DTNS 2421 – Mesh Around

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja joins to explore the brewing war between Google and Uber. Is it Apple and Google all over again?

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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor and independent podcaster at Frenchspin.com

Headlines

Ars Technica collects various reports that broke yesterday evening about Uber and Google fighting over self-driving cars. Bloomberg’s sources say Google chief legal officer David Drummond, who is on Uber’s board, showed screenshots to Uber of a Google ridesharing app. WSJ says that’s just an internal test app for Google employees. Meanwhile TechCrunch reports Uber is teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University researchers to build the “Uber Advanced Technologies Center” in Pittsburgh to research its own self-driving cars.

Ars Technica reports on Eero unveiling their mesh networking routers that promise easy setup, constant security updates and easy coverage of large homes. The routers are not extenders or repeaters, but create a mesh network. Each Eero router has a pair of dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios.  The boxes run a custom firmware stack built on DD-WRT. A cloud-based app allows for users to easily add new routers but also send links in text messages to friends for easy connection to the WiFi network.  Eero is available for preorder today at $125 for one unit or $299 for three. That’s 40% off the eventual retail price when the unit arrives this summer.

Samsung sent out invites to Galaxy Unpacked 2015 on March 1 in Barcelona, during Mobile World Congress. TechCrunch’s picture of the invite shows the side view of a bent metallic device, possibly a fork or maybe a Galaxy S6 with a curved body. We can’t be sure. GigaOm notes that korea’s DDaily suggests Samsung may partner up with LoopPay for automatic payments used in conjunction with a fingerprint sensor.

The Next Web reports that Twitter will begin syndicating promoted tweets outside of Twitter.  The company will bring its promoted tweets to Flipboard and Yahoo Japan with the same design as regular tweets.  In 2014, Twitter had 185 billion tweet impressions off its own site.

TechCrunch passes along a report from Avast on Android malware that displays ads disguised as warning messages when user unlock their device. The malware is estimated to have been downloaded int he millions. Avast has analyzed three apps, Durak card game, an IQ Test and a history app that were infected. The malware waits for several days and at least one reboot before activating.

Engadget reports on Razer’s new Blade gaming laptop for 2015.
The new Blade has a 14-inch 3200 x 1800 touch display, GeForce 970M GPU, 16GB of RAM and a max of 512 GB of solid state storage. Starting price is $2,199 although you can opt for 1080p screen for $200 less.

PC Mag looks at the 2016 roadmap for ARM processor designs unveiled Tuesday. The 64-bit Cortex-A72 which successds the A15 and A57 as the BIG in ARMS Big.little scheme– includes the new CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect and upgraded graphics processing headlined by the Mali-T880 GPU. ARM chief marketing officer Ian Drew expects the next generation of chips to get about 3.5 times the performance of what you get today as well as advanced native voice support, render pictures into 3D print jobs, improved VR and better linkage to Internet of Things device. It will use 75% less energy than the A15. Mobile chip makers that have already licensed the Cortex-A72 include HiSilicon, MediaTek, and Rockchip. More technical info coming in April.

CNET reports the China Internet Network Information Center says the country added 31 million Internet users for a total of 649 million.  Mobile Internet users rose 57 million to 557 million.  That’s good news for Lenovo’s Motorola brand. The company reported sales up 118 percent in the last quarter. And that’s without China which Motorola is now returning to.  Motorola announced Monday on Weibo that it had seen 1 million reservations for the Moto X in China. Lenovo is also expected to announce a new smartphone brand in 2015 for China that will be sold directly to consumers online.

Console game maker OUYA confirmed this morning that Alibaba is getting the OIYA game library on its YunOS platform. YunOS is Alibaba’s version of Android in China. For the moment, OUYA’s game service will be limited to Alibaba’s Tmall set-top box, and will not appear in phones. OUYA did not say anything about the yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report that Alibaba is investing $10 million into OUYA.

 

 

News From You: 

Kaeltian, tm204, and starfuryzeta all wanted us to know about reports that retail electronics store RadioShack is in talks to sell up to half of its 4,000 stores and close the rest as part of an expected plan to file for bankruptcy. Bloomberg’s sources say Sprint, Brookstone and Amazon are all interested in the chain. Sources say Sprint might co-brand stores and keep the Radio Shack name alive.The New York Stock Exchange said Monday it would suspend trading of the stock immediately.

And finally, philo1927 sent us the GigaOm post that the Wall Street Journal has sources with knowledge about Tom Wheeler’s plans for February 5th.

According to the Journal, Wheeler plans to call for Title II reclassification of Internet in the US.

