Today in Tech History – Oct. 23, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flew an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris, France. Some argue he should be credited with the first flight at all. But that’s a long controversy.

In 1995 – A federal judge for the first time authorized a wiretap of a computer network, leading to hacking charges against a young Argentinean for breaking into sensitive U.S. government networks.

In 2001 – Apple announced their new music player, the iPod. Apple used PortalPlayer’s reference platform and hired Pixo to design and implement the user interface. The iPod became the first massively successful digital music player.

In 2012 – Apple announced the iPad Mini at 7.9 inches.


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

DTNS 2349 – Are you with the In(box) crowd?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comEric Franklin from CNET joins us to talk about the new iPads out today and the future of tablets in general.


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

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Eric Franklin, Cnet section editor covering how-to and tablets / co-host of CNET’s The Fix


ReCode reports Twitter unveiled a developer toolkit called Fabric at Flight, the company’s first mobile developer’s conference. Fabric has three main parts. Crashlytics SDK helps devs fix any app’s stability. The MoPub SDK helps devs implement Twitter’s MoPub advertising in apps. And the Twitter SDK which as you might expect, allows Twitter posts to be embedded in apps, but ALSO has a password-free authentication mechanism called Digits. Rather than use a Twitter account, Digits can create an account for any service using only a phone number.

Google has a new email app called “Inbox” from the same people who built Gmail. TechCrunch reports that the Inbox app is designed to present information from your emails in a helpful context; it shares similar features with Google Now. “Inbox” Features include “Bundles” a way to group similar types of emails together, like receipts; “Highlights” which flags the user to upcoming events and all those links to articles your mom sends you; as well as Reminders, Assists and Snoozes. Best of all, it’s available cross-platform, however, as an app for iOS, web and Android, but only in the Chrome browser.

The Next Web reports Microsoft released the final build of it’s Kinect SDK 2.0 for Windows. For the first time, developers can publish Kinect apps tot he Windows store. The second-generation Kinect for Windows was released in July. Microsoft also announced a $49.99 adapter kit which can make the Xbox version of Kinect work with Windows.

Those of you waiting for the first Apple Pay glitch can relax now, or get excited if you’re a hater I guess. Bloomberg reports about 1,000 transaction made with Apple Pay were mistakenly duplicated. A processing mistake between BofA and one payment network, not Apple, was to blame according to a person familiar with the matter. A Bank of America spokeswoman apologized and said the company was correcting the mistake immediately.

TechCrunch reports on an app called PhotoMath from MicroBlink that can take a picture of a math problem and deliver the steps for solving it. While the app could be very attractive to math students, Microblink says it does not want to get into the education market but merely show off what its machine vision technology can do. The company provides ready-to-use SDKs for particular use cases, such as bill payments or equation solving. But I think I can prove students will find the demo very compelling.

The Verge reports Apple’s Tim Cook and Chinese vice premier Ma Kai met today. The Xinhua news agency says the pair “exchanged views on protection of users’ information” and “strengthening cooperation in information and communication fields.” No mention was made of the iCloud attacks alleged to be coming from within China, although Apple has acknowledged “intermittent organized network attacks.” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is also in Beijing to visit Tsinghua University where he has been appointed a member of the School of Economics and Management’s advisory board.

TechCrunch reports Xiomi’s Hugo Barra announced the company will migrate international user data to servers outside of China. Barra believes the migration will cut network request latency for users in India by up to 350ms, and help users in Malaysia to experience 2-3x faster Mi Cloud photosync. Xiomi brings in a large part if its revenue from software services. MIUI services will be housed in Amazon AWS data centers in Oregon and Singapore with more locations being considered.

Samsung and Barnes & Noble are teaming up again with a tablet called the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1, because that’s a snappy name! According to Engadget, it’s essentially the same build and design as the Galaxy Tab 4, but with Barnes and Noble apps including Nook Library and Nook Shop. The cost is $199 after instant rebate and includes $200 worth of free book-related content.




