The Sizzle

Issue 321 - Tuesday, 31st January 2017


LaunchVic hands out a bunch of grants to Victorian startup supporters
LaunchVic - the Victorian state government's attempt to ensure its economy doesn't slide into irrelevance once all the manufacturing dies, the education sector is hollowed out by ever lowering standards and the housing bubble pops - has thrown a few million dollars at various organisations supporting startups. Notable (to me at least) is Girl Geek Academy, which was given $300,000 to run a much larger #SheHacks hackathon in 2017. The full list of LaunchVic funding recipients can be viewed on the LaunchVic website.

Telstra announced gigabit LTE modem
Telstra and Netgear have announced availability of a new flagship 4G modem. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 supports "up to" 1 gigabit/sec speeds on Telstra's LTE network. The max speed depends on the tower the modem is talking to, how congested it is, what else is spewing transmissions into the radio spectrum and how many virgins you sacrificed that morning. The modem itself claims 24 hour battery life (not bad) and even has an Ethernet port on it to share the connection out to another router if you need. It'll go on sale in a few weeks for $360 outright.

Dropbox takes Paper out of beta
Dropbox has taken Paper out of beta and anyone can sign up for it. Paper is Dropbox's attempt at being a little bit of Evernote, OneNote and Google Docs. Some collaboration blank canvas thing you dump ideas into and check boxes and YouTube videos in to. Looks pretty, could be useful for you Evernote refugees. Dropbox hasn't got a stellar history of supporting the non-Dropbox apps it makes though, just ask the Carousel and Mailbox users burned by Dropbox.

ABC's Good Game calls it quits
Good Game, a fun little gaming show on the ABC, is no more. Apparently the hosts are "leaving to pursue other opportunities" and the ABC reckons there's no point finding replacements because of the internet. I was never a huge fan, but it was a nice show that people loved. There's not a lot of gaming stuff that's actually any good in the mainstream - there's way too much misogynist bullshit in the gaming scene and Good Game managed to cater everyone into games, not just blokes.

Razer buys a smartphone company
I don't even know if Nextbit sold their Robin smartphone in Australia, but they've sold the company out to Razer - manufacturer of gamer goodies that come in black, with green dragons and 200 RGB LEDs. The Nextbit was a really nice looking phone I reckon, shame it couldn't sustain itself. But that's Android for ya. Razer will probably make a smartphone now. Razer's laptops are pretty good (if you're up for the gamer aesthetic), so maybe their smartphones will be good too.


Run your mail server, if you've got nothing else to do
Running your own mail server can be a bit of a bastard, and generally, isn't recommended for anyone. Chances are your email will be blocked by everyone because they don't know if you're a spammer or not. But someone's made a bunch of scripts called Mail-In-A-Box, that sets everything up nicely relatively easily, even stuff like DNSSEC, DKIM and SPF and SSL certs using Let's Encrypt. I say relatively, because there's still a bit of DNS fucking around required to get things going. Still, if you don't like Microsoft/Google hoarding your emails and still don't trust someone like Fastmail or Protonmail to do a good job, running your own is an alternative! I still wouldn't recommend it for anything other than academic or general nerd experience reasons though.

Global roaming SIM with free WhatsApp world wide
Overseas mobile data roaming is expensive (unless you're on a Voda Red plan) and hunting around for local SIMs can be a pain in the arse (unless you're masochist like me and enjoy the process). Those "global roaming" SIMs from joints like TravelSIM and Woolworths/Coles Global Roaming are expensive too. If all you went when overseas is access to WhatsApp to keep in touch with people, look at KnowRoaming's Global SIM card. The SIM itself is US$10 and has free unlimited WhatsApp use, anywhere in the world and for US$8/day, you can get unlimited data in 90+ countries. If you're doing a trip that involves visiting many countries, you might like this. I've never used it, so if you do try it, let me know how it goes.

An iOS journal app
I used to write in a journal all the time. Not just as a kid or a teenager on LiveJournal (how embarrassing), but as an adult. Just writing bullshit about what I did that day in the vain hope that looking back on it would teach me something or show me something useful. It didn't, and won't, and is actually cringeworthy, but if you like journaling, this little iOS app is very nice to do so with. No bullshit, just words and a date. That's all you need. It's like writing a bunch of text messages to an imaginary friend. That's how I write The Sizzle actually - this is my imaginary friend that pretends to give a shit about what I find interesting every day and you just happen to pay me $5/month to read it.

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!