The Sizzle

Issue 357 - Wednesday, 22nd March 2017


Google reveals Android O
Google has released a developer preview of Android O, the next major version of the world's most popular smartphone operating system. What's new in this version? Background limits: a way for Android to manage what apps do in the background so ya battery ain't sucked dry. Autofill APIs: will allow password managers to fill in forms very quickly. More picture in picture stuff. Adaptive icons that can change shape (circles, squares, squircles, etc.), wide-gamut colour support, improved keyboard navigation and heaps of other little things. It's available now for some Nexus devices and at Google I/O in May, we'll get more info.

Apple threw some product updates at us last night
Apple released some luke warm products last night. A Product Red version of the iPhone 7, new storage options for the iPhone SE (32GB/128GB), new Apple Watch straps, new iPhone 7 case colours, a Snapchat rip off called Clips and a new iPad called iPad. The new iPad is a bit crappier than the iPad Air 2, but way cheaper, so that's nice. I would have plonked down the cash for a new iPad Pro 9.7" with an A10X SoC and 4GB of RAM, that would have been nice. Meanwhile, the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in 1189 days.

The USA and UK are banning electronics bigger than a smartphone from Middle Eastern planes
The USA and the UK have banned laptops, big-ish smartphones and tablets from entering their declining empires. If you're on a flight from 10 specific airports in the middle east and headed towards the USA, anything bigger than an iPhone 7 Plus needs to go inside checked baggage. Same for the UK, but it's any flight originating from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. Why are they doing this? They say terrorism. Of course. Placing all those lithium batteries in the cargo hold of a plane may not be such a good idea though.

Australian companies can now raise capital and reward equity via crowd-funding
Australians now have the ability to raise capital for their business via crowd-funding and give investors equity in return for their money. For example - I could go to Pozible (who are gearing up to legally support this) and say "if you give me $1000, I will give you 10% of The Sizzle" and not really have to provide all that much info compared to say, if I was offering shares via an IPO or something like that. Anyone will be allowed to invest, not just rich people or professional investors. This will be very interesting for the Australian startup scene. The AFR has a good article about the new crowd-funding laws.

Facebook is now alerting users when they post fake news
Facebook has slowly been rolling out these messages that pop up when someone tries to share "fake news" on its service. A message with a red warning sign will appear if you paste in a link that the International Fact-Checking Network team of fact checkers recognises as a piece of trash. On mobile it will even bring up a pop up dialog box before you post, letting you know that what you're about to say is probably stupid and you should second guess it. I'd love to know how this actually works in the real world. Would users change their mind or simply think Facebook is part of some illuminati cabal working against them, further solidifying their rage?


Woman shows up to ER with an RFID implant she thinks is tracking her
A woman in the USA turned up to a hospital saying she's got a GPS tracker inside her. First instinct from the staff there was "cool, I'll call the psych team" but after realising the patient was totally normal otherwise, they decided to do an x-ray. The x-ray showed a little RFID grain that was surgically installed by her boyfriend, who was pimping her out and taking the cash. That is fucking nuts. I wonder how the RFID tag was used? It wouldn't actually track her, but I guess would notify the horrible disgusting pimp if she decided to leave a set area? Maybe it was just a psychological thing to make her think she was being watched 24/7?

TPG trialling 3.6GHz LTE in Bendigo
TPG has received a bunch of licences from ACMA to operate 3.6Ghz band radios in Bendigo until October. Why would you do that? To test the validity of a wide scale wireless ISP setup. Bypass the NBN and the low margin and frankly, unpopular offerings. Lots of people on FTTN are paying more than they were for ADSL, yet receiving the same, or worse performance. If you could service those customers with wireless, on your own infrastructure and give them plans cheaper than you can sell over NBN's network - why wouldn't you?

Candy Crush game show coming soon
American TV channel CBS is going to air a TV game show based on Candy Crush. During US prime-time TV, contestants will "use their wits and physical agility to compete on enormous, interactive game boards featuring next generation technology to conquer Candy Crush and be crowned the champions" - it sounds bad, a Candy Crush TV show, but it seems like an upgrade from celebrities diving into a pool.

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!

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