Today in Tech History – Apr. 18, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1925 – The first commercial radio facsimile transmission was sent from San Francisco, California to New York City. It was a photograph showing Louis B. Mayer presenting Marion Davies with a gift.

In 1930 – BBC Radio made the startling announcement that nothing terribly important had happened. Listeners who tuned in to hear the news bulletin were told, “There is no news,” followed by piano music.

In 1986 – Newspapers reported that IBM had become the first to use a megabit chip, a memory chip capable of storing one million bits of information, in its Model 3090.

MP3

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

DTNS 2474 – Not Liable, No Ifs, Ands, or Butts

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is here to help us understand why it’s important to encrypt all the things. Justin Young discusses that and some last observations from Star Wars Celebration plus Patrick Beja drops in to talk about trying on the Apple Watch. Len Peralta may even illustrate all this.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? click here

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 guests:  Darren Kitchen, Len Peralta, Patrick Beja and Justin Robert Young

Headlines: 

Engadget reports that Verizon will begin offering a new FIOS Custom TV package on Sunday. For $65, customers get broadband and a 35 channel base TV package plus two add-on channel packages. The packages are News & Info, Pop Culture, Entertainment, Kids, Lifestyle, Sports and SportsPlus. Additional packages beyond the first two cost $10 each, and subscribers can switch packages every 30 days, or even add phone service for a $75 total. So not quite al a carte. More like a la ca.

Microsoft plans to preview the updated Office suite for Windows 10 Phones at end of this month according to the Verge. The Office for Windows 10 phone preview will incorporate the same interface and features found on the iOS and Android versions including a thumb optimized UI. Office universal apps aren’t built into Windows 10, but will ship with phones later this year. MS will debut Office 2016 for Desktop — essenitally anything with a screen bigger than 10.1-inches– later this year with a UI designed to closely match the universal, iOS and Android versions.

The Next Web says Apple Pay will launch in Canada this Fall. According to a report in the WSJ Apple is in talks with Canada’s six largest banks in preparation for a possible November launch. While banks are open to Apple Pay, and currently in negotiations over fees, there are concerns over security issues that have popped up since its launch in the US.

The Verge reports that Mark Zuckerberg posted to Facebook defending the Inetrnet.org service. Several companies in India have pulled out of the service because they believe zero-rating mobile services is against net neutrality principles. Zuckerberg argued that Internet.org does not block or throttle services only exempt certain services from data charges. He also argues that having some Net access is better than none.

Reuters reports prosecutors in the Netherlands have launched a criminal investigation into Uber for providing taxi service in violation of a court order. A Dutch court banned UberPOP in December for not being properly licensed.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology report ranks Singapore number one in its Network Readiness Index, followed by Finland and Sweden. The index identifies a country’s capacity to leverage information and communication technology based on its usage, impact and political and business environment. Rwanda ranked number one in the world for government success in promoting ICT. Armenia is the number one most improved country since 2012.

 

News From You:

KAPT_Kipper and habicuelacondulce sent us The Verge report that Wikileaks has published the complete Sony Pictures Entertainment leaks in a searchable database. That’s 173,132 emails and 30,287 separate documents containing private legal opinions as well as sensitive conversations between executives. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation. It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain.” Sony Pictures said, “We vehemently disagree with WikiLeaks’ assertion that this material belongs in the public domain and will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company and its more than 6,000 employees.”

Habichuelacondulce posted the Verge story about Instagram’s new community guidelines. Essentially they get more specific about what is allowed. For instance instead of “be polite and respectful” there’s a longer section that is more specific such as “serious threats of harm to public and personal safely aren’t allowed.” Nudity is also generally forbidden unless it involves post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding or pictures of paintings and scultptures. Essentially, Instagram, like many before it has succumbed to the “this is why we can’t have nice things” effect.

This Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s law. On April 19 In 1965 – “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits” by Gordon Moore was published in Electronics. Moore projected that over the next ten years the number of components per chip would double every 12 months. By 1975 he turned out to be right, and the doubling became immortalized as “Moore’s law.”

