DTNS 2525 – Google: Do Know Evil

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont is on the show to discuss how large companies often eat smaller startup’s lunch. Is that what Facebook’s trying to do to Snapchat?


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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont


TechCrunch reports Facebook has consolidated some photo upload features and added a couple to its app. When you upload a photo to Facebook you’ll immediately see a prompt to swipe to autocorrect or use a filter. You can also choose to overlay colored text and paste stickers. If you’ve used Snapchat or Line you get the pictures. The new features are rolling out to iOS app users and being tested on Android apps.

Yelp paid Legal scholar Tim Wu and Economist Michael Luca to work with its Data Science Team on a research paper that shows evidence that Google manipulates search results in its favor. According to Re/Code, Yelp used a browser plug-in that re-created Google’s search page stripped of the OneBox listings that Google began inserting in 2009 for searches that trigger local results. That page was tested against Google’s normal version with 2690 participants. Users clicked through on the stripped down version at a 45 percent higher rate. Google has repeatedly argued that its revamped search puts the most relevant results in front of searchers and has declined to comment on the paper.

Reuters reports that Google now has until mid-August to answer charges from the European Commission that it abused its market share in a dozen EU countries. The EC accused Google of distorting search results to favor its shopping services. Google could face a billion euro fine, based on Google Adwords revenue generated from European users as well as revenue from its comparison shopping service and search queries.

TechCrunch reports that Paypal will update its User Agreement to clarify how the company is allowed to contact customers, after an earlier updated policy on robocalls ran afoul of the US FCC. The revised User Agreement clarifies that Paypal “primarily” uses pre-recorded or auto-dialed calls to protect customers from fraud, provide account notices to customers, or collect a debt. It also states that PayPal will not market to customers using automated calls and texts without explicit written consent. Customers can revoke that consent at any time.

ReCode reports Facebook has chosen Johannesburg, South Africa for its first business office on the continent. It will serve as a sales office for regional small businesses. Nunu Ntshingila, chairman of Ogilvy South Africa, will run the office as Facebook’s new Head of Africa.

TechCrunch would like to remind you that Apple Music launches at 8am Pacific time tomorrow. And so does iOS 8.4, which is required for Apple Music. In case you forgot, Apple Music will have a three-month free trial and a streaming radio service called Beats 1, which features artist-hosted programming sections as well as a team of full-time DJs headed by ex-BBC host Zane Lowe.

News From You: 

Hurmoth and flyingspatula both submitted versions of the story that the US Supreme Court has declined to hear Google’s appeal of the Google-Oracle API copyright dispute. Ars Technica explains Google used names, declarations and header lines of the Java API in Android. A San Francisco federal Judge ruled that calls to an API could not be copyrighted. A Federal Appeals Court ruled that “declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.” Google will now return to the lower court to determine if the company’s use of the API headers could be defended as fair use.

KAPT_Kipper submitted the BBC article that it has published a list of links removed from Google’s European searches as part the “right to be forgotten” ruling. BBC head of editorial policy said the company would continue to publish the list in order to further a meaningful debate about the policy.

StarFury Zeta shared the story that French authorities took two Uber executives — Thibaut Simphal, the CEO for France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the CEO for Western Europe — into custody for questioning. An Uber France spokesman told ARS TECHNICA: “Our general managers for France and Western Europe today attended a hearing with the French police. The primary regulatory issue in France is that UberPop’s drivers operate under a VTC license designed for pre-booked travel.

From Patrick Beja: Basically the government voted a law clearly targeting UberPop (which is “pretending” it is a ride sharing service when it CLEARLY isn’t), and Uber is fighting it in the courts, which they clearly have the right to do. But since the taxis are pissed and are burning cars (and maybe since the gvt wants to scare the big evil US corps that “don’t pay taxes in FR” – even though changing EU tax law is what’s really needed to fix that), they’re deciding to crack down on Uber, justifying the taxis’ appalling attitude and violence (how can they ever say “burning cars is bad” ever again after that?!), and stepping on the separation of power (AGAIN) since the legal procedure IS in progress and will likely result in UberPop being illegal, but they essentially don’t want to wait and are pulling stunts on them.

Discussion Section: 




Pick of the day:

Victor writes:

You have had several picks over the last few weeks regarding online books and I wanted to chime in. For those who want to get access to Safari Books Online or Books24x7, another great book site, but are on a budget I would like to recommend joining a professional organization. I strongly recommend the Association for Computing Machinery or the IEEE Computer Society. (My personal preference is ACM for the record). Both of these have many benefits including limited access to resources from both Safari Books Online and Books24x7. Membership is $99/year for ACM and, if I read the membership page correctly, is either $56 or $249.

