Tomorrow is a public holiday so Victorians can celebrate the AFL Grand Final. As a mark of respect for this holiest of days, there will be no Sizzle. Normal service resumes Monday the 30th of September.

In This Issue


Loads of new Alexa-enabled Amazon hardware

Amazon dumped a bunch of Alexa enabled stuff on us last night. The Echo Show 8 is an 8" screen version of the Echo Show. Echo Studio is a fancy speaker that's supposed to compete with a Sonos unit for sound quality. A revised Echo Dot has a segment LED behind the cloth sides for a clock or temperature reading. Echo Glow is an Echo speaker you shout at, but it also changes colour. Echo Earbuds are AirPods, but by Amazon and feature noise reduction from Bose. Want Alexa absolutely everywhere? Echo Frames are glasses with built-in Alexa capability. If you don't wear glasses, there's an Echo Loop ring that has Alexa built in too. There's some new Ring & Eero products, plus general Alexa updates like the ability to have Samuel L. Jackson's voice responding to your commands instead of Alexa (for 99c). Amazon also said they’ve invented their own long-range radio communications protocol called Sidewalk, for something that’s longer range than wi-fi, but less power hungry than 5G (coulda just used LoRaWAN, but whatever).

Facebook formalises policy not to ban politicians, regardless of what they say

You know how Donald Trump and other politicians like Pauline Hanson basically have God Mode on Twitter, where they can say whatever inflammatory shit they like but not get banned? Facebook has rolled out similar policies - "from now on we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard. However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads – if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies". Nice work giving politicians a platform to spout hate - is that what Facebook was invented for, you spineless fucks?

Match busted by the FTC for dodgy online dating tactics

The US FTC has sued Match Group (the owners of dating services like OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Tinder, and, "alleging that the company used fake love interest advertisements to trick hundreds of thousands of consumers into purchasing paid subscriptions". Not only did Match Group bait users with fake accounts but also promised "guarantees" on finding matches, then when users asked for a refund when no match developed, made it super difficult to get their money back. The FTC's press release goes into more detail on the types of tactics Match uses and they're all so depraved of morality. Everyone involved in the chain (coming up with the idea, implementing the idea, supporting the idea) had to have known what was going on. Did none of them ever stop and think how cruel it is to manipulate their users in this way?

Not News

Cloudflare’s smartphone app gets Warp VPN support

Cloudflare has updated their smartphone app to include support for "Warp" - a fancy VPN that claims to not only keep things secure, but also make your internet connection faster. On its own, the app changes your smartphone's DNS service to Cloudflare's, which is often better (nothing blocked, sometimes a few milliseconds faster to respond) than your ISPs. When you enable Warp, you're turning on a Wireguard powered VPN that funnels your data via Cloudflare's network that could theoretically be better than your ISP's network (particularly overseas) so stuff loads faster. If you pay for Warp+, you use more of Cloudflare's network for an even better experience. Just using Warp locally and it’s definitely snappier when loading European sites. Much more direct routing than normal.


🎶 President of What - Death Cab for Cutie

😁 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.​