The Sizzle - Issue 1102

Friday 17th April, 2020

If you’re bored at 2PM this arvo, join me on Zoom for a 45-min-ish talk about how I became such a giant nerd in the 15 years between finishing school and ended up at issue 1102 of The Sizzle!

In This Issue

  • NBN to give $150m of financial assistance to ISPs so they keep customers connected

  • Robotaxi startup Mike Cannon-Brookes’ invested heavily in admits to stealing Tesla confidential documents

  • Plexamp and Plex Dash are new apps for Plex Pass subscribers

  • Wondering what the LIDAR sensor on the new iPad Pro is capable of?

  • Cheap Civ 6: Gathering Storm, 2x LIFX multicolour GU10 wi-fi LEDs, Sony WH-1000XM3, Pioneer DMH Z5350BT double DIN Carplay/Android Auto headunit, Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, $700 JB gift card with Telstra 24m $65/m plan


News

NBN to give $150m of financial assistance to ISPs so they keep customers connected

The government has made NBN "temporarily waive" the $37 monthly wholesale charge ISPs pay for the 25/5 speed tier from April until September so ISPs can offer super cheap or even free NBN plans to low-income families with school-aged children. There will also be $100m of "financial relief" for ISPs to cover any losses incurred by ISPs with home and small/medium business customers that can't pay their bills, with the aim of keeping those customers online. Not sure how this $150m support package will play out in a practical sense for end users, but the low-income family support is great. I hope it sticks around where people with a health-care card can get free or super-cheap basic internet access.

Robotaxi startup Mike Cannon-Brookes’ invested heavily in admits to stealing Tesla confidential documents

Remember Zoox, a US based self-driving taxi startup founded by an Australian dude that got a bit of hype locally because Mike Cannon-Brookes dropped a fat stack of cash on it and joined the board? Yesterday Zoox admitted that four employees it poached from Tesla took loads of confidential documents with them on their way out of Tesla and used them at Zoox. They got busted because "one of the employees accidentally emailed a document from his new Zoox email account to the disabled Tesla account of one of his former Tesla (and now Zoox) co-workers. Tesla discovered that it was a lightly modified version of a confidential Tesla document, now bearing a Zoox logo". Zoox settled with Tesla for an undisclosed amount and Tesla will get to audit Zoox.

Plexamp and Plex Dash are new apps for Plex Pass subscribers

Plex, everyone's favourite personal media library (yeah mate, "personal media", sure) has two new apps for Plex Pass subscribers. First up is Plexamp. It's basically Spotify/Apple Music, but with your own tunes and some fancy features like lossless support, proper gapless playback, loudness leveling, EQs and more. It works really well if you've still got local audio files hanging around. Perfect if you've still got all your CDs! The other new app is Plex Dash - a dashboard of the activity on your Plex server and a way to edit your library from a smartphone. If you've ever installed Tautulli on your Plex box, this is like that but official and classier looking.


Not News

Wondering what the LIDAR sensor on the new iPad Pro is capable of?

Halide has published a nice investigation into the new iPad Pro's cameras and LIDAR sensor. The cameras are nothing special to be honest, but the LIDAR sensor is pretty cool. It measures the time it takes for infra-red light to bounce off an object and back into the sensor to detect how far away something is. The Halide team made a proof-of-concept app called Esper that can map a room or a large-ish object (a chair was about as small as they could go with the iPad Pro's LIDAR) and create a 3D render of that room to walk around in virtually. It seems to me like the iPad Pro's enhanced LIDAR sensor will be a big boost to indoor augmented reality experiences.


Bargains


🎶 Blind - Silverchair

😁 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.​