The Sizzle is back for a 5th year. I wish I could say I had a wonderful break, but it was (and still is, particularly now that the toxic smoke has reached my home) gut wrenching and scary to witness massive bush fires destroying huge chunks of the most beautiful parts of Australia the last few weeks. Give money to the Red Cross and keep pressuring governments to take climate change seriously.
CES 2020: Day 0
Vodafone’s finally getting some 5G love
Holiday news catchup
Curious about software defined radios but didn’t know where to start? Check this out
Cheap 256GB microSD cards, iTunes gift cards, Detroit: Become Human digital download, Apple TV, Apple Watch, PS Plus 12m sub, Xiaomi 5G phone, Viofo dashcam
CES 2020 over in Las Vegas is about to kick off. Here's some pre-expo announcements I thought were interesting:
Lenovo's Legion BoostStation external Thunderbolt 3 GPU enclosure with a range of built-in GPUs
This 4K OLED 55" gaming monitor with a 120Hz refresh rate from Acer. I didn’t know OLEDs with this high refresh rate were a thing.
Samsung's bezel-less 8K QLED TV looks awesome and will go on sale eventually, but if you gotta ask how much it is, you can’t afford it.
A new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon that’s thinner, lighter, has a better display & Intel’s latest 10th-gen CPUs. In my opinion, the best all-round laptop on the market.
Withings smartwatch that measures blood oxygen, sleep tracking & ECG, whilst managing to look like a normal watch.
I assume the deluge of crap for us to laugh at and the big product announcements will come tomorrow.
Stuff that happened over the break that you should know about, but don’t need to know that much about unless you’re keen:
Google will stop using the infamous “Double Irish, Double Dutch” tax minimisation/avoidance scheme used by many multi-national companies due to changes in US and Irish tax law.
Apple has joined the rest of the IT industry in offering a public bug bounty on their products. The juiciest reward is US$1,500,000 for finding a “zero-click kernel code execution with persistence” in beta software.
Sonos has been publicly shamed for a dodgy “recycle” mode that bricks perfectly working devices if you use the Sonos upgrade program to buy new hardware. Despite the shaming, Sonos has justified the practice.
Two more people have died whilst using Tesla’s autopilot. The Model S exited an LA freeway without slowing down, ran a red light and slammed into another car at the intersection, killing the two people in the other car.
After unsuccessfully trying to buy iOS virtualisation platform Corellium, Apple is now suing them. Apple reckon by virtualising their hardware to run iOS, Corellium is circumventing security measures and breaking the USA’s DMCA law.
Telstra and Optus have had active 5G networks for a while now, leaving Vodafone looking weird for only not having any 5G sites, but not even a plan to build any. They were put in a shit spot when the Australian government banned Huawei from building 5G networks here and the ACCC blocked their merger with TPG - but over the break Vodafone announced they've struck a deal with Nokia to get some 5G action going in the "coming months", starting with some sites "in and around Parramatta". For reference, Nokia also supply Optus with 5G network gear. Telstra uses Ericsson. Total domination from the Scandinavians.
Seen your fellow nerds fucking around with weird looking radio stuff on their computers and wondered what the hell was going on? LuaRadio's documentation has been updated to include a very approachable introduction to the world of Software Defined Radio. You buy a $20 USB stick, plug in an antenna and you can listen to most of the radio signals floating around you. The article explains what type of USB stick to buy, what type of antenna to use, how to use the different software packages and what you can expect to find in different parts of the radio spectrum. SDR spelunking can be fun, you often don't know what radio signals will pop up.
256GB Kingston microSD card - $28.45 with the code PACIFIC for eBay Plus members
15% off iTunes/App Store gift cards at Aldi starting Wednesday
Detroit: Become Human digital deluxe edition - $19.45 on the PS Store
4th-gen 1080p Apple TV 32GB - $177 at Harvey Norman & Officeworks
Series 3 Apple Watch 38mm - $287 at Harvey Norman & Officeworks
PlayStation Plus 12 month membership - $59.95
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphone - $393.30 (would make a sweet 5G portable modem even if you don’t need it as a phone)
Viofo A119 V3 quad HD dashcam - $112.65 with the code PLUTO100 for eBay Plus members
🎶 Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck - Grinspoon
😁 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.