 

Discussion Section Links:  

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150415/16181530668/netflix-moving-to-encrypted-streams-as-mozilla-moves-to-deprecate-unencrypted-web-pages-as-insecure.shtml
https://letsencrypt.org/
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/11/certificate-authority-encrypt-entire-web

 

Pick of the day:

Petere wrote:

I stumbled upon this at 3am this morning and can’t wait to get time to dig deep and get a feel for the depth of this new product.

https://api.slack.com/web
(The Slack Web API allows you to build applications that interact with Slack in more complex ways than the integrations we provide out of the box.)
and

https://polymer.slack.com/

i have been coding polymer for a while on a hobbyist level and recognize the Lego’n of html tags… makes web tech fun again..

this communication platform is something worth checking out

 

Messages:

Vijay writes in:

Hi Tom,

I have a comment about the story about Microsoft investing in Cyanogen to make it’s app ecosystem more popular on the Android platform. As you pointed out, Microsoft has nothing to lose. But Cyanogen has a lot to lose if they start bundling bloatware from Microsoft (even if it’s Nadella’s).

This announcement also explains some of the rhetoric that the new Cyanogen CEO, Kirk McMaster is indulging in by taking shots at Google accusing them of controlling Android too much. The Cyanogenmod community has not taken very kindly to this CEO’s antics and clearly sees him as profiteering from what has long been a very popular community-driven ROM. Everybody sees how flawed Kirk’s argument is – Cyanogen would not exist if Android did not allow forked out ROMs.

The casualty of these statements and also of forcing Microsoft bloatware on Cyanogen users would be that of losing a large user base. There’s no dearth of competitive Android ROMs (like OxygenOS, Paranoid Android, MIUI, SlimKat, etc) that we geeks will gladly flash as a replacement to Cyanogen if this CEO continues on this path. I’m already planning to flash Oxygen OS to replace CyanogenMod on my OnePlus One.

Sean in rainy Cleveland this week writes:

Tom and Darren,

When I travel I bring a chromecast and a HOOTOO portable router. When I get to my hotel room I through up a wifi network and can get through the hotel login page on one device through the router. I then turn on my VPN to keep my browsing private. I have to turn it off to chromecast though. With the Amazon fire TV allowing you to log into Web based credentials wifi networks, is my. Amazon password or hulu or netflix information potentially vulnerable to interception? Or am I missing something about how amazon passes information to the fire TV?

=====

Monday’s guests:  Rich Stroffolino

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today in Tech History – Apr. 17, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1944 – Harvard University President James Conant wrote to IBM founder Thomas Watson Sr. to let him know that the Harvard Mark I was operating smoothly. It was used in conjunction with the US Navy Bureau of Ships.

In 1967 – The Surveyor 3 spacecraft was successfully launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida on its mission to the Moon. It was the first to carry a surface soil sampling scoop.

In 1970 – The Apollo 13 spacecraft returned safely to Earth after a frightening malfunction caused the team to abort landing on the Moon and instead scramble to keep themselves alive.

MP3

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

DTNS 2473 – Microsoft Excitement Pro XP 2

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNate Lanxon is on the show to talk about Microsoft’s secret strategy to dominate and what things we DON’T want in the cloud.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? click here

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 guests:  Nate Lanxon 

Headlines: 

Business Insider reports Yahoo has renewed its search deal with Microsoft. Bing ads must show up against 51% of traffic now instead of the exclusive deal it had before meaning Yahoo can monetize 49% of its traffic in other ways if it likes. Microsoft is also taking over sales of all the BIng ads.

If you want to walk into an Apple store and buy an Apple Watch you will now have to wait until at least June. 9 to 5 mac shared an Apple memo from SVP of Retail and Online Sales Angela Ahrendts wjo wrote: “due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May.”

Tech Crunch reports that Jawbone has partnered with American Express to allow the new Jawbone UP4 fitness tracker to pay for things at NFC enabled card readers. The authorization token is stored on the band itself, and the credit card information can be deactivated if the band is stolen. The UP4 will cost $200 at launch — $20 more than the payments-less UP3 and launch “this summer”. Jawbone also introduced a new mid-range band called the UP 2 for $99 which replaces the UP24.

Good news Big Data fans. TechCrunch reports from the Hadoop summit in Brussels that Google launched the open beta of Cloud Dataflow and updated BigQuery. CloudDataflow can process data asboth streams and batches and automatically scales to the dev’s needs. BigQuery’s update lets users store data in Google’s European Data centers to keep it out of the US’s surveillance system and only in danger of the French one. It also adds row level permissions which will keep the marketing department from messing up your supply chain data when their pulling sales info.

