The Sizzle

Issue 379 - Wednesday, 26th April 2017

There's a cool thread on The Sizzle forums where cgiffard has been upgrading a 2008 Mac Pro to be an audio production beast (damn thing has 128GB of RAM and 4x PCIe SSDs!), that you might be interested in reading.


WikiTribune, Wikipedia's attempt to fight fake news via crowdfunding journo wages
Wikipedia head honcho Jimmy Wales has started WikiTribune, a news site that'll merge volunteers and legit journos to create an unstoppable fake news busting force. Jimmy's inspiration for doing this was Donald Trump's bullshit. He just couldn't take all those alternative facts any longer and had to do something about it. WikiTribue will pay journalists via the donations it collects and let randos on the internet constantly fact check and edit their articles. It'll start publishing once it's collected enough cash to start paying the journalists. Here's a little video about WikiTribune.

Google fiddles with search results and adds a feedback page to also fight fake news
Google is also doing its bit to fight the fake news scourge, firstly by tweaking its algorithm and also by allowing people to complain about search results they think are fake. It's pretty much a button on those featured snippets where people can select from a pre-set range of feedback like "I don't like this, this is wrong, this is racist, etc." for and if they are feeling extra generous, leave a comment. Even Google's infamous auto-complete searches will be modified to remove offensive terms (e.g: "are women... evil"). Hopefully this means that stupid meme of posting funny things Google auto-complete suggests will finally die.

Tesla's installing a shitload of new Superchargers around the world
Tesla announced that they'll be installing over 5,000 new Superchargers and over 10,000 new destination chargers around the world by the end of the year. This'll bring a total of 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 destination chargers online around the time the Model 3 starts rolling off the production line. It'll also upgrade existing Supercharger stations to handle more cars, due to there fact there's gonna be way more Model 3s sold than Model Sessses. New Superchargers I noticed are in Lorne, Cooma, Nowra, Bathurst, Brisbane and Gympie. Shame they can't find anywhere in Adelaide to install one. Simon Hackett needs to send Elon a few angry tweets!

Consumer Optane SSD reviews are in - yeah it's alright I guess
Last week we saw some benchmarks of Intel's enterprise Optane SSD and they were pretty cool. Now we have reviews of the 16GB and 32GB "consumer" versions, designed to be used more of a cache than pure storage. Using one of these cache drives with an SSD seems to be of marginal benefit, but when paired with a big spinning disk, it really shines - acting like a really good version of Apple's Fusion Drive. But it's still a cache, some things will get bogged down on the spinning rust. If Intel can get the price of say, 250GB of Optane storage down to like, ~$350 (a Samsung 960 Evo 250GB SSD is $190), I'd get it in a heartbeat over NAND flash. Here's more reviews of the consumer Optane drive if you're interested.

Uber still wants flying cars to be a thing
Remember Uber Elevate? Back in October Uber released a 99 page document outlining their blue sky (literally) plan to have electric VTOL vehicles move between tall buildings to shuttle people around Well they're still thinking about Elevate, despite all the bullshit going on around there lately. At a summit they held yesterday bringing a bunch of people together to chat about it, Uber announced plans to have VTOL demos in Dallas and Dubai by 2020. Embraer, Bell Helicopter and Aurora Flight Sciences will be building the vehicles - so it seems pretty serious. Dunno if Uber's ponzi scheme will last that long to see this happen, but dude, Dubai is gonna be fucking cool, with flying cars and hyperloops and shit.


Big oil company & China reckon 30% of new cars will be electric by 2030
Even oil companies are realising that electric cars are coming sooner ratrher than later, with Total, one of the biggest oil companies telling its shareholders that EVs will make up 15%-30% of all news cars by 2030. Apparently, this is the highest projection for EVs by any of the oil companies. At the same time, China's auto industry is saying that about 20% of all the cars it makes will be electric. Like Jack White said, baby, the future is electric. I found this slide deck by some finance nerd at Bloomberg about how renewable energy is gonna totally shake up world economies (EVs are just one part of it) pretty interesting.

Drunk man has an altercation with a Mountain View security-bot
I'm not even going to try summarise this story, it is perfect as is: "A 300-pound egg-shaped security robot was punched to the ground by an allegedly drunken man outside a Silicon Valley shopping center, Mountain View police said." hahaha "The robot suffered minor scratches and is back on duty following last week's incident"

awww "Last year, one of the Knightscope's security robots knocked over a 16-month-old child at a Silicon Valley shopping center. The robot ran over the boy's right foot, causing bruising but not breaking it." I remember that! "Knightscope, which is based in Mountain View, charges $7 per hour for the robots that the company claims will soon be able to detect guns." I guess that's handy for the USA market. If this thing was ever used in Australia, it would be defaced, bashed and then stolen within 24 hours.

Empty your wallets - eBay has another 20% off sale
eBay has another 20% off tech sale! I'll probably send out a separate email on its own soon outlining a bunch of cheap stuff, but here's some of the good stuff (I use an eBay affiliate code in all these links, which gets me about 2% of your purchase - please use it, I received a $2000 dentist bill this arvo!). Don't forget to use the code C20TEK to get the 20% discount.


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. Know someone who could use a bit of Sizzle in their life? Buy them a gift subscription!