The Sizzle

Issue 406 - Friday, 2nd June 2017


More details on Chrome's upcoming built-in adblocker
Google has confirmed it will be implementing a feature in Chrome that'll automatically block the ads on sites that it thinks are shit at displaying ads. Together with this, webmasters (is that still a thing people call themselves?) will be able to see what Google thinks of their attempts to display ads, giving warnings when they go over the top. So for example, a site loaded with popups, slide ins, and 17 banners will probably have them all blocked by anyone using Chrome. The owner of that horrible website can visit Google's Ad Experience Report to find out why Chrome decided to block the ads. The guidelines for responsible advertising online will come from the Coalition for Better Ads. Google will also be releasing another tool, called Funding Choices, that will let webmasters put up a sad message, begging for support, when someone vists their site using an adblocker.

Plug a TV tuner into your Plex server and stream it to your Plex clients anywhere
Plex has announced live TV streaming support for Plex Pass subscribers. This new feature builds on top of the DVR stuff added a few months ago, by allowing you to watch live TV, streamed from a TV tuner hooked up to your Plex server. You can then watch TV on any Plex client connected to that server, anywhere, even over 4G. The only feature missing is being able to timeshift (aka pausing and resuming live TV), but I'm sure the big brains at Plex will figure that out soon. The range of TV tuners compatible with Plex server has been expanded too. The Hauppauge WinTV-dualHD is prob the one you want for Australian use. $100 from Kogan.

Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Vladimir Putin and Tesla
Elon Musk said he will leave Donald Trump's advisory board thingo if the US pulls out of the Paris climate change action accord deal treaty stuff. Trump delivered the bad news last night, so Elon Musk is no longer part of Trump's bullshit. Apple and Microsoft and loads of other tech companies signed an open letter saying Trump is a bad man (what is this now, the third open letter?), to make sure they're noted as being on the right side of history when the armed uprising begins. Tim Cook swears he tried to convince Trump not to do it and Zuck wants us all to know how bad this'll be for our kids. Also Musk & Trump related: Tesla sacked a woman working for them who accused it of ignoring sexual harassment and Vladimir Putin said if hackers hacked the US election, that's their own Russian patriotic spirit, nothing state condoned, calm down.

Logitech has new mice for youse
Now for a slightly milder topic - Logitech has new mice. The lovely MX Master and MX Anywhere are my day to day mice (the Master on my desk and the Anywhere in my backpack) received minor upgrades. The MX Master 2S and Anywhere 2S get a resolution bump from 1200 to 4000 DPI for more accuracy and a better battery that should last 70 days instead of 40. New with the mice is Logitech Flow, a piece of software that if installed on multiple computers, kinda works as a KVM over IP, or if you've used it before, exactly like Synergy. You can have three different, self contained computers and use one keyboard and mouse to control them all. Works cross platform and doesn't require any - here's a demo of Logitech Flow in action across Mac and Windows.

Vodafone suing the ACCC because it won't force Telstra to wholesale roaming
Vodafone are taking the ACCC to court over its decision not to force telcos to create a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service. Telstra would have been the main loser here, as the ACCC would have made it sell access to its network to competitors with inferior coverage. Vodafone, would have gained the most, as it could sell its product as the best of both worlds - cheap Voda in the cities, subsidised Telstra in the bush. So of course, Vodafone is pretty salty about this decision from the ACCC. Vodafone claims that Australians now have "no choice but to pay Telstra’s mobile premium which totals $1.4 billion per year" and that the ACCC's decision into the topic is deeply flawed due to the requirements being too vague. More about Vodafone's point of view on this topic can be found on their "Regional Connect" blog.


Cheap 8TB enterprise HDDs, 15% off iTunes, Sony MDR-1000X cans & $18 scanner printer combos
eBay has a huge sale on again, 20% off at a bunch of stores, with the typical good stuff on offer. I'm saving all that for a separate email over the weekend, but there's also some sweet deals not on eBay that popped up recently. 8TB Toshiba enterprise HDDs for $377.50 ea + shipping (banging price). Woolworths has 15% off iTunes credit until the 7th of June. Sony MDR-1000X noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones for $488 - apparently these are better than the QC35s. HP Deskjet 2130 printer & scanner for $18 at Harvey Norman. $18! Even if you don't need the printer, just use it as an $18 scanner. HN also has 64GB flash drives for $19 if you need em. Not the fastest write speeds, but it's $19.

NBN creates a history of the NBN video, forgets to mention FTTP
Here's a depressing chuckle - NBN decided to do a video "celebrating" reaching the half-way complete mark. The video explains how NBN was set up in 2009, design of the network started in 2010 and that in 2013 the NBN moved to a Multi-Technology Mix. Hang on.. what happened in 2011 and 2012? The few hundred thousand premises that got fibre don't exist? Hmmm, and tthe rest of the video doesn't even mention that fibre to the premises are a thing. Fucken hell NBN, you shitheel partisan mongrels. Meanwhile, MyRepublic announced that Wollongong will be their first Gigatown, offering unlimited 1Gbps for $130/m to those in the Gong hooked up to NBN fibre.

App: The Human Story contrasts nicely with All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace
App: The Human Story is a documentary coming out about, you guessed it, apps. Apps changed our lives, revolutionised industries, cured cancer, made the poor rich, ended racism and raised the average IQ of the world by 10 points. Check out the trailer if you're keen. All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, a creepy as fuck (or pretentious as fuck) documentary by Adam Curtis, is gonna be way more enlightening to the type of person who reads this. Not that the Apps one sucks, but it seems a bit solipsist and saccharine (look at dem fancy words). A bit of Adam Curtis will put your tin foil hat back on. Wish I could cop a viewing of Everything Is Going According to Plan though. Curtis worked with Massive Attack to create an 11-screen audio visual assault about how the Internet is ruining our attention spans, playing right in to the government's plan to keep us all subdued, more or less content, little citizens. It's a feel-good film.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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!