Under this reclassification, could prohibit ISPS from blocking, slowing down or speeding up specific websites in exchange for payment.

The reclassification would apply to mobile broadband, and would place peering arrangements under Title II.

Discussion Section Links:  Uber Google and Eero

http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/02/uber-and-google-reportedly-go-to-war-over-self-driving-taxis/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-02/exclusive-google-and-uber-are-going-to-war-over-taxis?hootPostID=86b6175a61f6b983b08a1c1055694458

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/02/uber-opening-robotics-research-facility-in-pittsburgh-to-build-self-driving-cars/

http://blog.uber.com/carnegie-mellon

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/02/02/uber-chases-google-in-self-driving-cars/

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/eero-takes-a-crack-at-pushing-mesh-wi-fi-through-your-whole-house/

Pick of the Day: Tubes via Rusty in Virginia

Hey Tom,

I recommend Andrew Blum’s book “Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet.” His tour-guide approach to explaining the Internet’s infrastructure and is unique and fascinating. It’s much better than any of my CS textbooks. I’m reminded of this book whenever you explain peering and interconnects on DTNS or Cord Killers.

I think this pick is especially timely given the ongoing debate about net neutrality and the FCC’s upcoming vote at the end of February.

http://andrewblum.net/

cheers,
Rusty in Virginia

Also, Patrick likes this! https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse

Tomorrow’s guest:  Allison Sheridan

DTNS 2420 – Who Watches the Watches?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comChristian Cantrell is on the show to talk about Pebble’s claim to revolutionize the smart watch and be less focused on apps. What would that mean?

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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 guest: Christian Cantrell, sci-fi author & tech writer

http://www.livingdigitally.net/  

http://darkmatter.fm

Headlines

A new Raspberry Pi is here! Still $35 but packed with more power. Ars Technica reports the Raspberry Pi 2 looks close to the Model B+ but has 4 USB ports, more GPIO pins, and a microSD slot instead of a regular one. The 2 also runs a 900 MHzquad-core (drool)ARMv7. That means you can run Ubuntu Core and even Windows 10 if you don’t want Raspbian. Microsoft will offer Windows 10 free to Raspberry Pi owners. The 2 is the new Model B. The $20 Model A+ remains available.  

Everquest has broken free of Sony as the company announced it has sold it’s Sony Online Entertainment games division to investment management firm Columbus Nova. The Next Web reports the division has been renamed Daybreak Game Company. The company will continue to produce MMORPGS like Everquest and H1Z1 while embracing the multiplatform world.

The Verge interviewed Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky who said Pebble shipped its 1 millionth watch on December 31st. And as Android Wear grows and Apple Watch arrives, Migicovsky says Pebble has “found a new framework to use as an interaction model on the watch.” He said apps will no longer be the main focus on the platform, saying “it doesn’t look like what is on your smartphone.”

Intel doesn’t want to get left out of the Internet of Things market the way it missed mobile at first. So it’s buying its way in. Reuters reports Intel has agreed to buy German chip maker Lantiq for an undisclosed sum. In addition to chips for networked devices, Lantiq also produces chips for networking connections, mobile broadband and WiFi. The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals and although the terms of sale have not been disclosed price estimates are around $280 million.

The Washington Post reports the US FCC will consider a draft decision this week to intervene against state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that puts legal limits on Internet service operated by cities. The decision is expected to say that laws limiting municipal Internet prices or geography inhibit timely and reasonable deployment of high-speed Internet under section 706 of the Communications Act. The draft decision will be followed by a vote on Feb. 26, the same day as an expected vote on Open Internet Guidelines.

Reuters reports Japan message app company Line is launching online grocery delivery in Thailand, Line’s second biggest market after Japan. Line’s service will be offering products such as water, coffee and instant noodles at up to 50 percent discounts and free delivery for Thai shoppers. The service will compete against similar services from Tesco Lotus, CP Fresh Mart and Tops Supermarket.

In a story from the-next-web The Pirate Bay is back up, after being taking down Dec 9 during a raid on a Swedish data center by local police. The site is back on its original domain with a Phoenix image. The first new torrent added contained an image of a phoenix titled “Like a Phoenix, it rises from the ashes”. While the site is up features like RSS feeds are still down.

TechCrunch reports that Google’s share of the US search market, excluding mobile, dipped below 75% for the first time since July 2008. If mobile is included, Google’s share rises to 78%. Yahoo become the number 2 search engine in the US, increasing its share of the search market to more than 28% of all searches, compared to less than 10% in November 2014. This surge is due mostly to Yahoo becoming the default search engine in Firefox, which also helped.

