The Sizzle

Issue 466 - Monday, 28th August 2017


Samsung's Vice Chairman is going to the slammer
Samsung's Vice Chairman, Jay Y. Lee, has been sentenced to 5 long years in South Korea's finest penitentiary. Mr. Lee was charged, and now found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, concealment of criminal proceeds, illegal transfer of assets overseas and perjury. The main charge is bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her weird confidant/psychic friend Choi Soon-sil, so that he could convince the President to make sure she strongly suggested he become chairman of Samsung when the time comes (Samsung's relationship with the South Korean government is weird). Here's an overview of how intertwined Samsung and South Korea are. Of course, Lee has appealed the sentence.

Uber has a new CEO
Uber's quest for a new CEO to replace Travis Kalanick is over. The board has anointed Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Expedia, that ratbag nickel-and-diming online travel agent, as the holy one that will lead Uber to an age of prosperity. Or, as I reckon, keep the seat warm until electric cars can drive themselves. So long Travis, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out and good luck with that lawsuit buddy. As long as this new guy keeps his dick in his pants and his hands off the female employees, he should be fine.

NZ's High Court says GCSB's spying on Kim Dotcom was illegal
New Zealand's High Court has determined that the spying GCSB (the Kiwi ASIO) did on Kim Dotcom on behalf of the US government, that led to that raid on his home in 2012 and subsequent seizing of Megaupload, was illegal. GCSB is not allowed to conduct surveillance on its own citizens or permanent residents, of which Kim Dotcom is. So, good news for Kim yeah? A nice apology from the copyright cartel and all his seized and frozen assets released? Dunno really, you'd think it would have some bearing on his position, but it seems at this point, it's nothing but a hollow victory.

Volkswagen USA manager to go in the slammer
Volkswagen USA's Leader of Diesel Competence, who we now know was not very competent at all, has been placed in the slammer for 40 months for his role in the diesel-gate saga and violating the USA's Clean Air Act. James Liang was told by VW to make an engine that meet US regulations, but instead of pushing back when the task wasn't possible, decided to just lie about it instead, creating the now infamous software that detected when the car was in a test cycle and neutered the car's performance and emissions for the test only. Keep that in mind next time your boss tells you do code up something you reckon is illegal.

China mandates government ID is required before you post anything online
China has decided they've had enough of its citizens shitposting on social media and forums, so to stop the incessant trolling, it is now mandatory for websites to verify the real world identity of anyone posting. Yep, wanna fire off a few Weibo posts? Gotta enter some form of government ID so if you are naughty, the Cyberspace Administration (that's what it's called) can track ya down. The list of content that's deemed naughty is pretty wild too, check the linked post for a list. I reckon a few bureaucrats up in Canberra or Westminster are green with envy.


Storj, an ICO darling, sucks
Storj is one of the more interesting applications based on the blockchain that got funding via an ICO with Etherum. The Shitcoin blog took a look at what the $30m they raised via that ICO has achieved. Storj is supposed to be "blockchain-based, end-to-end encrypted, distributed object storage", aka, Amazon S3 but on the blockchain, but really, it's a buggy app that's incredibly convoluted to install or use. Even when you manage to get Storj working, you can't store files any bigger than a few hundred kilobytes. You could say it's unfair to pick on an app that's still in development, but even in it's completed state, how is this any better than any of the other block storage services that are cheaper and much, much easier to use? How did this get $30m of funding?!

New trailer for Black Mirror
Netflix has released a teaser for the upcoming 4th season Black Mirror, one of my favourite TV series. There's no date for the 4th season, so there's plenty of time to catch up if you haven't seen this awesome show yet. If you're into Black Mirror, keep an eye out on Stan for Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, based on the author's books (there was a trailer, but it seems to have disappeared, ugh) and coming to Stan soon. I also want to take this opportunity to remind you that Halt and Catch Fire is currently airing its final series. Wikipedia describes it as "a fictionalized insider's view of the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and later the growth of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s" and it is very, very good. Seasons 1-3 are on Foxtel Now if ya got it.

Detailed monitor buying guide
This guide is about a year old now, but it's a solid overview of what to look for when buying a monitor - particularly a gaming monitor. It explains the different LCD panel types (VA, IPS, TN, etc.), refresh rates, response times, what the difference is between FreeSync and G-Sync and if you want that feature or not. For more professional monitor users, it explains why things like bit-depth, colour gamut and uniformity are important. Might wanna turn on your ad-blocker though, Tom's Hardware is an eyesore.

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!