The Sizzle

Issue 360 - Monday, 27th March 2017


End to end encryption is the UK's latest boogeyman
The UK government is going around saying that end to end encryption is the devil and something needs to be done about it. In the wake of some arsehole driving a car into a crowd in London and taking out 4 people, the UK Home Secretary has gone on the BBC (the 12 minute interview is on YouTube) and said that apps like Signal, Whatsapp and iMessage are creating a "secret place for terrorists to communicate" and that she will call in the heads of these (American) companies to "make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp". Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing - not this shit again.

Elon Musk goes on a tweet storm about the Model 3
Elon Musk went on a tweet storm on the weekend, talking a lot of stuff to do with the Model 3. First he showed off the latest "release candidate" car, in a low-res but still interesting video. Then a bunch of punters piled on the questions: Max battery size for the 3 will be 75kWh, no dual motor/AWD option at launch, right hand drive not coming until mid-2018. Musk concluded that the Model S will always be the fastest and most advanced Tesla. So much so that he will keep driving the S even when the 3 is out. Someone changed the topic and asked Elon about the solar roof tiles and when they can buy some - he said they'll be available for pre-order in April.

NBN will leave the hard installs for later
NBN has decided not to bother with "complex" installs for now, as it focusses on getting the most number of people online now. Engineers have been told that "class zero" customers (customers who can get a service, but something weird is holding it back from being available) are not the priority and concentrate on the easy ones. Sucks to be in that 2% of installs that are complex. MyRepublic have had a justified whinge about how expensive it is to offer its customers gigabit internet here versus NZ. Qantas was supposed to launch its in-flight wi-fi today, but it cancelled the launch because it uses the NBN's Skymuster satellite and it sucks right now.

One of Uber's robocars stacked it in Arizona
One of Uber's self-driving cars was in an accident with a meatbag driven car in Arizona over the weekend. The meatbag didn't give way to the Uber robocar and the person in charge of the robocar wasn't able to avoid the crash. Nobody was hurt. Uber has suspended its entire self-driving fleet as it looks into why this happened. Oh and Uber management went on a trip to South Korea three years ago, decided to visit a brothel and the women in the group left and complained it made them uncomfortable. Just incase you forgot Uber are perverts. (look, fine, go to a brothel, even go with your mates, but taking women you work with, with you? carn)

No copyright safe harbour for US companies operating in AU
Are you familiar with "copyright safe harbor" laws? The quick 411 lowdown brief: they're laws that allow someone like YouTube or Facebook to host copyright infringing material users submit, without copping any shit for it if they at least look like they try to get rid of it. Well Australia was supposed to getting similar laws, as part of a free trade agreement with the USA, but it never happened. The Prime Minister said a few weeks ago he thinks Australia should enact copyright safe harbor law and amendments were added to a proposed bill - but they disappeared before the bill was passed on Thursday. Hmmm, I wonder who threw a tanty and got in the PMs ear about this?


Robocars will have a problem with Melbourne's hook turns
Mercedes Benz has been testing its self-driving systems around Australia and found a nice edge-case that the fancy computer car couldn't handle - Melbourne's hook turns. Because the current crop of robocars don't have cameras on the sides to see the status of the lights in the other direction, they don't know when to move off. According to the engineer, that's a clear case of when the car would had over control to the human in the driver's seat.

Blizzard is giving StarCraft a renovation
StarCraft is getting a remaster! The 1998 version of StarCraft, South Korea's national sport, will get 4K graphics, remastered audio, 1080p cinematics, new languages, connectivity to Blizzard's gaming network and of course, compatibility with the latest operating systems whilst keeping StarCraft's gameplay identical to the original you know and love. Blizzard said they want people to enjoy it for another 20 years. It should be out mid-2017

Cheap iTunes at Kmart, Optus data and a knockoff MacBook Air from Xiaomi
Kmart will have 2x $20 iTunes cards for $30 starting Thursday, which is 25% off. Haven't seen 25% off a long time, so I'll be stocking up. Optus now have a 100GB mobile plan. You can get a flagship smartphone (iPhone 7, 7 Plus, Galaxy S7) with 100GB of data a month, for $120/month. For a lot of people, this could legit replace a fixed line connection. If you want to take a punt on a new laptop from Xiaomi, their MacBook Air/Surface Book knockoff is only $900 delivered. Might wanna check out a few reviews before throwing down the dosh tho.

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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