News From You

UKtechBlogger sent us a New York Times article about the Hungarian government’s desire to tax the Internet. The draft bill in the Hungarian parliament would tax Internet providers 150 forints (that’s about 60 US cents) per gigabyte of data traffic. The economic minister says it will raise up to 20 billion in revenue. Fixed-line Internet traffic in Hungary was 1.15 billion gigabytes in 2013 plus another 18 million in mobile internet which is more like 175 billion forints. So maybe there’s going to be a cap on the total amount? Either way, Hungarian citizens are not happy, and have planned a rally on Sunday outside the economic ministry.

gowlkick submitted the CNET story about several companies demonstrating 1 Gbps or faster Internet service over DSL at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam this week. Broadcom, Triductor Technology and Sckipio are making network equipment chips that support something called that enables faster DSL speeds. Network equipment would need to be less than 50 meters from buildings to deliver top speed. service could arrive in homes beginning in 2016, although Telekom Austria has the tech working in real-world tests already.

And finally, battlekoalatsu submitted an Android Central report about some new Android apps from Microsoft Garage, a newer ‘work on what you want’ division of Microsoft. Yes. Android apps. From Microsoft. Apps include “Next Lock Screen” a notification lock screen; “Journeys and Notes” a social travel app, Bing Torque, an app that launches a Bing search wen you turn your wrist. Finally there’s CityZen, an app to send information from the public to their local government to fix problems. This app only works for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in India.



Discussion Links: Tablets!

Pick of the Day: Presonus Studio One via Byron in Los Angeles

Just wanted to turn you onto an audio recording application I just learned about a couple of months ago: Presonus Studio One.

It’s a professional DAW (digital audio workstation) for both Windows and Mac, and comes in a variety of paid versions starting at $99.95, but the version that I’m most excited about is the FREE version! For 30 days, you can try out the Professional version which costs $399 (still cheaper than ProTools and comes with the Melodyne tuning plug-in and a mastering suite!), but after 30 days, it becomes a more limited free version, that is still quite functional!

I’ve been using the free Audacity program for years, but I have always wished it could do live effects processing, but unfortunately it can’t. I have also used GarageBand, but it has its own limitations as well, namely 24-bit recording at 44.1 khz.

Studio One Free lets you record unlimited tracks, with higher bit rates and sample rates (if your interface supports them) and it includes 9 plug-in effects. The only thing missing from the free version that I wish it had, is a compressor and gate, but it’s still pretty darn good without it, especially for free!

Thursday’s guest: Nate Lanxon, 

Today in Tech History – Oct. 22, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1938 – Chester Carlson, tired of the exhaustive process of hand-copying or photographing patent paperwork, decided to make an easier way. On this date he produced the first electrophotographic image. Xerox would later make it automatic, popular, and make Carlson rich.

In 1968 – The US bounced back from tragedy with the first manned mission to space, Apollo 7, safely splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.

In 1975 – The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 landed on Venus. Pics or it didn’t happen you say? Well Venera 9 was the first spacecraft to return an image from the surface of another planet.

In 2009 – Microsoft released Windows 7. People liked it.

In 2013 – Apple announced the new iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display. They also released OS X Mavericks for free.


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

DTNS 2348 – Where we’re going, we’ll need roads

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show today and we’ll discuss whether Google’s use of U2F (like Yubikey) for login security is the wave of the future.


Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from


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 for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor and host of Le Rendez-vous Tech


Reuters reports augmented reality startup Magic Leap raised $542 million in funding led by Google and Qualcomm. This would be just another startup receiving another round of funding if it weren’t for the mystery. Very few people know what Magic Leap’s product is. CEO and founder Rony Abovitz has said Magic Leap will develop “the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world.” Apparently the device will track your eyeballs and project images directly on them, meaning that images appear within the natural world. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google, will join Magic Leap’s board.

PC World reports the US Federal Trade Commission has appointed privacy consultant Ashkan Soltani as its new chief technologist, beginning in November. Soltani is a security researcher who won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2014 along with his co-authors who covered the US NSA surveillance programs.

GigaOm reports China denies any involvement in a man in the middle attack on Apple’s iCloud within China. The attack coincided with the launch of the iPhone 6 in China according to Swedish security researchers at Netresec said the attacks seem are being performed from within China, on backbone networks belonging to China Telecom and China Unicom. Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, told journalists the government was “resolutely opposed” to hacking. China Telecom also said accusations against the government were “untrue and unfounded.”

Nielsen, the company that tracks tv ratings has partnered with Adobe Systems to measure viewership of digital video across all Internet-connected platforms. According to Reuters, this includes desktops, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and over-the-top boxes. The system will launch in 2015 with ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, Sony’s Crackle, Viacom and Univision already signed up.

