The Sizzle - Issue 1046

Friday 24th January, 2020

Just a heads up about that UniFi Dream Machine bulk buy I kicked off yesterday morning - I've had to pull the plug on it due to another retailer undercutting me after seeing it on OzBargain and complaining to the distributor. The people that ordered have been sent refunds. Sorry for wasting everyone's time.

In This Issue

  • Google tweaks search results page to make it even more difficult to tell what’s an ad and what isn’t

  • Sonos CEO clarifies what’s happening with support for older products

  • An AWS outage the same time as an ACT bushfire left people without an easy to access official info source

  • 50 “must-have” iOS apps according to Federico Viticci

  • Cheap OPPO PM-3 headphones, Pixel 4 & Nest Hub, Yamaha 5.1 amp, Logitech MX Anywhere 2S mouse, ThinkPad E495, Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine


News

Google tweaks search results page to make it even more difficult to tell what’s an ad and what isn’t

It's not just you who thinks Google's latest update to search results looks weird - last week Google updated how they display search results and now all the non-ad results (what few there are) look like ads. The only thing marking the paid ads from the "organic" search results is a little icon near the URL in the results list. The difference between search results someone paid to pop up and search results Google's algorithm think you want to see are so incredibly subtle now, it's hard to tell what's what. If you needed any more of a reason to give Duck Duck Go a proper shot, there's never been a better time.

Sonos CEO clarifies what’s happening with support for older products

After the last week or so of bad vibes surrounding Sonos' decision to end support for some old products in May, their CEO has today published a blog post saying "we did not get this right from the start" and properly explained the planned changes. End of life products will no longer simply be left to flounder, with the CEO pledging "to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible". In regards to the more mind boggling decision to block updates for new stuff if it's on the same network as old stuff, Sonos is going to come up with a way to to "split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state".

An AWS outage the same time as an ACT bushfire left people without an easy to access official info source

Amazon Web Services shit the bed in the Sydney region yesterday, which unfortunately also took with it the ACT's Emergency Services Agency info website during the middle of a bushfire close to homes and businesses in Canberra. Due to AWS being down, the ESA had to tell people to use Facebook and Twitter for emergency updates instead of the ESA's website - a bad idea as it's easy for people to receive misinformation via social media. Disappointing such a crucial service didn't have the appropriate backups and redundancies using a cloud service like AWS provides. Hopefully there's some skulls being cracked right now and the department responsible is planning to improve the resilience of their infrastructure.


Not News

50 “must-have” iOS apps according to Federico Viticci

Federico Viticci has updated his list of "must-have" iOS apps. The entire list contains 50 apps he uses regularly (the man does a lot of stuff on his iPad!) and some of them are pretty obvious like Twitter or Instagram, but there's some gems in there I wasn't aware of like Prism (a 3rd party Plex client just for music), MusicHarbor (a way to track new releases from your favourite artists) and Raindrop (classy looking cloud bookmark manager). If you're new to iOS or have been using the same apps for ages without exploring alternatives, you might like Federico's recommendations.


Bargains


🎶 No Metal - Monotonix

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

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​