DTNS 2570 – Enter The Snapdragon!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSmartwatches are narrowing in on a few standard features, like notifications, fitness tracking and proactive alerts. But are the features that wearables still need to have to make us want one? Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss.

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A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here or giving 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!

Today in Tech History – August 31, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1897 – Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera, the forerunner of the motion picture film projector.

In 1994 – Stockholders approved the merger of Aldus Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. It united the two driving forces behind desktop publishing software. Aldus Pagemaker became Adobe Pagemaker.

In 1997 – The developer release of Apple’s new OS, code name Grail1Z4 / Titan1U was released. It was known formally as Rhapsody and would evolve into OS X.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Tom at DragonCon in Atlanta 9/3-9/7

ecwinHey folks, I’m excited to be heading back to DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. This year there will be live Daily Tech News Show, Sword and Laser, FSL Tonight, and I’ll be jumping in on Justin and Ashley’s podcast wedding and Night Attack as well as a few other panels!

If you’re going to be at DragonCon I hope you can swing by at least one of the events and say hello! Here’s the schedule.

FRIDAY September 4
Fictional Writing & Skepticism 01:00 pm Location: 204-207 – Hilton
Description: A few top authors—who are also skeptics—discuss what effect their personal skepticism has on their writings.

Daily Tech News Show—Live! 04:00 pm Location: Crystal Ballroom – Hilton
Description: Live DTNS with Tom Merritt, Veronica Belmont, Justin Robert Young and Jonathan Strickland. Illustrations by Len Peralta.

FSL Tonight Live! 07:00 pm
Location: A601 – A602 – Marriott
Description: Get the coverage of the big finale between the Coruscant Senators and Skaro Exterminators right after the game. Find out the champion and what teams will be elevated into the league next season!

SATURDAY September 5
Navigating the Media/Online Frenzy 11:30 am
Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt
Description: What else is out there besides Facebook? How to generate “buzz” about a book to promote sales.

Sword and Laser Podcast—Live! 02:30 pm
Location: Crystal Ballroom – Hilton
Description: Belmont & Merritt’s podcast on all things sci-fi and fantasy with author Cherie Priest.

Jurymore & Friends 04:00 pm
Location: Crystal Ballroom – Hilton
Description: Justin Robert Young & Ashley Paramore get married with super-special guests!

SUNDAY September 6
SkepTech 01:00 pm
Location: 204-207 – Hilton
Description: Skeptical thinking isn’t always about Bigfeet, ghosts, & tarot…Sometimes it can be in your tech, too!

2015 Parsec Awards 05:30 pm
Location: Regency V – Hyatt
Description: Tom and Veronica host the Parsec Awards for Sci-fi & Fantasy Original Content and Speculative Fiction.

Night Attack Live! 10:00 pm
Location: Crystal Ballroom – Hilton
Description: An irreverent fun-fest featuring unusual guests, bizarre games and more!

Today in Tech History – August 30, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler received a patent for adding an internal combustion engine to a bicycle to make the first gasoline-driven motorcycle.

In 1907 – John Mauchly was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He would grow up to pioneer the design and construction of ENIAC along with Presper Eckert as well as contribute to the creation of BINAC and UNIVAC.

In 1963 – A direct line of communication between the leaders of the USA and USSR, dubbed “The Hotline” began operation.

In 1969 – BBN delivered the first Interface Message Processor (IMP) to the Network Measurements Center at UCLA. It was built from a Honeywell DDP 516 computer with 12K of memory, and would be used in October to make the first Internet connection with Stanford. Graduate students Vinton Cerf, Steve Crocker, Bill Naylor, Jon Postel, and Mike Wingfield were charged with installation.

In 1982 – A copyright was issued to 16-year-old V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai for a computer program he called “EMAIL,” short for “electronic mail.” While Ayyadurai may not be considered the inventor of email he definitely deserves credit for establishing the name.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Weekly Tech Views Blog – 7

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Real Tech News. Really Shaky Analysis.

Thanks for visiting the Weekly Tech Views Blog. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying facts or common sense.