The Verge reports that the best features of music service Songza–including smart playlist creation– will now be a part of Google Play Music on Android iOS and the web. Google acquired Songza back in July. An update today will add a version of Songza’s Concierge service, offers a colorful list of activities (working out, sleeping, studying, calling Comcast, etc.) designed to match your activities and mood. The feature is available only to All Access subscribers, but there are no ads. A Play Music representative said it’s “business as usual” for the stand-alone Songza app.

Everyone, you can relax now, the continuity of our future timeline is assured. There WILL be a working hoverboard available for purchase in time for the Back to the Future ‘Oh My God It’s The Future’ deadline next year. Gigaom reports that a California startup called Arx Pax has created a board called the Hendo, which can hover three quarters of an inch above the ground, but only on certain types of metal capable of generating a magnetic field, like copper. And it definitely won’t work on water. Oh, and it will cost $10,000. The company’s ultimate goal is to create a small white box that adds hovering capabilities to anything in your home, office, or museum. So, hovering Mona Lisa, coming in 2015.

Hold on to your pants, people. Yahoo beat expectations in their Q3 earnings report, announced today. TechCrunch report that Yahoo with sales of $1.09 billion excluding traffic acquisition costs and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.52. Revenues including acquisition costs were $1.15 billion. Analysts were expecting on average non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.30 on ex-TAC sales of $1.04 billion.Yahoo’s stock is up over 4% in after-hours trading, following this news. Now, what’s Yahoo going to do with their five billion dollars in Alibaba cash.

ReCode reports HP will demonstrate a new product called ‘Sprout’ at an event in New York Oct. 29. According to people who’ve seen it, the product combines a large flat-screen display with a flat touch-enabled work surface and an overhead assembly that combines a projector and a 3-D scanner. The overhead device projects images downward onto the work surface, which users can manipulate with their hands or with a stylus.





News From You

Kylde pointed out a Lifehacker post about what will be our main discussion story today. Google is implementing a new second-factor authentication scheme called Security Key which allows you to use a Universal 2nd Factor key, like Yubikey, to login. The key uses the open FIDO framework to authenticate you rather than typing in numbers that could be phished. In other words you just stick a special USB key in your device and press a button. For now Security Key only works with Chrome.

KAPT_Kipper submitted a TechCrunch article reporting that Microsoft will drop Nokia branding from its Windows phones. The phones will now be called “Microsoft Lumia” phones. The rebranding will begin in France and move around the world. That means the name Nokia will only be used by Nokia which still exists as a mapping and network technology company.

hometownrival submitted the iMore story that Apple has responded to a Washington Post story co-written by future FTC Chief Technologist Ashkan Soltani, pointing out the OS X Yosemite’s spotlight search sends data back to Apple. Apple said it limits what data is collected, does not even attach it so an IP address or any kind of persistent identifier and points out you can opt out of Spotlight Suggestions, Bing or Location Services for Spotlight.


Discussion Links: USB Security

Pick of the Day: GAuth Authenticator via Stephen Funkhouser

Tom I agree with your skepticism about using a tool like Authy that syncs your 2nd factor authentication keys between machines. Security and convenience are always at odds, and in this case we don’t know enough about how Authy works to trust them blindly.

I personally use Gauth Authenticator as a chrome extension (there’s a Firefox one available also). It’s open source with a public repo on github. It stores your key data locally, so only you have it. I also like to backup the text version of my 2nd factor keys in LastPass in the notes section under each accounts record. Thanks for a wonderful, and insightful podcast.

Plug of the week:  DTNS artist in residence Len Peralta has a new comic out that’s burning up the charts on Amazon. It’s called Exterminite about a company that can go into your dreams and exterminate your nightmares. Check it out!

Wednesday’s guest: Eric Franklin, Cnet section editor covering how to and tablets / co-host of CNET’s The Fix

Cordkillers Ep. 41 – You would steal a policeman’s helmet

HBO will do some kind of Internet service next year. People say Yay! CBS will do one now. People say boo. Google unveils Nexus player. People sort of notice!

