The Sizzle

Issue 442 - Tuesday, 25th July 2017


MS Paint isn't dead, just sleeping
Lots of links around this morning bemoaning the death of MS Paint. After 32 years, Microsoft was shitcanning it for the younger and sexier 3D Paint as part of the upcoming Windows Fall Update. The internet got depressed and starting talking about others tools you can use to replace what Paint does, like Greenshot (which I install on my Windows boxes, so much nicer for screenshots than Paint). Microsoft then came out and clarified what's actually happening: Paint is moving to the Windows Store, but it also won't get any updates going forward.

Another dodgy QLD cop sticking his beak in digital records he shouldn't
The headline of this story says it all really: "another Queensland police officer charged with computer hacking". By my count, this is the 5th or 6th separate incident where a QLD copper has gone snooping around the police database, digging up dirt on people unrelated to any case they're working on. Going by the punishments handed out to other police caught with their fingers in the digital cookie jar, all this guy will get is a fine and a slap on the wrist, then go back to work as normal.

Zero Latency's room scale VR opening in Brisbane
Zero Latency is opening a second room scale VR facility in Australia. The new joint is set for Brisbane and will open in October. Maybe you've heard of Zero Latency already, but for those who haven't, think laser tag, but with a VR kit strapped to you. It looks pretty damn cool. You run around a 400sqm warehouse with up to 7 of your buddies (8 players all up) and pretend there's zombies chasing ya or something and you shoot them and get scared, but everyone has a good time. The Melbourne one is still open if you want to try it out.

Alphabet's Q2 financials - profit takes a hit thanks to the EU's big fine
Alphabet's 2Q earnings are out and it's more or less business as usual for the world's largest advertising company. Surprisingly, revenue is still growing at double digit rates, despite the huge market share Google/Alphabet already have. Overall, Alphabet raked in over US$26 billion in revenue, 21% more than last year. Profit was down, but everyone was prepared for that, because the reason for the profit it was that massive US$2.7b fine slapped on it by the EU. It still make a US$4.1b profit that quarter though. The non-advertising side of Google grew 50%, but it's still only $3b of revenue compared to $22.7b it generates via ads.

Your robot vac is creating a map of your home to sell to Amazon
iRobot, the creators of the popular Roomba are looking to leverage their intimate knowledge of your home in order to assist other internet of things devices. The little vacuum robots roam around your house so much that using one to create a detailed map of your abode isn't that difficult. iRobot wants to sell that data to companies like Google, Apple and Amazon so they can use their big brains, combined with a very accurate map of your home, to better integrate their products with said home. Anyone concerned about the layout of their home sitting on some company's poorly secured server? My head is partially tin foiled and it doesn't bother me, but Gizmodo is playing the creepy robot scanning you all day angle.


Loads of cheap Steam games via Green Man Gaming
Green Man Gaming has a sale on. Dunno when it ends, but there's a few cheap old games that are still loads of fun if you're yet to play them. Life is Strange: Complete Season - $5. Tom Clancy's The Division - $20. The Orange Box - $4. Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition - $9. LA Noire The Complete Edition - $8.55. BioShock: The Collection - $19.80. Civilization V: The Complete Edition - $12.50. Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition - $10. Fallout 4 - $14.99. Fallout 4 - Season Pass - $28.49. South Park: The Stick of Truth - $7.50. Limbo - $2. Max Payne 3: Complete Pack - $9.97.

Host a beastly gaming rig in the cloud and stream it to your crappy computer at home
On the topic of games, if you don't have space or money for full on PC gaming rig, take a look at Parsec. It's a nifty program that lets you harness the power of Amazon or Microsoft's powerful GPU enabled servers that cost just US90c an hour to rent. They're able to stream gameplay from the server, to your local machine "lag free" in 1080p at 60fps. The best part is that there's no messy config to get it all working. I haven't given it a crack yet (if I do it now, I won't get any work done! This is something for the weekend), but those who have seem to like it. I assume if your internet connection is ratshit, this will also be ratshit.

A privacy invading photo logging cap
I like this cap with a Raspberry Pi Zero, camera and GPS module on it that takes a pic every 2 minutes and logs where you were when it was taken. It even uses a gyroscope to record the position your head was in when the pic was taken and then uses that info later to straighten the image. After a long day of cap wearing, import all the data into GeoSetter and it places all the images on a map for you, along with the field of view (i.e: which way you were facing!). It's basically a DIY bodycam. I'm sure you can buy a proper one if you wanted, but what's the fun in that?

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!