The Sizzle

Issue 478 - Wednesday, 13th September 2017


Apple September 2017 Keynote Part 1 - iPhone X
The iPhone X is real, sensor notch up the top and all. iPhone X (aka iPhone 10) has a new and faster 6-core A11 SoC, wireless charging and a 5.8" OLED "Super Retina" 458ppi display that supports HDR video. There's no home button or TouchID thanks to the edge to edge screen, so FaceID (a depth sensor that scans your face) is now how you authenticate. Swipe up from the bottom to go to the home screen and change apps. That depth sensor also allows weird animated emojis. Both rear cameras have optical image stabilization and the front camera supports portrait mode. The iPhone X will ship in Australia on November 3. Pre-orders start at 6:01PM AEDT on October 27. Here's hands on vids from 9to5 Mac, and The Verge and a good local take on the iPhone X in the SMH.
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Apple September 2017 Keynote Part 2 - iPhone 8
Apple also announced the iPhone 8 - which is pretty much the iPhone 7 but with a glass back to allow wireless Qi standard charging, a True Tone display like the iPad Pro (but no 120Hz refresh rate, boo), improved cameras across the board (but not as good as the iPhone X) and the A11 SoC. It's a solid upgrade, but dunno if it's enough to justify ditching an iPhone 7, or even a 6s for. The iPhone 8 will ship in Australia on September 22. Pre-orders start from 6:01PM AEDT on September 15. No telco plans announced yet either. I wonder who's gonna buy it? Everyone I know seems keen on the iPhone X or just staying put with the iPhone they've already got.
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Apple September 2017 Keynote Part 3 - Series 3 Apple Watch, 4K Apple TV & more
There are new Apple Watches with a 70% faster CPU and LTE built in. Telstra has a little thing explaining how the eSIM inside them works. The Series 3 watches go on pre-order Sept 15, on sale Sept 22. The Nike+ ones, October 5th. The Apple TV got the same A10X SoC as in the iPad Pro, a slightly updated Siri remote and finally support 4K and HDR (as it should have on launch!). It's out on the 22nd of Sept and the 1080p Apple TV is a bit cheaper now. AirPower is a charging mat that'll wirelessly charge multiple devices at once. It'll be out some time next year, for unknown dollars. AirPods will get a wireless charging case soon. No more (PRODUCT)RED iPhones. The new version of iTunes no longer has the App Store, ringtones or iTunes U inside it. iOS 11 will go public on September 19th.
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NTSB says Tesla's Autopilot UI played a "major role" in fatal crash
The US NTSB has added its (rather important) point of view regarding the death of Joshua Brown, who crashed into the side of a truck trailer whilst using Tesla's Autopilot function. The NTHSA already dropped its report and the NTSB backs it up - "Tesla's system worked as designed, but it was designed to perform limited tasks in a limited range of environments. Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed, and the system gave far too much leeway to the driver to divert his attention to something other than driving. The result was a collision that, frankly, should have never happened." On the same day as this report, the US DOT & NHTSA have said that they think "fully automated safety features" & "highway autopilot" will feature in cars around 2025 - much later than companies like GM and Tesla reckon.
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BlueBorn vuln exposes how insecure Bluetooth is
BlueBorne is a new Bluetooth vulnerability that can apparently totally own your device within 10 seconds. All you gotta do is have Bluetooth turned on and thanks to a buffer overflow exploit, an attacker can get malicious code onto that device. There's patches already out for Windows, iOS versions older 10 than are still vulnerable and Google has a fix for Android coming soon. The videos shown on Armis's website are quite alarming - one in particular turns an Android smartwatch into a remote listening device pretty damn easily. The unpatched Windows man in the middle attack looks like a piece of piss - how many unpatched Windows laptops are out there freely broadcasting Bluetooth packets? I expect to see this on season 3 of Mr. Robot, or the writers simply aren't doing their jobs.
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IKEA has a nice range of Qi compatible wireless charging furniture
Now that the iPhone supports Qi charging, IKEA's range of Qi products are finally useful! There's lamps and mats and even bedside tables. There's also these handy Morik & Jyssen charging pads that are designed to be recessed into any surface you can drill a hole in to. Mod existing furniture! I think I will grab some if I end up getting an new iPhone. By the way, Qi is pronounced "chi" - I didn't know this until today.
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Want a new TV now that the Apple TV does 4K HDR?
Seen a few people ask on Twitter which TV to get now that the Apple TV supports 4K and HDR. If you aren't on a specific budget, get an OLED from LG. Easy. They're a class above everyone else and LG are still the only company making OLED displays in TV sizes (Panasonic, Sony, etc. use LG panels). The LG 55" OLED55C7T C7 OLED is $2,777 right now on eBay. If that's too pricey, Hisense's LCDs are great quality, with most reviewers unable to discern Hisense's latest from other "brand names". The 55" 55N7 supports HDR10 and is $1,249.40 on eBay. Make sure to update it to the latest firmware. If you're an absolute ratbag cheapskate like me, Aldi will have 65" 4K TVs for $797 this Saturday. It doesn't look like it supports HDR though.
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The computer that made the Death Star diagram graphics in Star Wars still works
This story has it all - computer animation, retro computing and goddamn Star Wars. Steve Heminover has the original computer that made the Death Star schematic in Star Wars. You know the scene where all the Rebel pilots are getting a briefing before they go fuck the Death Star up and Admiral Ackbar proclaims it is a trap? That one. Steve got the PDP-11/45 from UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory back in 2014 as they were going to throw it out and he keeps it in storage along withs the tapes (yes tapes) that containing the Death Star drawings. It all still works too. It should be in a museum!
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The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.