The Sizzle

Issue 345 - Monday, 6th March 2017


iTnews reconstructs NBN's abandoned 3-year plan
The NBN hasn't released an updated plan of what tech they'll install in a certain area for a while now. The only way to find out what the NBN is deploying is to search the map on the NBN website. iTnews used that stupid fucking map, 25,000 times, and compiled a 138-page PDF of the changes since the last 3 year plan. This has revealed that NBN will be installing heaps more fibre to the curb (FTTC) than first thought and that 62 towns will get wireless instead of a fixed-line connection. Just highlights how little transparency there is about our country's largest ever infrastructure project. The journalist who did this investigation explains why it's important for NBN to release this info properly.

More shifty law evading tactics from Uber
An insider leak to the New York Times has revealed Uber's attempts at "greyballing" certain users it doesn't want using their system. For example, Uber is in a running shitfight with the local government in say, Queensland. The QLD taxi law enforcers try and trap Uber drivers (who are operating illegally remember) and slap them with a fine, by ordering an UberX and then going all "gotcha!!" when they jump in the car. To avoid this, Uber put various things in place to detect if the person ordering a ride is part of the law and then just, fuck around with them to make them not book and hence, not fine the driver and prevent them gathering evidence for any criminal proceedings. Uber did this sort of thing all over the world, the sneaky bastards.

Look at this 3D printed house
A house has been 3D printed in Russia. They pretty much used a concrete like substance with a nozzle and made a big circle house and printed layer upon layer upon layer, and eventually, a house structure was formed. The house is small, at 38 square meters, but still a cool demo of the practical possibilities 3D printing beyond making little trinkets. There's a lot of this sort of action on YouTube as well, but generally they're building pieces, not an entire home as a single piece. This one got a lot of traction on the blogs over the weekend. Good PR work.

The latest version of Windows has an augmented reality user interface
As the Windows Creator update gets closer, Microsoft has dropped some beta versions of it for people to test. Whilst poking around in build 15408 of Windows 10, BetaNews found that there's a demo of Windows Mixed Reality - which was previously known as Windows Holographic. Here's a YouTube video of it. It's Windows, but, in front of you. If you've ever fantasied about using Windows overlaid on the interior of your home, Microsoft just hit a home run.

There will be another version of the Pixel smartphone later this year
Google's SVP of Hardware, Rick Osterloh, told Android Pit (a pit, of Androids, haha, what a name for a blog, Android Pit) that yeah, there'll be a new Pixel phone this year. Not a single other shred of info was given, but Android fans, get out of the pit, save up your hard earned cash and get ready to hand it all over for a new Pixel in a few months.


Google's Home assistant is spreading fake news
Someone asked their Google Home assistant speaking robot thing "is Obama planning a coup" and the robot replied back with news that Obama is working with the Chinese to overthrow the US government at the end of his term. In fact, you can ask Google Home a bunch of things and it'll give you back weird answers. Fake news, robots are dumb, AI will never be as smart as a human, etc. etc.

US$2.50/m for an AU hosted VPS with a non-shit admin panel
Vultr, the web host I use to host The Sizzle forums now has a US$2.50 VPS. Yep, $2.50 gets you a VPS with 512MB of RAM, a 20GB SSD and part of a 10gbit network pipe. Main reason I mention this is 1. use my referral link and 2. the $2.50/m servers can be hosted in Australia. That's really damn cheap for a non-shit VPS in Sydney.

VR arcades might be a thing soon
Here's an interesting idea - VR arcades. VR, as it exists now, needs an expensive setup. Big beefy computers, expensive headsets and peripherals, all for what? A few hours of larking around? Makes more sense that people might pay a few bucks to try it out at an arcade as a social experience than in the sad loneliness of their own homes. Maybe. Who really knows? Time will well!

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

Yeah I know today's issue is a bit shit. They can't all be amazing examples of literary prowess. Sometimes they just get grinded out like $3.99 mince meat from Coles.

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Like The Sizzle? Like it on Facebook!

I use these services to run The Sizzle: ING Direct (use code EID350), DNSimple, Vultr, Mailchimp and Fastmail. If you want to use them too, sign up using these links and I get a tiny kickback that goes towards supporting this silly little newsletter.