The Sizzle

Issue 462 - Tuesday, 22nd August 2017


Android v8 - Oreo
Android v8.0, aka Oreo has landed and will be available for the Pixel, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P soon, as they've been submitted to carriers for testing. Not long after that, the OEMs may or may not push out an upgrade for existing devices - you'll need to check with your handset manufacturer if your Android phone will get v8.0. New in Oreo is twice as fast, better background app control, autofilling forms, instant apps that can be used direct from a web browser, something called notification dots and picture-in-picture video playback. Sounds good, I hope your Android phone gets it some time this year.

The Australian Cyber Reserve
The government is looking to recruit nerds as army reservists to fight cyber battles. When the inevitable day comes when our nation is locked in fierce digital combat with a strong, overwhelming enemy, these reservists can be called up from their boring private sector jobs to bravely fight in the e-trenches alongside the Information Warfare Division. According to the article, "they would be called up for duty when a major cyber attack targeted Australia’s critical infrastructure such as airports, the national electricity grid or the military". I think it's kinda cool. If I wasn't a ratshit sys admin that constantly fucks things up, I'd enlist.

Village plans to sue Australian BitTorrent users
After managing to get over 200 sites blocked from Australian ISPs via a law it lobbied the government to create just for them, Village Roadshow isn't content to rest on its laurels - it is going to sue anyone it catches downloading pirated materials. Due to the precedent set by the whole Dallas Buyers Club case, Village will only be able to sue for real losses (i.e: the cost of the movie at the shops) and costs (apparently ~$200). So it's gonna go around suing randos online for $40. Village will spare you if have "ill health or dire circumstances" or if you're a "16-year-old or mums and dads". Let's see how this works out for them and if it really reduces the piracy of their content (I bet it doesn't).

New Intel laptop CPUs are supposed to be 40% faster then prev gen
Intel's announced what's arguably their most important CPU line - the 8th generation 15W CPUs designed for laptops. The i7-8650U, i7-8550U, i5-8350U and i5-8250U are all quad core parts, something not seen in the 15W space, so it'll be interesting how that goes from a throttling perspective. The integrated graphics are now known as "UHD 620" to denote 4K support. These are still 14nm parts too, no 10nm yet. Think of it as a refinement of the existing 7th-gen parts, rather than a new architecture. Like a sub-tick in the old tick tock cycle. Intel reckons they're 40% faster, than the previous 15W CPUs - I reckon that's too good to be true. These are prime candidates for the 13" MacBook Pro. Let's see how long Apple takes to add these to the line-up.

Sonos and DJI updates that'll brick your gear if you don't apply em
Owners of Sonos speakers and DJI drones are a bit pissed off today as both those companies are forcing updates on their customers that if are not applied to their devices, will be bricked. DJI's latest update to the Spark drone fixes a problem where drones just dropped out of the sky with no warning, so a pretty good thing to fix. What owners have issues with is the fact that after Sept 1st, if the update isn't applied, the drone will not fly. Sonos however, are "clarifying" their privacy policy and outlining new types of data they're collecting and how they'll be used. No biggie right, just opt out and carry on? Sorry, no opt out and if you don't update to the latest version, over time your currently perfectly working speaker will cease to exist with other Sonos enabled apps.


Veeam Agent is good backup software for Windows users
Windows users, listen up - backup your shit with Veeam Agent. This is the free version of Veeam, which is normally expensive software used for backing up virtual machines. Some of the features in this free version are fantastic, such as drive rotation, disk and volume block level backups, restoring those to a Hyper-V VM or VMDK, restoring backups to different hardware and heaps more - for free! If I had Windows computers to back up, this is what I'd use. I also want to mention the site I found this on,, which is a collection of free, no bullshit Windows programs.

Poor people in Australia have crappier internet than wealthy people and it's getting worse
The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) measures how easy or difficult it is for someone in Australia to use the internet. Whilst more Aussies are now online since the last survey, there's a large gap developing between rich and poor households - a digital divide. Since 2013 an internet connection has become slightly cheaper, but because other things like electricity and rent have skyrocketed, many people are just deciding not to get the internet, or are using shittier, slower internet. It's only going to get worse too as the NBN is actually increasing the cost of an internet connection. Why is this bad? Lower income households will have even poorer outcomes in education and employment as more of those activities go online.

Person smarter than us tears that Google diversity memo apart
Feel like wading through a few thousand words of science related to the biological differences between genders? Yeah, me neither. But if you want to see James Damore's "memo" ripped a new arsehole, apparently, this essay from Erin Giglio, is the academic equivalent of an industrial hole punch. I'm going to say up front that I have not read it, but I figured there might be people who subscribe to the Sizzle with more of an interest in this topic than me and wanted to share this with them. It's not a super technical read, nor is it a dry text, so if you do have the time to read it, I'm sure you will be rewarded with a great insight into this topic.

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!