The Sizzle

Issue 430 - Friday, 7th July 2017


Tesla batteries confirmed for South Australia, online by end of 2018
Remember the series of tweets between Mike Cannon Brookes and Elon Musk that lead to SA putting out a tender for a battery storage project? Tesla was announced the winner of that tender today. Elon Musk popped up in Adelaide along side Premier Jay Weatherill to say that the 100MW/129MWh battery bank will be the largest lithium ion battery in the world. It'll be installed by the end of the year at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in Jonestown, SA - a 390MW windfarm owned by French company Neoen. The 100 days or its free promise is real too, with countdown starting "once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed". The details of Tesla's tender are still unknown, but Weatherill said Tesla and Neoen "provided a highly competitive commercial offer with the best value for money" compared to the other 90 responses they received. Elon Musk tweeted today that Australia rocks. Thanks mate.

Qualcomm asks US ITC to ban the import of Apple products not using Qualcomm chips
The shitfight between Qualcomm and Apple has kicked up a notch, with Qualcomm requesting the United States International Trade Commission ban all imports of Apple hardware not using Qualcomm gear because Qualcomm alleges Apple is infringing on the use of its patents. It actually looks Qualcomm is trying to force Apple to buy Qualcomm radios and not Intel's, as if Apple buys Qualcomm's chips, it is paying for the rights to use these patents, but if they buy Intel's radio chip, they aren't paying for the patents Intel's chip uses, that Qualcomm reckons it deserves a slice of. What a mess this is, I bet the lawyers are loving it.

Cryptolockers cause Reckitt Benckiser to lose over 100m GBP, but Vic traffic cams ok
An interim report from Victoria's road safety camera commissioner has determined that despite being infected with the WannaCry cryptolocker, the data was safe and had no impact on the accuracy of the cameras. So the 61,000 fines put on hold will be sent through - sorry. Also part of the report is how the hell they got infected with WannaCry in the first place: a contractor using a filthy laptop and speed cameras using unpatched versions of Windows 7. Things weren't so smooth for Reckitt Benckiser, a huge pharma/household goods company, that recently said that its revenues will drop by 1% because of the disruption Petya caused to its ability to manufacture and distribute products - approximately 100 million pounds. Ouch.

Fancy camera maker RED to release a smartphone next year
Maybe you've heard of RED, the makers of high end cinema cameras that was founded by the same bloke who founded Oakley sunglasses. They're gonna make a smartphone now. The RED Hydrogen One will be released Q1 2018 and its killer feature will be a 5.7" holographic display that can display 3D images created in a special file format and delivered via a content store RED has conjured up. It's a modular phone too, with attachments (as yet unknown) that work in a similar way to Motorola's ill-fated Moto Mods. It'll cost US$1195 for one made out of aluminium and US$1595 for one made out of titanium. It looks just like RED's cameras, which to me, is cool, but to a lot of people, is ugly as sin. RED are pretty good at cameras, lets hope their smartphone isn't shit.

Microsoft to sack 3000, SoundCloud to close 2 office & sack 40%, Jawbone in liquidation
There's a bit of downsizing going on for some tech companies today. Microsoft confirmed it'll sack 3,000 people because they aren't needed in the new Azure/cloud led regime. Jawbone, which has been on the ropes for a while now, is officially in liquidation and most staff are moving to a new startup called Jawbone Health (despite the name, it's a totally separate company), which was started by Jawbone's CEO Hosain Rahman to develop medical equipment. SoundCloud cut 40% of its workforce (173 employees) and will be closing its San Francisco and Berlin offices. It's been trying to get bought out by a bigger player such as Spotify, or even Twitter, but nobody wants to stump up the cash. Looks like SoundCloud may not be long for this world.


NSW has an app to find & filter highway rest stops
The NSW's Roads and Maritime Service (why don't you idiots call is NSW Roads) has a useful new app to tell you where all the rest stops along NSW highways are. The app will even let you filter rest stops by facilities such as toilets, playgrounds and BBQs. I wish every state had an app like this. It frustrates me that I might rock up to a rest stop, decanter my bladder, continue my journey drive past a really nice rest stop like 4km later. I could have taken a piss in the nice toilets instead of the one that is literally a hole in the ground with a toilet seat on top.

Queensland's pub & club ID scanners suck
Meanwhile, in Australia's worst state, Queensland, the introduction of ID scanning technology is not going so well. The damn system doesn't work with international ID. Many tourists hitting up the Gold Coast or Brisbane's popular nightlife scenes have been denied entry because the system put in place can't read foreign ID. "The Government said the scanners would have to be reconfigured for international visitors, because of the reversal of dates on passports and licences" - oh my fucking god, nobody in charge of this thing thought of people from overseas wanting to hang out in a pub or bar. It's not like a tourist has ever done that in Queensland, why would they start now, right? Morons. Thanks to sircrumpet for mentioning this in The Sizzle's Slack group.

No petrol or diesel cars in France by 2040
France joins the growing list of countries claiming to send the same of fossil fuel burning cars some time in the near future. France's environment minister said that the ban will come into place by 2040, which is roughly 10-15 years after electric cars should be relatively mainstream going by various manufacturer time-lines and the predicted ramping up of battery production. The Netherlands wants to do the same, but by 2025 (though since their recent election, this seems less likely). Norway, one of the current leaders in EV ownership per capita, is considering the same 2025 time frame. India plans all new car sales to be electric by 2030, as does Germany. Meanwhile, in Australia... nothing.

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!