The Sizzle

Issue 383 - Tuesday, 2nd May 2017

The Sizzle is in light mode whilst I'm on holiday in Perth. Normal Sizzle resumes 9th of May.


Microsoft's Chromebook competitor leaked a day early
Pics and specs of a new Microsoft Surface laptop have surfaced (boom-tish) before an anticipated launch tomorrow. It's not the Surface you expect though - it's basically a fancy Chromebook running a special version of Windows that can only run apps from the Windows Store because Chromebooks are eating Microsoft's lunch in the educational sector. The Surface looks quite similar to a MacBook Air, but with a 3:2 ratio screen (yay) and has an alcantara cloth keyboard (wtf?). No other specs right now, but all will be revealed tomorrow.

Twitter is gonna stream video 24/7 soon
Twitter thinks the way out of its profitability funk is to stream video content to its users. There will be a 24/7 video streaming section in all of Twitter's various platforms, showing a selection of random content - pretty much like a normal TV channel. Just on the internet, with content sourced from the internet. Twitter has partnered with Vox Media (i.e: The Verge/Recode), Bloomberg, Buzzfeed and Live Nation to fill the steam with moving pictures and audio to amuse the masses. The WNBA, MLB and PGA will have a game or two a week on the stream as well. So that's Twitter now, a shitty version of YouTube.

Facebook is bragging about how it can manipulate Australian teens
Facebook Australia has been going around promoting its research into targeting ads towards moody teens. A document obtained by The Australian (that's paywalled to all buggery, so I haven't actually read the OG article) explains research done by Facebook to determine when a "young person needs a confidence boost" via keywords used in their posts like "worthless","insecure", "defeated", "anxious", "silly", "useless", "stupid," "overwhelmed", "stressed", and "a failure", then tie that in to advertisers who are looking to take advantage of teens in vulnerable mental states to sell them shit. I'm not surprised at Facebook's ability to do tihs, or the fact they do it, but it still smells bad that they can target kids like this with little to no oversight.


This pirate movie kiosk in Ethiopia is fantastic
Ethiopia isn't a country known for it's large amounts of disposable income to spend watching movies, so it's no surprise that an enterprising individual has set up an easy to use pirated movie kiosk inside a shopping centre. What resembles one of those photo printing kiosks is actually a computer stuffed full of the latest movies that will transfer them to your USB flash drive for the low price of 5 Birr each (about 30 cents). No DRM, no account needed, just select your movies, pay with some mobile money app and off ya go. It's a piracy ATM! I love it.

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!