The Sizzle

Issue 374 - Tuesday, 18th April 2017


Turnbull to axe the 457 visas that are very popular in the IT industry
Malcolm Turnbull announced today that his government is gonna piss off the notorious 457 visa program. Why is this piece of politics news getting a run in The Sizzle? Well guess which industry is the largest user of 457 visas? Go on.. no it's not cafes. Nah, it ain't farmers. It's "Software and Applications Programmers" followed by "ICT Business and Systems Analysts" - if you work in IT, you probably know someone on a 457 visa. Details are super light, nothing's announced beyond "yeah 457s are going, new visa soon, Aussie jobs for Aussies oi oi oi" - the hot takes will flow tomorrow, for sure. Startups are already pissed off, saying this makes it hard to get good developers as there's a genuine severe shortage here.

Facebook took its sweet time removing a vid of an execution
A man in Cleveland, USA, uploaded video of him murdering someone to Facebook. He just shot some old bloke and used his phone to record the act, then confessed to the murder using Facebook Live. Facebook then left the video up for 2 hours, because nobody bothered to report it to them. It was removed within 23 minutes after someone actually bothered to let Facebook know there's a snuff vid on their servers. Crazy shit hey? Facebook said that the video "goes against our policies and everything we stand for" - I'd fucking hope so - then said "we know we need to do better". Here's Facebook's blog post about the incident.

eBay might block us buying stuff overseas if GST on low value imports happens
Remember how ex-treasurer Joe Hockey's flagship attempt at tax reform was to make sure the GST is charged on everything imported from overseas, even if it's under $1000 and the cost of collecting the GST outstrips the amount gained? Well his successor, Scott Morrison still wants that to happen and eBay, arguably the source of a large chunk of sub-$1000 imports, has said that if it does come into play, it might have to block Australian eBay users buying stuff from overseas sellers. It's still unclear how the GST will be collected (might be the job of Aus Post/couriers, or the platform selling, or the seller themselves, we dunno) - I reckon eBay is just stirring shit as it knows sales will drop if suddenly everything from China costs 10% more. If you're keen, here's the official explanation of the draft of the TREASURY LAWS AMENDMENT (GST LOW VALUE GOODS) BILL 2017 law.

Man who knows a lot about internet says NBN should stop aiming for a profit
Bevan Slattery, a man who is responsible for laying so much fibre optic cable across this country it's absurd (PIPE, NextDC, Megaport, Superloop), wants the government to write down its investment in the NBN so it doesn't need to charge such crazy rates to ISPs in order to make a profit. That'll drive down plan pricing to a point where ISPs can offer high speed plans for prices people will actually pay and hopefully, all of Australia benefits from being a gigabit internet wonderland. Bevvo goes on to say that if NBN doesn't do this, it'll lose a huge chunk of low-end customers to the very competitive mobile networks *cough* TPG *cough*, never make a profit and won't even provide Australia affordable gigabit speed internet. The finance minister unsurprisingly disagrees.

Uber spies on drivers using Lyft, tries to steal them away
Just before Easter, news came out that Uber set up a system called "Hell" to track which of its drivers are moonlighting on Lyft and if they were, try get them to stop using Lyft. There's not a lot of detail as to how they actually did this tracking, but it got to the point where Uber was offering those drivers incentives to drop Lyft and use Uber more often. Lyft, unsurprisingly, cracked the shits. Apparently spying on your competitors to poach their staff is considered a bad thing. Just another item on the long list of crappy things to come out of Uber's ratbag culture.


Dude keeps 1.7PB of porn on Amazon & Google's unlimited cloud storage service
This guy has managed to collect ONE POINT SEVEN PETABYTES of porn. He just hoovered up all these streaming cam shows using a bunch of $5 VPSes and stores it all on Amazon and Google servers in the cloud, utilising their unlimited storage offer. The contact sheets alone (still image previews) are over 6TB. I would never have though to use it for this purpose, but here we are. A few hundred dollars a year and you've got petabytes of storage on tap. With a fast enough internet connection (i.e: gigabit fibre), it'd be virtually indistinguishable from storing it all at home.

How to store petabytes of pirate video encrypted on Amazon or Google and watch it with Plex
That then lead me to - a way to run Plex, Couchpotato, Sonarr and more, all in the cloud, with unlimited storage from Amazon and Google. It encrypts everything to ensure your Amazon/Google account doesn't get shitcanned, something Plex Cloud doesn't do. Pretty awesome stuff - I don't bother hoarding all the TV shows and movies I've ever watched (just re-download the bastard if I feel like watching it again), but if you're the type of person that just can't delete a video file, check out and the Reddit thread from which it was born.

Cheap audio gear, Blu-Ray/MKV player, iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7
eBay has a new 20% off Vaya and Grays Online coupon - C20SHOP. Here's some of the good stuff I've noticed: NAD C326BEE amp & Pioneer SP-BS22LR bookshelf speakers for $675.16. You'll be able to hand this audio system down to your kids - classic piece of kit. Panasonic DMPBD84GNK Blu-Ray player for $40.76. It'll play back MKVs and also supports Netflix. Cheapest thing out there that'll do both. Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB for just $503.20 or a 32GB iPhone 7 for $799.20.

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.