Today in Tech History – Mar. 1, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1896 – Henri Becquerel discovered images of uranium rocks had appeared on a photographic plate without exposure to the sun. He had discovered natural radiation.

In 1995 – A little over a year after starting the website in January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo incorporated Yahoo!

In 2006 – English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article, “Jordanhill railway station.”

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Today in Tech History – Feb. 28, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1947 – The first closed-circuit broadcast of a surgical operation showed procedures to observers in classrooms at Johns Hopkins University.

In 1954 – The Westinghouse H840CK15 went on sale in the New York area. It is generally agreed to be the first production television receiver using NTSC color offered to the public. Only 30 sets were sold at $1,295 a pop.

In 1959 – Discoverer 1 was launched on a Thor-Agena A rocket and became the first man-made object ever put into a polar orbit.

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DTNS 2439 – LLAP Mr. Nimoy

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTim Stevens is on the show to chat about Tim Stevens world tour and the idea of Apple Watch controlling your car. We’ll also share a moment about how Leonard Nimoy affected our lives. And Len Peralta will be there to memorialize it all in song. Or art. Probably art.

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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

Today’s guests: Tim Stevens, CNET editor at large and Len Peralta, artist

Check out Len’s art for this week at lenperaltastore.com

Headlines: 

Engadget passes along that Google won’t ban adult content posted to Blogger after all. The company had announced that existing sexually explicit images and video would be made private and future such material might be deleted. Not anymore. Google cited “a ton of feedback” and the “negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities.” Jessica Pelegio, Google’s social product support manager wrote in the Blogger Help Forum “we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.” Google also called on blog owners to mark any blog pages with adult conent as “adult” so they can be placed behind a warning page.

The Daily Telegraph got to accompany Apple CEO Tim Cook on a surprise visit to the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London. While most of the article discusses known features of the forthcoming Apple Watch such as fitness tracking and Apple Pay, it also mentioned that Cook said the watch could replace car keys. That’s sure to give more fuel to the Apple Car rumors.

TechCrunch reports that Google has unveiled plans for new headquarters in Mountain View, which will be a simple block of offices. Ha. KIDDING! It’s going to be monstrous. The new headquarters would be made of a semi-transparent series of canopies covering lightweight block structures that can be moved around as Google focuses on new products. This is the first time Google has designed and built new offices from scratch, and it partnered with Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio to create the design. The nearly ten-minute video of the concept is best enjoyed with a tiny espresso and a masters in architecture.

The Next Web reports UK TV and broadband provider Talk Talk confirmed that its networks were breached in December. Attackers took personal data like names, addresses phone numbers and TalkTalk account numbers. Some customers have been targeted as a result. TalkTalk has taken steps to remedy the situation and continues to work with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

As VentureBeat reports, VideoLAN launched a big update to its VLC media player today. After a year of work on the VLC engine and libVLC library by volunuteers you can get new versions of the player for desktop, iOS, and Android as well as beta versions for Android TV, Windows Phone and Windows RT. Lots of features have been brought across from one platform to another, like resume playback and in-app downloading coming to the desktop. But all platforms get the ability to automatically detect rotated videos as well as improved support for multiple codecs including VP89, and H265.

ZDNet reports Silent Circle has bought out Geeksphone’s share of the SGP technologies, maker of the JV and Blackphone products. Silent Circle plans to announce a privacy ecosystem, including new devices, software and services, at Mobile World Congress.

Lenovo’s next batch of Windows 10 PCs will ship with limited amounts of unrequested software reports the Verge. Lenovo announced it will begin shipping with fewer pre-installed apps hoping to “become the leader in providing cleaner, safer PCs.” Lenovo machines will come with the operating system and related software, software required to make hardware work well (like device drivers), security software and Lenovo applications. Lenovo will also post information about all pre-installed software and explain clearly what it does.

 

 

 

News From You: 

thgraphics sent us this story from ZDNet about the Chinese government backing away from US tech brands for state purchases. A recent Reuters report revealed a number of US tech brands like Apple, Cisco, Intel and McAfee have been dropped from the Chinese government’s list of authorized brands. The number of foreign technology brands fell by a third based on an analysis of the list.

If you thought patent wars were over, KAPT_Kipper would like you to think again. The GigaOm story he flagged says Ericsson filed two complaints Thursday with the International Trade Commission against Apple for “infringing Ericsson patents that are essential to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards.” It also filed multiple complaints in the US Eastern District of TExas court over the infringement of 41 patents. Well at least Apple ended a patent case Tuesday. OH wait! Smartflash LLC, which one $532.9 million Tuesday figured Apple’s too good a mark to let go. So Smartflash is suing Apple for infringement of the same two patents it one on Tuesday bit used in devices not covered int he previous case.