 
For the week of August 24 – 28, 2015

AT&T–Advertising Through & Through
AT&T was discovered to be sending ads to users of one of their free wifi hotspots, even if the web sites being visited were ad-free. If this initiative goes well, AT&T plans to expand the program:

[Rrrrring]

“Hey, Bob. I’ve got tickets to a game this week, thought you’d like to go.”

“Sounds good, Joe. When is it?”

“It’s–”

Got a ticket? Don’t just blindly pay it–fight it! We here at Schlichter, Schefter, and Shyster have never, in our fifty-five years of practice, seen a ticket issued that was justified. Most lawyers won’t handle traffic tickets, claiming there’s no real money to made, but we care about the little guy, and nobody is hiring us for anything else these days, so just buy us lunch and sit there and talk to us while we eat and we’ll fight to have that ridiculous going-seventy-five-in-a-school-zone charge disappear!

“What the heck was that?”

“I don’t know, Bob; I thought it on your end.”

“Weird. So, when’s the game? I’m going to be out of town a few days this week.”

“It’s a one o’clock start on–”

Love to travel, but hotels are too expensive? Motels seem pretty pricey, too? Hostels… that’s more like it, but still think you’ve got better things to do with that ten bucks a night? You need to get to your App Store and download Hobo-ocity. Get reviews of the most comfortable, least police-patrolled park benches in over thirty major cities.

“Send me an email, Joe.”

My Weekend is Now Booked
The battery in the new LG Gpad 2 tablet promises two days worth of constant use, which is great; we all want more power and efficiency from our devices, but I have to admit that I’m going to kind of miss my wife and I looking each other in the face every ten hours or so.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Cheater Whose Identity Has Been Revealed
Not surprisingly, hacked affair-promoting website Ashley Madison has been sued by multiple people for breach of contract and violation of privacy laws. Ashley Madison quickly filed a response, reading, “C’mon, baby, why you gotta be like that? I made a mistake; I didn’t mean anything by it. What about the good times? Remember how I helped you get some strange and you gave me a lot of money? That was fun, right? Can’t we go back to that?”

Laid Off Worker Regrets Joining Angry Birds Pharmaceuticals Division
Angry Birds creator Rovio is laying off 260 employees, citing that the company tried to do too many things and will now scale back. The fear is that this could jeopardize their latest game, Angry Trump, as the development team had completed only two levels: launching reporters out of press conferences and slingshotting anyone with an accent over a twenty-foot U.S. border wall.

[Rrrrring]
“Welcome to printer technical support. Do you agree to the $4.95 per minute charge?”

“Yes, sure, this should only take a couple seconds. I just need to find an updated driver for my printer.”

“Yes, sir. That’s on the web site. Just go to–”

Golfers! Looking to be longer off the tee? Gary’s Golf World has the drivers you need! We’ve got Calloway, Cleveland, Cobra, Ping, TaylorMade, Bridgestone, Nike, Mizuno, Titleist…

“Hey! What is this crap?”

…on sale this week is the Calloway Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver. It’s forged composite crown, lively titanium face, and adjustable OptiFit hosel will have you playing like a pro. And it’s a steal at $450! Isn’t it worth the kids wearing last year’s school clothes to add ten yards to your drive?

“I’m not paying for this!”

Sometimes You Really Have to Squint for That Silver Lining
Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers involved in the creation of the Fire Phone. While the loss of a paycheck will certainly be a tough financial hit, this does, at least, provide a much-needed respite from Amazon’s grueling schedule. Say what you want about how hard Amazon drives their people, they have a strict policy that once an employee is laid off, they are not to work more than forty hours per week.

I’d Have Preferred a GIF of Kevin Bacon Screaming, “Remain Calm! All is Well!”
Apple’s Tim Cook sent an email to financial analyst/TV personality Jim Cramer to allay fears about Apple’s stock and iPhone sales in China. Inspired by this, Denver Broncos GM John Elway, after watching quarterback Payton Manning throw three consecutive incomplete passes during a morning practice,  emailed ESPN’s John Clayton and told him to “chillax.”

