Today in Tech History – Sep. 23, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1889 – Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo Koppai in Kyoto, Japan, to manufacture hanafuda, Japanese playing cards. Mario came much later.

In 1999 – NASA lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter. It began orbit normally, but after it went behind the planet and out of range, it never made contact again. It was later determined that the approach attitude was wrong because software put out imperial units instead of metric units.

In 2002 – Mozilla Phoenix 0.1 was released. It was the first public version of the web browser, that would become Mozilla Firefox.

In 2008 – The T-Mobile G1 launched, the first phone to use Google’s Android OS, as it began it’s competition against the barely year-old iPhone.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2327 – The Beats Doesn’t Go On

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRob Krekel joins the show and we’ll talk about the new “Crescent Bay’ prototype from Oculus as well s the advent of 3D sound for VR.

MP3

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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Rob Krekel, sound designer for video game that include The Last of Us and Uncharted 3

Today’s title ” ” was chosen by  at showbot.replex.org

Headlines

Breaking news, people, Apple sold a lot of phones. According to Gigaom, the company reported the sale of ten million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus phones between this past Friday and Sunday, beating last year’s 9 million sales of the 5c and 5s models. That may not seem like a big leap but remember iPhone 6 hasn’t gone on sale in China yet due to a delay in approval for sale.

TechCrunch reports it has five sources some of whom work at Apple and Beats, who say Apple will discontinue the Beats Music streaming service. Sources did not agree on whether this would mean it would be rolled into iTunes or not.

GigaOm passes along a Wall Street Journal tip that HTC will make Google’s upcoming 64-bit tablet, likely to be called the Nexus 9. That would make it the first Google device to run a 64-bit version of Android. The next version of Android, Android L, will be 64-bit capable. HTC has not manufactured a tablet since the HTC Flyer in 2011.

TechinAsia reports search engine Duck Duck Go has been blocked in China. The GreatFire Index suggests it may have been blocked starting Sep. 4. The New York Times published an in-depth piece yesterday about the trend of stricter controls on Internet companies in China, including Google, Line and Kakao Talk among others.

The Toronto Star reports that BlackBerry will sell its newest Passport smartphone for $599 off contract in the US , a few hundred dollars cheaper than phones like the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The 4.5 inch square smartphone is the first totally new BlackBerry device to come on the market since CEO John Chen joined the company. Pricing for Canada has not yet been announced.

Hey connector cable and communication port protocol fans, listen up! The Video Electronics Standards Association announced Monday it’s teaming up with the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to have a baby. That baby will be called the DisplayPort Alternate Mode for the USB Type-C Standard. Aww it has it’s mothers reversability! That means devices can connect to existing DisplayPort monitors using a USB Type C to DisplayPort converter as long as the devices support the DisplayPort Alt Mode. A dock could support 10Gbps USB data transfer and support a 4K DisplayPort monitor.

 

 

 

 

News From You

swiftpawz passes along the word that Google no longer requires new users to create a Google+ account when signing up for other Google products. According to a PC Mag retelling of a Marketing Land report, the Google + account is now presented as optional during the signup process. Though you’ll still need a G+ account to do things like leave comments on YouTube or leave app reviews.

AllanAV called our attention to the Anandtech report that Samsung is aware of a problem with two of their solid state drives, the 840 and 840 EVO, that have caused low read performance on older data. Samsung engineers are working on updated firmware. As soon as the fix has been validated they’ll get the new firmware out to end users, though no ETA has been announced.

And finally KAPT_Kipper submitted the best long read of the day from Ars Technica – a terrific account by Cyrus Farivar about an Italian restaurant in Richmond, California which is trying to become the worst-reviewed restaurant on Yelp to highlight their frustration with what the restaurant owners believe are Yelp’s aggressive sales tactics. The restaurant is offering a 25 percent discount to anyone who writes a terrible review. Yelp, predictably is not pleased, saying the restaurant owners are violating Yelp’s terms of service by offering incentives in exchange for reviews. And in case you were wondering, according to the author of the article, it turns out the food there is pretty tasty.