The New York Times reports China’s Banking Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sent a letter to banks Monday that suspends rules that would have required tech companies to turn over source code. The rules will be reissued after a revision to take into account amendment suggestions.

Engadget reports the World Bank’s latest Global Financial Inclusion database states that 12% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa have mobile wallets, making it the most advanced region for the etechnology. Kenya leads the way with 58%. BizTechAfrica notes M-PESA, one of the most popular payment systems, will launch the 2nd generation of its platform in Kenya next week bringing improved speed and efficiency. Meanwhile a Pew Research report notes cell phone ownership has reached about 90% in Nigeria and South Africa. Texting is still the most common activity on phones in the region followed by photos and video and mobile banking.

 

News From You:

Jaymz668 sent us this story from TechDirt. Netflix will be begin rolling out encryption via HTTPs over the coming year for all of its infrastructure including streams. Although previous trials impacted server capacity by 50% Netflix is now confident that it can implement HTTPs at a lower capacity cost. Tests start this quarter. And from the same story, Mozilla has proposed to deprecate unencrypted web pages – sites that use http: – in a move they hope will encourage web developers to move to HTTPs. As a carrot the browser will only implement new features on sites using HTTPs.

Starfuryzeta let us know about the Ars Technica story that Cynaogen is partnering with Microsoft to integrate Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office into Cyanogen OS. MS has committed to creating native integrations of those apps as well.

 

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/16/8428259/yahoo-microsoft-search-partnership-renewal
http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/16/8427381/cyanogen-microsoft-partnership-apps-services-bundle
http://searchengineland.com/bing-reaches-20-percent-search-milestone-in-us-market-218574

 

Picks of the day:
Mistobox – Personalized Coffee Delivered
Blue Bottle at Home (formerly Tonx)

Messages

David from finally Spring has sprung St. Paul:
As dominant as Google is in Europe people can still choose to use another search engine. Why don’t these companies that are claiming they are affected by Google’s dominance use advertising to point people at other search sites or create partnerships with other search sites to help cover the cost of advertising in things like magazines and bill boards and their own web pages?

Ian in Sunny San Diego on government collection of metadata:
I think a possible solution would be: any government collecting data from its citizens should be required to open source that data. This has two positive effects to help ensure that only “appropriate” data is collected.

PARAPHRASING NOW
First, since the data will be public, we can see if any of it is dangerous to law-abiding citizens.

Second, faster detection of illegal activity since more eyes are on it.

=====

Friday’s guests:  Darren Kitchen & Len Peralta

 

Today in Tech History – Apr. 16, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1959 – The programming language LISP had its first public presentation. Created by John McCarthy, LISP offered programmers flexibility in organization.

In 1971 – Abhay Bhushan proposed FTP (File Transfer Protocol) in RFC 114.

In 1976 – The Helios-B deep-space probe made what was then the closest controlled approach to the Sun at 43 million km or within 0.3 AU.

MP3

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

S&L Podcast – #213 – Our Thoughts on the Hugos

We’re excited and fearful about a new chapter from George R.R. Martin’s Winds of Winter, we’re hopeful about new books from John Scalzi and Ann Leckie and we’re just a little wistful and/or angry about the Hugos.  

Download direct!
    
WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Newcastle Brown Ale    
Veronica: Viognier White Wine    
    
QUICK BURNS 
    
Sword & Laser Collection Contest    
    
Sandra: Behold!  A new chapter from Winds of Winter    
    
Eleanor (via Steven): BBC Radio 4 have three sets of programs celebrating the work of Ursula Le Guin. 

Dara: Ann Leckie sold another Ancillary story to Orbit, to be published in 2017.     
    
Sandra: Cover Art and Release Schedule for John Scalzi’s The End of All Things Novellas

Paul: The Tiptree awards and for 2014 have been announced. 

People are dropping out of the Hugos    

Aidan –  Two Hugo nominees have been disqualified due to ineligibility  

Pssst: Aidan’s also got a short story collection coming out    

Ewan: The whole Hugos Thing   
    
BARE YOUR SWORD

Just a quick heads up that the Discworld Reading Order Guide now has an official Facebook page!
We are gearing up toward releasing the final (sad, I know) 3.0 version of the Guide soon and will be taking suggestions for the draft on the /r/Discworld subreddit and on Facebook once the draft is published. Looking forward to hearing from S&L Pratchett fans.

