The Sizzle

Issue 473 - Wednesday, 28th April 2017

I've spent the past week or so been brainstorming ways to increase The Sizzle's subscriber base. Right now there's 468 of you paying me, but I need 730 by the 1st of March, 2018. For a bit of behind the scenes stuff on what I do with The Sizzle, check out this blog post. If you've got any feedback about it, please let me know!


New Nissan LEAF is cool, but of course, not a peep out of Nissan AU about it
The new Nissan LEAF is officially out. No more spy pics and rumoured specs! The new LEAF will sport a 40kWh battery that'll provide 400km of range on the JC-08 standard, which in the real world is more like 240km. A 60kWh battery will be available some time next year. Specs wise, it'll have "ProPILOT Assist", which will drive the car for you on the freeway and "e-Pedal", which allows for driving the car without using the brake. Inside EVs has some more pics and vids of the LEAF. The LEAF starts at USD$29,990 in the US, which would be around $43,000 on the road in VIC ($29,990 USD in AUD + GST & stamp duty + rego). The car will go on sale in Japan during October. Nissan Australia hasn't said anything about it yet, ugh.
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Tech bosses come out and denounce Trump's removal of DACA immigration law
Over in the USA, President Trump has set up legislation to remove a law called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) - a way for people who were "illegally" taken to the USA by their parents as children, to get US work permits. The adults on these permits are called "Dreamers" and a massive chunk of tech companies have come out to defend their Dreamer employees and call out Trump's repeal of DACA for the racist bullshit it is. Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Microsoft, IBM, Jack Dorsey, Uber's new CEO and others have all made public statements about the DACA repeal.
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Lenovo punished by the FTC for its Superfish malware
Remember when Lenovo was selling laptops with some malware called Superfish? It was basically a proxy that funnelled all your internet traffic via Visual Discovery's servers to sell you ads. What was worse, is that it intercepted HTTPS traffic by using a Man in The Middle attack that left you in the dark if the sites you were visiting were actually legit as it broke the certificate authority chain. Well Lenovo has finally been made to repent for its sins. The US FTC will now audit Lenovo's software for the next 20 years and will have to get the FTC's consent for any other adware style apps it wants to pre-load on user's devices.
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Queensland government goes "digital first"
Queensland wants everything the government does to be "digital first", so that's what they've called their new manifesto - "DIGITAL1ST: Advancing our digital future". Basically, it's copying what NSW has done with Service NSW. Stuff you'd normally do with a paper form or having to visit a government office for, should be all moved online. Not only does this save money ($13 per transaction according to the QLD minister for innovation, science and the digital economy and minister for small business), but it's just what people expect now. If the bank or shops can do it, why not the government?
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Soulver and Pixelmator get updates
Two very nice apps I enjoy have been updated today. First there's Soulver, a wonderful fancy calculator that I use daily, had its iOS updated. It finally re-instates Split View and Slide Over on the iPad! I seriously missed that, so this is big news for me. Pixelmator Pro, which we saw a teaser of at WWDC back in June, has been officially launched (but isn't out for a few more weeks). It's basically Photoshop, but with less bullshit. I use Pixelmator for all my basic image adjustments. Dunno if I'd bother with Pixelmator Pro, but for those who do lots of advanced image editing, Pixelmator Pro could be right up your alley. It looks absolutely stunning for an app with so much detail and leverages all of macOS's fancy tech like Metal 2 and CoreML, so everything is smooth as butter.
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I stumbled across a MiniDisc community yesterday
Let's take a walk down memory lane with the Minidisc Community Portal. Yep, there's people in 2017 still holding a flame for Sony's MiniDisc technology. Before MP3 players like the iPod were a thing, MiniDiscs were were like a superior CD you could keep your music on and travel around with. They weren't as fragile as CDs, and didn't skip as much or take up as much space. But they were expensive and in Australia at least, not very popular. When I was a kid I wanted one so bad, until the iPod came out. The Sony Mini Disc players and the MZ-E10 in particular, remind me of a time when Sony was on top of their game and right before their dark period when Apple, then Samsung and other Korean and Chinese brands ate Sony's lunch.
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An AFL management game is up on Steam
As the footy season winds to a close, without North Melbourne taking place in the finals, you may be interested in Australian Football Coach up on Steam. It doesn't look like much, but it appears to be a Championship Manager-esque game, but for AFL. "Coach your team to the premiership flag! Australian Football Coach is the premier Aussie Rules Football management game. Coach in one of eight different leagues, create your own footy world or even pit the different states against each other in State of Origin mode." It's USD$13, who's gonna be first to give it a shot and report back?
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Cheap Xiaomi Mi Box, Logitech MX Master 2S and 2017 iPads
Do you smell that? Mmmm yes, delicious fresh bargains, straight out of the oven and ready to eat. On today's menu: Xiaomi Mi Box for $79.95 (local AU stock) and Logitech MX Master 2S mouse for $98 if you use this Facebook promo to get $20 eBay credit. Some good pricing in the 2017 iPad 9.7" if you use the code PAINT to get 10% off. 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G for $519.12 or the 128GB Wi-Fi + 4G for $661.32. Australian stock too, so no need to wait for it to ship from HK or SG.
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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!