover into space and hope to all do so by the end of the year. Whoever is first to get to the moon and have their little robot send back HD pics and video will get US$20m.

OzFlix - a streaming service with only Aussie movies
OzFlix is a Netflix style thing launching on Australia Day, with nothing but Aussie movies. They plan to launch with 250 titles and it'll cost $6.79 to watch a new movie, $3.79 for an older one and $5.79 for a themed bunch of five films together. It looks a bit low-rent, but I like Australian films and they're difficult to pirate, so I might check this out. They have an iOS app and it supports Chromecast, so that's a good start. Be nice if it supported Android TV or the Apple TV too.

Microsoft releases a Chromebook competitor for schools
Microsoft has seen how successful Google's Chromebooks are in schools and wants a slice of the action. It's released "Intune for Education", which is essentially a device manager for Windows laptops, based off the enterprisey Intune service it already offers. Intune pushes out apps and settings to the machines, without the hassle of setting up an onsite Active Directory system or a 3rd party MDM. There's also a bunch of new shitty cheap laptops for the unfortunate kids forced to use them whilst trying to learn.


Gamer shorts to wear whilst gaming
e-Sports shorts. Shorts you wear when gaming. KontrolFreak's Performance Gaming Wear is "specifically designed to make gamers better at gaming". How is it designed for gaming? There's sections on the shorts that are moisture-wicking fabric, allowing games to "to easily dry their palms and fingers, mitigating thumb slippage to increase control and accuracy.". The shorts even have "extra-deep" pockets and a "low-waist design". Mmm, yes, gamer comfort is what I need in my life together with some Gunnar Glasses.

Tesla 100kWh battery teardown
Someone got their hands on the new 100kWh battery pack from a Tesla Model S P100D and tore it apart for our pleasure. The owner of the battery found out that Tesla has implemented a new cooling system and managed to shove more cells in the same sized pack, in order to reach the 100kWh capacity. If you've never seen the guts of a Tesla battery before, it's pretty cool. If you have, it's the same thing, just denser. They're still using 18650 sized cells too - I thought they'd move to using the specially designed 2170 cells made in the Gigafactory now, but nope, they're stockpiling those for the Model 3 (and using some in the Powerwall 2 units).

Toyota's robot dude reckons self driving cars are a long way off
The head of Toyota's Research Institute, Gill Pratt, has given his thoughts on self-driving cars to IEEE Spectrum. His opinion? Nobody is even close to level 5 autonomy yet and anyone saying it is, is bullshitting you. Pratt even discusses the problem of cooling the powerful computers inside a car that are necessary for autonomy - I totally didn't think of that. The interview is a great read from the guy who would know the most about this sort of stuff at the world's largest car manufacturer. Toyota have always been a bit on the conservative side - they're happy to wait a little while before releasing fancy features to make sure it's implemented perfectly. It seems that tradition is still intact with self-driving cars.

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!