- Krzysztof Kietzman 

What COMICS Are You Reading    
    
BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    
    
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett    
    
Brendan: Discworld graffiti showing up in London    
    
Neil Gaiman on Terry Pratchett’s inspiration
    
Question about selecting out of print books as our book pick    
    
ADDENDUMS    
    
Our show is currently entirely funded by our patrons at patreon.com/swordandlaser Thank you to all the folks who back our show and if you would like to support the show that way head to patreon.com/swordandlaser
    
You can also support the show by buying books through our links! Find links to the books we talk about and some of our favorites at swordandlaser.com/picks    

DTNS 2472 – If You Can’t Beat ‘em Buy ‘em

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNatali Morris joins the show to discuss the EU’s antitrust objections to Google and Patrick Beja drops back in to tell us why France wants to record all data from its ISPs.

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

Today’s guests:  Natali Morris and Patrick Beja 

Headlines: 

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced the issuance of a Statement of Objections to Google regarding the search engine’s placement of it’s own comparison shopping results. Google has 10 weeks to respond. If the objections are not resolved Google could face a fine of up to 10% of annual sales and possible requirements to change business practices. The EU also announced the beginning of an investigation into Android and Google’s practice of requiring bundles of software be included as well as accusations that Google tries to prevents forks of the open source operating system.

TechCrunch reports a new Tumblr mobile app has added several desktop features of the site to the app like creating secondary blogs or posting to submission blogs. There’s also a Tumblr Widget that you can add to your today screen to show what’s trending. And a iOS users can now cut and paste video links to make video posts just like their android cousins. Better post filtering options are among the other new features.

CNET reports Samsung told Reuters that demand for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is much higher than expected. The Korea Times reports a source says Samsung expects to ship 10 million S6s and S6 Edges in the first 26 days after launch.

Reuters reports that Chinese transportation robotics firm Ninebot has acquired Segway makers of a competing self-balancing scooter. The terms were not disclosed, but Sequoia Capital China and Xiaomi invested 80 million dollars in Ninebot to help fund the acquisition. Segway named Ninebot in a patent infringement complaint in September 2014. So remember kids, can’t beat ‘em? Buy ‘em.

PCWorld has just posted a review of Alcatel’s Onetouch Watch. Highlights include the, price: $150 – making it the cheapest smartwatch on the market, standard USB charging interface, 3 days of battery life at medium brightness, and works with iPhone and Android Smartphones. Misses include design and feel, small feature set, semi-useful notifications, and limited activity-tracking tools that do calories burned, miles walked, minutes active and hours slept.

The Verge reports that Twitter has unveiled a new homepage for people who aren’t signed in. Targeted at new users, it displays a curated collection of timelines showing off popular parts of Twitter, including pop artists, cute animals, space news, business news, actors and actresses, and tech news sites. Click on one and you’ll see a real-time conversation from those accounts. The new homepage also includes a prominent search bar that suggests queries for popular trends and hashtags, like #2016Election.

Tech Crunch reports that Tinder released an update today that integrates with Instagram. Users can scroll through the most recent 34 Instagram pictures from their potential matches to see what food they’ve been eating and how they rock a selfie. Users with private Instagram accounts, will have the option to grant Tinder access, which would make your Instagram public on Tinder only. Tinder now also supports common connections, letting users see degrees of separation and Facebook interests.

The Huffinton Post India is reporting India’s Cleartrip, NDTV, Newshunt and the Times Group announced that they are pulling out of Facebook’s internet.org initiative today, citing support for net neutrality as the reason. Internet.org provides access to services without counting against data usage costs. Many net neutrality supporters criticize such ‘zero-rating’ as creating an unbalanced playing field for startups.

 

News From You:

Ninja3000 gave us a heads up on Huawei’s new P8 smartphone announced at a London launch event. According to Android Central the P8 features a steel body, 64-bit 8-core Kirin 920 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot for up to 128GB of additional storage, a 13-megapixel optical image stabilized camera,, 5.2” 1080p display and a 2600 mAh fixed internal battery. The P8 will ship with Huawei’s EMUI 3.1 software on Android Lollipop and come in black, gold, grey and champagne. It will launch in 30 countries costing 499 euros for the standard version or 599 euros for the P8 Max with 64 GB of storage in black or gold. An affordable version may come to the US this summer.