 

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/watch/11439847/Apple-Watch-will-replace-your-car-keys-says-Tim-Cook.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-visiting-germany-belgium-and-israel-2015

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/actor-leonard-nimoy-mr-spock-dies-at-83/

Pick of the Day: 

@TheRealNimoy https://twitter.com/TheRealNimoy/status/569762773204217857

 

Monday’s guest: Lamarr Wilson

 

Today in Tech History – Feb. 27, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1891 – David Sarnoff was born near Minsk. He would go on to befriend Marconi and rise to the Presidency of RCA and be integral in founding NBC.

In 1932 – English physicist James Chadwick published a letter on the existence of the neutron, some say giving birth to modern nuclear physics.

In 1986 – The United States Senate voted to allow its debates to be televised on a trial basis. The trial was successful.

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DTNS 2438 – We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Net

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young is in to talk about the US FCC’s vote to adopt new Open Internet Rules under a Title II classification for ISPs. Plus Jonathan Strickland joins to help us understand what the heck Title II is.

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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

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young and Jon Strickland

Headlines: 

The US FCC voted 3-2 to adopt an order for new Open Internet Rules. Broadly the rules will enhance the existing transparency order and prevent blocking and discrimination under the authority of Title II of the Communications act of 1934. The new rules have not been made public. The FCC must receive and respond to dissenting statements from the commissioners who voted against the rules. Once that has happened the rules will be published in the Federal Register and will go into effect 60 days from the date of publication.

The US FCC also voted 3-2 to preempt state laws to allow the City of Wilson, North Carolina and the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee to expand their existing gigabit broadband service to nearby towns where speeds offered are not as fast.

TechCrunch reports that Apple sent out invites today for an event at 10am on Monday, March 9th with the tagline “spring forward.” What in the world could they possibly be talking about on that day? Well Daylight Saving Time begins in the US on March 8, the day before the event so it could just be a really elaborate reminder to test smoke alarms and reset clocks. Or it could be the Apple Watch. And I guess it could also include MacBookAir or iPad updates to um, pad out the announcement.

TechCrunch reports Google launched a pilot program to allow app developers to advertise their apps in the Google Play store. Devs running Google search ads already can choose to have the ads also run against Play store searches. This would put their app at the top of the search result with a small ‘Ad’ button appearing under the App’s name. To start, the ads will begin running on the latest version of the Play store for a small number of smartphone users only.

ZDNet reports Docker’s orchestration services are now available to the public. Compose 1.1 and beta version of Machine and Swarm are all available for download. Machine lets any laptop, server or VM run Docker apps, Swarm clusters multiple servers into a single machine and Compose makes it easier to build a complex distributed app from a number of containers. This marks the evolution of Docker from one-off containers into a full platform. Docker has more than 30 partners including AWS, Google, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

VentureBeat passes along news from Strategy Analytics that Apple’s estimated global smartphone operating profit reached $18.8 billion last quarter up 31% year over year making up 88.7% of the market. Android cashed in 4.8 billion for 11.3%. Careful mathematicians will note that adds to 100%. That means while Android dominates sales, Apple’s making all the money and no other platform is making squat.

Ars Technica reports on a blog post on EFF.org indicating evidence of possible exploitations of the insecure certificates issued by Komodia as part of Superfish and other software. Researchers Joseph Bonneau and Jeremy Gillula found more than 1600 entries in the Decentralized SSL observatory of certs that should have been rejected but were accepted by Komodia. Some of the certs might have been invalid due to routine issues but the researchers felt it was unlikely all of them were.

News From You: 

melchizedek74 and KAPT_Kipper want us to know that if that Superfish news wasn’t enough of a headache for Lenovo, Engadget reports that Lenovo.com was hijacked to show pictures of kids at computers with a link to a Twitter account claiming to represent the group Lizard Squad. In addition Ars Technica reports the DNS hijack was also able to intercept email before Cloudflare updated the MX records. Which basically means they took this hijack to the Max, Justin.

HobbitfromPA wanted us to make sure we mentioned the DroidLife story that Google Play Music has doubled its capacity from 25,000 songs to 50,000 all still at the low low price of nothing.