I suspect that other professional organizations provide similar benefits for a comparable cost. I also recommend checking your company’s training website and resource library (for those who work for large organizations) as many provide access to these resources through there. I know many people I work with are unaware that we have access to these and other resources, including the entire ACM digital library, IEEE digital library, etc.

Thanks for a great show!


Bobby Hendrix, Mobile Support Specialist writes:

In episode 2521 I think I heard you mention that you gave away your Apple Watch. Could you please comment on why you gave it away? I’m very curious to get your thoughts on the Apple Watch? Did you ware a watch before the Apple Watch? I do have an Apple Watch and am still trying to decide if it’s going to be a flop or hit for Apple. I’m a watch wearing and have been all my life. I’m still not convinced it will be a hit even with feature editions???

Paul Franz writes:

I can’t wait for more of these devices to be available. I think this is that next move in PC development. To me this is the ultimate in portable computers. All you need is an HDMI display and the wireless keyboard/mouse and you are good to go. Most of the things that you need are on a cloud service so you don’t need much storage space. I can see this as a perfect thing for the road warrior. You can work on documents then store them locally or on the cloud or using as a thin client PC (i.e. a PC that can be used to control a remote VM). Using VMs in the enterprise is very hot at the moment. This keeps the information safely stored within the enterprise instead out on a laptop that could be stolen. For me, this would be perfect since I am an administrator and mostly login to remote machines to do my work.

Jason from Pottsville, AR writes:

Jason re-emphasized that selfdriving cars don’t get distracted by Twitter and radio statiosn and such. and summed up his thoughts with “I love to drive, and have driven competitively to some success, but I’d much rather share the road with a bunch of machines following the rules and making good decisions than the lot of morons I see on the road every day.

Tuesday’s guest: Molly Wood and Justin Robert Young! 

Today in Tech History – June 29, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1975 – Steve Wozniak built the first prototype of the Apple I, the first computer to show letters on the screen as you typed them.

In 1995 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the space station Mir, the first-ever docking of a Shuttle to a Space Station.

In 2007 – The Apple iPhone went on sale for the first time.

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

Today in Tech History – June 28, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1928 – Austrian Friedrich Schmiedl launched his first experimental rocket from a balloon 50,000 feet over Graz, Austria. The rocket was not recovered, but later tests were successful leading to rocket delivered mail.

In 1965 – Officials in the US and Europe conducted the first commercial telephone conversation over satellite Early Bird I. The satellite also began operating for television transmission “live via satellite.”

In 1982 – Microsoft unveiled a new corporate logo with the famous “blibbet” of horizontal lines in the first O. New packaging, and a comprehensive set of retail dealer support materials came along with the blibbet.

In 2011 – Google announced their latest social network attempt. Google + let you put friends in circles and share different things with different circles.

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

Today in Tech History – June 27, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1967 – The world’s first ATM was installed at a Barclays Bank branch in Enfield Town, England, United Kingdom.

In 1972 – Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney filed incorporation papers for Atari, Inc. and got ready to release its first product, a game called Pong.

In 1995 – Spyglass Inc. went public, the year after it began distributing its Spyglass Mosaic Web browser. The Spyglass browser powered the first version of Internet Explorer and had code in IE all the way up to IE 7.

In 2008 – Bill Gates spent his last day as an employee of the company he founded, Microsoft, to focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. He remained Chairman of the Board.

In 2012 – Sergey Brin interrupted a Google announcement of the new Google + app to show off the Project Glass smart glasses by having sky divers wearing the prototypes, jump out of a zeppelin and land on the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco, while streaming video in a Google hangout.

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

DTNS 2524 – Self Driving Kobayashi Maru Test

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJonathan Strickland is on the show to help explain how two self-driving cars did NOT almost crash and why it is that we have to explain that. Also a new fiber tech could unleash crazy Internet speeds. And Len Peralta captures it all in art.


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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
Today’s guests: Jonathan Strickland of howstuffworks.com and Len Peralta, artist

Check out Len’s amazing art from this week’s show celebrating “The Strickman”


Geekwire obtained a company memo sent by Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees revealing the company’s new mission statement is To “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” He added that the company could achieve the mission with 3 interconnected “bold ambitions.” One: Reinvent productivity and business processes. Two: Build the intelligent cloud platform and Three: Create more personal computing. In a related story someone created styamania shirts at teespring.com/satyamania

The Next Web notes Lenovo is looking for feedback on whether it should build a new ThinkPad with a classic ThinkPad look. The laptop would have modern components in the classic design featuring the old rubberized paint, the classic multicolor ThinkPad logo. And the whole thing would be 18-millimeters thick. So thinner than the original.