Gigaom reports that IDC shows tablet sales were down by 3.2% tduring the holiday quarter compared to last year. This was the first time IDC showed year over year decline for worldwide tablet shipments since the market’s inception in 2010, only shipping 76 million tablets in Q4. The rest of the years increases balnced the bad Q4 out with Tablet sales for the entire year increasing by 4.4% over 2013 with 229.6 million units shipped. Apple continues to lead the tablet market with a 28.1% share, followed by Samsung, then Lenovo, ASUS and Amazon. Although only Lenovo managed to grow year over year.

 

 

 

 

News From You: 

MacBytes sent us the Reuters report that IBM is bringing back annual performance bonuses for its CEO and other top executives, despite 11 straight quarters of lower revenue, 7% drop in 2014 profits and 11% decrease in stock performance. CEO Virginia Rometty will get a $3.6 million annual incentive payout for 2014, on top of a base salary of 1.5 million, which increases to 1.6 million in 2015. She is also slated to received a $5 million award for 2015 and a long-term stock grant worth 13.3 million payable in 2018. She must have met her personal deliverables or Q targets or OKRs or some such thing. IBM did not deliver bonuses in 2013 at the request of executives.

metalfreak submitted the Liliputing.com report that Dell will offer Ubuntu installed on its new XPS 13 and Precision M3800 laptops. The linux option will cut the starting price of the M3800 by a $100 to $1533 . Machines will ship with Ubuntu release 14.04 installed. Unfortunately that means there will be no out of box support for the laptop’s Thunderbolt port although that may be addressed with 14.04.2 maintenance release. If you need something even smaller and cheaper the latest revision to the XPS 13 ultrabook will come in at $1189.

Discussion Section Links:  One Million Pebbles

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/2/7947799/pebble-1-million-smartwatches-sold-new-hardware-coming

http://developer.getpebble.com/blog/2015/01/22/cloudpebble-pebble-emulator/

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/02/apple-watch-retail-plans/?ncid=rss

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/2/7950257/apple-watch-apps-google-uber-foursquare

Pick of the Day: Windscape via Tom Sidla

One of my favorite Apps is Windscape. It’s another weather App, yes, but not like any other I’ve seen. It gathers wind speed data and temps from around the globe and simulates the info with little moving dots. Very cool looking. You can zoom in and out around the globe and see typhoons, storms, polar vortexes, who’s hot and who’s not (literally). It’s $.99, so if you like science and weather, definitely check it out.

Tom Sidla, Pipe Dream Plumbing, Inc.

Tomorrow’s guest: Patrick Beja

DTNS 2417 After Show – Robert Heron talks more TV

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAfter Wednesday’s show Robert Heron, Jennie and Tom kept talking about TVs and more. The conversation was captured on the YouTube video but we thought it was good enough to give the audio listeners a version as well. Happy bonus weekend content.

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

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

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

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

DTNS 2419a – Opting Out of Opacity

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is on the show and we’ll talk about transparency in light of Google’s new commitments to privacy and Reddit’s new transparency report. Plus Len Peralta tries to illustrate transparency. Will you be able to see what he draws?!?

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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 guest: Darren Kitchen of hak5.org and Len Peralta, artist!

Check out Len’s show art this week, it’s pretty hilariously awesome.

http://lenperaltastore.com/products/im-not-touching-you-print

Headlines

The NY Times reports Verizon announced Friday it will soon allow wireless users to completely opt out of its supercookie tracking program. Previously customers could opt out of the tracking being USED by anyone but the tracking still happened. This allowed clever third parties to figure out how to track users anyway. Expanding the optout to remove the number called a “UIDH” will be available “soon.”

CNET reports on a recent upgrade to China’s Internet filtering system to make it harder to circumvent with VPN and providing more scope to block unwanted material. A senior official confirmed that popular VPN Astrill has been disrupted.

Bloomberg reports AOL is firing 150 employees and closing TUAW and Joystiq, folding content from the sites into Engadget. Most of the job cuts come from the sales division. A source told Bloomberg AOL is automating its digital ad sales and simplifying its portfolio. TechCrunch reports Parentdish in the UK and MyDaily, also in the UK, are going to become a part of Huffington Post’s UK site. AOL reports Q4 earnings on Feb. 11. TUAW’s last day as TUAW is Feb. 2.

Rap artist Jay-Z has tabled a bid to purchased a Swedish company called Aspiro for $56 million US dollars. Aspiro runs the WiMP and Tidal music streamign services. CNET reports WiMP is popular in Scandinavia, Germany and Poland with 25 million songs, 75,000 music videos, and half a million subscribers. Tidal is a streaming service in the US and UK that focuses on high quality audio in the lossless FLAC format. Shake it off? Oh hell no. Jay-Z’s the new Sinatra, he can make it anywhere, yeah they love him everywhere.

