New MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iPad Pro & accessories
Parliamentary Budget Office values NBN at a paltry $8.7b
A review of the Ubiquiti Dream Machine setup process
Mini Metro game, Surface Laptop 2, Razer Core X eGPU enclosure, Nvidia Shield TV, Nintendo Switch Lite, Apple Homepod, refurbished Sony noise cancelling headphones
Google has paused adding new features to Chrome and Chrome OS “due to adjusted work schedules” and will focus on “updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80”. Can we get Apple to do the same with macOS?
NBN Co will give ISPs an extra 40% of CVC for free for at least the next 3 months, so they can handle all the extra usage while everyone is working from home.
Atlassian is giving away all its cloud-based software (Jira, Confluence, etc) for free to help people work from home. You’d assume they’re doing it not just out of altruism, but also to get businesses hooked on their gear so they’ll pay for it one day.
Twitter is gonna ban people who publish tweets “that could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19” and Facebook will make its own coronavirus information center and promote that heavily so people have somewhere trustworthy to go to for info. Whatsapp will be getting similar treatment.
Israel followed through on its plan to use anti-terrorism laws to allow the state to track the smartphones of those under quarantine and to warn others who have been near the quarantined person.
The Wirecutter has some tips for improving your skills with Zoom, like silencing desktop notifications, muting yourself when not talking, etc.
Apple released a bunch of new stuff overnight. The MacBook Air gets a proper keyboard like the 15" MBP as well as a spec bump. The Mac Mini also got a spec bump. There's new iPhone/iPad cases Apple Watch bands too. The main news is a new iPad Pro that's faster than the previous one, has a better camera and integrates a LiDAR scanner for augmented reality stuff. You can also get an optional "Magic Keyboard" that's got a proper switched keyboard (no more felt piece of crap) and a trackpad. The Verge has a nice video explaining how mouse input/cursors work in iOS now - the iPad Pro is slowly inching closer to becoming a Microsoft Surface Pro. The Magic Keyboard for iPad costs A$499, works with the 3rd-gen as well as the new 4th-gen iPad Pro and comes out in May. All the other Apple stuff is out now or in the next week or two. iPadOS 13.4 with the fancy trackpad/mouse stuff comes out March 24th.
NBN is worth $8.7b according to the Parliamentary Budget Office. Eight point seven billion dollars is all the government reckons it would get if it sold today. That's less than a third of the cash taxpayers pumped into the NBN. We've "invested" $29.5b, plus provided a $19.5b loan, yet the entire thing is only worth $8.7b. Absolute ratshit return on the money. The reason its getting valued is because the government is looking for ways to prop up the NBN without using more taxpayer money and to do so, needs to work out what the NBN is worth. Breath-taking incompetence.
Troy Hunt has a nice review of the Ubiquiti Dream Machine and Flex HD access point. If you don't already know, the Dream Machine is an all-in-one wi-fi access point, switch and router based on Ubiquiti UniFi platform. This means its got a shitload of options and is expandible with additional access points (e.g the FlexHD). If you're familiar with UniFi there's not much new here, but if you're unsure why so many nerds like the relatively pricey (compared to consumer level stuff) Ubiquiti gear, Troy's walk through of setting up the UDM and a FlexHD at a friend's place is a good insight as to why.
Refurbished Sony WH1000XM3B headphones - $255.20 from Sony’s eBay store using the code PMID20
Mini Metro for iOS is now free
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - $1086.40 from Microsoft’s eBay store using the code PMST20
Razer Core X Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure - $319.20 from Microsoft’s eBay store using the code PMST20
Nvidia Shield TV (new 2020 model) - $249 delivered from Centrecom
Nintendo Switch Lite - $279.65 from The Gamesmen’s eBay store using the code PZAP15
Apple Homepod - $299 at JB Hi-Fi, or get Officeworks to pricematch down to $284
🎶 King Kunta - Kendrick Lamar
😁 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.