The Sizzle

Issue 445 - Friday, 28th July 2017


NBN shoots self in foot, blames everyone but itself
Old mate Bill Morrow is talking shit again over at In a soft ball interview, he's lashed out at ISPs who blame the NBN for the NBN being so slow. He wants to set the record straight that it's the ISPs not buying enough sweet precious CVC! It's also the ISPs being rubbish at telling users they can actually get faster speeds than 25mbit. I thought users don't need speeds higher than 25mbit, but no, apparently the reason people complain about slow internet on the NBN is because the ISPs are not convincing people to pay more money for faster plans. To resolve this, NBN will spend a few million dollars to advertise the fact speeds above 25mbit exist, as according to its own research, 76% of Australians don't know how fast their internet connection is and 36% don't even know you get different speeds on the NBN. Meanwhile, MyRepublic has rolled out gigabit speeds to some users in Wollongong to prove that there is demand for gigabit NBN if the price is right (that price appears to be $130/m).

RIP iPod nano and iPod shuffle
Apple has shitcanned the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. They're no longer for sale and will never, ever, be made again. They're gone. Kaput. Six feet under. No longer for this world. The iPod touch still exists, so the iPod name lives on, barely. Apple gave the touch double the storage and kept the price the same. $299 for 32GB and $449 for 128GB. It still has the same A8 SoC in it as it has for the past 2 years. If you realy want an iPod to go exercising with, there's so many available 2nd hand on eBay for close to sweet fuck all. Remember that iPod shuffle with no buttons at all? The 2nd gen iPod nano was awesome though.

Jeff Bezos was the world's richest person for a few hours
Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, was the world's richest person for a few hours, as Amazon shares (the predominate source of his wealth) jumped overnight. He then became not so rich when Amazon's share price fell after it revealed earnings reports that said it made no money again, except for its very profitable Web Services division. It'll also start losing money (again) as it funnels all its cash into that Whole Foods purchase and getting that going nicely. Somewhat related, Ahmed Fahour, the ex-Australia Post CEO will *not* be running Amazon's Australian efforts. Amazon Australia also recently listed loads of warehouse job ads in Dandenong. It's on baby, it, is, on.

AMD has new entry-level Ryzen CPUs
The embargo has broken on reviews of AMD's latest iteration of the Ryzen CPU. The Ryzen 3 range are the entry level chips based on the new Ryzen architecture. The Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200 have 4 cores, but not are hyperthreaded. The 1300X is and the 1200 is. I could see these going very well with an AMD RX580 GPU, if they weren't so goddamn expensive right now thanks to all the chodes using them for cryptocurrency mining. If you're just building a basic PC that doesn't require a discrete GPU, you probably want to stick to Intel for now, as Ryzen 3 doesn't have a GPU onboard. That's still part of AMD's A-series line, which also got an update today. They're still based on the old architecture though, not Ryzen. You probably don't want one unless they're super cheap. Ryzen based CPUs with built in GPUs will early 2018.

The DTA creates 250 govt IT internships
The Digital Transformation Agency, the government department who's remit is to go around the rest of the government telling them how to not be shit at computers, is implementing a digital cadetship and apprenticeship program that'll place 250 nerds entry-level jobs across various government departments. They're also gonna offer "talent retention initiatives" (so the good ones don't piss off after getting sick of the bullshit) and "training and digital literacy programs for the most senior levels of executives inside the public service" (removing the source of the bullshit that makes the good people leave). Good luck DTA, the government needs more talented IT workers and to desperately hold on to the competent ones still hanging on.


Cheap Apple TVs, iPhone SE and GTX1060 GPUs
Three dead set bargains for youse this lovely Friday arvo: 32GB Apple TV for $199 at the Apple refurb store. 32GB iPhone SE (locked to Telstra with a $30 starter kit) for $379.05 at Officeworks if you get them to price match Harvey Norman's current sale offer. Nvidia GTX1060 3GB graphics cards have returned to a sane price, $310 on eBay using the PLAYER code.

Arq gets Backblaze B2 support at last!
Arq, my backup program of choice on macOS, finally announced support for Backblaze's B2! B2 is about the same price as Amazon Glacier, but doesn't gouge you when it's time to restore. However, also included in this update is support for Wasabi - a file storage service I've never heard of, which is even cheaper than Glacier. Not bad! I use OneDrive for my offsite backups though, as I get 1TB free as part of an Office365 subscription. That's getting kinda full, so I might move it all to Wasabi soon. Arq has a useful page explaining all the different backup location options (local disk, SFTP, block storage, etc.) they have available if you're confused.

Two electric cars nobody cares about and one everyone cares about
Two interesting electric cars were "released" overnight (I use quotation marks around released as they're not for sale yet). Bollinger has a big tough looking electric 4WD that can do 320km on a single charge, but it's US$60k and Bollinger still need someone to help them mass produce it. Ugh. Slightly more realistic is the Sono Sion, which has integrated solar panels that add 28km of range a day just sitting in the sun. It'll get ~200km of range, sell for ~A$30k in Europe and be out in 2019. The real electric car everyone wants though, Tesla's Model 3, will be officially launched tomorrow and streamed live everyone to watch at 1:45pm on the east coast. Same time the footy starts between North and the Demons, which is also the same time I will be checking out the Victorian Public Records Office as part of Melbourne Open House. Hmmm, busy day for me tomorrow it seems.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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