Issue 506

Tuesday, 24th October 2017

In This Issue


The Pixel 2 XL's fancy P-OLED screen is a bit shit

Google's new Pixel 2 phones are pretty sweet, but the P-OLED screen in the XL version appears to suck. Some of the first reviews noted the inconsistent colour temperature when viewing the display anywhere but dead-centre. When tilted, there's a pretty severe blue-tinge that ruins the image. Now the LG sourced P-OLED displays are experiencing image burn-in, with some reviewers saying they can now see a faint outline of the permanent navigation buttons on their devices. To make matters worse, the display also suffers from slow refresh rates and has a prominent ghosting effect in some situations. I hope wherever Apple sourced the iPhone X's OLED from doesn't have similar issues.
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Another FBI dude complaining that smartphones are too secure

The FBI is complaining about smartphones being too hard to hack into again. At some conference, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that almost 7,000 devices are sitting in their evidence lockers, impenetrable to the latest hacks that normally get them access. Wray went on to say that not being able to get into these devices is a "huge, huge problem" and that "it impacts investigations across the board - narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation". He didn't say what to do about it though, which is where the debate gets very spicy. Sure, the FBI's job would be easier and more crimes would be solved if they had "carte blanche" access to every device, but that doesn't come without consequences. How far do we want to let the police into our lives in order for them to protect us?
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AU fintech startups may not need a financial licence to test their ideas

Expect an explosion in the amount of fintech related services in Australia soon, as the government has floated some draft laws around making it easier for companies to test digital financial products without needing a full financial licence. Getting one of those licences can be a huge expense and pain in the arse, particularly if you don't know if your idea is gonna take off. These new proposed laws mean you can get an exemption from ASIC and the idea without going through that red tape. The full draft legislation is up on the Treasury website if you're keen to ride the fintech startup hype train. Don't forget to add the blockchain!
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Facebook takes news out of some user's feeds, news sites crack the shits

Facebook is currently conducting a trial Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia, where it'll move any items considered news out of the main news feed and into to an "Explore Feed" section, which nobody ever visits. As a result, news sites in those countries have witnessed their "interactions" (likes, comments, shares) plummet. This bloke in Slovakia is pissed off that traffic to his site from Facebook immediately fell by two-thirds. Of course, if you want to get your posts back in a user's feed, you can always give Facebook money and they'll be more than happy to assist. Facebook re-iterated on their blog that this is just a test and they "currently have no plans to roll this test out further". Ok, sure, whatever you say mates.
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Demand for Snapchat's fancy sunglasses is way less than Snap hoped

Hundreds of thousands of Snap's fancy Spectacles, those sunglasses with a camera on em that uploads video clips to Snapchat, are sitting in a Chinese warehouse because nobody wants to buy 'em. While Snap was selling them from those weird vending machines around LA, they assumed they had a hit on their hands, so they manufactured heaps. Unfortunately for them, it was just a fad and now that anyone can get a pair, they're selling sweet fuck all. I guess there's only so many narcissists with US$130 to drop on a pair of smart sunnies hey? Presumably related, Snap sacked a bunch of staff related to hardware development and installed a new boss in that department. That's not the sorta thing you do when everything's going well.
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Not News, But Still Cool

Float through the International Space Station in glorious 4K

I think I may have linked to this before, but it was still sitting in my list of shit to share with you, so maybe I didn't share it? Either way, it's so cool, it's worth sharing twice. NASA uploaded a 4K, tour of the International Space Station to YouTube. There's no audible commentary, just 18 minutes of serene music, amazing views of our little home planet and up-close detail of humanity's most expensive object and greatest technological achievement. The video is so calming and awe inspiring.
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This Mercedes plays white noise just before a crash to protect your ears

People in severe accidents sometimes suffer hearing damage due to the unexpected, immense noise of shattering glass and twisted metal. The human ear can normally protect itself a little due to a natural reflex if it gets a fraction of a second warning a loud noise is going to occur, but in car accidents, the noise comes before the brain knows the noise is going to come. The 2016 Mercdes-Benz E-class is the first car to use similar technology found in seatbelt tensioners and airbags to "detect" the accident and play white noise out of the speakers in order to prime the ear's natural reflexes to protect itself before the big noise of the accident. What a brilliant idea!
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Cheap iPads, Macs, smartphones & Steam Links

Myer's latest eBay sale (use the code P20MYER) has some decently priced Apple gear. 64GB iPad Pro 10.5" (gold, silver or space grey) for $783.20. Base model 13" MBPs - the one without a touch bar & 128GB SSD, for $1,519.20 or the 256GB SSD model for $1,759.20. They've got the base model 15" MBP with touch bar for $2,799.20. Doesn't get much cheaper than that for AU stock. eBay also has a site wide 10% off anything over $75 sale (use the code PERK10). Unrelated to eBay - those cheap Steam Link boxes are back at EB for $27 if you missed out last time. Amaysim has 10% off on its new smartphone store, including the iPhone 8 ($931.50 for the 64GB).
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Yep, that's it. See ya tomorrow!

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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.

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