The Sizzle

Issue 484 - Thursday, 21st September 2017


Google throws a bone to HTC via $1.1b investment
Google and HTC have signed a deal that'll make HTC Google's slave. Probably due to Google's disastrous purchase of Motorola (bought it in 2011 for $12.5b, sold it to Lenovo for $2.9b in 2014), they've decided not to buy HTC, but instead, are gonna give them $1.1b and embed loads of HTC employees within Google, together with a "non-exclusive license for HTC's intellectual property". Sounds like a shit deal for HTC. All the good stuff goes to Google, whilst the expensive burdens like supporting all the old models and running factories (HTC actually own their own factories) remain with HTC.
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Toshiba finally decides who will own its flash memory business
Toshiba lost loads of money on their nuclear power division after the Fukushima disaster spooked the world into stopping the construction of new nuke plants (for the better imho). To try and recover from that financial shitshow, Toshiba has been shopping its flash memory business around for most of 2017. There were heaps of cashed up, interested parties, such as Apple, Western Digital and Foxconn. Finally, they've decided to sell to a consortium consisting of Hynix and some Japanese banks, led by private equity firm Bain Capital, for about US$18b. (you merely adopted the dark!) Western Digital is kicking up a fuss though, as it already has a joint venture agreement with Toshiba that it inherited when WD purchased Sandisk a few years ago.
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Facebook deleting posts of persecuted Rohingya because they don't meet Facebook's "standards"
You've probably heard about the absolutely horrible genocide of the Rohingya muslims in Myanmar that are being slaughtered by some nutjob Buddhists and suffering a huge displacement into Bangladesh, who also don't really want them there. To try and get attention to their plight, Rohingyas are taking to Facebook, showing the atrocities carried out by the Buddhist military regime. Unfortunately, Facebook is removing their posts saying they "don't follow the Facebook Community Standards". An Amnesty International researcher seems to think it's a group of people against the Rohingya simply reporting their posts to get them removed. Because Facebook are basically flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to this stuff, instead of taking the time to analyse the context of these posts, they're just taking the content at face value and deleting anything that "violates its standards on hate speech and threats of violence".
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Equifax is that GIF of Sideshow Bob walking on rakes in a parking lot
It feels like every day lately, there's been a new "wtf r u guys doin" moment in the Equifax hack saga. First it was getting pwnd on such a large scale, then the bosses selling shares, then the fact the hack was a "relatively" simple patch, on top of all the governments losing their shit. Yesterday it was revealed that Equifax had hackers on its network since March 10th, who then started stealing data from May 13 and until July 30. It wasn't until September 7th that Equifax said something. Today's source of embarrassment for Equiax is its social media accounts directing users to a fake version of a site to check if their details were compromised, hahaha. Everything this company touches turns to shit.
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Apple Watch Series 3 & watchOS 4 reviews
Reviews of the Series 3 LTE Apple Watch are out: Daring Fireball, the WSJ, the Verge and Hodinkee's review of the Edition. The overall take is that the new watch is faster than the old one and that red dot is simply for aesthetics. All the Americans had issues with the Watch associating itself with open wi-fi networks that have a captive portal, which totally ruined the experience. Read Pete's review in the SMH for an Aussie take - the issues the seppos have aren't happening here. MacStories has a great review of watchOS 4 if you want to know what's new on the software side. The big change seems to be the Workouts stuff, which has been totally overhauled. It seems like they've really nailed that aspect of the watch.
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VicHyper trying to bring a Hyperloop to Australia
Did you know there's a group of people in Victoria developing a Hyperloop? No, neither did I! VicHyper is run by Zachary McClelland, a graduate of RMIT's aerospace engineering course, who wants to bring the manufacture of Hyperloop parts to this fine state. He thinks the HyperLoop is an awesome way to utilise glut of talent and facilities post-car manufacturing. Right now there's bugger all to show, but the his prototype Hyperloop pod did win the "Braking Subsystem Technical Excellence Award" at the SpaceX Hyperloop competition earlier this year, so, that's cool. At least they aren't hot air merchants!
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100GB/m of Optus 4G for $70
100GB/m of Optus 4G data for $70/m. That's Ovo's new pre-paid mobile data plan. 100GB! For many people, this could be a much better solution than the NBN. Optus's network isn't the most shit hot, but it's probably heaps faster than most ADSL connections, even during peak hours. Plus you can take it anywhere. Useful for people who move around a lot. If Ovo can do this and be profitable, imagine what TPG will offer on their network once it's up and running by this time next year. 100GB/m for $50/m on a legacy free brand new 4G network would take a huge chunk out of NBN's revenue base. Suffer in yer jocks stupid Libs, your precious free market can't save you now!
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Pray for our credit cards - eBay has 3 simultaneous sales - 18% off site wide tonight
Between 6PM and 10PM tonight, and tonight only, everything on eBay is 18% off. Yep, everything! Stuff on stores that aren't usually in the 20% off sales, gear that's not normally discounted, you name it. There's yet another 20% off tech sale, using the code POWER20. It'll go until the 27th of September. There will probably be better bargains in the 18% off sale tonight, as you might be able to find a store that hasn't jacked their prices up so your discount is genuinely 18%. Oh, and the PHONE8 Kogan/DSE sale is still on until ! They've added a bunch of new stock - I might upgrade the missus and I's iPads. $697 for a 64GB iPad Pro 10.5" is pretty sweet.
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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.