In This Issue


Facebook’s Portal smart display range lives on, gets new products

Remember Facebook's Portal smart display from late last year, that when everyone saw it went "err, a Facebook camera in my house? No thanks!"? Facebook still sell it and has made some fresh hardware to go with it. The new Portals looks like a traditional photo frame and come in two sizes (8" & 10"), but they don't swivel to track you around the room. There's also a Portal TV that turns your TV into a big smart display by adding a camera and microphone. All these new devices have a "a built-in toggle switch to turn off the camera and physically disconnect the microphone", support for Amazon Prime Video, video chat with WhatsApp contacts, music with Spotify and even Alexa support. Australians will be able to buy them in mid-October.

Facebook is setting up an independent “Oversight Board” to keep themselves in check

Also Facebook related, they've said they're going to create a new "Oversight Board" that kinda acts like a Supreme Court for all things Facebook related. Basically, if you have a beef with something Facebook's done, you tell the Oversight Board and they'll sort it out as they're supposed to act independent to Facebook and has the power to force Facebook into giving it into to make decisions and can " instruct the company to allow or remove content, to uphold or reverse a decision leading to content being permitted or removed, and to issue "prompt, written explanations of the board's decisions". There will be 11 board members, eventually growing to 40, who will have a maximum of three, three-year terms and will be paid for their time. Imagine that job, fuckkkkk, it's a forum moderator on steroids.

TPG reckons it doesn’t wanna build a 4G/5G network because of health concerns tarnishing its brand

TPG's chief operating executive Craig Levy told the Federal Court yesterday that one of the reasons TPG won't be going ahead with a solo 4G/5G network is due to "community concerns" around the "impact of their health" about the use of small cells. Apparently even if TPG could afford to go it alone, they don't want to because of how the misinformation around small cell & 5G radio frequencies are tarnishing the TPG brand. TPG's desire to build a small cell/5G network also took a hit when then Communications Minister sent TPG a letter "relaying community concerns brought to his office". Maybe there's a sliver of truth in TPG's argument, but I reckon the only reason TPG mentions “health concerns” is to have a reason besides money for backtracking on their 4G/5G network plans. If the Voda merger went ahead, they wouldn't give a shit about a few kooks tarnishing their brand.

Not News

Pocket Casts is free with an option subscription & Telstra begins offering eSIMs for compatible phones

Pocket Casts on Android and iOS is now free. All the features you paid for previously in Pocket Casts are in the free version of the app. They're also introducing Pocket Casts Plus, a $1.50/m or $12.50/yr subscription that lets you upload your own files (audio books, lectures, etc.) to their cloud service so it's available on all your devices with Pocket Casts installed. The subscription also provides access to the web & desktop apps and some new themes. Totally unrelated, but I wanted to squeeze it in this issue, is that Telstra now has support for eSIMs - just in time for the new iPhones. Vodafone and Optus already support it, so yeah. Welcome to 2018 Telstra.


🎶 Missile++ - Blonde Redhead

😁 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.​