The Sizzle

Issue 349 - Friday, 10th March 2017


The co-founder of Atlassian wants to bankroll Tesla batteries for SA and Elon Musk said yes
Mike Cannon-Brookes saw yesterday's quote from Tesla's VP of energy that they can fix South Australia's "electricity woes" in 100 days and decided to pony up (most of) the cash if the Tesla VP isn't talking out his arse. To prove how much non-arse talking is going on, Elon Musk has tweeted that if a contract is signed to supply SA's grid with Tesla batteries and Tesla doesn't deliver within 100 days, Tesla will provide the batteries free. It's basically the rich man's equivalent of "if the pizza is cold when it gets there, the pizza is free". The hype is high, let's see if it actually happens.

Loads of Google stuff
Google announced many announceables at it's announceables festival (aka Google Cloud Next) in San Francisco last night. There's a better free-tier on its Cloud Platform, as well as three new regions (but no Australian one yet) and a huge 64-core 416GB RAM machine you can rent for $3.7888/hr. They chucked a suit on Google Hangouts to make it more business friendly, did the same to some Gmail addons and Google Drive, announced that their 4K TV with a touchscreen and stand will cost $5000 and go on sale in May, fiddled with reCAPTCHA to require no human intervention (but still detect bots) and will be adding live translation into the Android version of the Gboard keyboard. I told ya they had lots of announceables.

Airbnb is worth US$31b now
Airbnb got themselves another round of funding, making them worth US$31b. Much like Snapchat, everyone is wondering when they'll have an IPO and list up on a stock exchange, but Airbnb say they have no plans to do so. I reckon unlike Uber, Airbnb isn't as "disruptive" (ugh) - taxis suck balls everywhere, we know this. Hotels though, hotels are actually nice. The incumbent Airbnb fights against isn't a total dumpster fire. I prefer staying in a hotel than just staying at someone's house. With the rise of professional Airbnb hosts that eschew renting their home out to full time tenants and increasing community backlash against this sort of activity, it'll be interesting to see where Airbnb ends up.

Plex Cloud is out of beta
Plex Cloud is now out of beta and available for everyone who has a paid Plex Pass subscription. This is pretty cool - you throw up your media on Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive and your Plex Client can pick it up without having to have a Plex Server on the same network. Just be careful though, uploading pirate material and not encrypting it (encrypting it would mean Plex can't read it) probably isn't smart. Interesting to note - Plex launched this without Amazon Drive support, which it had during the beta. I guess Amazon didn't like the fact people were using its ability to store "unlimited" data for just $60/yr and stuffing it full of tentacle porn anime, hah. Google Drive can provide unlimited storage though. I wonder what the catch is?

SpaceX to launch a recycled rocket soon
More Elon Musk related news (sorry), but SpaceX is planning to finally re-use one of their reusable rockets. The whole point of SpaceX existing isn't to indulge Musk's astronaut fetish, but to make a fuckload of cash by using rockets that would otherwise be disposed of after a single use, making launching stuff into space wayyyyy cheaper. Half of that was getting them to land instead of crash, and they've more or less achieved that. In a few weeks we'll get to see if the rocket carcasses can actually be reused safely. Hope it works so we can get that sweet gigabit satellite internet covering the globe and the singularity can really begin.


Cute computer comics
Look at these cute zines about computers. Julia Evans draws these adorable little comics about computer topics she learns about and they're so much fun. The one about networking is particularly nice. Kinda reminds me of the SELinux colouring book I found a few years ago when I had to learn this stuff for a job. I still don't like SELinux but at least I'm not afraid of it now (ok, maybe a tiny bit). The Linux one is a bit more condescending though I reckon (omg you need this kids book to learn this? god! vs. hehe this computer stuff isn't hard, see).

Australia absolutely sucks at handling e-waste
An excellent episode of Background Briefing came out today, highlighting the fact that most, if not all of Australia's e-waste is either dumped in a giant hole or put in a container and sent off to Africa. The podcast makes Westpac a scapegoat (gotta have a big multi-national to shit on to get attention), but the reality is that it costs too much to properly recycle this stuff and nobody really wants to pay the extra tax on top to fund the recycling ethically.

Feed the capitalist machine!
Macs are 10% off at JB and Good Guys this weekend. My music streaming service of choice is Google Play Music and for new users, Google is currently running a 4 months free promo. More than long enough to check it out and see if you like it. EA's Origin store has all 17 Command and Conquer games and expansions for just $5! That'll keep ya busy this weekend. If you've got a DSLR that uses Compact Flash and want some new storage for it (or maybe an iPod Mini that could use an upgrade), GreysOnline eBay store has SanDisk 256GB Extreme Pro cards for $72, very cheap. Grey's is also selling a 960GB SanDisk SSDs for $211. $211 for a 960GB SSD! What a time to be alive aye?

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!

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