No Sizzle tomorrow because there’s a horse race that Victorians get a day off for and I’m a Victorian. Issue 999 will be sent on Wednesday.
Google buys Fitbit for US$2.1b
TikTok’s transfer from US owned to Chinese owned is being investigated by the US government
Optus 5G fixed wireless now available to everyone in a 5G zone
A journalist got to ride in one of Waymo’s fully automated cars unsupervised
Cheap Wharfedale bluetooth speakers, Logitech MX Vertical mouse, UAP-AC-LITE access points, Echo Dot & smart bulb+plug kit, 65" Samsung 4K TV
Google acquired Fitbit over the weekend for US$2.1b. At first glance it seems weird that Google, who have loads of wearable devices out in the field running Android, would bother to spend billions on what is arguably a dud of a wearables company in Fitbit (Garmin for the pros, Apple Watch for the rest of us). But when viewed through the lens that Fitbit has 28 million active users generating reams of data and that Google loves data, plus those 28 million users is actually higher than the active users of Google's wearable platforms, it kinda makes sense for Fitbit to be consumed by Google. This article on The Verge takes a deeper look at why and how Google would make use of Fitbit.
Reuters is reporting the the US is about to investigate ByteDance's (Chinese company) purchase of Musical.ly (US company). Musical.ly is what we now know and love as TikTok. The info only comes from "three people familiar with the matter", so we don't know what the exact complaint is, but many US politicians like Senator Marco Rubio want ByteDance investigated because "Chinese-owned apps are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Community Party". They're not wrong, but what's the practical outcome here? Ban the use of TikTok in the USA because the platform is told by the Chinese government to censor stuff? Force a Chinese company to return TikTok back to US owners?
Optus has made fixed wireless 5G available to over 138,000 premises in Australia. There's 290 live 5G sites right now across the country and 1200 sites will be live by March 2020. Optus did a soft launch of fixed wireless 5G back in May, but today anyone in the footprint area can sign up. Optus said that the 200 or so people that were using the 5G service during the test period were achieving average download speeds of 164mbit/s and peak speeds of around 400mbit. Costs $70/m for unlimited data ($200 up front for the modem unless you go on a 24m contract) and they promise at least 50mbit/s during peak times. Here's a coverage map. Could be a good alternative to the NBN if the NBN in your area is unable to go above 50mbit.
Waymo finally let a journalist ride in one of their Phoenix robocars unattended. Journalists have had rides before, but only on closed circuits or with a safety driver at the wheel. Ed Niedermeyer used the Waymo app to order a ride and a Chrysler Pacifica minivan pulled up with nobody inside. Seeing an empty drivers seat whilst cruising down the highway and watching the steering wheel turn in traffic like it's possessed was "inescapably surreal", but the 10 minute ride was uneventful. Waymo is a long way from being able to drive any where in any conditions (Phoenix has pretty much the same hot sunny weather 300 days a year and massive wide roads with no pedestrians), but it's a start.
Wharfedale DS-1 bluetooth speakers - $269 delivered from The Audio Tailor
Logitech MX Vertical wireless mouse - $109 at MSY
Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE 802.11ac access point - $114.40 delivered from Sydneytec's eBay store
Amazon Echo Dot, TP-Link LB100 smart bulb & HS100 smart plug - $49 for the lot at JB
Samsung UA65RU7100WXXY 65" 4K TV - $1000 + delivery from Appliance Central eBay's store
🎶 Ultraviolet - Horror My Friend
😁 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.