Discussion Links: Oculus

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/20/6660901/oculus-announces-new-vr-headset-prototype-crescent-bay

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/20/6661525/oculus-crescent-bay-prototype-headset-hands-on

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/22/6826877/i-tricked-my-brain-into-thinking-real-life-was-vr

http://recode.net/2014/09/20/oculus-announces-latest-prototype-crescent-bay/

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/eyes-on-oculus-crescent-bay-prototype-is-a-new-high-water-mark/

http://recode.net/2014/09/20/whats-the-killer-app-for-vr-maybe-not-games-oculus-developers-say/

http://realspace3daudio.com/

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2011/05/20/university-of-maryland-spinout-takes.html?page=all

http://twobigears.com/

Pick of the Day:  XBMC (Kodi) add-on called PseudoTV Live via Dave

As someone who will soon be moving into an area that has Comcast as the ONLY option for cable I figured I would attempt to cut the cord (more or less). I have a pc hooked to my living room tv and am one of those digital hoarders with a 4tb external drive nearly filled with movies and tv shows (mostly ripped from my own personal collection because honestly who has space for almost 600 dvds in their living room anymore?). My wife and I would stare at a list of movies on the tv and usually end up switching back to cable watching a censored and cut up version of something we already own on DVD or on the pc. I did a little looking around and found an add on for XBMC called PseudoTV Live where you can set up your own “channels” and flip through your own local content as well as online content (The add on comes with a few dozen RSS feeds set as channels including a TWIT channel as well as a Scam School one). The add on has a built in channel guide and is almost indistinguishable from a real cable system and although it can be somewhat frustrating to set up once you get it working properly (I consider myself a semi above average computer user and still rage uninstalled the thing more than a couple of times) it becomes a very viable alternative to cable, I have had it set up and working properly for a couple of weeks now and my wife and I have not turned back to cable since (except to watch Da Bears stomp on the 49ers last Sunday).

Plug of the Day: Daily Tech News Show Shirt  with Mustafa from thepolarcat.com’s logo now available in white, black and Ash. Look in the podcasts section.

Tuesday’s guests: Patrick Beja

Today in Tech History – Sep. 22, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1791 – Michael Faraday was born in south London. He grew up to discover electromagnetic induction and coined the terms ‘electrode’, ‘cathode’ and ‘ion.’ He also lent his name to the Faraday cage.

In 1986 – In NEC Corp. Vs. Intel Corp., the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that microprograms are copyrightable literary works. And so all the trouble began.

In 2011 – Facebook announced its new Timeline feature which would collect all your posts and materials in chronological order, replacing the old profile.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – Sep. 21, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1866 – Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, England. He would grow up to write under the name H. G. Wells and help form the genre of science fiction.

In 1999 – Google came out of beta. The young company announced its new Google Scout feature and the launch of its new website, removing the beta designation from the Google search engine.

In 2000 – Kevin Mitnick was released from a Lompoc, California prison after almost five years of incarceration.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – Sep. 20, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1848 – At noon in the library of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, members of the former Association of American Geologists and Naturalists met to create the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 1954 – John Backus and his team at IBM ran the first FORTRAN program. FORTRAN stands for FORmula TRANslation and was the first high-level language and compiler developed.

In 1983 – A patent for the RSA Algorithm for public-key cryptography was awarded. RSA stands for Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman, who first publicly described it in 1977.

In 2012 – Makerbot Industries released the Replicator 2 3D printer, meant for non-expert users, and providing 100 micron resolution printing. They also announced the opening of a store in Manhattan.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2326 – Goldilocks and the Three iPhones

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNetflix comes to Linux and TwitPic lives but as you know it’s iPhone 6 release day, so Ek will join us with his brand new phone and stories from the line plus Patrick Beja will pop in with his French version and of course Len Peralta will be here to illustrate it all.

MP3

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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Eklund, Patrick Beja and Len Peralta and maybe a new iPhone.

Today’s title “Goldilocks and the Three iPhones” was created by tvsegon at showbot.replex.org

Headlines

With Apple getting some good response to their privacy subsite yesterday it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Google would want some attention too. Google spokeswoman Niki Christoff told the Washington Post that not only has Google offered on-device encryption for more than three years but starting with the next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default. Meanwhile BlackBerry stands int he corner arms crossed pointing at it’s always encrypted self.

