The Sizzle

Issue 469 - Thursday, 31th August 2017


NBN updates us on how our tax dollars are being pissed away
NBN updated their annual corporate plan. The document is here if you want all 74-pages of it, but Ry Crozier's article on ITnews has the 5 important things you need to know. 1 - NBN expects ISPs to charge more for NBN services than they did ADSL. 2 - 300,000 "phantom" premises (houses they don't know about because of shit mapping) dropped off their map. 3 - less FTTP and copper, but more HFC. 4 - FTTC costs more than they thought, $2900 a premise. 5 - average revenue per user (ARPU) has stayed more or less the same. Also interesting is that 11 councils around Australia have applied to NBN for an area switch, i.e: paying to upgrade the entire area to FTTP. Individuals are getting in on it too, with 2752 people applying to upgrade to fibre, 263 paying for a quote and 66 going ahead with the upgrade. One person paid $217,600 to go from wireless to FTTP, yikes.
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New Samsung wearables
Samsung had a big keynote thingy at the IFA trade show in Berlin last night (IFA is just CES, but in Europe) where they released some new fitness related wearables. From old mate Peter Wells: "The Gear Sport watch and Fit2 Pro band both have built in GPS for accurate fitness tracking, with improved heart-rate monitoring over last year's designs. Samsung has also added water resistance to both models, and the ability to track swimming activities automatically". The watch is still Tizen based, so if you were hoping for some Android Wear love, too bad. Alongside those fitness devices are the Gear IconX, an updated set of wireless earbuds with a built in fitness coach that motivates you somehow. The FitPro 2 is out in September, the watch and earbuds in November.
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TCL bringing exhuming the Palm brand to sell some smartphones
Hands up who remembers Palm? The PDA pioneers back when PDAs were a thing (ask your parents, kids), then the Treo smartphone that was so bad yet still useful, that drove Apple to make the iPhone. Their swan-song was WebOS, an operating system that ran on the Palm Pixi and Pre smartphones and the infamous HP TouchPad (RIP). Then it was left to die when HP purchased WebOS and resurrected by LG on as the interface for their smart TVs. Now TCL has let slip that they're bringing back the Palm brand to smartphones! I get the impression it'll be more like Polaroid's brand revival via shitty TVs and DVD players at Big W than Nokia's resurgence with smartphones worth buying.
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Cortana and Alexa are friends now, go away Siri and whatever Google's thing is called
Microsoft's Cortana will be able to use Amazon's Alexa and vice-versa. The voice assistants will work together to access each other's specialities - so Alexa will be useful for Office related stuff thanks to Cortana (e.g: reading your Outlook schedules and shit) and Cortana will be awesome at shopping for things and accessing the deep collection of Alexa "skills" integrated with many IoT products and web services. It's a bit awkward to use as you gotta say "Alexa, open Cortana" or "Cortana, open Alexa", then repeat your request, but you'd imagine soon enough the integration will be seamless.
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Troy Hunt got his hands on a giant cache of email addresses used by spammers
I missed this yesterday, but Troy Hunt has received a huge collection of over 700 million email addresses that's used by spammers to clog up our inboxes and spread malware. But more interestingly, he's also received email addresses and passwords, over 35 million of them, that allow spammers to use various SMTP servers to send their spam from. All these addresses are a key way malware is spread - out of those 700 million addresses, it only takes 0.001% to click a link, get infected and then become part of a botnet, ad farm or victim of a cryptolocker.
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Nice low latency keyboard, mouse & desk pad combo from Logitech
Logitech's added some new gear to the Lightspeed range - the G603 mouse and G613 mechanical keyboard together with a huge G840 mouse pad that's really more of a desk pad that ties it all together to create what Logitech call "the next-generation wireless desktop". Lightspeed, if ya don't know, is Logitech proprietary wireless tech that's supposed to be ultra low latency, so wireless mices and keyboards are better for pro gamers. Personally, aI'm just excited by a wireless mechanical keyboard! I dislike the wire on my current G610. The G613 has "Romer-G" switches though, not Cherry. Hmm, dunno if those are any good. I do like the giant mouse pad as well. Bit expensive all up (USD$270!), but if it's like more of Logitech's RRPs, the street price will be like half the RRP anyways.
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NYPD defends its decision to get those Windows phones that are getting replaced
Remember that story I posted earlier this week about the NYPD and its 30,000+ useless Windows phones that it's now replacing with iPhones? The director of IT who was blasted in that article for forcing the Windows devices that now need to be replaced has come out and justified her decision. There's two main reasons why they went Windows over iOS/Android. The NYPD had heaps of custom Windows apps already that were trivial to port across to mobile, but the clincher was that the smartphones were free and they were entitled to free replacement devices 2 years later. That's not bad. I'd take that offer too if it was put in front of me. The only real reason they're replacing them is due to Microsoft totally abandoning the platform.
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10% off everything on eBay until midnight tonight
eBay has a 10% off everything over $75 sale for today only. Use the code PEARLER before midnight on the 31st of August. Not as good as 20% I reckon, but it applies to everything on eBay, so good for those stores that often don't participate in eBay sales and on items that never seem to get discounted. I should really buy some gear to start recording a Sizzle podcast.
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Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

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