Alameda is not just for nuclear wessels anymore. CNET reports that what seems to be a Tesla Model X was caught on camera, during testing at the former Alameda Naval Air Station near San Francisco. The video shows a car slightly more angular but similar to the Model X concept unveiled in 2012. The Model X is Telsa’s take on an all-electric SUV. The video was caught on an iPhone 5 and uploaded to YouTube.

Engadget reports that British Telecom, known as BT, says faster broadband is coming to the UK. BT has been testing G.fast a technology that uses a wider frequency band to increase performance on copper wire. Two pilot programs will begin this summer in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire) and Gosforth (Newcastle) with speeds of a few hundred megabits per second which will be increased to 500 mbps over time to around 4,000 homes and businesses. Delivering those speeds to most of the UK, however will take about a decade.

Engadget reports starting today, Google Now will support cards with data from more than 40 third-party apps. For example apps like Pandora can push a card recommending a playlist or if you land at an airport a Lyft card might quote you a fare for a ride. The feature does not share data with the third-parties and works only on Android and only with selected apps.

The Verge reports Google is moving another program from research to regular old corporate division. Project Tango, the 3D-sensing and scanning technology is leaving the Advanced Technology and Projects group, aka ATAP, and into Google proper, though reporting to whom is not yet announced. Google said the same thing it did about Google Glass, namely it will keep iterating and building new devices and this is a step towards a final consumer product. But for some reason none of the headlines seeem to say Project Tango is dead. Hmm.

 

 

 

News From You: 

goofball_jones pointed out the VentureBeat article about Reddit’s first transparency report. Reddit revealed that it received 55 requests for user info in 2014, all from government agencies and all but 5 from the US. It provided some information in response to 32 of the requests. 218 requests were made to remove content and 68 of those requests were granted, all on copyright grounds. Last month Reddit had 3.2 million logged in users.

spsheridan submitted the Huffington Post article that Google has agreed to changes regarding user policy as the result of discussion with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. The changes, which will apply to all Google users globally, will make its privacy policy easier to read and to find and give users more control over what information is shared. It will also do more to make employees, third parties, and users aware of privacy issues. While Google agreed to changes, ICO enforcement head Steve Eckersley said the investigation found no substantial damage and distress to consumers.

Discussion Section Links: Transparency

https://gigaom.com/2015/01/30/google-promises-better-privacy-information-to-settle-uk-case/

https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2015/01/google-to-change-privacy-policy-after-ico-investigation/

http://www.zdnet.com/article/reddit-hands-over-user-data-in-over-half-of-government-requests/

https://www.redditstatic.com/transparency/2014.pdf

http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/28/dropbox-transparency-covers-non-us-requests/?

Pick of the Day: Off to be the Wizard via Big Jim

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1612184715/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1612184715&linkCode=as2&tag=subbrcom-20&linkId=4SXHRD34CRSYUQND\

Monday’s guest: Christian Cantrell

DTNS 2418 – Outlook is Good?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMyke Hurley is on the show. We’ll talk about Apple’s declining iPad sales and what that means for the tablet as a product. Plus some good tips from listeners on buying TVs.

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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

DTNS 2417 – The Big TV Game

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRobert Heron joins the show to talk about the quality of Sling TV and what TV to get whether you’re watching the Super Bowl or not.

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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 thepolarcat.com for the logo!

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

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Robert Heron, technologist and home theater expert at http://www.heronfidelity.com/blog 

Headlines

Sony and Spotify announced a new partnership today that will let PS4, PS3 and Xperia users link their PlayStation Network IDs with the Spotify service to subscribe to Spotify Premium. The new service will launch in 41 markets. At the same time Sony’s current Music Unlimited service will close down in 19 markets as of March 29. Active Music Unlimited Subscribers on Feb. 28 will get 30 days free access through the close of the service on March 29.

The Next Web passes along the WSJ report that Amazon is launching a corporate backend email and calendaring service called WorkMail. The service starts at $4 per email inbox for 50GB of storage, or $6 if bundled with Amazon’s document management service Zocalo.

After one of their drones ended up on the White House lawn, drone maker DJI plans to release a mandatory firmware update that will restrict Phantom drones from flying in the Washington, DC area. The Verge reports that DJI’s drones currently use GPS to enforce restrictions near airports. Now Phantom pilots will not be able to take off or fly within a radius of 15.5. miles (25km) of downtown DC. The update will arrive in the next few days for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+.

