Today in Tech History – May 29, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1919 – Sir Arthur Eddington led a team in Africa to observe the total eclipse, while another team observed it in Brazil, to measure how the sun bent star light during a solar eclipse. The results confirmed Einstein’s theory of Relativity.
http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2006/locations/einstein.php

1935 – Workers poured the last concrete at the iconic Hoover Dam hydroelectric site. Four months later after the concrete was well and truly set, President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the dam. http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/hoover_dam/

1992 – John Sculley introduced the Apple Newton at CES. The first one unveiled on stage had dead batteries and didn’t work. http://techland.time.com/2012/06/01/newton-reconsidered/

1999 – Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-96.html

2015 – Google announced Levi’s as the first partner for Project Jacquard, a way of weaving electronics into clothing to do things like turn cloth into a touchscreen controller. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2928372/this-smart-fabric-from-google-can-change-the-music-and-turn-off-the-lights.html

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

Monthly Tech Views – May 28, 2017

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

As the saying goes, April showers bring May messed up tech stories. Which, on the surface, makes little sense, but if you’d been there in April when I slipped in that puddle and seen just how hard I hit my head, you’d get it.

 

Yeah, Great, But Let’s Get Back To What We’re Definitely Doing Wrong
A District Court judge said he hasn’t seen “any smoking gun” showing that Uber conspired to steal autonomous car trade secrets from WayMo.

High-level Uber executives met to discuss the serious theft accusations in the usual way: “Good thing they were looking for smoking guns and not smoking hot employees, right? Have you guys seen the new girl in Marketing? Ten bucks says she falls for the Sexual Harassment ‘demonstration’ gag.”

I Mean, Unless You Want A $2,000 iPhone?
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s plan to establish a $1 billion fund to promote advanced U.S. manufacturing.

Asked if that meant they would begin building iPhones here, Cook laughed for ten minutes, wiped the tears from his eyes, and said, “No. No, no. Oh my gosh, no.”

Following five more minutes of light chuckling and head shaking, he added, “But we are getting rid of the home button on the iPhone, so I’m sure we’ll need to whip up plenty of $40 dongles of some sort for the Luddites.”

By My Math, Twenty Is Twice As Many As Ten
Apple claims that Apple Watch sales doubled year over year, though CEO Tim Cook would not provide actual numbers.

“Look, I can’t give you exact numbers either, but our department is a madhouse!” said a source inside the Watch Division. “I get notified every time a sale is made anywhere in the world, and on more than one occasion I’ve had to interrupt a best-of-five Words with Friends match to put another slash on the dry erase board.”

Necessity Is The Mother Of Inventive Accounting
Cook also said that those doubled Apple Watch sales led to revenue from wearables equaling that of a Fortune 500 company, meaning at least $5.1 billion last year.

“I see some of you are stunned by this,” Cook said, “but consider that Wearables includes not only the Apple Watch, but Air Pods, Beats headphones. And depending on how financially creative we need to get, remember that in a pinch, a simple household rubber band makes any iPhone a wearable too.”

The Most Steps I Got Was The Walk To The Return Counter
After selling 4.8 million devices in the first quarter of 2016, Fitbit reported sales of only 3 million in the same quarter this year, and that doesn’t take into account the estimated 2.9 million who-am-I-kidding-with-this-resolution returns.

The Little Guy Fights Back
Apple is withholding modem licensing fee payments to Qualcomm, claiming that Qualcomm is not licensing the technology in fair and reasonable terms. Making Apple yet another heartbreaking example of a struggling startup simply not understanding contract terms due to being unable to afford a lawyer.

And Neon… Lots Of Neon
Apple is building a shipping and receiving warehouse in Reno, Nevada. The warehouse will display Apple signage at the request of Reno’s City Council, who added, “You know, that big, sexy signage you look so good in; we want the other cities crazy envious and then we can get you that shiny tax break you’ve had your eye on.”

But Is A 20% Off Coupon Really “An Offer They Can’t Refuse”?
The European Union Advocate General has suggested that Uber be classified a transport service, which would require obtaining authorization to operate. The reasoning is that Uber does not just link supply and demand, but creates the demand.

Say what you will about Uber, but I think it’s pretty farfetched to think they are responsible for people needing rides to places. Especially as it’s been years since their marketing department relied on breaking into homes at night and leaving a severed steering wheel in potential users’ beds.