Physics World explains the work of Nikola Alic and colleagues at the University of California San Diego that could double the capacity of fiber-optic cables. One limit on Fiber optic cables is noise. Some noise comes from amplifiers used to boost the signal every 100 km or so. The other is caused by the power of the signal. The higher the power the more noise. This second is a non-linear, but deterministic function that can be calculated and adapted to. The problem is that laser frequencies drift a bit, so nobody could factor out the noise, until now. The researchers used a “frequency comb” basically a signal that acts as a ruler showing what the actual frequency of the laser is. That way you can boost the signal, then factor out the noise based on the frequency comb. That means the signal can be at a higher power, travel longer, use fewer amplifiers and carry more data. The research is published in the journal Science.

Engadget reports the second-generation FLIR One thermal camera is available for iOS devices with an Android version shipping in July. It’s a standalone device with it’s own battery that attaches by the lightning port or microUSB. You can preorder now for $250 and the first-generation which came in a phone case sells for $150.

9 to 5 Mac noticed that the Apple Watch is coming to the Netherlands Sweden and Thailand on July 17th. The Apple Watch goes on sale today in Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.

The Next Web reports that OnePlus will launch its next phone, the OnePlus2 (does this mean we can call it the Three for short?) on July 27th. The device will have a USB-C port, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 version 2.1 chipset under the hood and it will run OnePlus’ Android-based OxygenOS. The OnePlus 2 will launch with a VR experience usable with a specific cardboard viewer. You’ll need an invite to buy one, I mean the two the one plus .. to buy it.

Tech Crunch reports that Tumblr has launched “Tumblr TV”, showing trending animated GIFs, one after the other, in a full screen viewing mode with play, pause, forward and backward at tumblr.com/tv. Trending GIFs are determined by a variety of factors, including the freshness of the GIF and recent engagements. They are only pulled from Tumblr itself but Bill Eager, Tumblr Product Engineer, said “GIFs are a core feature of Tumblr.”

The Next Web reports that OneWeb has closed a $500 million funding round to build a satellite system to provide affordable broadband services across the globe. Airbus will build more than 900 satellites for the project, 648 of which will be launched and the rest kept as spares. OneWeb plans more than 65 launches starting in 2017, including 39 from Virgin Galactic and 21 from Europe’s Arianespace using Russian-made Soyuz rockets. The project is slated to launch in 2019.

And a followup. Apple told TechCrunch “We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses” and is working with developers to quickly get their games reinstated to the App Store.

News From You: 

merelyjim shared that a senior U.S. official has confirmed to the Daily Beast that attackers accessed the intimate personal details of government workers found in the “adjudication information”, a file compiled on employees and contractors applying for security clearances. That information includes details about workers’ sexual partners, drug and alcohol abuse, debts, gambling compulsions, marital troubles, and any criminal activity. Three former U.S. intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that the adjudication information are effectively dossiers on current and former government employees. White House officials previously acknowledged the breach of information found in Standard Form 86.

starfuryzeta sent us this Engadget report on Audi’s partnership with a German team called “Part-Time Scientists” competing in Google’s Lunar XPRIZE. Audi says it’s providing four-wheel drive tech, as well as expertise in lightweight construction and piloted driving. In return the rover will now be called the Audi Lunar Quattro Moon Rover. Google’s Lunar XPRIZE offers a $30 million prize for the first team to get a rover to the moon, cover 500 meters of it, and broadcast high-definition video back to Earth as it goes.

And finally gowlkick submitted the Ars Technica story clarifying that despite headlines you will see in every major news outlet around the world, two self-driving cars did not almost crash. What did happen was a Delphi self-driving car was about to change lanes and noticed that another car ahead of it was moving into that lane and so it waited until it was safe to change lanes. The car ahead of it just happened to be a Google self-driving car.

