The Sizzle

Issue 455 - Friday, 11th August 2017


James Damore fights back against Google firing him
James Damore has come out, all guns blazing, after getting the arse from Google because of his "what's up with all this diversity bullshit?!" essay. Live from his bedroom, he was on a Red Pill MRA YouTube channel, then Bloomberg decided to give him a chance to clarify his opinions. Brietbart, are of course, in his corner and have even started a "Rebels of Google" series, talking to anonymous, self-declared conservative Google employees. Google cancelled a town hall meeting it was going to have with its staff to cover the James Damore issue. Damore has set up a Twitter account under the username @Fired4Truth and is posing in a horrible "Goolag" t-shirt, retweeted by the shitstain that is Mike Cernovich, comparing the conditions at Google to the plight of innocent people forced to work in prison camps under Stalin's rule. Old mate isn't going away quietly, that's for damn sure.

Uber's biggest investor suing ex-CEO for being a ratbag
Benchmark Capital Partners, who owns 13% of Uber, making it one of the biggest single investors in the ride-sharing company, has sued Travis Kalanick, Uber's ex-CEO. The suit says that Travis set out: "to entrench himself on Uber's Board of Directors and increase his power over Uber for his own selfish ends. Kalanick's overarching objective is to pack Uber's Board with loyal allies in an effort to insulate his prior conduct from scrutiny and clear the path for his eventual return as CEO—all to the detriment of Uber's stockholders, employees, driver-partners, and customers" - burnnnn. If Benchmark gets its way, Travis will be kicked off the Uber board, making it unlikely he will ever return to the company. Recode have a good article outlining the stupid things Travis has done to make Benchmark decide to sue him personally.

Consumer Reports finds Microsoft Surfaces to fail way more often than other similar computers
Consumer Reports has surveyed 90,000 Microsoft Surface owners and discovered their devices are way less reliable than other brands. 25% of those 90,000 surveyed said that they found their devices freezing, unexpectedly shutting down and have issues with their touchscreens. While this sort of stuff happens to all brands, Microsoft's Surface gear is a "statistical outlier" compared to devices from other companies like Apple, who apparently have the most reliable stuff. Microsoft of course, disagree, saying that Consumer Report's survey shows a way higher percentage of issues than Microsoft's own internal support records. Consumer Reports now recommends not buying a Surface, it's convinced the issues with Microsoft's products are that bad.

New edition of Windows - Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
In better news for Microsoft, it has released another version of Windows 10! Windows 10 Pro for Workstations includes features like ReFS, persistent memory (i.e: using non-volatile memory), faster file sharing via SMB Direct and support for more RAM (up to 6TB) and more CPUs (4 physical CPUs with as many cores as you like). It's basically bringing the stuff in Windows Server down to Windows 10, so people with new high-end desktop platform computers (Ryzen, i9) can use a more desktop-friendly operating system. It would be so much easier if Microsoft just sold a single desktop version of Windows, called, say, Windows, for perhaps, US$99, instead of the convoluted Home, Pro, Workstation Enterprise and god knows what else. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be out in "fall", so some time between September and November.

1/3 of NBN FTTN users can't get more than 50mbit
NBN has revealed what speeds customers on FTTN (aka the bad NBN) are managing to achieve over the country's decrepit copper wire. As of June 18th (when NBN's report was compiled), a third of FTTN connections struggle to reach 50mbit. 54,000 FTTN users can't even get over 25mbit - the standard Malcolm Turnbull set for every home in Australia to get by 2016. That said, speeds will increase once an area is removed of ADSL services, as having ADSL and VDSL on the same line cause interference, so NBN slows the VDSL connections down to make sure people who haven't switched to NBN yet, don't have their services impacted. Meanwhile, TPG's FTTB network, which some of you inner-city dwellers may already be enjoying, has hit the brakes due to the government's plans to tax it because it competes with NBN. TPG wanted to reach over 500,000 premises with its own network, but has reconsidered its plans and will probably go no further than the 115,000 premises it already serves.


10 minutes of silence for $1.19 so your car's stereo doesn't autoplay loud music
Hands up who's started the engine in their car, reversed out of the garage and 20 seconds later, music starts blaring through the stereo when you totally didn't expect it to? It's happened to me many times and freaked out a passenger. The iPhone does this weird thing where it'll just automatically start playing the first alphabetical song in your Music library, so Samir Rezhami made a 10 minute silent track called "A a a a a Very Good Song" and is selling it for $1.19 on the iTunes store, so your iPhone will play that track instead of whatever loud music you had before. It is ranked #67 on the iTunes store, haha. Imagine being a legit musician and seeing more people buy 10 min of silence instead of your beautiful medley. Heartbreaking.

AMD's Threadripper reviews are in and it is good if you need loads of PCIe or cores
Embargo over! Reviews of AMD's much hyped Threadripper CPUs are here and Anandtech has a detailed look at the Threadripper 1950X and 1920X chips. Their take is whilst the Threadripper CPUs are not faster than their same spec Intel i9 CPUs, the amount of cores and performance you get out the CPUs compared to what you'd pay for the same thing from Intel is amazing. US$999 for a CPU that performs about the same as a US$1500 CPU! The overall platform itself (the mobos, the chipset) is cheaper too, with more PCIe lanes and support for ECC RAM, unlike the i7 and i9 chips. However, unless you need all those cores (10 on the 1920X and 16 on the 1920X), stick to Ryzen. But if your workload can scale to use multiple cores/threads, Threadripper is sweet and at the very least, will keep Intel honest.

DNA as a malware payload to hack your computer
Hackers are constantly making nasty pieces of malware to fuck shit up in all sorts of creative ways, but this latest one takes the cake. From Wired: "In new research they plan to present at the USENIX Security conference on Thursday, a group of researchers from the University of Washington has shown for the first time that it’s possible to encode malicious software into physical strands of DNA, so that when a gene sequencer analyses it the resulting data becomes a program that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of the underlying computer." - Mr. Stephenson, Mr. Gibson, your next book ideas are here.

Here endeth the sizzle (until Monday!)

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!