The Sizzle

Issue 390 - Thursday, 11th May 2017


Snapchat isn't doing too well financially
Snap (aka Snapchat) released their first set of financial results after their massive IPO a few months ago. Snap lost US$2.2b, due to the generous share offers it gave its management as a result of the IPO. Snap generated $149.6m in revenue, less than they estimated. Not good, but par for the course when it comes to internet companies. The big reason shares are getting perilously close to the IPO price is that Snapchat didn't reach its goal of 168 million daily active users - it just scraped in with 166 million. Not a good sign this early in the company's public life. Snapchat is all about eyeballs and without those eyeballs looking at ads, it is worthless, particularly since Snapchat's competition (Instagram Stories) is growing well.

Some lukewarm announcements from Microsoft's Build conference
Microsoft is currently hosting their developer focussed Build conference in Seattle and announced a few things you may be interested in. There's 500 million people using Windows 10 every day. HP will have a Cortana speaker out soon. Powerpoint will get a built in real-time translator so if you're presenting to an audience, they'll be able to read what you're saying via subtitles on the screen in one of 10 languages. Visual Studio for the Mac is out of beta and available for anyone to download. There was also a load of stuff about Azure and AI - watch the full keynote if you're keen. Tomorrow we'll see more from Windows and Microsoft's hardware group.

My local PC store got busted selling pirate copies of Windows
CentreCom Sunshine got busted selling pirate versions of Windows. They were slapping counterfeit Windows 7 OEM stickers on computers. saying they're legit and using "leaked product keys". They're now paying Microsoft $450,000 in damages. I mainly wanted to mention this because I hate that goddamn computer shop (it was the closest one to me for many years) and it is wonderful to see them get pinged for being dodgy bastards.

Complaints about the NBN increased 141%
Complaints about the NBN to the TIO have increased by 141.3% compared to this time last year. It's all good though, as "Ombudsman Judi Jones pointed out that the rate of increase in NBN's complaints was slower than the rate of premises being connected, while NBN said the TIO's report represented a "downward trend in NBN complaints figures" - damn it, I want to see NBN crash and burn. Come on 4G networks, offer up cheap plans to compete and steal NBN's revenue. Amaysim just decided to sell 50GB of data for $65/m - if they can get that price down to around $40, I reckon they're on a winner for a large chunk of the population.

Tesla's solar roof tiles are ready to order, but there's sweet fuck all detail
Tesla got around to taking orders (yes in Australia) for the solar roof tiles it announced quite a while ago. The main selling point of these solar tiles is that they replace traditional roof tiles all together - so even though the solar tiles may be expensive compared to solar panels, it's cheaper than getting a new roof out of say, concrete tiles and chucking solar panels on top. Not that anyone is able to verify this, as Tesla has no pricing, no specs and no time line on when they'll actually be placed on your roof. So you'll just have to take Tesla's word for it when you plonk down a $1310 deposit.


Dell's eBay store has a 20% off sale
One of the stores in eBay's latest 20% off tech sale is Dell. Some of Dell's stuff is junk, some of Dell's stuff is really good. Like the UP2716D monitor. 27" of beautiful calibrated IPS pixels for just $671.20. Here's a detaield review of it from PC Monitors. Dell's XPS laptops are great as well. $1,439.20 for an XPS 13, 1080p screen, i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1.22kg laptop is pretty great. If you're after a 15" laptop, there's the XPS 15 with an i7-7700HQ, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GTX1050 GPU and 1080p display for $1,839.20. View all the XPS models Dell have on sale with this link. Just make sure to use the code CLICK to get the 20% off.

iPhones on the Telstra network can use wi-fi calling now
Telstra has enabled wi-fi calling on the iPhone 6 and above. If you've been the recipient of a carrier update lately, this feature is in it. Apple has a page explaining how to enable it. What's wi-fi calling? If you're connected to wi-fi, the phone will use that wi-fi connection to make a phone call instead of the cell network. Great if the wi-fi you're on is stable and fast, but maybe not so good if your wi-fi is ratshit. The roaming between wi-fi and cell is seamless, but the wi-fi calling feature isn't smart enough to detect signal strength vs. wi-fi speed. It's pretty much "if on a wi-fi network, use it". I turned it on because at home my Telstra coverage is lame, and phone calls sound much better via wi-fi.

Google will have Street View certified cameras so you can drive around taking pics of streets
Google has announced a way for plebs to contribute to Street View. With the right 360-degree camera, you'll be able to go around and add your images to Street View so that places Google's cars (or bikes, or backpacks) can't get to, can still be seen on Google Maps. I'd be tempted to get one of the "auto ready" cameras, chuck it on my car and hoon around the as yet unmapped areas of where I live. I don't know why I'd do this - Google aren't some not-for-profit, they're one of the world's largest companies. There should be some sort of incentive for adding content to Google's product.

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!