The Sizzle

Issue 412 - Tuesday, 13th June 2017


Brandis getting uppity about forcing tech companies to give govt access to encrypted data
George Brandis said over the weekend that current legislation doesn't go far enough in making technology companies (i.e: Facebook, Apple, Google) "co-operate" with law enforcement so he's gonna whip up some new laws that'll force those belligerent nerds to do the government's bidding. Brandis specifically said they aren't after backdoors, so, we don't really know what they have in mind. He also said that young people don't give a shit about privacy, so what's the big deal? Of course, the ALP are useless bags of shit and doesn't see anything wrong with this whole idea either. There's a Five Eyes meeting going down in Canada in 2 weeks time, where I'm sure more info about what the UK, USA, Australia, NZ and Canada have planned, will be drip fed to us.

E3 2017: Microsoft & Sony
Microsoft announced the Xbox One X (aka Scorpio) - a juiced up version of the XBox One designed around 4K games. Anandtech has all the tech details you want. The Xbox One X will be out November 7 worldwide and cost AUD$649. Game wise, there's a 4K Minecraft with cross-platform play, a new Bioware game called Anthem, Forza Motorsport 7 and a couple of other exclusive titles that look pretty ordinary. Sony's E3 keynote focussed on new games. Skyrim, Final Fantasy 15 and some other games I 've never heard of are getting PS VR versions. There'll be a new God of War game and another Spiderman game. Highlights for me though, are Detroit: Become Human, made by the same company who made Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls, a sequel for Life is Strange and a new Gran Turismo.

E3 2017: Ubisoft, EA & Bethesda
Besides Microsoft and Sony, some game publishers showed off what they're going to release over the coming year. Ubisoft: a Rabbits & Mario (no, really, Nintendo's Mario) turn based action RPG tie-in, more sweet FarCry 5 footage, a South Park RPG for smartphones and another Assassins Creed. EA: Need for Speed Payback, some Star Wars games, an expansion for Battlefield 1 and FIFA 18. Bethesda: VR version of Doom and Fallout 4, a trailer for Wolfenstein 2 (which all look fucking awesome), Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch and The Evil Within 2.

Uber execs dropping like flies
Another day, another story about turmoil at Uber. Their senior VP of business, Emil Michael, has "departed", joining Eric Alexander who quit last week. Now the big kahuna himself, the top dog at Uber, Travis Kalanick, is "likely to take a leave of absence from the troubled ride-hailing company". Uber's board has "unanimously voted to adopt all the recommendations of the Holder Report" (one of the two reports into why they're such shit human beings). We don't know what the recommendations are as Uber is keeping the report confidential, but maybe that's why Kalanick's inner-circle has departed? The jig is up lads. But, does anyone really care, as The Verge argues? People are still using Uber more than ever and their competitors are nowhere to be seen.

Celebs on Instagram still not disclosing that they're getting paid to promote stuff
Instagram influencers are still failing to disclose that they're getting paid to post about brands. A report from some marketing firm found that 93% of the posts from Insta's 50 top celebs weren't properly labelled in a way to meet the USA's strict regulations around disclosing sponsored posts. The FTC guidelines say an instagram post can be made compliant simply by using the words "sponsored by" or a #sponsored #ad hashtag, as long as those words are before "read more" button. Seems fairly sensible to me. Maybe if enough celebrities dont' get their shit together, we'll have the pleasure of seeing them stripped of their wealth and made to do community service.


Bad internet areas in Pakistan and Russia
If you need a reminder of how low a government can sink when it comes to regulating the internet, a bloke in Pakistan is going to be killed because he said something blasphemous to an undercover cop on Facebook. Yikes. Over in Russia, they want to ban the use of VPNs at ISP level and force the hosts of those VPN services to reveal who operates them. Don't underestimate how shitty things can get - this latest bullshit about backdoors and banning encryption is just the tip of the iceberg.

iPad Pro 10.5" reviews
Review of the iPad Pro 10.5" are in (reviewer's embargo must have busted as like 6 came out all at the same time). Here's reviews from Arstechnica, The Verge, Engadget, Techcrunch, Daring Fireball (take with a grain of salt), MacStories and old mate Peter Wells has a decent local take. TLDR; everyone loves it. The 120Hz refresh rate is kick arse apparently. It's the best iPad ever. Expensive, sure (you can get a Dell XPS 15 for the same price as the 12" 256GB Pro and a nice keyboard), but it's a really good iPad if you're into iPads. Is it a laptop killer? Dunno, iOS 11 isn't out yet, so maybe wait until October-ish to buy one if you aren't in a hurry.

High-res pics of the Model 3 and of its interior
Telsa's Model 3 is getting closer and closer to being delivered to customers some time in mid to late 2017. Heaps of release candidate/test cars are driving all over California and Tesla isn't making much of an effort to disguise them. Of course, nerds with cameras are taking loads of pics while they're parked and the Tesla employees are away. Here's a nice gallery of 30 pics of a silver Model 3 at a Supercharger. The panel gaps are awful, I hope that's just a pre-production issue. Here's some pics of the interior, the clearest pics of the Model 3's interior yet. Look at that birch wood grain. The giant tablet is... interesting. The transmission controls are on a steering wheel stalk too - old school.

Here endeth the sizzle (until tomorrow!)

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers. Know someone who could use a bit of Sizzle in their life? Buy them a gift subscription!