The Sizzle

Issue 403 - Tuesday, 30th May 2017


ASUS has some new laptops that might not suck
If you like thin laptops running Windows, ASUS just made your day. In a press event at Computex (massive trade show in Taiwan for PC hardware), they announced the ZenBook Flip S UX370, which is apparently, the world's thinnest convertible laptop. Then there's the ZenBook Pro UX550, which packs an i7-7700HQ and GeForce GTX1050 Ti in a 15.6" laptop weighing 1.8kg - just a little lighter (like 3 grams), than the MacBook Pro, but with a much better GPU. ASUS also released a weird looking wi-fi router it calls "Blue Cave", that's a cube with a hole in it that has wi-fi.

Foxtel Play leaps into the 21st century with HD & Chromecast support
Foxtel's Play service is gonna be streamed in HD come June 7, taking it from shit and useless, to acceptable and almost worth the $39/m to watch the footy. Foxtel Play is that internet streaming version of Foxtel that you can get on almost every single platform known to humanity except the Apple TV. Also part of the upgrade to HD is the ability to stream from your smartphone/tablet to a Chromecast. So nice of Foxtel to graciously allow us plebs to watch their precious gold plated content in high definition on our unworthy televisions over the disgusting internet. We are not worthy.

British Airways blaming a power surge & backup system failure for its IT disaster
The CEO of British Airways has given his first interview since his airline's IT system went haywire over the weekend. Publicly, they're blaming a power surge and the subsequent failure of backup systems not coming online properly. He was very adamant that it wasn't because BA outsourced heaps of IT jobs to India. No, not at all. Paying less money for technically inferior staff is not, I repeat, 100%, not the reason a complicated computer system didn't work as planned during a disaster event. No.

Renault Zoe ZE.40 is probably coming to Australia
Good news for people like me who want an electric car that doesn't cost more than their annual income - it looks like Renault are setting things up to import the Zoe ZE.40 into Australia. The hatch is about the size of a Toyota Yaris/Honda Jazz, but has a 40kWh battery giving it ~280km of real world range. In New Zealand, a car dealer did a bulk buy on 30 these cars and managed to get the price down to NZD$40,990 (about AUD$39,000). It'll be interesting to see how aggressive Renault is on pricing here. Here's some reviews of Zoe from Bjorn Nyland (1hr long!) and Fully Charged.

Gigabit NBN is here! In Launcestion. For $1000/m.
Finally, gigabit speeds arrive on the NBN! But it's only for customers on the Launceston POP. Who have fibre NBN hooked up. Oh and it costs $1000/month. ISP Launtel's CEO Damian Ivereigh reckons this could be the start of something similar to Chattanooga's GigCity initiative, which revitalised that southern USA city's economy. If you're a startup needing fast internet, Launceston might be the place to be? At least the rent will be low enough to afford that fat pipe.


Reckoner reviews the Apple AirPods
My mate Raj has reviewed the Apple AirPods over on Reckoner. There's even a video. He's a handsome guy so it's not too hard to watch. Just a heads up - he isn't a fan. Mostly because his ears are munted and the AirPods don't fit in them properly. Feel free to flame him for his views. I haven't used the AirPods yet, but they look alright and I'm happy with how the EarPods sound and use them often, so maybe I'd like the AirPods. I ever want to spend $230 on headphones, maybe I'd buy them.

Yahoo Pipes is back
Who here remembers Yahoo Pipes? Pipes was some seriously cool shit. You'd be able to mash up data from different websites and funnel it all though into a single RSS feed or page for your convenience. In Yahoo's infinite wisdom, they shitcanned it in 2015. Someone (no idea what their name is) misses it so much, they're working on a new version of it, with the same workflow style. Maybe you can do the same or more with Zapier and IFTTT these days, and this one is still in early development and could use some examples but Yahoo Pipes was the shit, so it's nice to see someone else pining for the good old days and bringing it back.

The first banner ad on the web was for AT&T in 1994
The Atlantic has a story about the first web banner advertisement. It was placed in 1994 and was for AT&T. All the banner ad said was "have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?", which attracted a 44% click through. These days AT&T would love a campaign that did 0.44% click through. There were 14 other banner ads ready to go, from companies I've never heard of (Zima? 1-800-Collect?) but AT&T's just happened to be first in the rotation. In 1995 Yahoo decided to chuck banner ads on their site and it's all been downhill since then for the web.

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!