The Sizzle

Issue 372 - Wednesday, 12th April 2017


TPG to become Australia's 4th mobile network operator
TPG has dropped $1.26b on buying 2x 10MHz of spectrum in the 700Mhz band and plans to use it to be the 4th mobile network operator in Australia. TPG will spend $600m building 2000-2500 mobile sites over the next few years as it takes on Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. It already has some 2500Mhz and 1800Mhz spectrum it'll also use with its 700Mhz allotment. TPG's investor package outlining the plan is worth a look if you want more info. It should provide some serious competition for the other three telcos. TPG reckon they just need 500,000 customers to be profitable and they already have over 420,000 paying them as a Vodafone MVNO and Optus MVNO (via iiNet).

AMD Ryzen 5 reviews are out
Reviews of AMD's Ryzen 5 range of CPUs are out and they are good. The main one to read, as usual, is from Anandtech. In the benchmarks most relevant to me when caring about CPU performance - Civ 6 and video encoding - the Ryzen 5 has a decent edge over Intel's similar priced equivalent due to the fact it has 12 threads to do all its work, not just 4. The fact you can get a 12 thread CPU for just US$219 (Ryzen 5 1600) is awesome. What a time to be alive! Can't wait to see how much these sell for in Australia. The AMD-based mainboards are cheaper than Intel's too, so overall an AMD Ryzen 5 system will be cheaper than an Intel one, but perform better.

Windows 10 Creator's Update is now available
After months of teasing, the Creator's Update for Windows 10 is now out for everyone. The Verge has a decent list of what's new in it. Windows Supersite has a full on review. I like the Dynamic Lock feature - where you can paid a Bluetooth device (like headphones or a watch) and when you walk away, it locks automatically. Paired with Windows Hello, which uses depth sensing camera to scan your face and instantly unlock the screen, it'd be a cool way to login/logout without having to type a damn password. Also Windows Vista is dead - no more support for that dumpster fire of an operating system. Good riddance.

The ISS will stream 4K video to Earth and Amazon will broadcast it
NASA and Amazon are teaming up to stream 4K video from the International Space Station. That's pretty fucken sweet. Amazon are involved due to their Elemental encoding platform that'll take the stream from the ISS and broadcast it live across the internet, using Amazon's huge server power. It's mainly a tech demo for the NAB conference (where video industry types go to nerd out) and will also feature an astronaut talking to one of Amazon's execs, live on stage, in 4K. That's also pretty wild if you ask me. The live stream will start at 3:30AM on April 27 if you're keen.

Chinese/American college student spends 6-week grad program working in an iPhone factory
Dejian Zeng spent six weeks making iPhones in China for Pegatron and then gave a great interview with Business Insider about his experience. The job was part of his grad program at NYU, where he's studying to be some sort of human rights bloke. Working in the factory wasn't as awful as most westerners make it out to be, but it's not exactly good either. Earned AU$600/wk for a month of work, slept in a cramped 8 person room and the work was extremely boring and repetitive. But most people there are relatively content to have a job, are free to leave and have actually had wage increases. Apple and Pegatron do care about their safety and gave a decent amount of training to ensure everyone knows what to do. But that doesn't mean conditions can't improve. Here's a little vid if ya can't be arsed reading the interview.


Cheap iPhone SE, 27" WQHD monitors, Nintendo Switch and Galaxy S7
eBay has another sale - only 5% off this time, but better than nothing. Use the code C5AUS. Grab a Nintendo Switch for $445.55 delivered, the cheapest price around, or a Samsung Galaxy S7 for $494, still a great phone if you're into Samsung type stuff. Not via eBay, but Kogan is selling a 27" WQHD monitor for $329 + delivery, great price for a 27" IPS panel. Telstra is flogging off 32GB iPhone SEs for $449 with a $30 Telstra starter SIM. Loads cheaper than from Apple ($679).

Watch Simon Hackett talk about batteries
Fully Charged Show has a nice 15 minute interview with Simon Hackett, showing off the Redflow ZCell batteries (disclaimer: I own a pitiful amount of shares in Redflow). Simon's job is to pimp the ZCells but he also does an awesome job explaining the benefits of hooking up a battery to your home with solar panels on the roof - regardless of the chemistry inside. Well worth a watch. Fully Charged Show in general is awesome, one of my favourite YouTube channels.

ABC celebrates 20 years of online news with a 20 year old website
The ABC is celebrating 20 years of having a website by recreating its site from 1997. I'm actually old enough to remember when this was considered cool and new. Websites were so much better then. Look how fast it loaded. Look at easy it is to read. I miss 90s Internet.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.