The US FTC ordered prepaid mobile provider Tracfone to pay $40 million for slowing down speeds of customers who had paid for unlimited data service. The FTC said Tracfone generally slowed data service after the customer used 1 to 3 GB, and suspended data service at 4 to 5 GB. Before those of you on other unlimited plans get too excited keep in mind that Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection told ReCode that “if a company advertises unlimited, but very clearly discloses their practices with regard to throttling we would not challenge that action.”

Ars Technica reports on vulnerability in the ultrasecure BlackPhone. Mark Dowd, a principal consultant with Australia-based Azimuth Security reported a “type confusion vulnerability” in SilentText. Attackers could send a payload to a SilentText account that would overwrite a pointer in memory and allow surreptitious decryption. Silent Circle, the makers of Silent Text and BlackPhone have fixed the vulnerability. There is no evidence it was ever exploited.

TechCrunch reports on a new keyless deadbolt from Lockitron. The previopus crowdfuned project from the company cost $179 and to put it nicely, had problems. The new smaller Bolt sells for $99 although it replaces the deadbolt altogether rather than fit over your old one. The new Bolt connects to a smartphone by Bluetooth LE. There’s also a $49 adapter that can allow for remote unlocking, although this can be done without the adapter by email or SMS.

Ars Technica reports on another round of good news for Nintendo’s Wii U. Wii U sales rose 40% in the Americas in the past year and 64% in other non-Japanese countries (Europe and Australia mostly). The bad news came from the home country. Wii U sales dropped 40% last year in Japan. The new Nintendo 3DS shipped 1.84 million units after its debut in Japan and Australia. Nintendo reduced annual sales projections for the current fiscal year by 6.8% citing a weakening yen.

Are you ready for some football? Well, Facebook is. According to Engadget by way of Reuters, Facebook will be selling ads that target users based on what they’re talking about in real time on Super Bowl Sunday. That means there’s a good chance your Facebook feed will be full of American football chatter, which means lots of related ads, including video ads that will play automatically in your newsfeed. So if you live in Seattle, and you start seeing a lot of ads for bicycle pumps, proper car tire inflation, and nerf balls, you’ll know why. (For those who are not into sportball, this is about deflategate. You can look it up.)

Are you ready for some earnings? Facebook has 1.39 billion users up 2.96% over the previous quarter. The company had earnings per share of $0.54 on revenue of $3.85 billion, beating analysts expectations.

 

News From You: 

andrewdaley submitted The Intercept report on another Snowden leak this time about Canada’s Communications Security Establishment. According to documents a program called LEVITATION can monitor downloads in several countries across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and North America. LEVITATION analyzes records of up to 15 million downloads daily from popular websites commonly used to share videos, photographs, music, and other files. Only RapidShare, SendSpace and MegaUplaod were named int he documents. LEVITATION gets its data from a separate operation called ATOMIC BANJO that obtains data directly from tapped cables.

johnsie776 submitted this Engadget story. Need a new trachea? Within the next five years you may be able to print one on your MakerBot. Although you should let a doctor put it in. Engadget reports a team at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have developed a technique to produce cartilage to repair damaged tracheas using a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental to print a scaffold. The technique is faster than other reconstruction methods and a lot cheaper than current biological printers.

 

Discussion Section Links:

http://www.heronfidelity.com/blog/deal-alert.html

http://www.heronfidelity.com/favorite-gear/

http://www.heronfidelity.com/blog/lcd-update-quantum-dot-color.html

http://www.heronfidelity.com/blog/tv-picture-setup-guide.html

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-sling-tv-launches-review-20150125-story.html

Pick of the Day:  Revo Uninstaller via Andrew Hughes

I use Revo Uninstaller often and think a lot of other people could benefit from using an uninstaller like this. Revo is a free program but has a pro version for a bit extra depth but what’s most important is that it removes all the files that programs leave behind so if I wanted a clean reinstall or I want to rid myself of a program that leaves behind a lot of excess clutter it is a quick and easy task.
Thank you to everyone at the DTNS crew I love what you do.

Tomorrow’s guest: Myke Hurley, co-founder of Relay.fm

DTNS 2416 – Don’t Drink and Drone

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja and Justin Young are on to talk about Twitter getting group messaging, SnapChat getting news and Wickr getting cat steganography.

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

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

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

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

Show Notes

DTNS 2415 – The Internet Finds a Way

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont is on the show to talk about how engineers in Havana, Cuba have created their own Internet for the city even without a direct connection to the rest of the world.

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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 guest:  Veronica Belmont!

