Issue 663

Thursday, 21st June 2018

In This Issue


IGTV is Instagram's new video app & 1b people use Instagram now

Instagram has announced IGTV - a YouTube rival that's available within a tab in the Instagram app and as a separate app that allows users to upload videos up to 1 hour in length. Simply put, IGTV is all the people you follow on Instagram, plus curated vids you might like. The aim is to keep Instagram users on Instagram, rather than using other platforms like YouTube. Right now there's no ads, but there is nothing more certain in life than a Facebook owned business implementing ads. Instagram also announced today that there's now 1 billion active monthly users of the world's finest anxiety inducing internet service. With that in mind, I reckon IGTV will be quite popular.

More Telstra restructure stuff

Yesterday Telstra laid out a massive shake up of their business - I covered that last issue, but with an announcement that big there's always tasty crumbs the next day. The stockmarket is not convinced about Telstra's plan succeeding as the share price tanked and has tanked for years now as Telstra's future looks less like a dominating monopoly cash machine and more like a glorified MVNO. Also interesting is the ditching 1800 of their convoluted mobile plans for consumers & small business and replace them with 20 "modular" plans, together with "unlimited" data, with speeds capped at 1.5mbit once you go over your data limit. I never understood why Telstra made their product offerings so damn confusing except to deliberately screw customers.

More Optus World Cup streaming stuff

We kinda have some technical info on what went wrong with Optus trying to stream the World Cup - their CDN shit the bed, with a "critical failure" between the encoder and packager (very simply, the thing that takes the original stream and spits it out in various formats for different devices). The benefit of Optus' incompetence is that all the group games at the World Cup will be broadcast on SBS now and Optus' streaming service is free until the 31st of August. Those who paid will get a refund. What an expensive fuck up this ended up being, not just in cash, but reputational cost too!

Facebook introducing paid access to Groups

Facebook Groups will soon have the option to be accessible only via a paid subscription. That's right, your favourite meme page will be able to charge between US$4.99 to US$29.99 a month for people to enjoy the spiciest of memes in a premium area, whilst the plebs share stale content in the free section. Honestly, I don't mind this idea as I'm a fan of paid content to keep the shitposters and time wasters out. It's a shame a financial barrier is what does this as it can exclude those without the means to pay, but I'm yet to see a better way of controlling internet drama than slapping a few bucks on something.

Car Connectivity Consortium announces a standard to control a car via a smartphone

There's a thing called the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), right and it's made up of car makers (Hyundai, VW, GM), electronic component manufacturers (like ALPS, Gemalto, Qualcomm) and consumer device companies (like Apple, Samsung, Panasonic) who collaborate to create "global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity". Today the CCC announced v1.0 of their Digital Key specification that uses NFC to "let drivers lock, unlock, start the engine, and share access to their cars using smart devices like the iPhone with reliable user authentication methods". I like it, gimmie me some of that in my next car please Toyota (along with CarPlay and an electric motor). For more info on the Digital Key, check out the CCC website.

Not News, But Still Cool

What's the difference between the Lenovo T480, T480s and X1 Carbon?

If you've been in the market for a 14" laptop (imho the best laptop form factor, 13" too small, 15.6" a bit too big), this video from MobileTechReview explains the differences between the Lenovo T480, T480s and 6th Gen X1 Carbon. They're very similar as in they're all 14" screen laptops, but have little differences beyond their weight and price. I'm actually quite impressed with the T480 - considering it often sells brand new for around $1500 and includes an PCIe SSD, 8GB of RAM and a 1080p IPS display, yet has a solid build, usable trackpad and weighs a portable 1.8kg.

I want to visit everything on the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks list

One of the things on my increasingly large "shit to write about" list is a small eBook on geek siteseeing. Holidays where you travel around and see things that most people would considering boring, but as a nerd, would really get a kick out of. That's still a while off from being complete, but whilst researching I found this list of "Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks" on Wikipedia. This is a list of 260 places around the world that the American Society of Civil Engineers reckon are the best examples of humans building stuff. There's two Australian things on the list - the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

Cheap mini SNES, SYD based VPS, external SSDs and Apple cashback

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

Gotye - Thanks For Your Time