The Sizzle

Issue 405 - Thursday, 1st June 2017


Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Trends slide deck is out
Fans of 355 slides full of stats and conclusions about internet related trends in 2017, rejoice - Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Trends slide deck is ready for your consumption. For those, like me, who do not care that much to slog through 355 slides, here's some points other people who have read it, said are interesting: "eSports are exploding, with viewing time up 40% year over year, and an equal number of millennials strongly preferring eSports vs traditional sports", "desktop usage hasn’t declined much while mobile usage has skyrocketed to over three hours per day per person in the US", "Google and Facebook control 85% of online ad growth", "Ad-blocking as high as 26% in some countries"

German parents unsuccessfully sue Facebook for access to their dead kid's account
A 15-year old girl in Germany jumped in front of a train in 2012 and nobody knows for sure why. Her parents want to get access to her Facebook account to see if their suspicions that she was bullied to death are true. The parents have sued Facebook to re-instate their daughter's account, because the page was "memorialised" by Facebook once they were informed of her death. Facebook has been resolute that the account should not be re-opened, saying it's not fair that other user's messages are revealed and that the conversations between the deceased and the other users were done under the assumption they'd be private. The judge in the latest court case agrees, so Facebook isn't legally required to give the parents access - but has said the parents are free to appeal the decision if they want.

ARM based laptops running Windows 10 coming soon, with eSIM support
Windows 10 laptops powered by ARM CPUs are coming soon. ASUS, HP and Lenovo have announced that they'll be releasing laptops using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor in the near future. Kinda like the old Windows RT stuff Microsoft tried with Windows 8, but less shitty. Both Microsoft and Qualcomm are marketing these Windows 10 PCs as having better battery life, LTE connectivity, and support for all Windows applications via relatively fast emulation. Related to this, Microsoft said Windows 10 will support eSIM functionality, so you can connect to an LTE network without requiring a SIM. Intel said they'll support eSIM stuff in its upcoming LTE modems, XMMTM 7260 & XMM 7360.

Cop an eyeful of Paul Allen's huge 6-engine plane for launching rockets
Microsoft's co-founder (who hasn't had anything to do with Microsoft in a long time, but is still fabulously rich), has been funding a company called Vulcan Aerospace that wants to launch rockets into space using a fucking huge plane. They took it outside for the first time so we can see that this monstrosity has six Pratt & Whitney jet engines and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft ever - 117m. The damn thing has two fuselages and the rocket sits in the middle. The plane flies up, rocket launches off the back and plane comes back down. Apparently this makes it easier to launch as there's less atmospheric drag to hold the rocket back. I think, I'm not a rocket scientist and spent 3 minutes Googling "why launch rocket off plane" to find out.

The ACCC is gonna sue some ISPs for being so slow & NBN gives ISPs a further CVC discount
The ACCC is looking to take some ISPs to court over shitty NBN speeds. This info was let loose at a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday night, by the ACCC's Chairman, who said that "the organisation was investigating "some egregious examples" of ISPs offering below-par services" and that "I'd be surprised if we don't have a couple of cases in court by the end of the year". That, plus news that NBN has today started offering ISPs a further "dimension based discount" on CVC pricing, based on the amount they purchase (i.e: bulk discounts) should help relieve some of the slowness many NBN users are experiencing.


A Chevrolet Bolt EV love-fest
Yeah yeah, I know another electric car thing, but fuck you, I love em. A UBS financial analyst took a Chevy Bolt EV apart to find out how much it costs to build. They found that the drivetrain is ~$4000 cheaper than a petrol engine. I wish I could find the full video or report to read more than just a quick overview. The Verge did a long-term-ish review of the Bolt, saying that it's great, but still has a few caveats (range anxiety still exists for people with shit charging infrastructure where they go and the up-front cost vs. similar petrol cars). Bjorn Nyland, as usual, does a much better review than the Verge anyways. To round out the Chevy Bolt love, here's an interview with one of the designers talking about the design process of making a clean-sheet EV.

Maciej Cegłowski neatly explains why the IT industry can be so awful
Maciej Cegłowski (aka @pinboard) has uploaded a text version of a presentation he gave at some conference in Berlin a few weeks ago and it is top fucken shelf. If you had to summarise what I think of the tech indsutry these days, Maciej's coherent rant is it. The internet is practically controlled by 5 companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) and the amount of leverage they have is way too high. Couple this with the increasing realisation from governments that the internet is no longer just a bunch of nerds fucking around, sooner or later the huge amount of info the big 5 have is going to be used against us. The only meaningful resistance we're going to get is for increased legislation outside the US and for IT workers to grow a spine, contemplate what they are doing for these companies and push back against their management. Maybe, even form a union! *gasp*.

Puerile domain name generator is more fun than it should be does what it says in the URL - each page referesh finds you a stupid domain name you can register for your amusement. Some of the domains I may use to promote The Sizzle include: ($34.99), ($19.98), ($2599 - bit rich for my balls to be honest), ($24.99), ($35.99 - for the NZ expansion) and ($49.95). Thank you @tcn33 for bringing it to my attention.

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!