Headlines

GigaOm reports Cablevision is launching a WiFi only cell phone service called Freewheel next month. existing Cablevision Internet customers can add the unlimited talk, text and data for $9.95 a month. Others pay $29.95 a month. The service works with any WiFi access point but takes advantage of existing customers WiFi hotspots as well as CableWiFi participants like Comcast, Cox and TimeWarner. Only the Motorola Moto G for $99.95 will work with the service through preloaded apps.

CNET passes along the revelation of Motorola’s Douglas Woodside that the Nexus 6 would have had a fingerprint sensor on the back if Apple hadn’t bought AuthenTec in 2012. Woodside told the Telegraph in an interview that once AuthenTec was out of the marketplace other providers “weren’t there yet.”

TechCrunch reports Facebook has a launched a simplified Android app called Facebok Lite, meant for low-end devices in emerging markets. The app was made available over the weekend in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. It’s based on the feature phone version Snaptu, but adds push notifications and camera integration among a few other features.

TechWorld notes that KGI Securities Analyst Ming Chi Kuo has issued a research note saying the Apple watch will go on sale in March and sell 5 million in Q1. Kuo also says that number you’re thinking of is 12, yes she will call back but not with the message you want, and that a favorable event will happen to scorpio if they take a great risk. Do not doubt the powers of Ming Chi Kuo. Also a 12-inch MacBook Air is coming.

In a story by Reuters according to state broadcaster TRT the Turkish court has ordered Facebook to block pages deemed offensive for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammad. Under threats of having the entire Facebook site blocked. The court order follows recent government efforts to crack down on material offending religious sensibilities including an inquiry into a newspaper that reprinted parts of Charlie Hebdo in the wake of attacks on the publisher in Paris.

The Verge has a story detailing efforts by Comcast to overcome opposition to its merger with Cable Giant and rival Time Warner with a ghost letter writing campaign to the FCC from politicians in the affected communities. Comcast asserts that the letters show its broad grassroots backing. The Verge says records show that a Comcast official sent the exact wording of a letter to a councilman and that finishing touches were put on the letter by a former FCC official named Rosemary Harold, who is now a partner at one of the nation’s foremost telecom law firms in Washington, DC.

The Verge reports that Oculus has revealed its Story Studio, an internal team exploring virtual reality cinema. At Sundance, they introduced the movie called Lost, a real-time computer generated VR experience for the Crescent Bay prototype. The movie is directed by Saschka Unseld, a former Pixar animator, and is about five minutes long, but could be as short as three and a half minutes or as long as ten, because it takes place in a virtual environment where the viewers actions change the pace of storytelling. The Verge article has a ton of awesome details about how the team came to be, and what the future might hold for interactive cinema.

The Verge also has the news that AT&T has closed a deal to purchase Nextel Mexico, a wireless provider with around 3 millions subscribers and a network estimated to cover 76 million people. AT&T will pay $1.875 billion for the company. You may recall that in November, AT&T reached a deal to acquire lusacell and its 9.2 million subscribers. That deal was finalized Jan. 20. Telcel still has the biggest share of Mexico’s wireless market at 70%.

News From You: 

KAPT_kipper pointed out the Guardian article about Google disclosing that it had turned over email and IP addresses related to three Wikileaks staffers in response to a secret warrant served in March 2012. Google revealed the information to WikiLeaks December 24. The company stated a gag order had prevented the company from revealing the information earlier. The staffers were investigations editor Sarah Harrison; spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson; and senior editor Joseph Farrell. Twitter was ordered to the same in January 2011 for Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, but alerted her sooner allowing her to fight the order, although she lost that fight.

starfuryzeta sent us the TechCrunch report that that Dish’s new streaming video subscription service SlingTV will begin rolling out to people who pre-registered tomorrow. Subscribers will get 20 live TV channels for $20 a month, that can be accessed from Android, iOS, FireTV and Roku apps. The content will include ESPN, TBS, TNS, CNN HGTV, DIY and Food Network, with the ability to add news and childrens channel packages for $5 a month.

Alexhoward submitted the AP article that concerns about navigation app Waze were raised at a meeting of the National Sheriffs Association winter conference in Washington. Of particular concern is a function that allows Waze users to note to each other where police are located. Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Va called the feature a “police stalker”. Waze spokeswoman, Julie Mossler, said the company shares information with the New York Police Department and others. Nuala O’Connor, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology says that sharing of information with law enforcement is the bigger concern. So nobody is happy. Except maybe drivers who avoided traffic jams.