JohnEllsworth3 shared this ArsTechnica story about Chrome version 42 disabling old Java and Silverlight plug-ins. Those plug-ins use the 90s era Netscape Plugin API to extend browser functionality. Chrome 42 will be turn that API off by default. Users who need that functionality can re-enable the API setting. However, by September Google plans to permanently kill the plug-ins because they cause “hangs, crashes, security incidents and code complexity”. The company suggests developers who are reliant on the plug-ins should move to more open web standards. Chrome for Linux since version 35 and mobile browsers do not support the plug-ins either.

 

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.rudebaguette.com/2015/04/15/europes-1-hosting-provider-threatens-leave-latest-french-surveillance-law-passes/
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.numerama.com%2Fmagazine%2F32804-regardez-cazeneuve-dire-que-la-vie-privee-n-est-pas-une-liberte.html&edit-text=&act=url
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/15/us-google-eu-idUSKBN0N610E20150415
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/15/google-faces-antitrust-action-from-eu-competition-watchdog
http://googleblog.blogspot.be/2015/04/the-search-for-harm.html
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/11539630/QandA-Why-has-the-EU-slapped-Google-with-monopoly-charges.html
http://recode.net/2015/04/14/here-is-googles-internal-response-to-the-imminent-e-u-charges-memo/
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32315649
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/09/google-blocked-acers-rival-phone-to-prevent-android-fragmentation/

 

Pick of the day:

Tom from terrific Toronto writes in:

Hello Tom and Jennie:

With regards to DTNS 2462 and your conversation about Windows unveiling an accessibility dev centre. I would like to pick the weekly Assistive Technology Update podcast.

The latest episode #200, is a special look-back episode, but generally speaking each week they cover the key news in assistive technology, have app reviews, and have an in-depth interview. There are very detailed show notes that include links and a transcript of the interview.

I find it very useful to keep up to date on what’s going on with assistive technology!

http://www.eastersealstech.com/category/assistive-tech-update/
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/assistive-technology-update/id442159129?mt=2

Cheers,

Tom

Messages

Stacey Byerly from rainy Georgia :

Hi Tom
Love the show THANK YOU for a great show

I think Patrick has something there with people being scared to use their phones because of data caps being so low. I suggest apps to many of my friends and family members some of these people don’t know what a gigabyte is. Some don’t want to do anything on their phones because data caps scare them. That might be how the big networks keep traffic down.
I myself used a lot of data this month I’m one of the lucky ones that have an unlimited data plan with unlimited tethering for 60USD (picture attached) haven’t been throttled yet
Thanks
Stacey Byerly

Gaspare from once again rainy in Tampa Florida has a comment on the Reddit button.

“As you described it, it reminded me instantly of a social experiment called “the game.” Thought you might find it interesting, and btw… We all just lost the game…

Christian Cantrell said:

It reminded him of stock trading by employees with limited shares and he theorized: “the button experiment was created by a bored employee of a publicly traded company with no more stock to trade, and who wanted to share his or her pain with millions of fellow Redditors.”

Christian (still waiting to click)

Jason, from springtime Seattle which cannot decide between six more weeks of rain or apocalyptic levels of sunshine and clear skies.

Dear Tom, Jenny, and NotPatrick –

How is it that Monday’s news of the security fix in Mac OS X 10.10.3 wasn’t the lead story? Effectively, there’s a major privilege escalation bug in every version of OS X ever. Apple released a patch for 10.10 (Yosemite) and told every user of previous versions “look, the upgrade to Yosemite is fee, so we wont be patching earlier versions. You’re on your own.”

Users of applications that just don’t work with Yosemite are, of course, left swinging in the wind.

Can you imagine the crapstorm that would ensue if Microsoft fixed a major security release in Windows 10 and told users of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 “hey, the upgrade is free, we won’t be patching your old version”.

Why the free pass for Apple?

Chris in Irvine wanted to comment on the teen being charged a felony for using the teacher’s password.

Turns out when Chris was in school he I created a visual basic application that was a clone of the software used to lock down the PCs. He writes: “The teacher would use a key combination to enter the application and unlock the PC after entering the password. My program intercepted this and displayed it’s own password entry box which would then log the password in a hidden file…. the password securing all of the school’s computers was “book”.. ” He got a three day suspension he continues ” I feel what I did was considerably worse and my punishment of a three day suspension should be more than sufficient in my eyes.