[Rrrrring]
“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“Someone just broke into my house! They picked the lock and ripped out the screen and now they’re coming up the stairs!”

“What is your address, sir?”

“It’s 24–”

Lock screen problems? We can take care of those and just about any other issues you’re having with your smartphone here at Phone Phixers. Same day service for half what the manufacturer charges. Remember, your phone’s not dead, it just needs Phone Phixed.

“Sorry about that, sir. Your address?…. Sir?……..”

OK, I’ve had my fun. AT&T inserting ads into web sites via a wifi hotspot may be annoying, but what real harm is being done?

Web Site Ads Can Kill Your Computer!
According to a recent study, malware delivered via ads tripled in the eight months between June 2014 and February 2015. At this rate, it’s possible that by the end of the year, in the U.S. alone, we will actually have more computers infected with malware than we have Marvel movies.

Waiter, There’s a Six-Millimeter Countersunk-Head Stainless Steel Rivet in My Pizza
The RoboHow project demonstrated two robots working together to make a pizza, the first delivering the ingredients to the second, which assembled the pie. Stories like this have prompted the ABC television network to capitalize on the public’s increasing fascination with robots, perhaps by replicating the tone Fox used with last year’s Cosmos and launching a program where the tremendous, mind-bending advances in robotic technology and artificial intelligence can be seriously analyzed, and its future repercussions discussed by leaders from every scientific field, or they could do a reboot called Two Robots, a Droid, and a Pizza Place.

Thanks again for stopping by the Weekly Tech Views Blog. If you enjoyed it, feel free to send a friend or five this way. If you weren’t so crazy about it, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

Creative Commons License
Weekly Tech Views Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Chilling Tales: “To Be Human” by Andrew Harmon + Feat. Tom Merritt of Sword and Laser

I was honored to be asked to narrate a story for Chilling Tales about an intelligent experimental android taking on a family trip to a cabin in southern Illinois. So much fun. SO MUCH DARK. Hope you enjoy.

In this tale of terror by CTFDN staff writer Andrew Harmon, an enterprising technology expert takes a multi-million dollar artificial-intelligence robot along on his family trip to his lakeside cabin in advance of its unveiling at an upcoming event. This robot, named George on account of his curious nature, is not like other A.I. robots; George learns by observing. At first, this sounds like a unique and wonderful concept. However, the protagonist’s wife, Chelsea, isn’t quite so sure about her robotic roommate, and is hesitant to spend a day alone with it when her husband is called into work suddenly. Perhaps her fears were not so unfounded. As the family discovers that George’s utmost desire is to become human, they’ll learnt he lengths he is willing to go to in order to get what he wants.

Today in Tech History – August 29, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1831 – Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction, which is used in power generation and power transmission by generators, transformers, induction motors, electric motors, synchronous motors, and solenoids.

In 1965 – Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, orbiting 100 miles above the Earth in Gemini 5 talked with aquanaut M. Scott Carpenter in Sealab II, 205 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It happened to be Cooper’s wedding anniversary.

In 1990 – The British Computer Misuse Act went into effect. The Act resulted from a long debate in the 1980s over failed prosecutions of hackers.

In 1997 – Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded Kibble Inc. The service initially let you rent individual DVDs by mail without late fees. There was no subscription service and no streaming. And the service was later renamed Netflix.

In 2003 – Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis founded Skype, the Voice over Internet Provider that would go on to dominate the space.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2569 – Are You VR Experienced?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comHTC’s Vive VR headset won’t ship in large numbers until 2016. So Lamarr Wilson and Tom Merritt discuss what the VR headset landscape will look like after Vive Oculus and Project Morpheus have all shipped next year.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here or giving 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!

Today in Tech History – August 28, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1845 – Scientific American began publication with the issue for this day. It would become the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States.

In 1991 – The crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis sent an electronic mail message using AppleLink. The message read: “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first Applelink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here!”

In 2009 – Apple released Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard featuring many minor improvements and integration with Microsoft Exchange.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.