Discussion Section Links:  

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/26/fcc-passes-strict-net-neutrality-regulations-on-3-2-vote/?ncid=rss
http://publicpolicy.verizon.com/assets/docs/VZ_NR_–_2-26-15_VZ_Statement_on_Open_Internet_Order_FINAL_1.pdf
http://live.theverge.com/fcc-title-ii-net-neutrality-live-blog/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-25/at-t-verizon-set-to-clash-with-fcc-over-mobile-web-regulations
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/25/mark-cuban-on-net-neutrality-fcc-cant-protect-competition/
http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-everyone-was-wrong-about-net-neutrality
http://strawpoll.me/3738696/r
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/09/23/2011-24259/preserving-the-open-internet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_Communications_Inc._v._FCC_%282014%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_Corp._v._FCC
http://www.circleid.com/posts/20100406_fcc_comcast_ancillary_jurisdiction_ancillary_to_something/
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/26/8115953/fcc-net-neutrality-vote-reactions

 

Pick of the Day: Hola.org
Co-Executive Producer Biocow recommends hola.org. Hola is a browser plug-in that creates a VPN through dozens of countries.

Hola was simple to instal and very easy to use. It creates a button in the browser which when clicked opens a nice interface that lets you scroll through countries and displays a small flag of the country you’re browsing through.

I used this on a Mac using FireFox but their site says they have solutions for Mac and PC, FireFox and Chrome and even Androids, iPhone and iPad.

Thursday’s guest:  Tim Stevens and Len Peralta

 

Today in Tech History – Feb. 26, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1896 – Hoping to test the sun’s ability to create X-rays, Henri Becquerel placed a wrapped photographic plate in a closed desk drawer, with phosphorescent uranium rocks laid on top. He left it in the drawer for several days until the sun came out. It was cloudy.

In 1909 – The first successful color motion picture process, Kinemacolor, was shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London.

In 1935 – Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt demonstrated Radio Detection And Ranging to Air Ministry officials at Daventry, England. This RADAR proved quite helpful a few years later when war broke out.

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DTNS 2437 – Gemalto Says it’s Just SIM Antics

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comChris Ashley joins us to talk about whether we believe Gemalto when they say no SIM keys were stolen, and whether Microsoft plans to supplant Google on Android.

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

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

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel 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

Today’s guest: Chris Ashley, co-host of the SMR podcast

Headlines: 

Gemalto issued a press release today stating it detected two sophisticated intrusions in 2010 that it now believes could have been an operation by the US NSA and UK GCHQ as described in leaks from Edward Snowden. Gemalto is the world’s largest supplier of SIM Cards for phones. One intrusion was an attempt to intercept communication by employees in a French office and another was a phishing attempt on a mobile operator. Gemalto detected no breaches in its SIM Card database and does not believe the breach of office networks could have resulted in massive theft of SIM encryption keys.

ReCode reports The US District Court for the eastern district of Texas ordered Apple to pay $533 million dollars after being found guilty for patent infringement. The jury found Apple willfully violated three Smartflash patents in iTunes related to DRM, storage and access through payment systems. Smartflash lodged the suit in May 2013 in Cupertino California but was held in Tyler Texas where Smartflash is based. Apple had asked the jury to find the suit invalid because previous patent inventions covered the same technology.

 

Motorola’s new Moto E has LTE and a bigger screen for $149 The second-gen Moto E has a 4.5-inch (but still 540 x 960 pixel) display, 4G LTE networking, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The removable backplate has been replaced by six colored bands that can be used to personalize the device. Other upgrades include a new 5-megapixel camera withautofocus, 8GB of internal storage, up from 4, and Android 5.0 Lollipop. Motorola also added its Quick Capture feature, which lets you launch the camera with just a twist of your wrist and the Active Display feature that wakes the screen up with notifications or when you pull it out of your pocket.

ZDNet reports Google unveiled an Android for Work program Wednesday which can establish work profiles on mobile devices. The program lets sys admins manage approved apps on the profiles and set up default encryption on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices. Employers can only manage work data and do not see personal data. Likewise users can add and remove apps at will on the personal side. Google is partnering with enterprise management firms to deliver the program, including Cisco, Salesforce, BOX and SAP among others.

Threatpost reports Google is making its bug-finding contest Pwnium a never-ending affair. Bug-hunters no longer need to wait for a security conference to cash in. Security researchers can submit bugs found in Chroium year round and Google will not place a limit on the number they will reward with cash money. In fact Tim Willis of the Chrome security team said the rewards pool “goes all the way up to infinity million dollars.” The bugs just have to meet the same criteria they always did. And winners have disclose all the details of the vulnerability along with the exploit.