Sheala writes pointing out lots of schools have old tech, insufficient password policies and:

“Added to all that is the fact that the teachers computer is often the only one in he room. So it often gets used for a quick but of research by students. Or teachers will get students to help out. There are any number of activities that make it normal for a kid to be at a teachers computer. And so bad behavior is easily missed.

There are a lot of computer classes in my district taught by teachers that know the bare minimum. And they aren’t teaching information security.”

=====

Wednesday’s guest: Nate Lanxon

 

Get published with Sword & Laser on Inkshares!

Good news, everyone! You know we love Inkshares, and now we’ve partnered with them to kick off their Collections. What does this mean?

To debut the Sword & Laser Collection on Inkshares, we will publish the five science fiction and fantasy projects with the most pre-orders by May 31st, 2015. Sword & Laser will choose their personal favorite from the top five and make it the debut book in their Collection.

The debut Sword & Laser Collection author will receive an interview on the Sword & Laser podcast. All five winners will receive a coaching session from Gary Whitta, Star Wars: Rogue One co-writer and author of Abomination, in addition to having their book published and distributed into independent bookstores, Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble.

You can read all about the content over on Inkshares. Can’t wait to see what you guys are working on!

Today in Tech History – Apr. 15, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgn 1452 – Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest artists, inventors and engineers in history, was born near the Tuscan town of Vinci.

In 1892 – The Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Company merged to form the General Electric Company, manufacturer of dynamos and electric lights.

In 1977 – The first West Coast Computer Faire took place in Palo Alto, California. The star of the show would turn out to be the Apple II. The computer featured a built-in keyboard, 16 kilobytes of memory, BASIC, and eight expansion slots all for $1,300.

MP3

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

DTNS 2471 – The Guitar Hero We Need, Not the One We Deserve

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show and we’ll bring on Russ Pitts to talk about the new Guitar Hero Live and how it’s almost the exact opposite of Rock Band 4.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? click here

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 guests:  Patrick Beja and Russ Pitts

Headlines: 

TechCrunch reports that Apple’s 26th annual Worldwide Developer Conference is scheduled for June 8th through June 12th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Starting today devs can sign up for a random selection process to get a ticket. Devs will be notified by April 20th whether or not they get to pay $1,599 to attend. Possible announcements at WWDC could include, OS upgrades, a new music streaming service, maybe some Apple TV hardware, and maybe even the SDK for Apple Watch Apps.

TechCrunch reports Microsoft began replacing Lync with Skype for Business as part of the Office 2013 April update.  Skype for Business resembles regular Skype but has enterprise-grade security and administration features.  The transition will be complete by the end of May.

CNET has the news that Google has launched a new program called “Designed For Families” which identifies apps in the Google Play store that Google deems safe for children. To earn the family friendly label, app makers must go through a review process that includes receiving a rating of “Everyone” or “Everyone 10+” from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and making sure the app complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. App makers can begin to apply now, and consumers should see the label in a few weeks.

The Next Web reports Opera Mini’s latest Android browser has a scalable interface that works with high-resolution screens, as well as options to customize the layout for larger devices.  The main menu has been simplified and the Speed Dial feature redesigned. Other updates include a new private browsing mode, a refreshed discover newsfeed that brings more new content from the Web and a counter to show you how much data you’ve saved.

Apple made its open-source ResearchKit tools for developers available today. The kit allows developers to create apps intended for medical and health-related research. Modules in the kit include Participant consent, Surveys and Active Tasks. Some applications were created prior to the public release that have enrolled 60,000 users in studies related to asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

The Next Web reports that Netflix is beginning to add narration tracks for the visually impaired today. The narrations describe the movements, facial expressions, costumes and scene changes. The first series to get the additional narration is Daredevil to be followed by shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

The net neutrality lawsuits continue. Added to one filed yesterday by the USTelecom organization, The Verge reports the CTIA, NCTA and American Cable Association have all filed suits now as well. In addition, Ars Technica reports US Rep. Doug Collins introduced a “Resolution of Disapproval” regarding the Open Internet Order which would use Congress’ fast track powers to cancel the FCC rules. While it is likely to pass, it is also likely that the President will veto it.

