2015-2017 MacBook Pros could have dangerous batteries, check if yours is a dud
Google gives up making tablets, concentrating on Chromebooks & smartphones instead
Waymo hooks up with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to do robocar research
Slack lists on NYSE, is now worth US$23b
Florida city pays US$600,000 cryptolocker ransom
GE’s video on how to reset their smart bulbs is hilariously convoluted
Give your MacBook’s Touch Bar a reason to exist with Pock
Cheap Rode PodMic, Sony 1000XM3 headphones, Vodafone prepaid SIM, Q Acoustics bookshelf speakers, Google Nest Hub, Samsung Pro Endurance microSD card
Apple has begun a voluntary recall and replacement program for 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros September 2015 and February 2017 due to battery failure issues. If you've got a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro from that time period, head on over to Apple's support website and chuck in your Mac's serial number to see if it's eligible for a free replacement battery. If it is, take it down to an Apple Store or send it off to Apple to get the battery replaced. The downside is that there's a 2 week turnaround time, so I hope you've got a backup computer to use while it's repaired! (or take advantage of Apple's 2 week return policy).
Google's thrown in the towel trying to make a tablet. There was no announcement, just a writer at Computerworld who asked Google what's up with the lack of Google tablets and was told by a Google spokesperson that the tablet department has been shut down and the staff moved elsewhere, mostly to the laptop department (the Pixelbook) and the smartphone department (Pixel phone). No reason why either. Bit of a shame, as it leaves Apple with one less competitor in the tablet field. Microsoft do an ok job, but if Google put their mind to it, Android could be a great tablet platform.
Pretty much undisputed robocar industry leader Waymo, has partnered up with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to "explore driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan". Every car manufacturer worth a damn has some sort of investment in a tech company and every robocar company has a car manufacturer hookup. It looks like Waymo realised that if they don't partner up now with someone who can make cars, their chances of finding someone to manufacture cars with their technology might not exist as everyone already has a partner!
Slack is now a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That little app I use to talk shit with my mates is now a company worth US$23b. Unlike most tech unicorn companies of late that have gone public (Uber, Snapchat), Slack didn't shit the bed, holding pretty much steady at the price they listed at after 24 hours. But like other tech unicorns, Slack also doesn't make a profit, spending more than it generates in revenue. I personally like Slack as a way to collaborate with people I'm working on projects with, even if it's just glorified IRC, so good luck to them.
The city of Riviera Beach (population 35,000) in Florida has joined the list of US cities stung by a cryptolocker. The NYT article doesn't say what pieces of city infrastructure were fucked up by the cryptolocker, but it was bad enough that the city went against law enforcement advice and paid the hackers $600,000 to get access back. Pragmatically it was probably the right choice as it's way cheaper to do that than try clean up the mess that is most government IT shitshows. Is it bad for me to think they and other cryptolocker victims kinda deserve this "fine" for ignoring their IT responsibilities all these years?
Much like Samsung's "don't foget to scan your smart TV for malware!" tweet, GE has released an informative video on how to do a factory reset on your smart light bulbs. The process is simple - turn on for 8 seconds, turn off for 2 seconds, turn on for 8 seconds, turn off for 2 seconds, turn on for 8 seconds, turn off for 2 seconds, turn on for 8 seconds, turn off for 2 seconds, turn on for 8 seconds, turn off for 2 seconds, turn on - all done. I'm not pissfarting around here, that's the reset process GE uploaded to YouTube. Luckily these things weren't sold in Australia, we dodged that bullet.
Pierluigi Galdi has made a little app called Pock that places the macOS dock on your MacBook's Touch Bar. You can swipe left and right on it and tap an app to open it or bring it to the foreground. Badge indicators show up and the ESC button remains too. I've never owned a MacBook with a Touch Bar longer than a fortnight, so never really looked around at what the Touch Bar can do - but I think this is the most useful application of the Touch Bar yet. It's free and open source, give it a crack if you've got a Touch Bar enabled laptop.
Rode PodMic XLR microphone - $125.80 delivered from digiDirect
Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones - $289 for eBay Plus members on Saturday
$30 Vodafone prepaid SIM starter kits for $15 delivered from Vodafone
Q Acoustics 3010i bookshelf speakers - $424.15 delivered from RIO Sound & Vision
Google Nest Hub - $149 delivered from Google
Samsung Pro Endurance 64GB microSD card - $29.16 from Amazon AU
🎶 Sleater-Kinney - Hurry On Home
😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.
The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.