Threatpost mentions Google, Dropbox and others are supporting a new project called Simply Secure to improve the usability of open source privacy tools. The organizations advisors will include Cory Doctorow, Ian Goldberg and Google’s Ben Laurie. The idea is bring open source developers together with usability experts to solve problems and make apps easier to use.

Bloomberg reports that Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba had a successful debut on the New York Stock Exchange today, raising $21.8 billion dollars in its initial public offering. The IPO was priced at $68 dollars and closed for the day at $XX (above $90?) per share. The company is now valued at $231 billion, which makes it worth more than Amazon.com and EBay Inc. and more valuable than all but 9 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Ars Technica reports that Apple released iCloud Drive yesterday as part of the iOS update, but OS X Mavericks does not support the new Apple cloud platform, which means Mac users have to wait until OS X Yosemite is released later this fall. However, Apple did release an updated version of iCloud for Windows which has full support for iCloud drive WHICH MEANS Windows users with iPhones have the advantage over Apple users who didn’t opt in to the Yosemite beta. Of course, iCloud for Windows still can’t use iCloud keychain to sync passwords or use the Find My Device app. So don’t go getting too excited there.

Linux users stop your WINE-ing. Or any of the other workarounds you’ve been using to make Netflix work on your Linux machine. The Mukt passes along that Netflix software engineer Paul Adolph remarked on the Ubuntu developer mailing list that Netflix would be able to play video in Chrome on Ubuntu if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed. To which Ubuntu security engineer Marc Deslauriers responded he plans to update Ubuntu with those very libraries. He might look at it as early as next week!

Ars Technica reports that a developer called Vladikoff has taken Google’s App Runtime for Chrome, which originally allowed certain Android apps to run in Chrome OS, and not only made it run all Android apps, but made it work in the Chrome browser as well. Vladikoff’s custom version called ARChon can be sideloaded into Chrome 37. Then you can use chromeos-apk to convert Android APKs into Chrome extensions and voila. You have android apps running on Windows, OSX or Linux.

News From You

KAPT_Kipper posted the Ars Technica story that MPHJ Technologies has lost its lawsuit against the US FTC. MPHJ was sending small businesses letters requesting $1000 per worker for using “scan to email” functions. That caused attorneys general in Vermont and Nebrasksa to sue MPHJ. So MPHJ decided to sue the FTC which it said was threatening to violate it’s right to free speech. That speech being threatening small businesses. On Tuesday, US District Court Judge Walter Smith dismissed the case since the FTC hadn’t actually done anything yet. MPHJ is still fightin the attorneys general. It’s doing well in Nebraska, but not so hot in Vermont.

tm204 passes along the news that the US Senate is considering limits on US law enforcement access to email stored abroad. Network World reports that the bill would allow the use of search warrants outside the US only in relation to US citizens or companies. The bill would also allow courts the power to modify or deny the warrant request if it forces a company to violate the laws of a foreign country. Whether or not this would help Microsoft in its ongoing quarrel with the federal government about access to emails stored in Dublin is unclear.

metalfreak pointed out an esucurityplanet.com post indicating a Swiss website called CipherShed.org claims to be the home of a project taking the TrueCrypt code forward and turning it into a new application. Jos Doekbrijder, the initiator of the project said CipherShed will be released under an open source license but which one has not been decided yet. The intent is to make a faster more secure product that can work under newer OSs like Windows 8 but still open older TrueCrypt containers.

And KAPT_Kipper has news from the Verge that should help some very concerned people on Twitter to worry less about my photos. You see I was using Tweetbot on my recent trip to post a few pics and the version of Tweetbot I use happens to use TwitPic to upload pics. Several people warned me that I was flirting with disaster and should stop immediately since TwitPic had announced it was shutting down. GOOD NEWS EVERYONE. TwitPic posted on Twitter today that it has been acquired and will live on. Crisis averted.