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CordKillers: Ep. 41 – You would steal a policeman’s helmet
Recorded: October 20, 2014
Guest: Kristi Kates

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Aereo Asks FCC to Change Definition of Video Distributor
  • - Aereo Chief Executive Officer Chet Kanojia met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other officials on Oct. 8 to advocate for online programming to be added to the definition of an MPVD.
    - This would be a big victory for any company attempting to create an online multichannel TV service
    9 Remeber Discovery refused to let Sky Angel carry its channel online. It could not flat out refuse in this scenario)
    - if a programmer has a stake in a distribution service, then it is required to sell its programming to MPVDs.
  • Good News, TV Guys: ComScore Found Your Missing TV Watchers
  • - Comscore survey says the younger a viewer is the less likely they watch on a TV
    - Millennials say they spend a third of their TV-watching time watching TV on computers, tablets and phones
    - 24 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds say they’re not subscribing to pay TV. — 13 percent say they’ve cut the cord, 11 percent never had a cord.
  • Amazon’s Instant Video app now shows your homemade movies
  • -Upgraded Amazon Instant Video apps for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and certain TVs from LG and Samsung can show photos and videos stored in Amazon Cloud Drive for users in Germany the US and UK.

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Tom and Brian,

Quick note: Quit watching The Walking Dead mid-season 2. Tried last season, quit. Brother tells me to watch current season’s premier. Holy crap! I think I’m in.

Fred in Pooler, GA 


Do you have an explanation for why movies take so long to be available to rent? It is so frustrating to see DVDs to buy but not to rent. I want to rent Catching Fire, which was released in 2013 and it is only available to buy. Grrrrrr!



Thanks for your show, we cut the cord about 3 years ago and finding new shows has probably been the hardest part to get used to! Your show has helped me in this regard quite a few times. I wanted to pass along a show I stumbled upon in Netflix that I am in love with! It’s called An Idiot Abroad, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it because know one in my immediate circle seems to love it as much as I do, I want to see if I’m weird, if Brian likes it then I’m legit!

Take care,



You guys have to give Manhattan (on WGN America, Hulu, iTunes) a try. Wife and I love this show. Fascinating drama about the time period and the science with the A bomb. Purchased the season on iTunes and look forward to it every Monday. Just got renewed for a second season.



Dog House Systems Cordkiller box

Today in Tech History – Oct. 21, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1879 – Thomas Edison finished up 14 months of testing with an incandescent electric light bulb that lasted 13½ hours. It improved on 50-year-old technology to make light bulbs safe and economical by using lower electricity, a carbon filament and an improved vacuum.

In 1949 – An Wang filed a patent for a magnetic ferrite core memory, that he called pulse transfer controlling devices. Two years later he formed Wang computers.

In 1983 – The seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures ruled the meter would be defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second. This actually simplified it from the previous definition of 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red emission line in the electromagnetic spectrum of the krypton-86 atom in a vacuum.


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

DTNS 2347 – Tom Buys an Orange with Apple Pay

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIyaz Akhtar is back today and we’ll talk about the launch of Apple Pay, how it works in the real world, and what we bought with it.


Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from


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 for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Iyaz Akhtar, senior associate editor CNET, podcasting on The GFQ Network


iOS8.1 came out today which brings back the camera roll, enables handoffs of text and phone calls to OSX Yosemite and enables Apple Pay. The payment system is set up in the Passbook settings and does not store credit card info but creates tokens that are used to identify the phone’s owner. Near-field Communication is used to transfer the token to a credit card terminal that then conducts the transaction entirely with the bank. Personal information is not stored on the phone. 220,000 locations in the US can now accept Apple Pay as well as many apps.

Android Police reports that a forthcoming update for the Gmail app in Android 5.0 Lollipop, will be able to handle email accounts from other providers like Yahoo and Outlook. Users will be able to swipe the screen between accounts or choose them from a dropdown menu once setup. The accounts will still be separate from the user’s Google account so no forwarding or Pop access setup will be necessary.

The Verge’s sources confirm a Forbes report that Microsoft will launch its own wearable fitness band within the next few weeks. In fact sources say it will be stocked in time for sale during the holidays. While it will tell time the device will focus on fitness tracking things like steps, heart rate, and calories burned. It will also supposedly support Windows Phone iOS and Android.

Gigaom reports that Spotify has announced a family plan option, offering up to four extra accounts at a 50% discount. The accounts are under one billing statement, but each family member gets their own Spotify account, so no more confusing muddling of your listening history, recommendations and playlists. Existing accounts can be linked under the new plan. Spotify says the new feature will roll out globally over the coming weeks. “Family” could mean co-workers, roommates and/or chatrealmers, right? When you listen, you’re family!