Discussion Section



Pick of the day

My pick of the day is Jonathan Strickland because its his birthday. Happy birthday Mr Strickland from Trinidad and Tobago.From Marlon ” the guy from Trinidad” ColbertLateShow.com
Jennie’s pick today is Stephen Colbert’s new Colbr app and accompanying podcast. The App is iOS only, but all the content will also land on ColbertLateShow.com. But it’s the podcast that Jennie really loves, b/c it’s a look inside the ramp up for the Late Show launch on September 8. After all the years of hearing Stephen Colbert the character, it’s fascinating to hear Stephen Colbert the writer and comedian speak with his long-time creative collaborators. The podcast is also available solo, everywhere podcasts are. :) & Colbr app on iOS
Send your picks to feedbackatdailytechnewsshow.com and you can find MY picks at http://www.dailytechnewsshow.com/picks/



Hi Tom, Jennie and the Friday crew,

Great to hear you cover John Brodkin’s piece on Vivint. I live in one of the first neighborhoods where they rolled out wireless broadband service a couple of years back. When their salesman stopped by, I signed up right away, eager to have an alternative to Comcast. I experienced the early stability problems Brodkin mentions in the article. I couldn’t keep my home connected to the hub home even though it was right across the street and I ended up having to go back to Comcast. (Can’t have Netflix cutting out on the kids on a Saturday morning.) Because their technicians couldn’t solve my connectivity issues, they had no problem letting me out of the 2 year contract I had signed. My neighbors who serve as hub homes report that the 28GHz connections they have are pretty stable. So if they’ve improved the 5 GHz home to home connections, they’ve got a viable service on their hands.

And even though I didn’t stick with Vivint myself, when I called Comcast to sign back up, I told the rep I was in a neighborhood that had Vivint wireless broadband and I was able to negotiate a comparable price on my new service. Yay for competition.

Proud Patreon supporter,

From the windy west bench of the Salt Lake Valley


Apurva commented on the blog about an LA Times story describing droine flyers disrupting firefighting efforts in Big Bear lake: This is an example of a consequence that is ignored or quickly dismissed by drones enthusiasts pushing the FAA to rush rules for allowing more drones. While the early enthusiasts might be involved and know all the rules, most new users will not be as responsible. The vast majority that will take this up as prices drop will be ‘knuckleheads’ (and this is a legal term now, see the recent 9th circuit ruling regarding a man who pointed a laser at a plane) who will not know the rules or care. Their first thought will be, “Won’t it be cool if I could get a aerial video of the forest fire.”

Monday’s guest: Veronica Belmont

Today in Tech History – June 26, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1954 – At 5:30 PM the world’s first nuclear power station was connected to the power grid in Obninsk, US.S.R., a small town 60 miles south of Moscow.

In 1974 – At 8:01 AM, a supermarket cashier scanned a 10-pack of Wrigley’s chewing gum across a bar-code scanner at Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio. It was the first product ever checked out by Universal Product Code.

In 1997 – The US Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Communications Decency Act as violating the first amendment protecting free speech.

In 2014 – Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects lab stole the show at the Google I/O developer conference, with a demonstration of Project Tango’s 3D-mapping capability and Project Ara’s modular phone.

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

DTNS 2523 – Treasure Truck Tales Tempt Throngs

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young and Iyaz Akhtar are on the show today to talk about Amazon’s true intentions with the hyped up Treasure Truck. Plus theories on Apple Music continue to haunt us.


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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

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young and Iyaz Akhtar

Engadget reports that Yahoo has partnered with Oracle to get users to try out Yahoo’s third-place search engine as part of their next Java update. The update comes with a pre-checked installation box to make Yahoo the default search engine. Yahoo says the on boarding process is “highly transparent and gives users choice.” Java and Yahoo Toolbar installation have a astoried history.

ZDNet reports that iPhones on the T-Mobile network have been hit by a “blue screen of death”. According to the reports, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices running iOS 8.1 or 8.3 on the T-Mobile network are being affected by freezes, restarts and crashes. The issue is being blamed on an update pushed to the devices to enable Wi-Fi Calling. Several possible fixes have been suggested including disabling Wi-Fi Calling, disabling Voice over LTE or LTE altogether, hard reseting the iPhone, deleting old text messages from the past few days and factory restore the iPhone using iTunes. However users report mixed success. No word yet from Apple or T-mobile on fixes.

Microsoft has revealed new desktop wallpaper for Windows 10 according to the Verge. The default Windows 10 wallpaper uses a Windows logo with a twist! The logo is made entirely out of light. Microsoft used camera mapping techniques, lasers, and projectors in two custom installations in a San Francisco studio. Light beams out and around the edges of a sunbeam-like version of the Windows logo. This new wallpaper will start appearing on desktops once Windows 10 ships on July 29th.

Bloomberg reports on major protests in the French cities of Paris, Marseille, and Lyon by taxi drivers opposing Uber’s operations in the country. Burning tires blocked part of the ring road around Paris and overturned vehicles, and fights were reported. Police in riot gear at one point intervened using tear gas. Roass into Roissy airport were blocked and air travelers were forced to use the train to get to that airport. France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has called for a nationwide clampdown on UberPOP arguing the service represented unfair competition. Meanwhile Ars Technica reports Uber has launched a ferry service called UberBoat in Istanbul today to take passengers across the Bosphorous strait.

