The Sizzle

Issue 342 - Wednesday, 1st March 2017

I totally forgot to send yesterday's issue out to all the people on the free trial! How stupid of me! Better late than never, right?


AWS shit itself
Amazon's S3 storage service in the US-EAST-1 region (i.e: the main region) shit the bed this morning, taking down a lot of other Amazon services and consequently, websites hosted with AWS, with it. Everything is back to normal now. If you had PocketConsole (lovingly handcrafted by Sizzle subscriber @bok) installed on your iPhone, you'd probably already know all this. Good app. I assume Amazon will release a detailed report in a few days, explaining what went wrong and I also assume I will link to it here, because that's the sort of thing a nerd like me gets off to.

Stupid iPhone rumours
I dislike repeating rumours in The Sizzle, but this one about the next iPhone is going bananas all over the place so you deserve a heads up. The Wall Street Journal (not linked to because it's behind a paywall, so I'm linking to filthy old Gruber instead) is going around saying that Apple will do so many things with the next iPhone. It'll apparently have an edge to edge OLED screen and no home button but a touchable chin area. Cool. There might even be a 10th anniversary edition iPhone! Very cool. What's most interesting though is that the WSJ thinks Apple is gonna ditch the Lightning connector and go USB-C. Yeah, and I'm gonna lose 50kg by 2018 then win the lottery and buy a Tesla Model S. None of those things are gonna happen. None.

YouTube wants US$35/m to watch FTA TV
YouTube has a thing where you give them US$35/m and they'll let you watch US free to air TV. Very much like what Aereo tried and failed to do. You gotta be in the USA to watch it, but maybe Google will be relaxed about using a VPN to access it - unlike Netflix (man they do a good job playing whackamole with VPN services). In Australia you can do all that for free with the Freeview app (which would be awesome if it supported AirPlay/Chromecast). How the fuck is Google getting away with charging US$35/m for it?! It doesn't even include YouTube Red in that price!

Uber are still mongrel bastards
Oh for fucks sake, how many days in a row are these shitbirds at Uber gonna be shown up as being totally out of touch morons? Today an Uber Black driver who gave CEO Travis Kalanick and his mates a ride uploaded a video from his in-car camera that contained a conversation between him and Travis. The conversation centred around the constant reduction in rates on the premium service that's bled drivers dry - Travis ultimately blamed the driver for not taking any responsibility for his actions, which hasn't won him any favours when compounded with the rest of Uber's crappy week. After this video came out, Travis posted on the Uber blog saying he needs help to be a leader.

Tesla might be cunts but they're (maybe?) not fucking cunts
Tesla is in the "are these guys cunts like Uber now?" spotlight, as the Guardian reported on the case of AJ Vandermeyden, who sued Tesla for not giving her any decent promotions because she's a woman. She cites a bro culture at Tesla that prevented her progressing up the engineering ranks, but Tesla's independent investigation cites that she actually has been promoted a few times and that her claims of harassment and gender discrimination are not substantial. Vandermeyden's lawyer reckons the independent investigator didn't have anywhere near all the info necessary to make that judgment. These allegations suck, particularly on top of Elon's pretty shithouse (to me at least) stance on unions in his precious factory floor ("it's ok, we'll give you frozen yoghurt and a rollercoaster").


People doing stuff with batteries
Wanna see what's inside the battery pack of a Tesla Model S? Some dudes on YouTube salvaged one out of a crashed Model S and tore it apart so they can use the battery cells in other projects. This guy on the Tesla Motors Club forum used one in his 28.7kw (!!!) home solar setup. Some people make their own battery packs using loads of 18650 cells (usually salvaged from old laptops), like this guy in QLD, who I think I've mentioned before. Also on the topic of batteries, Australia has loads of home batteries on the market (unlike electric cars, argh) and there's heaps to choose from. This article on Renew Economy is good at explaining the different options available. (disclaimer, I own a few shares in Redflow)

Pi Zero W - it's the Pi Zero with wi-fi
There's a new variant of the Raspberry Pi! The Pi Zero W is just like the cheap Pi Zero released a little while ago (which is a pain in the arse to buy for the US$5 they love promoting it at), but with wi-fi and Bluetooth! It costs US$10 (again, good luck getting one at that price) and is out now. Here's a video of a Adafruit showing off her early sample of the Pi Zero W (anyone else have a crush on Limor Fried? No, just me? Ok) (anyone else getting sick of parenthesis?). It's still amazing that you can get a 1GHz computer for $10. The inclusion of wi-fi makes the Pi Zero way more useful. Like say, use in some NB-IoT stuff...

Everyone's getting busy with NB-IoT networks in Australia
Wanting to make sure nobody forgot them after Telstra's Cat-M1 LTE news yesterday, Optus and the National Narrowband Network have made their own announcements that they're doing stuff too. NNN said that they'll be launching a nation wide LoRaWAN network at some point, with some company called Actility. They didn't mention a time-frame for this happening, just that it will happen. Meanwhile, Optus said they just finished some LPWAN NB-IoT (aka Cat-M1 or similar) trials with Cisco. No timeframe on when Optus will roll it out to their network. Vodafone announced the completion of their NB-IoT trials with Huawei almost a year ago. Looks like everyone's getting in on the low power network game. I wonder how much it'll cost to access? It'd be pretty cool to get like, a $1/m SIM or something you can chuck in some Linux SBC.

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!