 

Discussion Links:

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2014/09/19/ifixit-opens-up-apples-iphone-6-plus-to-peek-at-its-huge-battery-and-the-rest-of-its-innards/

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29275039

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/19/apples-iphone-6-and-6-plus-go-on-sale-to-long-lines-of-fans/

Plug of the Day:  ‘Events of a Different Nature‘ by Tom Merritt

I want to let you know I have a new self-published book out called ‘Events of A Different Nature.’ It’s about two dogs who solve crimes. NOW WAIT. It’s not nearly as cute as it may sound. It’s more Raymond Chandler than Wind in the Willows and they never once admit that they’re dogs or in any way inferior to humans. So if you want to check it out you can find a free version as well as print and versions for various ebook platforms at tommerrittbooks.com

Pick of the Day: Tom’s pick is Spider Oak

Monday’s guests: Rob Krekel

Today in Tech History – Sep. 19, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1982 – In a posting made at 11:44 AM, Professor Scott Fahlman first proposed using the characters :-) to indicate jokes on a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University. In the same post he suggested :-(.

In 1989 – About 100 hospitals that used software from Shared Medical Systems saw their computers go into a loop when the date was entered. The day was 32,768 days from January 1, 1900, which caused a system overflow.

In 1995 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day was first celebrated by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon. They had come up with the idea on June 6th while playing racquetball, but that was D-Day. The 19th was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, and the only day he could reliably remember.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

DTNS 2325 – Canary in a Cloud Mine

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPeter Wells joins us from Australia where it’s already iPhone release day. We’ll chat about Apple’s new privacy promises and whether we can blame Australians if Netflix starts blocking VPNs.

MP3

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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Peter Wells of Reckoner, Australia

Today’s title “Canary in a Coal Mine” was chosen by tondagossa at showbot.replex.org

Headlines

Bloomberg reports Larry Ellison intends to step down as CEO of Oracle and hand over CEO duties to president Mark Hurd and president and CFO Safra Katz. Ellison will become chairman, replacing Jeff Henley who becomes Vice Chairman. Ellison will also take on the title of chief technology officer. Ellison co-founded Oracle in 1977 when it was called Software Development Laboratories.

Amazon announced a revamp to its Kindle lineup yesterday. Here’s the list. The Fire HD now comes in two sizes. A 6-inch for $99 and 7-inch for $139 both shipping next month. For $50 extra you can make them Kids editions with a free year of kid-friendly Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a big durable case and a two-year warranty. The HDX 8.9 got a faster processor and the addition of Firefly among other things. The entry-level e-Ink Kindle stays at $79 but gets a touch screen and more memory in October. Amazon also announced Family Library for sharing books, audiobooks, Prime Instant videos, apps and games among family members. But the star of the show was the Kindle Voyage. The screen is eInk but 300 ppi, high contrast fro even paperwhitier than the paperwhite, ambient light setting that adjusts gradually, a flush glass screen that’s not glossy or reflective, and a function to squeeze the right or left bezels to turn pages. The Kindle Voyage ships in October for $199 for WiFi or $269 more for a 3G-enabled version.

Apple posted a new privacy policy and a whole subsite at apple.com/privacy explaining changes in iOS8 as well as pre-existing privacy protections. The subsite has sections on privacy design, privacy management and government requests. In an introductory letter to the site, CEO Tim Cook says Apple has never put back doors in their products for the government. The site also claims that most of your data is now encrypted on the device with a passcode and cannot be recovered by Apple even if it wanted to.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports Microsoft conducted its second round of layoffs Thursday letting go 2,100 people. Microsoft let go 13,000 in July of a total of 18,000 they intend to cut. That leaves 2900 still to go by July 2015. 747 of the current 2100 were in Washington State with the rest distributed globally.

The Verge reports that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will go on sale in the US on October 17th. If you live in the UK, the phablet will go on sale October 10th. Pre-orders begin tomorrow in both countries. On the carrier side, AT&T announced it will ship the Note 4 beginning October 14th for $299.99 on-contract, and $825.99 for the unsubsidized, contract-free version. You can also pay for the phone in monthly installments of $34.42 over 18 months or $41.30 over 12 months. If you want a Note 4 from T-Mobile, you’ll have to wait until Sept 24th to pre-order, but it will still arrive October 17th and you can have up to 24 months to pay it off. And Verizon and Sprint ask you to please hold, they will get right back to you about their Note 4 availability.

