The Sizzle

Issue 414 - Thursday, 15th June 2017


Samsung Pay reaches 38 banks via Cuscal
Good news Samsung fans, Cuscal has jumped on the Samsung Pay bandwagon, meaning 38 credit unions and banks now have access to it, along with Apple Pay. I am unsure why you'd want to use Samsung Pay over Android Pay (use your Gear Watch to pay?), but there you go, enjoy it you Galaxy fiends. Ausdroid has a scoop claiming that the Commonwealth Bank is toying with the idea of giving users of its Android app advanced contactless payment features that closely resemble Android Pay (but iut isn't Android Pay).

Instagram creates a way for influencers to show that their posts have been paid for
Instagram has commented on US Free Trade Commission's recent warning to 90 influencers on its platform, that unless they clearly label their post is paid for, they're heading for the celebrity slammer. In a blog post, Instagram unveiled a new feature where people getting paid for stuff can label their posts "Paid partnership with" in order to meet the FTC's repeated requests for transparency. The way it works is a user can tag a brand as a sponsor and a banner appears next to their username at the top of the post - it's still in beta but will get rolled out soon. I'm sure Instagram doesn't want it's top users incurring the wrath of the FTC.

US Netflix customers surpass the number of US cable TV customers
Netflix has more subscribers than cable TV in the USA. Netflix managed to get 50.85 million people to cough up for its video delights, where as 48.61 million chumps still hand over money for cable TV because they're either illiterate or enjoy live sport. Unsurprisingly, the growth in Netflix's subscriber numbers are attributed to loads of original content you can't get anywhere else. We're through the looking glass here people.

Vocus shames NBN over CVC costs
Vocus has joined the chorus of ISPs slamming the NBN's transit costs. Their CEO said that "we have a difference in interpretation of what the [network traffic] growth profile is going to be like versus what NBN thinks" - basically the NBN is underestimating how much we'll use the internet (again) and that "the vast majority of building this network is a fixed cost, so I don't understand why such a high proportion of the cost base is variable" - fucken good point mate. He goes on to say that either cost of NBN plans will go up (bad) or customer experience on the NBN will drop (also bad) unless CVC pricing is heavily revamped, turning the entire project into an even bigger waste of time than it already is. Disclaimer, I have 120 Vocus shares.

Next iPhone is getting wireless charging - rock solid confirmation, lock it in
I don't like reporting on Apple rumours, otherwise it'd just be Apple rumours all day, every day, but this one is pretty rock solid. The CEO of Wistron, who make iPhones for Apple in India, dropped that the next iPhone (the 7S) will have "new features like waterproof and wireless charging" whilst chatting to some journos. Wireless charging! It'd be nice just to plonk my iPhone on my desk or bedside table and have the bastard charge.


Cheap 8TB ext HDD, USB mic, 27" monitor, Cities Skyline game & refurb Apple TVs
Some decent bargains today: Seagate 8TB external backup/archive HDD (with two handy front USB charging ports) for $307 - use the code CLAP10. Great for Time Machine use on a desktop Mac. Should be good for another decade until Apple decide to stop making computers with USB ports. Blue Yeti USB mic for $172 at JB Hi-Fi, excellent quality mic for whatever you feel like recording really. Kogan 27" WQHD monitor for $329+shipping - not gonna get anything better than this for less than $600. EB are selling Cities Skyline (a modern SimCity, but not shit) for $9 - in store only though. Refurbished 32GB Apple TVs for $199 - banging price.

AU EV lobby releases report into why Aussies don't have EVs
A report from the Electric Vehicle Council (aka electric car lobby group/vested interest) did a survey of Victorian consumer attitudes towards EVs and 2.6% of respondents didn't know electric cars existed. Okay then. But 50.2% do know they exist and would consider one. 40.3% would not consider an EV. That's kinda sad. The report goes on to say that "Australia is one of the few remaining developed countries without light vehicle CO2 standards in place" which exacerbates the fact manufacturers have no incentive to bring cars here to meet those standards (like EVs). Half the market wants EVs, but there's none available except BMW's i3 and the Tesla range. Also interesting in this report is "The report also notes that perceptions around the availability of public EV charging infrastructure can be crucial to uptake, even if research shows that most car charging is done at home or in the workplace." - infrastructure isn't really that important, but without it, people won't buy an EV.

Smarter people than me explain why government backdoors are bad
The Conversation has a solid primer on what the go is surrounding the latest politician thought bubbles around legislating backdoors and weakening encryption in popular messaging and social media platforms. Governments think they can just grab what they want from these companies without compromising user security and privacy - but as we nerds know, that's not true. Create a hole for yourself and that hole can be used by everyone, goodies and baddies alike. Nevermind the civil liberties perspective, which nobody gives a fuck about now anyways. The ITPA have thrown their 2c out there and they're spot on saying that the government is playing with fire by weakening the technology that allows us to retain privacy.

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!