The BBC reports 40,000 esports fans filled Seoul’s World Cup stadium to watch the 2014 League of Legends World Championship this weekend between the Star Horn Royal Club from China and Samsung White..Thousands more around the world filled up movie theaters to watch the match. For the record Samsung White beat the Star Horn Royal Club to win one million dollars.




News From You

KAPT_Kipper passed along the Gigaom report that IBM is reportedly paying a company Global Foundries 1.5 Billion dollars, but NOT to acquire them. Instead Global Foundries would take over IBM’s commercial chip-making unit, which had been losing up to $1.5 a year. IBM missed sales and profit expectations for the most recent quarter and earned a profit of $3.68 per share, which was 14 percent below the $4.32 that had been expected.

metalfreak submitted the slashdot posting that OS X Yosemite sends a lot of data back to Apple and there does not seem to be a way to shut it off. A GitHub repository says it “provides a corpus of network communications automatically sent to Apple by OSX Yosemite.” Among the info sent is when the user selects “About this Mac” and search terms entered in Safari, no matter what search engine is selected as default. It’s unclear if all privacy options were selected in the OS and what the network communication might be used for.

evilninja01 tipped us off to a posting claiming South Korea is about to get 10 Gbps broadband. Digital Trends reports Sk Broadband was set to unveil the service at the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference today. The service could transfer 1 GB of data on0.8 seconds. Of course there’s no word when the service will actually be available to customers. Bell Labs showed off 10 Gbps over copper wire in July. South Korea has an average Internet connection speed of 24.6Mbps, ahead of No. 2 Hong Kong with 15.7 Mbps. No wonder they’re so good at esports.

Erniev23 flagged us to a Guardian report that The Twelfth Doctor has a new mission: teach children to code. A new “Doctor Who” online game debuts Wednesday October 22nd on the CBBC website, and includes voice narration by Peter Capaldi, who portrays the current incarnation on television. The free web game is aimed at children 6-12, using puzzles based on programming concepts to help The Doctor rebuild a Dalek.

And another quick note from Metalfreak. Looks like the ChromeOS devs have changed their mind on EXT2/3/4 file support. NetworkingWorld reports the team changed its mind and plans to re-enable ext2/3/4 support in immediately. They say “It will come back, just like it was before, and we’re working to get it into the next stable channel release.”

Discussion Links: Apple Pay in the Wild

Pick of the Day: Raspberry Pi w/ XMBC

I know I’m a little late on this, but I’m just catching up on the podcasts this week. I wouldn’t normally dredge up stories mentioned six days ago. However, I’ve been in search of the best HTPC solution for almost a decade. I’ve tried and owned everything, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV, Chromecast, and of course simply hooking my PC up to my TV. The BEST solution though came in unlikely package, it was a Raspberry Pi with XMBC. Obviously a PC is the best solution, but computers are big, loud, hot, and expensive and when it comes to the UI it can be a bit clunky. The Raspberry Pi w/ XMBC (RaspBMC is the official name) gives you all the power and ports you need in an affordable package. I’ve got a Panasonic Viera smart TV’s in the house, so you simply hook the Pi to the TV via HDMI, and it automatically integrates with the TV remote. It’s a little long winded but this video goes into all the details:

This is my first time writing in, but I just had to share this solution because I never hear it mentioned and it’s so incredibly brilliant. You can run 1080p video, with all the features of XMBC, all from an affordable Raspberry Pi that has such a tiny footprint. Hope you find this as interesting as I did.

Plug of the week: Exterminite!

DTNS artist in residence Len Peralta has a new comic out that’s burning up the charts on Amazon. It’s called Exterminite about a company that can go into your dreams and exterminate your nightmares. Check it out!

Tuesday’s guest: Patrick Beja, podcasteur extraordinaire

Today in Tech History – Oct. 20, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1975 – Atari filed for a patent on the sit-down “cockpit” arcade cabinet, literally putting you inside the game. The game Hi-Way with the slogan “Hi Way — All It Needs Is Wheels”, was the first Atari game to use the cabinet. It was a first-person driver in which you had to dodge cars and– well– drive.

In 1984 – The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in Monterey, California. It not only provided a world-class place to learn about sea life, but inspired millions of screensavers and wallpaper images.

In 2004 – Mark Shuttleworth sent out an email to Ubuntu developers announcing the first official release of the Linux-based operating system, Warty Warthog. Every six months since, a new version of Ubuntu comes out with a new alliterative animal-inspired name.


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