The Net Neutrality fight is just getting underway in India and TechCrunch reports it took its first victim.  Flipkart announced it will withdraw from Airtel Zero, a platform that would’ve given Bharti Airtel subscribers free data for services that paid to be in the program.

Cloud communications company Twilio has launched Twilio Video according to The Next Web,to make it easier for developers to embed real-time video experiences into apps and websites and such. The service uses WebRTC and leverages Twilio’s existing data centers to handle up to 4 people on a call, unlimited video connections, low latency relay calls and full optimization for iOS and Android users. Although no pricing was mentioned the company said that there will “always be a free tier of usage”. Interested parties can register for a private beta today.

 

News From You:

Doorsrio and KAPT_Kipper send us this ray of sunshine for victims of the CoinVault ransomware. PC World has a story on a new tool released by Kaspersky Lab that exploits decryption keys uncovered on a CoinVault command and control server during an investigation by Dutch police. Kapersky researcher Jornt van der Wiel said the tool isn’t 100% effective but police hope to uncover more keys as their investigation continues. No arrests have been made in connection with the CoinVault ransomware operation but the perpetrator is believed to reside in the Netherlands.

Goofball_jones posted the Ars Technica report about an opinion piece written by industry analyst Jack Gold and published by Verizon. Gold makes the fair point that if everyone had unlimited data and used it fully networks would suffer. He also argues that users don’t require more data and wouldn’t want to pay for the infrastructure to deliver it anyway. Network management company Sandvine’s CTO Don Bowman has said Data caps do not do a very good job of managing congestion.

 

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.wired.com/2015/04/guitar-hero-live/
http://www.wired.com/2015/03/rock-band-4/
http://www.polygon.com/2015/4/14/8407161/guitar-hero-live-news-hands-on

 

Pick of the day:

Jack wrote in saying:

“I have been a long time listener since your buzz out loud days and know you have mentioned Audible over the years and just found out something I did not know before. Audible has an option to stream your books on a browser. This is such a great little surprise for us chromebook users like myself that I can now pop the headphones on and listen to books as I surf the web and my 5 year old claims my phone as his own.”

Messages:

Ian writes:

Dear Tom,

I just donated to your Patreon because I feel like I give back some value before I insert my opinion and potentially take up air time. I love the show and the coverage you guys give to wearables, even if you’re skeptical of smartwatches. I wanted to write in just to remind folks that wearables is a much broader category than just smartwatches. While, as you noted, most of the products in this sector are aimed at women, there are a growing number of products that aren’t gender specific. I’ve compiled a short list of some wearables that are not smartwatches for you and your listeners:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B6iDb3YLa5mlKumVRmWggCtVMXeAN1WrIMg2nfJGC9k/edit?usp=sharing

 

Garin writes in:

Hey Tom, Jenny and Patrick,

I am emailing in response to the story in the headlines yesterday from Ars Technica (and covered widely across the internet) about TWC increasing internet speeds in Charlotte, NC in response to Google Fiber. I just wanted to point out that they might have rolled this out “early” in response to Google, but this particular instance it is not necessarily anything new.

I have Time Warner Cable in LA County (Santa Clarita, by Magic Mountain) and we got these exact speed increases a year ago. Coworkers of mine also got these increases in Pasadena and Covina, so it appeared to be the wider LA area. At the time I researched it and discovered it was actually rolling out as a pilot program in LA and NY (Press release here.) So this increase has probably been in the works for a while, and will likely come to many other (if not every) Time Warner area in the near future.

I just wanted to email in and point out that a story that seemed to blow up all over yesterday was really less of a deal than it looked (Although I totally get that it has happened previously in other instances.)

Love the show and am a proud Patron!

 

Nathan the school tech in weird weather Washington (state) sent us this email:

Hi Tom

I do network and desktop support in a medium-large school district.

I agree that some form of punishment for the student involved is warranted (the original suspension seemed reasonable).

A large portion of the responsibility for the incident lies with the teacher as well as whoever was allowing the use of completely insecure passwords for administrative access to the computer.

The adults in the area are responsible for attempting to prevent the irresponsible, dumb things children do because they are children. When a child does gets caught breaking the rules their behavior should be corrected.

When a teacher creates or allows a situation to continue that leads to inappropriate student behavior, they need some serious correcting as well.

=====

Tuesday’s guests: Natali Morris