Issue 505

Monday, 23rd October 2017

The Sizzle has changed! It looks heaps classier here now, doesn't it? It feels like I've out of the basement and into a fancy office with some indoor plants and a water feature.

This new email template, together with a new website (coming any day now), should give new subscribers a much nicer first impression of The Sizzle, which hopefully turns them into paid subscribers.

Thanks to Mark Gilliland for tackling the re-design. I reckon it's great and I hope you do too because it cost me a decent chunk of cash and I ain't going back to the shitty one I hacked up 2 years ago.

In This Issue


The CEO of NBN and the PM agree that NBN is a dud

Getting ahead of tonight's Four Corners episode about the NBN, Bill Morrow had a chat to Fairfax about the NBN and man, he let loose with some truth-bombs. Bill admitted that NBN isn't getting enough revenue from RSPs to cover their expenses because customers aren't buying the faster plans like they predicted. Morrow also said that unless there's a levy on wireless broadband, he reckons it'll cut NBN's lunch and leave NBN unprofitable forever. Even the PM agrees, saying that in hindsight, the NBN was an expensive mistake that's unlikely to deliver the anticipated financial return and that New Zealand did a much better job of it than Australia. Ahem, we told you so, you idiots.
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The ACCC confirms that it won't force telcos to start domestic roaming between networks

The ACCC has been looking into the possibility of forcing Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to open their networks for domestic roaming. So for example, when a Vodafone customer has no signal, they can use Telstra's network. Obviously, Vodafone loved this idea and Telstra were absolutely filthy about it. A draft decision came out back in May saying they won't be forcing anyone to do it, but today after some more consultation, the ACCC confirmed domestic wholesale roaming is DOA. Vodafone are still pretty damn keen for it and are still perusing legal action against the ACCC to change their mind.
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Masayoshi Son wants his Vision Fund to hand out US$880b over 10 years

You may be familiar with SoftBank, a Japanese telco with deep pockets that recently set up a ~$100b "Vision Fund" that it's CEO is using to invest in all sorts of AI related shenanigans. Now Masayoshi Son is going around saying $100b isn't enough and wants $880b of investments, spread over at least 1,000 companies under his control over the next 10 years. If you have a half arsed idea to do with a robot, now's the time to fleece old man Masayoshi and his cronies out of a few hundred million. I'm reminded here of when Grandpa Simpson comes into some cash and everyone visits him in the nursing home with their crazy ideas. Someone needs to get Masayoshi one of those fez hats and a recliner.
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Tesla to open Chinese factory & Boring Company to dig up Baltimore

Two bits of Elon Musk related news for ya. First, Boring Company (aka, SpaceX, but making tunnels) has received permission to build a Hyperloop tunnel from Baltimore to Washington DC. Kinda. The approval is for ~16km of tunnel under a freeway. Dunno where the rest of the route will go. Second, the WSJ is reporting that Tesla has decided to construct a factory in China that'll build cars. Tesla hasn't confirmed it though. China discourages non-Chinese owned manufacturers building factories in China, imposing a 25% tariff on cars built there. Most companies do a joint venture instead (i.e: GM and SAIC, Volvo and Geely, Changan and Ford), but it looks like Tesla isn't doing that and will just cop the tariff.
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There were 114 voluntary data beach notifications in AU between FY16-17

I missed this last week (shame on me), but the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is reporting that it received 114 voluntary data beach notifications and 35 mandatory digital health data breach notifications during the 2016-2017 financial year. That's 114 businesses that got hacked and decided to tell the government what happened. That sounds low to me. I guess we will find out what the real number of companies that get hacked and their customer's personal info placed at risk next year, when reporting this stuff becomes mandatory.
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Not News, But Still Cool

NRMA to spend $10m on at least 40 fast charging stations around NSW & ACT

The NRMA has announced it'll spend $10m on electric car charging stations across NSW and the ACT. The announcement is light on details - dunno where exactly, or what type of chargers they'll be. All we know is that there will be "at least 40" and that the NRMA will spend $10m on it. At least something is happening I guess. This announcement is part of the NRMA and the Electric Vehicle Council's "The Future is Electric" report, which has includes suggestions for accelerating the transition to EVs in Australia like more charging infrastructure, subsidies and tax breaks for EVs and enforcing fleet EV targets. All common-sense stuff, I wish the more progressive states like SA and VIC would implement them as the federal government doesn't give a fuck.
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Want some Bitcoin after listening to this ep of Background Briefing? Use CoinJar

One of the most common questions I'm asked by Sizzle readers is "how do I buy some Bitcoin?". People either want some to speculate on (Godspeed to you) or simply need some to pay for something that doesn't take normal credit card or PayPal methods (dodggyyy). My answer is always, CoinJar. Australian based, very nice website, easy to use and they know what they're doing with quality support. To top it all off, the latest version of their iOS app looks awesome. If you're interested in some Bitcoin speculation, the latest ep of of Background Briefing has a basic, but interesting story about some people who have been burned and some people who have made a fat stack of profit with Bitcoin.
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Big W has Super Mario Odyssey & console bundle for cheap

The first new 3D, free-roaming Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey is coming this week and Big W has it on sale, together with a Nintendo Switch if you haven't got one. They have it for $529 for the console, 2 Red Joy-Cons and a copy of Super Mario Odyssey. On top of that, if you head over to CashRewards and use their 5% off Woolworths gift cards, the total price is just $502.55. Not bad, not bad at all. Big W also has the game itself for $62, if you already have the Switch. 5% off that using the Cashrewards gift card is $58.90.
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Thanks for reading!

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The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

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