Discussion Section Links: Cuba’s secret network no longer secret

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CB_CUBA_SECRET_NETWORK?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

http://mashable.com/2014/04/03/internet-freedom-cuba/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/23/cuba-offline-internet-weekly-packet-external-hard-drives

Pick of the Day: 

So I’ve been enjoying this stuff for years now, but it never occurred to me (until just now) that maybe not everyone knows bands like this even exist…

!!! Video Game Music Cover Bands !!!

It’s perfect work music because there are no words, they are all songs you already know and love, and presumably they were originally written with the purpose of keeping the player motivated and alert.

There’s enough bands out there that you can find whatever genre fits the mood you are looking for, but the standouts to me are the OneUps. Really high quality lounge-y jazzy covers of everything from Battletoads to Plants v. Zombies. In my book, they are geniuses.

If you aren’t into jazz, and are looking for some more upbeat stuff, definitely check out Vomitron, Year 200x and Charlie Parra del Riego – these are more metal-y covers, but also really really well done (year 200x’s cover of Ducktales Moon theme is particularly bad ass).

OR if you are looking for LOL’s, check out Brentalfloss, a youtuber that’s since put out a couple of studio quality albums of his covers. His spin is adding literal, hilarious and often NSFW lyrics to all of the classics.

Finally of note there are quite a few full orchestral albums out there as well that y’all might find enjoyable. Just search spotify and they’ll readily come up.

Sorry this is so long, but I thought if maybe you guys hadn’t stumbled onto this stuff yet, maybe you’d get some enjoyment out of it as well!

Links:

The OneUps

Charlie Parra del Riego – Videogames go metal
Vomitron – No NES for the Wicked
Year 200X

brentalfloss

Thanks for the daily awesomeness, you guys!
-Dr. Karl

Tomorrow’s guests: Patrick Beja and Justin Robert Young

DTNS 2414 – Holo World

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen and I chat with Sean Hollister about his experience trying Microsoft’s HoloLens and ask Ek from HockeyBuzz about the NHL putting GoPros on hockey player’s heads during the all-star game.

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Jennie’s Friday Art!
Jennie's illustration

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Darren Kitchen, Sean Hollister, and Hockeybuzz’s Ek 

Headlines

If you’re a Windows Insider, Engadget points out the new Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available via Windows Update. That gives you Continuum if you have a hybrid device, the new Xbox app and Cortana. Though Cortana on the desktop can take down notes and answer questions she’s still having a little trouble with complex reminders. No Project Spartan or Office update yet either. You can get the download at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-download

9to5 Mac has sources that say the battery in the Apple Watch may not last as long as Apple hoped. If you believe the sources the watch uses an Apple S1 chip, similar to the A5 running SkiHill, a modified iOS with a retina-class color display. Supposedly Apple wanted 3 days of pure standby time life but is only getting between 2 and 3 days. The sources also say 3,000 watches are in the wild being tested around the world and the watch is on track to ship in March.

TechCrunch reports Microsoft has acquired open-source analytics company Revolution Analytics which focuses on the R programming language for statistical computing. In marketing speak that means Microsoft wants to “use the power of R and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics.” So like data mining. Um in simpler terms? Kind of a really super powerful spreadsheet that helps find trends that help drug makers and scientists discover things.

The Verge reports Uber has applied for a taxi license in New Delhi and resumed operations. Uber was banned a month ago after a driver was accused of raping a passenger. Uber will only allow drivers who have reverified police clearance within the last six weeks. Uber is also conducting background checks on all drivers and implementing vehicle documentation reviews.

ReCode reports Box.com’s IPO got off to a healthy start. The online storage company priced 12.5 million shares at $14 each and opened trading at $20.20, and closed at $23.23. Box raised $175 million in the offering which valued the company at $1.7 billion.

Ars Technica reports that the Raphael Pirker a drone operator who was fined $10,000 by the FAA for illegally operating the drone and flying it in a “reckless manner” has settled his lawsuit with the government. Pirker has agreed to pay $1100 and drop the lawsuit challenging his citation, that claimed the FAA was enforcing a non-existent law against drone operations. FAA ban on small drone flights for commercial applications are still in effect. Pirker used a drone while shooting a commercial for the University of Virginia.

According to a story by the NY Times the Winklevoss Twins are looking to take the Bitcoin virtual currency mainstream by creating the first regulated Bitcoin exchange for US customers, a “Nasdaq of Bitcoin”. The brothers have begun hiring engineers from hedge funds and engaged a bank and regulators hoping to open their exchange in the next few months. The exchange will be named Gemini.

