The Sizzle

Issue 334 - Friday, 17th February 2017

I wrote a thing yesterday about how Bill Morrow is a ratbag and his blog post about why we can't get gigabit internet in this backwards country is the manifesto of a deluded individual. Read it and if you agree with it, share around your social networks - LinkedIn in particular, gimmie some of that corporate suit and tie traffic!


The AFL made online streaming of its sport worse this year
Last night was the first men's AFL game of 2017 (a pre-season warm up tournament) and the first taste footy fans got of the AFL Live app for 2017 - it sucked. Big time. Anyone watching on an iPad saw a tiny image that couldn't be made full screen! It wasn't like that last year. Within the new broadcast rights agreement between the AFL, Telstra, 7 and Foxtel, there's a clause that states any digital broadcast of the game cannot be shown on a screen bigger than 7". So what does Telstra do? It limits the image to be 7" wide on a screen bigger than 7", hahahaha. Oh fuck me, the idiocy! It's 2017, we should be getting better at this, not worse! What a disgraceful showcase for the best sport in the world. I bet the AFL will cite low amounts of digital viewers as a reason not to bother with streaming in the future as well.

Village has more sites it wants blocked
Speaking of old media morons, our mates over at Village Roadshow have a new hit list of 40 websites they want blocked. These unnamed sites apparently make up 90% of the pirated content entering Australian homes and depriving hard working Village Roadshow an income. Can't wait to see this handy list of the best sites to get content that's unreleased and unavailable in Australia - super handy. I wonder if this massive push against pirates has something to do with Village Roadshow's plummeting stock price?

Zuck's new Facebook manifesto - connect with the world, not just ya mates
Mark Zuckerberg has posted what is literally, a new Facebook manifesto. The post, which clocks in at over 6,000 words, outlines his desire to turn Facebook into a conduit for building a global community instead of connecting friends and family. Kinda making Facebook as the world's gathering place. It's vague and meandering (probably on purpose so Facebook can pivot to whatever feels good at the time), but definitely worth a read, to see what the guy running one of the largest social media companies thinks he should do with his immense power over the world's population.

NBN lowers CVC costs a little, ISPs say it's not good enough
In the wake of Bill Morrow's "nobody needs gigabit" brainfart, NBN is revamping the way it charges ISPs for bandwidth (aka CVC) - the fuel necessary for them to offer relatively affordable gigabit plans. NBN will now enter individual arrangements with ISPs buying loads of CVC and give them a discount based on how much they order. The more bandwidth you buy, the cheaper it gets. So much for a fair playing field. The ISPs themselves are a little happier, but still pissed off overall and want the government to write down its investment in the NBN so that bandwidth charges can be more realistic.

WWDC 2017 will be in San Diego
Apple has announced it'll host its annual World Wide Developers Conference from the 5th to the 9th of June this year. The lottery system still applies for buying a ticket. The location has changed though, with it moving from downtown San Francisco, to the more suburban San Jose - down the other end of the San Francisco Bay. Apple hasn't said why they moved it, but Phil Schiller did have a chat to Daring Fireball (who else?) about the plans for this year's developer conference. Speaking of developer conferences, Playgrounds is happening in Melbourne next week. If you're interested in making iOS apps, you should go and we can catch up after and yell about how stupid the NBN is.


There's an alternative to the Telstra provided AFL streaming app
If you're a footy fan and don't want to pay Foxtel to watch your team play when a game isn't broadcast on 7 - there is an alternative besides the rubbish AFL Live app from Telstra. Get yourself a VPN (based in Singapore ideally - use Linode's $5/m VPS and Streisand) and sign up for Watch AFL. It's basically Foxtel making the Fox Footy channel available to those outside Australia. The quality is okay (nowhere near as nice as Foxtel's 1080p broadcast), but it's so much better than Telstra's offering. The apps support Airplay and Chromecast as well. Personally I'm still gonna pay for Foxtel as I like all the other sport and don't like the lag and relative poor quality of the online stream. They've got me by the balls.

Hidden Folks is the cutest game I've seen since Katamari Damacy
My wife has been going nuts the past 24 hours playing this adorable Where's Wally-esque game called Hidden Folks. It's literally Where's Wally, but with hilarious sound effects and cute little hand made drawings of animated scenes where you gotta find the hidden objects set out for you. This would be particularly fun on an iPad Pro. Well worth the $6 or whatever it is she paid for it. I dare you not to play it and smile at all the sounds and animations! It's on Steam as well.

Cheap Lenovo machines, 10% off Macs at JB, Square-Enix games on sale and MSY has some cheap stuff too
If you're in the market for a new PC or Mac, Lenovo and JB have some bargains right now. Thinkpad 13 for $929, Thinkpad E470 for $969 and a ThinkCentre M73 i5-4460 SFF desktop for $499. JB are doing 10% off Macs until close of business Sunday - get Officeworks to price match them if you can, for an extra 5% off. Steam is having a sale on a bunch of Square-Enix games if you're into that sort of thing. MSY has some cheap stuff as well - Linksys EA6900 802.11ac router for $129 is great value if ya can't spring for a Ubiquiti setup and $48 for a 128GB Samsung microSD card is the cheapest I've ever seen one.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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