Issue 573

Friday, 9th February 2018

I'm going to be overseas from the the 12th of April until the 8th of June and need someone to write The Sizzle while I'm taking bad selfies in front of famous landmarks. If you reckon you can write ~750 words on the day's important tech news and would like to be paid for it, reply to this email and I'll fill you in with what I need taken care of while I'm away. Even if you can't commit to the full 2 months of writing, let me know and we can work something out.

In This Issue


Royal Adelaide Hospital suffers power outage due to software glitches

"Two software glitches" were responsible for operating theatres in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital to be without electricity for 20 minutes on Wednesday. "Surgeon William Tam told media the power went out as he was in the middle of a complex procedure on an elderly man." - pretty serious stuff. The backup generators were undergoing tests and the first software failure happened when a fuel pump "didn't function as it should have" (which I guess is software controlled?). The second software failure occurred when trying to go back to mains power. No more detail than that right now, but a report will be handed to the SA government eventually and we'll find out what sort of software buggered up this bad.

Twitter finally makes money

Twitter made its first profit since going public! It made US$97m profit in Q4 2017, mainly off the back of cutting costs. I don't know how Twitter can spend so much money in the first place, but it came to its senses, spends a lot less of it and look at that, it makes a profit. Growth is poor however, as its been killing off a lot of bots and spam users and levels of monthly active users in the USA dropped by 1 million. Shares are up 25%, but still below what anyone who was part of the IPO paid for em. Since listing on the stock market, Twitter has lost US$2b. Only now has that $2b defect started to turn around. Twitter is now worth more than Snapchat.

Broadcom still lusting after Qualcomm

Broadcom are still begging Qualcomm to take their money and create sweet, sweet corporate love by combining the two semiconductor behemoths into a single entity. Like a woman with headphones on at the train station, Qualcomm is refusing to acknowledge Broadcom's requests because well, if you were Qualcomm, why the hell would you? They never asked for anyone to invest and don't need Broadcom's US$121b of cash as their product line-up is strong enough on its own. Qualcomm said they they're worth way more than US$121b, so if you want us to even entertain the offer, up your offer, particularly since Qualcomm is buying NXP Semi for a few billion and Broadcom should take that into consideration too.

Chrome 68 to mark sites without HTTPS as insecure

Chrome version 68 will start warning people that non-HTTPS sites are insecure. If your website hasn't got HTTPS all over it, users will see a big "NOT SECURE" graphic next to the URL, to denote this and hopefully, shame website owners into slapping HTTPS on their server. Chrome 68 will be out in July. Most websites do have HTTPS (78% of Chrome traffic on Chrome OS & Mac, 68% on Android & Windows is HTTPS), but that's still not 100%, considering how trivial it is to enable now. I imagine that most of the holdouts to HTTPS are simply abandoned websites that nobody is actively maintaining, yeah?

Canadian woman beats South Koreans in Starcraft on their home turf

A Canadian woman has won a StarCraft 2 tournament in South Korea, making Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn the most successful woman in esports, winning over US$200,000 in prize money. The Intel Extreme Masters is one of the most prestigious esports events, with the best players competing for a US$50,000 prize and is the first esports tournament to be held in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (as part of their efforts to make esports an event at the Paris Olympics in 2024). The first of many Canadian wins in Pyeongchang over the next two weeks!

Not News, But Still Cool

Melbourne EV Expo - 18th Feb

There's an electric car expo going down in Melbourne on the 18th of Feb. Put on by the Alternative Technology Association, it'll have lectures about EVs, commercial displays from people selling EV related gear, tech talks and test drives. It's not just cars there, but electric bikes, skateboards and scooters. Basically anything with batteries and wheels! The expo is free and taking place at the Melbourne International Karting Complex in Port Melbourne. I'm really looking forward to it!

How to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics in Australia

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Peyongchang start tonight! (technically they started yesterday, but the opening ceremony is tonight) Channel 7 has an app for all your snow Olympics needs and charges $14.99 for a premium pack that has access to all the content in it. There's even an Apple TV app and the quality on it is superb. Looks better than 7's free to air HD broadcast. It's way better than the crap they served up for the 2016 summer Olympics. If you don't wanna pay, the BBC and CBC has everything streaming online for free, but are geolocked to the UK and Canada respectively. VPN it up mates. I wish the Olympics was streamed online in 4K, 60fps and HDR. That would look amazing.

Loads of free tech courses at Sydney TAFE

Sydney TAFE has a bunch of "fully government subsidised courses" (i.e: free) and some of them are in tech related topics. Database Fundamentals, Introduction to Linux/macOS/Windows, Introduction to UX and UI design, iOS Apps with Swift, OOP Fundamentals, Swift Essentials, Web Development Essentials and more - if you're looking to upskill or just want to pursue an interest that if you had to pay for it, would hold you back, these look like a great opportunity to bulk up the ol' resume. The catch is you gotta live in NSW and attend the classes during the intake period - they aren't online courses (which I reckon is a good thing).

That's it, see ya Monday!