The Sizzle

Issue 477 - Tuesday, 12th September 2017


Frankfurt Motor Show - everyone's making EVs and hybrids
The Frankfurt Motor Show has just started and it's basically a series of European car makers announcing plans to make electric cars (and hybrids, but lets ignore those because hybrids are boring). Mercedes-Benz: every car will have an electric option by 2022. Volkswagen: 70 billion Euro worth of investment to build 300 different types of electric cars by 2030. 50b Euro of that is for battery production alone. Jaguar Land Rover: every car will be be hybrid or pure electric by 2020. Mini: there will be an EV Mini in 2019. Tesla announced that they're going to roll out loads more Superchargers (even in Australia, check the map) and new mini Superchargers in dense areas - just to remind everyone who actually has electric cars and charging infrastructure out there now, not in 2020 or 2022 or 2030.
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GM claims they have the first mass produced self-driving car
General Motors and Cruise (GM own Cruise) are pimping the fact that they think they have the first mass produced self-driving car. Reading between the lines, there's fuck all happening here. There's nothing new - just the same hardware they had a few weeks ago, but with backup systems that they've managed to "mass produce" (aka make a few hundred on a production line). The software likely isn't up to scratch to sell the public, otherwise, they'd say that. The car in the picture is totally not ready for production with all those multi-thousand dollar LIDAR units on top. The videos linked are nothing they haven't shown off before. GM just wants to wave its dick around because of the Frankfurt Motor show news.
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Google announces timeline to reject Symantec issued certificates
Symantec (aka those bastards responsible for the Norton range of security software) have been a naughty certificate authority. Earlier this year, they were giving out certs that didn't comply with the requirements and didn't give a damn because it was making them mad cash. Instead of fixing this up and playing by the rules, they're simply selling their certificate business off to DigiCert. As a result, Google is no longer going to recognise certificates issued by Symantec. Chrome 62, coming in late October, will alert users a Symantec issued cert is dodgy, then by Chrome 66 (around April 2018), they'll be outright not-trusted.
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Google to appeal that huge EU anti-trust fine
Google was fined 2.4b Euro for abusing its dominance in search engines to ruin competition in the price comparison market. There's a good episode of Planet Money about this huge ruling from the EU if you're interested to know more. Anyways, Google are gonna appeal that fine, of course. So Google and the EU are gonna go head to head in a Luxembourg court for years debating why or why not the things Google did (boils down to de-prioritising competing sites in its search results) contravene EU law. The EU is confident it'll win, but so is Google, even though it's refusing to comment right now on what its argument against getting fined would be.
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Xiaomi's new flagship smartphone & 15" MacBook Pro copy
Xiaomi released a new flagship phone. The Mi Mix 2 is a rather nice looking edge-to-edge screen device that just has a small chin at the "bottom" where the front facing camera is stashed. Ceramic back, aluminium frame, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB/8GB of RAM (fucken hell 8GB of RAM), 64GB/128GB/256GB of UFS 2.1 storage, a single 12MP rear camera, a fingerprint sensor on the back, 3,400 mAh battery, and the latest version of MIUI 9 (aka Xiaomi's deep skinning of Android 7.1.1, no Oreo yet). Price starts at ~A$650, which is pretty damn good for such a fancy phone. There's a new Xiaomi laptop too, that's basically a clone of the 15" MacBook Pro, but at a third of the price and doesn't run macOS. I'm sure it'll pop up on GearBest or whatever soon.
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Cheap Dell XPS 13, Linksys dd-rtable router, GTX 1080, Galaxy S8, SSD, 27" QHD monitor & NAS
OzBargain dug up some more stuff in the latest eBay sale - use code PICNIC to get 20% off. Dell XPS 13 with a 7th-gen CPU for $1679.20. Linksys WRT1200AC-AU (supports OpenVPN and dd-wrt) 802.11ac router for $111.20. MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X OC 8GB for $719.20. Samsung Galaxy S8, local Telstra branded stock for $849. PlayStation VR + PS4 Camera + VR Worlds for $444.91. Samsung 960 Pro 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD for $311.20. Synology DS916+ NAS for $607.2. Lenovo L27Q 27" 2560x1440 monitor for $408.40.
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Facebook's sad and desperate attempts to drag you into using it more often
Feel like Facebook's been getting a bit too nagging lately? Like, you piss off from it for 24 hours and it cracks the shits at ya wanting you to check Messenger for what you think is a message from someone, but it just a new photo filter or some shit. Brad Frost feels the same way and detailed some of the highly annoying attempts Facebook made to get him back on their platform. It's basically a psychological experiment and we're just rats in Zuck's goddamn maze. The peak of Facebook's bullshit has to be sending an email, in 2017, that you have 4 new "pokes" that are not new at all, but are from 2012 to 2014!
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Closing down offensive sub-Reddits reduced hate speech
Remember in 2015, when a bunch of offensive subreddits like r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown were shut down? People thought closing em down would achieve nothing - the jerks that hang out there will just start new Reddits or join existing ones and continue their garbage. But, would that really happen? 2 years on, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology wanted to know if hate speech on Reddit got better or worse since closing down offensive subs. The results: "We found that the ban worked for Reddit. More accounts than expected discontinued using the site; those that stayed drastically decreased their hate speech usage—by at least 80%. Though many subreddits saw an infux of r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown "migrants", those subreddits saw no significant changes in hate speech usage" - a small win I guess.
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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.