The Sizzle

Issue 413 - Wednesday, 14th June 2017

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Telstra gives 1400 staff the arse
Telstra is sacking 1400 staff over the next 6 months. 5% of its workforce. The operations, retail, "global enterprise and services" (dunno what that is), media and marketing parts of the company are impacted and their respective unions told Fairfax that had no idea the cuts were coming, most people found out in the media that they might be losing their jobs. Here's the letter CEO Andy Penn sent to the entire companyexplaining why so many people are getting booted out of the company. The first reason he cites? NBN. There's other stuff like industry pressure and technology disruption, but the acceleration of the NBN rollout is mentioned a few times as one of the reasons Telstra is gonna be making less money than it planned.

Hopefully the last time I have to bring up Uber for a while
I'm kinda getting tired about reporting on Uber, but there's been some significant news for those who still give a crap about this company. The CEO emailed all employees saying that he will take an indefinite leave of absence, which occurred after the board had a 7 hour meeting to discuss the findings of an internal investigation into Uber's shameful corporate culture. One of the board members just couldn't resist one last sexist joke - during the board meeting about them being sexist pigs. He quit the same day. The full email sent to all staff outlining what Uber plans to do to fix company culture is on Recode if you're interested. Some fairly common sense stuff in it, like holding people accountable, making managers undergo leadership training and actually listening to employees. The New York Times has the full list of recommendations.

Tim Cook drops that Apple is working on "autonomous systems"
Tim Cook has said what we've all known for years - Apple is doing something in regards to "autonomous systems". In a chat with Bloomberg, he talks about how electric cars are awesome, ride sharing is cool, and that self-driving cars are also cool. The combo of these three things, according to Tim and basically everyone with half a brain, is that it's gonna be a huge opportunity for technology companies. Apple, apparently, view AI as a core part of the company and because AI is so important to self-driving cars (what Timmy says is the "mother of all AI projects"), that Apple can compete well here. Meanwhile, GM has started "mass producing" 130 Chevy Bolts kitted out with self-driving gear that they will use across the USA as test rigs.

Nintendo's E3 stuff, adorable as usual
Nintendo had the final E3 keynote and the Ninty fans absolutely loved it. It's pretty much all games for the Switch. There's a plat former called Yoshi that looks loads like Super Paper Mario, a Kirkby game, an expansion for Zelda: Breath of the Wild and a longer trailer for Super Mario Odyssey (comes out 27th Oct). The big announcement though was the news of Metroid Prime 4 - a new game in the popular Metroid franchise. Probably won't be out until 2019 though. Overall lots of good stuff for those who have a Switch. I think there will be one in my house coming November, my wife can't resist a new Mario game.

Yahoo and Verizon's deal has closed, Marissa Mayer resigns, bow down to Oath
The valuable stuff from Yahoo they flogged off to Verizon, is now officially now part of Oath, Verizon's barnyard of internet properties like TechCrunch, Flickr, Tumblr, Engadget, the Huffington Post and about a 45 other random things loosely related by the mere fact they exist online. Marissa Mayer resigned and has taken her $23m golden parachute with her. So that's that then hey? I really wonder what's going to happen to Flickr and Tubmlr now. They're the only 2 good things Yahoo had (don't talk to me about how popular Yahoo's other stuff is, it's all ratshit, maybe the financial stuff was ok). The business entity formerly known as Yahoo, is now called Altaba, which consists of Yahoo Japan and Yahoo's 15% stake in Alibaba.


I like big TVs and I cannot lie, all you other brothers can’t deny
I have found a new item to buy if I ever win the lottery. A 262" 4K TV. Fuck. Yes. The C Seed 262 is literally, a 262" 4K LED TV that costs US$539,000 and US$38,500 to install. A remote controlled fabric cover drops down over the screen when it's not in use. Which seems stupid to me, because if I had a 262" TV, it would be used 24/7. I know you can get a projector for less money and go just as big, but a TV can be used in normally lit room. Besides, if I had almost a million bucks to spend on a 236" TV, I'd have a cinema room as well as a TV room, ya fucken peasant.

Australia is low on cyberwarriors
Australia is under cyberattack. Our cybers, they are no good. We need better cyberwarriors to fight in the cyberwars waged upon us. The Chinese are gonna cyberfuck us so hard if we don't get our shit together. That's pretty much what this recent episode of Background Briefing tries to explain over 35 minutes. It's a fascinating insight into how normies view this stuff - well worth a listen. It's all ok though, Melb Uni and ECU have been given $1.9m to create academic centres of cyber security excellence, as a way to encourage students to get into cyberspace and defend our nation.

Sony's latest e-ink watch is nice
Anyone going to Japan soon, can you get me one of these e-ink watches from Sony? It's the latest iteration of Sony's FES Watch, which is a watch, with an e-ink face and band, that you can modify from your phone. "Sony says it will release new designs from notable creators every month for the rest of the year". I think it is awesome. Here's the downside though - it isn't cheap, at 46,000 ($560) to 60,000 ($730) yen, but looks so much cooler than an Apple Watch. You can even make your own band and face designs by taking photos of stuff!

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!