Deep Q-network or DQN a product of Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence program has successfully mastered 49 Atari 2600 games according to Ars Technica. Unlike previous AI game masters where information like rules for playing chess or trivia information was pre-loaded into the system, DQN taught itself how to play the games and win. Researchers modeled DQN’s AI on a trial-and-error behavior similar to humans and animals, and developed a process called “deep reinforcement learning”. By “remembering” past outcomes and its associated actions DQN was able to score about 75% of the points of a human game player. Games DQN successfully mastered include Breakout and space invaders but it failed at Ms Pac-Man and similar games that required planning and foresight.

CNET passes along the South Korean daily Donga News’ report that Amazon may open branch offices in Seou’s Gangnam area as early as next month. Amazon’s US carerres website lists several positions in Seoul and first-round interviews for 300 positions reportedly took place over the last week. That’s a challenge to local ecommerce heavyweights eBay Korea and Gmarket. At least it’s not Alibaba’s Tmall… Yet.

News From You: 

KAPT_Kipper sent us the news that the Eiffel Tower now generates its own power with new wind turbines. CNET reports that a pair of VisionAIR5 wind turbines designed by renewable energy specialist Urban Green Energy have been installed on the second level, about 122 meters or 400ft from the ground. The turbines have been painted to blend in with the Eiffel tower, and produce almost no sound. They can produce, a total of 10,000kWh per year — enough to power the tower’s first floor. The tower will also soon get LED lighting, solar panels, a rainwater collection system and high-power heat pumps. Not bad, giant iron tower built in 1889, not bad at all.

AllanAv submitted the Tom’s Hardware exclusive that A “source with knowledge of the matter” says the DirectX 12 will work much differently than older versions. For one the API will combine all graphic resources in one bucket and let devs divide up the workload as they wish. The upshot is reduced latency by reducing the frame queue to one or zero. The source also indicated that DirectX12 could work across multiple GPU architectures at once. Meaning you could build a system with a Geforce and Radeon working in tandem or even aggregating APUs with GPUs.

mranthropology passed along a Windows Central report that Microsoft will remove Google Chat and Facebook Chat support from Outlook.com in the next couple weeks. The People page in Outlook will stay updated with the latest contact information from Facebook and Google if you’ve connected them. Microsoft blames Google for discontinuing its Google Talk chat protocol. No word on why Facebook is getting the boot.

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31619907
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/24/8101585/the-nsas-sim-heist-could-have-given-it-the-power-to-plant-spyware-on
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist/
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/25/gemalto-downplays-impact-of-nsa-and-gchq-hacks-on-its-sim-cards/
http://www.gemalto.com/press/Pages/Gemalto-presents-the-findings-of-its-investigations-into-the-alleged-hacking-of-SIM-card-encryption-keys.aspx
http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2013/05/a-few-thoughts-on-cellular-encryption.html

 

Pick of the Day: http://testmy.net/

Bill Russell writes: “I wanted to throw in another ISP speed test. TestMy.Net is a great alternative that I’ve been using since I read about the possibility that ISPs were prioritizing their packets to boost the numbers. TestMy.Net randomly generates the data that is sent so ISPs can’t even cache the data to deceive the meter.

One thing I really like about TestMy.Net is the ability to run repeated tests. You can set it to run once every 5 minutes for 100 repeated tests or every 24 hours for only 5 tests. This recently helped out a coworker that had a 60Mbps connection that was being slowed down every night around 11pm to the point that he couldn’t watch Netflix or play online games(less than 500kbps). He used TestMy.Net to show his ISP exactly when and how often this was happening and within a few weeks the ISP replaced hardware and now he’s getting his 60Mbps and sometimes more.”

Thursday’s guest:  Justin. Robert. Young.

 

Today in Tech History – Feb. 25, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1837 – The US Patent Office approved Thomas Davenport’s application for a patent on an “Improvement in Propelling Machinery by Magnetism and Electro-Magnetism.” We’d call it an electric motor.

In 1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, DC became the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission.

In 1930 – A US patent for a photographing apparatus was issued to George Lewis McCarthy, who called it a Checkograph. It was the first bank check photographing device.

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S&L Podcast – #207 – Crowdfunding an Abomination with Gary Whitta!

Gary Whitta is an award-winning screenwriter who wrote The Book of Eli and worked on the first Star Wars standalone film. So when he had an idea for a dark historical fantasy story he wrote a book. Why? We ask him that, about successfully crowdfunding his novel, and much more on this episode! 

Direct download here!

Oh, and yes. We ask him about Star Wars too.

Abomination by Gary Whitta

Follow Gary Whitta on Twitter