The Sizzle

Issue 394 - Wednesday, 17th May 2017


The HTC U11 is a squeezable smartphone
In addition to swiping, rotating, shaking or tilting as ways to interact with your pocket computer, HTC thought, fuck it, let's add squeezing. The new HTC U11 has ultrasonic sensors in the case that can detect small changes in the case's shape. These small changes are identified by the OS as a trigger to do things like taking photos, start voice control, open apps and stuff like that. I'm trying very hard to remember that a bunch of smart people worked on this and despite the fact it seems useless to me, it is a unique technological achievement and some people may find it useful. I shouldn't shit on that. The phone itself isn't bad if you're into Android.

Instragram keeps on copying Snapchat, now has those weird filters
Instagram now has augmented reality Snapchat-esque style filters. From the article: "Eight different filters will be available starting today, including a few different crowns, ones that make a person look like a koala or a rabbit, and another that sends math equations spinning around your head." Instagram's copying of Snapchat goes even further, with a new "rewind" video feature and an "eraser" feature (I don't know what these are). What a time to be alive and what a shit time to own shares in Snapchat.

Oh no! Hackers might leak new Pirates of the Caribbean movie early!
Hackers got into Disney's servers or something and stole Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the latest instalment of this shithouse movie that's supposed to come out on the 25th of May. Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, told a bunch of employees about how the movie will be released in snippets online unless Disney coughs up some cash. If it did actually leak online this close to release date, would it really make a difference to the box office take? I'll give the hackers $20 to delete the fucking thing off Disney's servers so nobody sees it.

The Biz is back at Twitter
Jack Dorsey has announced it on Twitter (of course) that his old mate, one of the OG Twitter crew from back in the days where Twitter was actually people posting what they're doing, Biz Stone will return to the big blue bird. Biz will be responsible for "guiding company culture". Does guiding company culture extend to making a profit? Is making money company culture? The shareholders would like that.

So long Opteron, here's to EPYC - AMD's new server CPUs
AMD has announced its range of server CPUs, called EPYC. They're souped up Ryzens, with up to 32 cores, 64 threads, 16 memory channels in a dual CPU setup (supporting up to 4TB of RAM) and fuckloads more cache. The platform will have 128 lanes of PCIe too, which is nuts. You could have eight 16x PCIe 3 GPUs in a single box. AMD also gave some demos of its upcoming Vega GPU shitting all over Nvidia's in GPU compute tests (GPU perf is super important for machine learning/AI).


By 2024 it will be illegal to drive a car and to operate an IC engine
A study from Stanford economist Tony Seba titled Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030 has made the claim that by 2024 (not even 10 years away), hardly anyone will own a car and the cars that exist will all be electric. Only enthusiast will cling to owning a car and an even smaller subset of those will tinker with internal combustion engines. Cities will ban human drivers rapidly once robocar tech is solid which will be a defacto ban on petrol cars. These two factors will plunge some of the biggest companies in the world (automakers and oil companies) will be eating shit. Fascinating stuff, I'm going to try find time to read the full report one day. Maybe. Ok maybe not, but still, I aspire to read it, that's good enough.

Apple's UFO campus is almost done
Steven Levy (who else?) got a guided tour of the new and soon to open Apple campus. The UFO circle thing down the road from their existing offices. There's not a lot of pictures and the article goes to great pains to explain the amount of fanatic detail placed in the building, it's green credentials and how it's Steve Job's legacy. I'd love to go on a tour of the place when it's open. I need to befriend an Apple employee...

Get Command and Conquer: Ultimate Edition for $7
There is only one bargain today and that bargain is Command and Conquer: Ultimate Edition for $7. Fuck yeah! 17 Command and Conquer titles (even the bad ones like Tiberian Sun) for just $7 via a digital download off EA Origin using a CD key from CDI and NOD, Allies vs. Soviets, it's alllll there. Here's a video to get you in the mood.

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!