Issue 895

Wednesday, 17th April 2019
The Sizzle is having a Melbourne meetup with our friends at Reckoner! Come on down to the Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy any time after 5pm on the 4th of May and mingle with myself, other Sizzle subscribers and Reckoner fans. More details are over at Reckoner. See you there!

In This Issue


Qualcomm & Apple settle their patent beefs

The cold war between Apple and Qualcomm is over. From Anandtech, "Apple will be making a one-time payment to Qualcomm, presumably to cover any IP use since Apple cut off payments to Qualcomm in 2017. Replacing those lawsuits, Apple has signed a 6-year patent license agreement with Qualcomm, which is being backdated to April 1st. The agreement includes a further 2-year extension option, which if Apple eventually chooses to exercise it, would take the agreement through April of 2017". Intel (Apple is Intel's main customer) didn't take the news well, announcing today they're exiting the 5G smartphone market. It also means we could see 5G iPhones sooner rather than later, now that Qualcomm and Apple are friends again.

Sony talks to Wired about the PS5 & Microsoft announce discless Xbox One S

Wired got an exclusive outline from Sony on what the PlayStation 5 will be capable of. From the sounds of it, it's a PS4 but faster. AMD will be making the CPU & GPU (based on the Zen 2 & Navi architecture), which will support ray-tracing, 8K output, 3D audio and and will ship with an SSD for faster loading times. You'll also be relieved to know that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with the PS4, so you can keep enjoying your catalog of PS4 games that you purchased but never got around to playing because you're an adult with responsibilities now. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S All-Digital (aka Xbox One SAD) - a cheaper Xbox without an optical drive so you gotta get all your games via Xbox Live.

Xiaomi's gonna start officially selling their products in Australia

According to the Australian Financial Review, Xiaomi is gearing up to officially launch in Australia. Apparently Optus is in talks to sell Xiaomi phones here and Xiaomi is working with a distributor to sell "a large range of other devices and services including smart lighting, sensors, cameras, robotics, projectors, earphones, and even electric personal transport such as scooters and foldable bikes". Bring it on! I love Xiaomi's products, so if it means proper warranty support and English instructions/apps, I'm all for it. It would be awesome to have the full range of Mi smarthome devices available locally.

Fines Victoria stuffed up a new IT system

As is well known by now, governments suck at computers. It's no surprise then, that Fines Victoria's implementation of the Victorian Infringements Enforcement Warrant (VIEW) system in 2018 was so botched, that it's lead the Victorian Ombudsman to receive 605 complaints about Fines Victoria in 2018 - a 74% increase compared to 2017. The Age has stories of 400+ people having their licences wrongly suspended, the families of dead people harassed by Sherriffs for payment and over $16m extra spent to hire extra people to handle the fallout. One more for the AusGov IT Fail-o-Rama spreadsheet of shame.

MG's new electric SUV will be sold in Australia late-2019, drive 235km for ~$30,000

MG announced the eZS, an electric version of its ZS small SUV at the Shanghai motor show last night. I normally wouldn't bother mentioning a Chinese EV as there's dozens announced every week that'll never go on sale outside of China, but MG said the eZS is coming to Australia and that it's only going to cost 20% more than the existing petrol engine model on sale here already. MG reckon the 44.5kWh battery is good for around 335km of NEDC-rated range (so ~235km real world) and will go on sale in Australia late-2019/early-2020. If MG live up to their word, that means early next year, there will be a small electric SUV (same size as the Mazda CX-3/Hyundai Kona) with 235km of range, on sale for under $30,000!

Not News, But Still Cool

Join the City of Melbourne library to access Lynda (and other digital resources) for free

Here's a hot tip for Victorians looking to upskill but don't want to spend any money - get a City of Melbourne library membership and use it to access Lynda, a large collection of good quality online courses that normally costs $40/m. You don't even need to visit the library to sign up. Fill in a form online, you get a username & password immediately (for some services), then they'll send you a letter to verify you live in Victoria so you can access the lot. The City of Melbourne library system also has loads of ebooks, emagazines, enewspapers and even films you can access for free, online. Cheers City of Melbourne rate payers!

58 bytes of CSS to make plain HTML legible

I don't know shit about web development in the year 2019 and to be honest it looks like a ripe old mess I don't want to get involved with. But for the times when I want to upload some words to the internet, here's 5 lines of CSS that make text wrap properly on different devices and add a margin so text isn't right up against the edge of the screen. From there I could fuck around with fonts and colours, but I don't see the need for anything other than black Times New Roman on a white background (aka internet the way God intended). Here's an example I uploaded so you can see what it looks like out of the box.

Cheap ALDImobile family plan, Google Play gift cards, Sony audiophile headphones, Tenda Nova MW6 mesh wi-fi kit, Xiaomi batteries, refurb Google Pixel phones

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Kick Out the Jams - MC5