Good, The Current Twelve Hours Of Pre-Game Seems Lacking
Twitter has signed a multi-year deal with the NFL to live stream pre-game coverage along with a daily thirty minute show, assuring the continued use of the U.S.’s most abundant natural resource, retired football players talking over each other at approximately 130 decibels without once pausing for breath.

Lint  Art
HTC’s U-11 phone will contain Edge Sense, allowing you, for example, to launch the camera by squeezing the phone, leading to HTC’s exciting new slogan: You can never have too many photos of your pocket!

They Can’t Steal Data You Never Store
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology says users should be able to pick whatever password they want, with no pre-defined restrictions, though if passwords contain characteristics like previously breached passwords, dictionary words, repetitive or sequential characters, or the name of the service, they should be disallowed after the fact.

“So we tell the user they can use any password they want.”

“Correct.”

“But if they use one that we don’t like, we don’t let them use it.”

“Right.”

“But we don’t want to tell them up front which types of words won’t work.”

“You got it.”

“No matter how many times they enter an unacceptable option.”

“Exactly.”

“And we get a 20% kickback on all replacement computers and peripherals destroyed in frustration.”

“Bingo.”

And It’s Great For Playing Back To The Future
Snapchat has added a tool that lets you remove an object from a photo and have the space automatically filled in with background. The tool is called Magic Eraser, which sounds a lot more upbeat than the “I Can’t Believe I Ever Loved You” Tool.

 

Thanks for spending some of your three-day weekend with the Monthly Tech Views. You are now free to return to the traditional Memorial Day Freeform Channel Harry Potter Marathon.

(Of course, if you’re not into TV on a beautiful long weekend, there’s no rule that your marathon can’t be of the Tech Views variety. Grab your favorite chaise lounge (pronounced that folding chair that’s been in the shed all winter) and one of these, and relax outside with a few laughs…)

The Internet is Like a Snowblower

Snowblower Cover - Original - Final

 

Tech, Please!

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

Today in Tech History – May 28, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1936 – Alan Turing submitted his paper “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem” for publication in which he postulated hypothetical Turing Machines would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm.

1959 – A committee of government, military and business computer experts met at the Pentagon and laid the foundations for the COBOL computer language.

1971 – The USSR launched Mars 3. It would arrive at Mars in December and its lander would become the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars.

2014 – Apple announced it would acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine would join the company with the titles of ‘Jimmy’ and ‘Dre.’

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

Today in Tech History – May 27, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1931 – Auguste Piccard and Charles Knipfer took the first manned trip into the stratosphere when they rode in a pressurized cabin attached to a balloon to an altitude of 51,800 feet.

1959 – After almost a decade, MIT shut down its Whirlwind computer. It ran 35 hours a week at 90 percent utility using an electrostatic tube memory.

1986 – Dragon Quest was released in Japan. It combined the full-screen map of Ultima with the battle and statistics-oriented screens of Wizardry and paved the way for RPG games.

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

DTNS 3039 – The Game On The Plane Is Mainly On The MAME

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.com The latest figures from Nielsen show most US adults still watch content on a TV. Is the trend to viewing on smaller screens overblown? Plus Scott Johnson and Andy Beach discuss building an arcade emulator using a Raspberry Pi.

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Daily Tech Headlines – May 26, 2017

Apple News has an editor, Stanford finds mixed results with fitness bands, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation merges with CoderDojo.

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

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

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, Jack_Shid, tgstellar, KAPT_Kipper, and scottierowland on the subreddit

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Today in Tech History – May 26, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1969 – Apollo 10 returned to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the manned moon landing.

1981 – Satya Pal Asija received the first US patent for a computer software program. It was called Swift-answer. The patent took seven years to issue, and the validity of software patents has been debated ever since.

1995 – Bill Gates authored an internal memo entitled “The Internet Tidal Wave” calling the Internet the most important development since the IBM personal computer. Microsoft soon got to work on its own Web browser.

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

DTNS 3038 – Disposable Numbers

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comWhy Apple and Samsung dominate US customer satisfaction, Microsoft gets serious about streaming and an Egyptian-speaker analyzes Egypt’s proposed social media law.

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

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Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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, Jack_Shid, tgstellar, KAPT_Kipper, and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
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Daily Tech Headlines – May 25, 2017

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Microsoft gets serious about streaming, Facebook gets serious about video, Intel gets serious about Thunderbolt 3.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the theme music.

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

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, Jack_Shid, tgstellar, KAPT_Kipper, and scottierowland on the subreddit

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