The Sizzle

Issue 369 - Friday, 7th April 2017

Yeah, yeah, another early one today. Don't get used to it, I'm only sending this one out at lunchtime because I've got shit to do today.


The ACCC will now be monitoring NBN’s performance
The ACCC has announced that they will be monitoring 4,000 fixed line NBN connections so that they can keep an eye on how things are performing. It's a common complaint that even though someone may pay for 100mbit, their real world speeds are way below that due to congestion somewhere along the line. The 4,000 premises will be given a device to plug in to their network that'll do all the testing and report back to the ACCC. The ACCC will then publish this info for all of us to read. Hopefully it is as transparent as NZ's TrueNet service and that ISPs and the NBN take it seriously. The ACCC's monitoring will start in May and the first lot of data will be published later on in the year.

Lots of Twitter related happenings
Twitter did a bunch of stuff the past two days. First of all, they lost the rights to stream NFL games online to Amazon. Then one of the Twitter co-founders, Ev Williams (who's responsible for Medium), sold 30% of his Twitter shares. There's now a "lite" version of the Twitter mobile website, which is very nice and they juiced up their API so 3rd party apps won't die in a ditch just yet. Finally, Twitter is suing US Homeland Security because it doesn't want to hand over to the government, any identifying info it has over who runs @ALT_USCIS - a parody account of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. So yeah, Twitter has been busy this week.

Microsoft gives some info on their next-gen console
Microsoft's next-gen console is code-named Scorpio, we've known this for a while. Today though, we have loads of more info on what this new console is gonna do. EuroGamer got a tour of Microsoft's Xbox lab in Redmond and managed to get a huge scoop on what's next for the Xbox. Scorpio is another AMD SoC design, but still based on Jaguar, not the new Ryzen goodness. It is however, designed for 4K gaming, utilising a Polaris based GPU. So really, it's a computer you plug in to your TV and developers know the specs of 100,000,000 of them to develop against. Anandtech has a good take on the situation if you can't be fucked reading the original article. 4K gaming on a console could be what makes me buy a 4K TV. OLED if The Sizzle goes well by next year, an Aldi buy of the week if it doesn't.

23andme finally got the FDA's permission to screen for diseases
23andme is a DNA screening service, where you spit in a vial, post it off to the USA, they do all kinds of stuff to that spit to extract bits of your DNA and then analyse it to give you health and ancestry info. I sent them my spit a few years ago. They got in trouble a few years ago for telling people they may have something wrong with them that the FDA reckons you can't actually test for yet. Years later, they've gone and received FDA approval to scare inform you about: Parkinson’s disease, late-onset Alzheimer’s, Celiac disease, alpha-1 antitrypsin, early onset primary dystonia, factor XI deficiency, gaucher disease type 1, glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency, hereditary hemochromatosis, and hereditary thrombophilia. I logged in to 23andme and can't see this new info yet, so I guess it's coming soon.

A couple of Model 3's looking production ready driving around San Francisco
Tesla's Model 3 is coming very very soon (first ones are supposed to roll off the factory line in July) so it's not surprising that there's production ready looking Model 3s out and about in San Francisco. Jalopnik has pics. Lots of them. Looks like a mini Model S with a Porsche-esque front to me. Tesla also took this opportunity to remind people via its blog, that the Model 3 is not the "flagship" Tesla - that is, and always will be, the Model S. The Model 3 isn't the next generation Tesla. The Model S will always get the latest tech. Interesting that they had to put this out there. Maybe people have stopped buying a Model S as the 3 gets closer and their market research told them people thought the Model 3 is gonna be the top model?


Do you have stairs in your house?
This oral history of Something Awful is just great. SA was where I hung out far too much during the early 2000s as a young adult, before social media was even a thing. It was funny. I made some friends that I still have today. We're all weirdo fuckwits. It's been a long time since I checked it out though. Like the guys interviewed here said, most people just grew out of it when they eventually gained a life and other responsibilities. Still glad to see Lowtax kicking on though, his summary of the internet is spot fucking on though. You should watch this talk he gave like a decade ago, it's still pertinent now.

Nvidia releases a Pascal based GPU & drivers for Mac - Hackintoshers rejoice
Nvidia has announced a version of its Titan XP beastly graphics card for the Mac. Hang on, what? New GPU for the Mac? How do you even install it? It doesn't fit in a Mac Pro and it won't fit in any other Mac. Oh. Ohhhh, it's for 2010 Mac Pros and Hackintoshes. Nice one Nvidia. They aren't cheap, as US$1200 each, but if you gotta have the biggest, baddest, fastest GPU around, this is it. This release is also exciting because the drivers will also support other Pascal based GPUs, i.e: the GTX1050, 1060, 1070, 1080, etc. when used in a Hackintosh. The drivers are supposed to be out later this month.

Another nice review of the Hyundai IONIQ EV
Electrek has a nice review of the Hyundai IONIQ EV. If you've subscribed to The Sizzle for a while, you've probably read me crap on about how I'd love to own an IONIQ. In the UK and US, it's priced rather keenly, gets just over 250km range from its 40kWh battery and doesn't look like a weirdo greenie mobile. It's also got a nice range of tech like adaptive cruise control and CarPlay. Hyundai does plan to bring the Ioniq to Australia eventually but if it's priced here like it is in NZ (NZD$60k!!), I wouldn't buy it anyways. If it was sold in AU for ~$35k (in the US it's only about AU$27,000 after state govt incentives), I'd buy it immediately.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers. Refer a friend and get a month of The Sizzle for free!