Ever wonder why the Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant is called Alexa? That’s because they’re not the same thing. TechCrunch reports Amazon has freed Alexa to live on any device or app that will have her and they even gave her spending money. The Alexa API lets developers build support for Alexa into their apps, Alexa Voice Service can be integrated into hardware and the Alexa Fund is $100 million to support devs and gadget builders looking to build voice-powered stuff.

The New York Times reports Apple will pay two one-hundreths of a cent for each stream of a recording during the free trial of Apple Music — This is supposedly a similar rate to free tiers at other services. Although unlike other services, Taylor Swift has agreed to allow her new album 1989 to stream on Apple Music. All of this hooplah leads up to the launch of Apple Music on June 30th. The Beats One radio station launches that morning, too with Zane One’s interview of Eminem.

News From You: 

metalfreak flagged an Ars Technica writeup of an interesting broadband service provided home security firm Vivint. It’s 100 Mbps wireless service provided by identifying hub homes that get the service for free. In exchange for the service, Vivint mounts three antennas on top of hub homes. The hub receives signals from fiber-connected tower in the 27GHz spectrum then broadcasts service to around 128 homes in a 1,000 foot radius over the 5GHz system. The software and hardware were designed by Vivint to avoid interference. ReadJon Brodkin’s excellent article for more detail.

techstress sent us the Kurzweil AI report that Stanford University scientists have invented a low-cost 1.5-volt water splitter that uses a single nicel-iron oxide catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas for more than 200 hours continuously. The researchers believe that the device, described in in Nature Communications, could provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel for transportation and industry.

the_corley sent us this story from R&D Magazine about a team led by Professor Debashis [Da-bash-ee’s] Chanda at University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center and College of Optics and Photonics that has created the first full-color flexible thin-film reflective display. Applied voltage changes an interaction between liquid crystal molecules and plasmon waves on the nanostructured metallic surface. In simple terms it makes it reflect a different color of light thus changing the apparent color of the material. The display is only about few microns thick, compared to a 100-micron-thick human hair. Professor Chanda said it could change not only electronic displays but camouflage, clothing, and more.

aggblade submitted the Toucharcade version of this story but everyone is reporting that Apple has joined Google in removing apps featuring the the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, commonly known as the Confederate Battle Flag. The flag has caused controversy because of its use by racist individuals and groups. The apps being pulled have included some civil war-based games that used the flag to identify southern soldiers, which has caused another, much smaller, controversy.

Discussion Section


Pick of the Day

Andy from CT here:

I thought I’d point out a great two factor authentication tool that works with LastPass called Duo. Duo, www.duosecurity.com, is a two factor authentication app that works with your mobile device to give you quick access to a second factor approval. It works with many apps, is easy to set up with LastPass, supports the fingerprint reader on your phone and best of all is free for personal use. They recently announced Apple Watch compatibility so you can authenticate a second factor on your watch if you are so inclined. I set up Duo at work as an alternative to RSA hard tokens and it’s been big hit with everyone who’s tried it. You can set up pin codes as an alternate to the device should you not have your phone, or it can call a phone number you designate and read you your pin as a backup. There are lots of other security features and options for the Enterprise that are really neat – check it out!

Thanks Tom, great show!!


Brandon Writes:

Hi Tom!

Co-Exec producer here! Just wanted to ring in on the Windows 10 retail USB rumor brought up on Wednesday’s show. I work on the software buying team for a large US retailer and we have not heard anything about these alleged USBs yet. The USB format makes sense for ultra books and 2-1/Hybrid devices, but the rumored Win 10 price points are the same as current Win 8.1 price points of $119.99 and $199.99; which IMO doesn’t support a more costly format to switch from CD’s to USB’s. Just my .02!

Thanks again!

From Mike:

I think Lexus creating a hover board is more of a research endeavour into new forms of automotive suspensions. Cars already use magnets today to create better suspensions for racing or maybe comfort so this could be research towards that. This could be something they are researching for a racecar or their Lexus LF-a rich boy toy.

Here is an article that might be cool to show how magnets are used today.



Friday’s Guests:  Darren Kitchen & Len Peralta

Today in Tech History – June 25, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1967 – The very first Consumer Electronics Show opened in New York occupying the Americana and New York Hilton Hotels. It was devoted to home entertainment electronics and featured such advances as portable color TVs and video tape recorders.

In 1981 – After six years as a company, Microsoft incorporated in the state of Washington.

In 1998 – Microsoft released Windows 98 with less hype than Windows 95, but more consumer focus.

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