GigaOm reports Twilio will add MMS support for regular phone numbers. Twilio allows developers to embed multimedia messaging into apps. The new function means companies can use a single phone number for voice, text and multimedia, similar to existing offers from companies like ZipWhip and Bandwidth. No more shortcodes necessary.

News From You

habichuelacondulce passes along another Ars Technica article about the ongoing debate over what is considered broadband. Last week AT&T and Verizon said 4Mbps was sufficient. This week, US FCC chairman Tom Wheeler told a Congressional Committee that 4Mbps is too slow and that Internet service providers who accept government subsidies to connect rural areas should offer at least 10Mbps to avoid a ‘digital divide’ between city and country internet users. Wheeler says he hopes to “have that issue tidied up” by the end of this year.

KAPT_Kipper submitted the MobileSyrup post that Microsoft has changed its developers fee to a lifetime subscription you only have to pay once. One developer account serves for Windows or Windows Phone stores. Developers were previously charged $19 annually for an individual account. Now they just have to pay once to get in and that’s it. That also means existing accounts will not expire.

And diggsalot submitted a Torrent Freak article stating that Simon Bush, CEO of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association says some of his members are lobbying Netflix to block users that connect through a VPN. Coincidentally, an estimated 200,000 Australians are estimated to use the US version of Netflix. Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford renewed his calls for Netflix to block VPN users, accusing Netflix of profiting off “back door” tactics. Of course, banning VPN use of Netflix would affect non-Australian users with a legitimate account as well. So thanks ALOT, Australia. ;)

Discussion Links:

http://www.apple.com/privacy/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2014/09/17/2612af58-3ed2-11e4-b03f-de718edeb92f_story.html

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/18/6409915/apples-privacy-statement-is-a-direct-shot-at-google-and-i-love-it

http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/18/6404767/apple-offers-mixed-signals-whether-police-can-access-your-data

http://www.wired.com/2014/09/apple-iphone-security/

https://gigaom.com/2014/09/18/apples-warrant-canary-disappears-suggesting-new-patriot-act-demands/

http://images.apple.com/privacy/docs/iOS_Security_Guide_Sept_2014.pdf

Plug of the Day:  ‘Events of a Different Nature‘ by Tom Merritt

I want to let you know I have a new self-published book out called ‘Events of A Different Nature.’ It’s about two dogs who solve crimes. NOW WAIT. It’s not nearly as cute as it may sound. It’s more Raymond Chandler than Wind in the Willows and they never once admit that they’re dogs or in any way inferior to humans. So if you want to check it out you can find a free version as well as print and versions for various ebook platforms at tommerrittbooks.com

Pick of the Day: Knowroaming via Marc Gibeault and xcomglobal via Kayo

“I bought Knowroaming when it was first announced (on Indiegogo I think) but had the occasion to use it only last week-end. And now I think it’s the best tool for travelling with your phone!
-Good rates anywhere for voice/messages/data
-No need to think about it in advance; you arrive at destination and install the profile and it works. You get back home, you remove the profile and it’s done.
-Switches to the strongest network
-Easy to use app and website where you buy credits. That also mean you cannot spend more than you planned without knowing.
Only drawback for some; it requires an unlocked phone.”
For those with locked phones, Kayo has another option: “”I used xcomglobal in Vancouver and it worked great. It was about $15 per day which sounds pricey but it was the same price as hotel wifi, and all of our phones were locked so we couldn’t rent a SIM card anyway. I took a portable battery with me so my family and I had access to the internet all day. I was so happy that when I sent along a thank you post-it with the returned device, they wrote back and gave me a 10% coupon code (embarrassingly, it’s ‘kayolovesxcom’) to share with others. It’s good for a year from June. (I don’t get a kickback for that and I don’t work for this company, btw.)

In Japan, I used a similar service from Global Advanced Communications and that worked really well too. Their coverage was good and the speed was faster than my Comcast connection at home. My brother recently used his free T-mobile 2G roaming plan in the Tokyo area and he was pleased with it as well. Hope that helps!”

Tomorrow’s guests:  Eklund and Len Peralta and maybe a new iPhone.