 

News From You: 

KAPT_Kipper sent us the Ars Technica article that Google’s Project Zero has published three 0-day vulnerabilities in Apple’s OSX. Project Zero finds vulnerabilities and gives software manufacturers 90 days to deal with them before making the vulnerabilities public. These three were reported to Apple on October 20, 21st and 23rd,2014. One of the issues may have been mitigated in OS X Yosemite and all three appear to require prior access to machines. The program recently published three vulnerabilities in Windows.

tm204 pointed out the Skift article about Expedia acquiring Travelocity for $280 million. Expedia gets the websites in US and Canada. Swiss-based Bravofly has an ahreement to acquire Travelocity Europe AKA lastminute.com, pending regulatory approval.

Discussion Section Links: 

 http://gizmodo.com/project-hololens-hands-on-incredible-amazing-prototy-1680934585

http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/23/gopro-live-broadcast-nhl/?ncid=rss_truncated

http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/23/gopro-nhl-partnership/

http://gopro.com/news/gopro-and-nhl-new-partnership-will-change-the-way-you-watch-hockey

Pick of the Day:  Kuissential SlickFroth 2.0 – Electric Milk Frother, Cappuccino Maker via Christian

Hi Tom!

In response to whether Google is capable of offering decent customer support for a possible MVNO, I wanted to share my experience.

My general rule of thumb is that Google had fantastic support for anything they do where you pay them money directly. This includes Google Apps, the play store, Nexus devices, etc. In those instances I’ve had some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced in the tech world. It’s only in Google services like gmail and calendar where Google had nonexistent customer service (at least I haven’t found it).

This is why I have no doubt that a Google MVNO would have superb customer service. I also think they’d probably do a great job at disrupting the market with great process and bandwidth caps. Maybe they won’t even have bandwidth caps!

Matt Maher
Sterling, VA

Peter Frazier wonders if Google as an MVNO would lead to free data on Chromebooks. Here’s his line of thinking:

“I wonder just how much data browsing is after subtracting away audio and video streaming?

If they took Chrome OS in a direction where the on board storage was beefed up, and Google Music was a lot smarter about caching your most played songs when on WiFi.

Throw in an option to only use video on WiFi. Now that were starting to see ‘download video’ from YouTube, you could expand the caching of some of your ‘watch later’ as well, and put more development time into that aspect of YouTube to make it a lot more seamless and the videos are just there.

Also they have the ‘low bandwidth’ option on phones, what if they brought that to Chrome OS as well in a HUGE way. Same content but using considerably less bandwidth.

I’m thinking if this was on their plan of attack for the last year, they ‘could’ provide an all you could eat data plan for a large portion, if not all, of our day to day browsing when you buy a chromebook. If they get the bit’s down enough, and adjust the advertising strategy on this class of Chromebook it in theory could be viable.

Monday’s guest:  Veronica Belmont

DTNS 2413 – Breaking Drones

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comShannon Morse joins us. Do we want Google to be our mobile phone service? Also a little more from the experts about HOLOGRAMS!

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? click here

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Shannon Morse, tekthing.com and hak5.org

Headlines

The Verge reports BlackBerry CEO John Chen published an open letter to the US Senate supporting the principles of net neutrality. Most of it is what you’d expect. However Chen accuses Apple and Netflix of discriminating against its users for not making apps for BlackBerryOS. He writes: “All wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose, and applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.”

 

The Next Web reports Kim Dotcom’s Mega has launched an audio and video chat service with end to end encryption. Any registered Mega user can try out the beta service. Text chat is expected to be added soon as well as video conferencing. MegaChat users made more than a half million video calls in the first hour after launch. But nobody but the participants knows what happened in them.

The Next Web reports that Twitter is rolling out a new feature called Recap, today for iOS and in the next few weeks to Android and Web. A heading will appear called “while you were away…” that will show users the best tweets that happened– wait for it– while they were away. The more you use Twitter, the more recaps you’ll see. Which tweets you see will be determined by “engagement and other factors” according to the company. You won’t be able to adjust how it works or even turn it off, but hitting X at the top of the summary often enough will direct the system to show fewer recaps.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley clarifies that Microsoft Office for Windows 10 will be preinstalled for free on Windows 10 smartphones and tablets as long as they are smaller than 8 inches. The suite of “touch-first” apps will be available from the Windows Store for Windows devices with larger screen sizes. If you want to take a look at the new apps, Microsoft posted a blog with screen caps. Microsoft also officially has named the next version of Office for the desktop, Office 2016. Office universal apps will be available with the Windows 10 technical preview in the coming weeks and general availability for the Office for Windows 10 suite will be “later this year.”

Also from Engadget, Nvidia has released a GPU targeting AMDs video cards at the $200 price point. Although the recently released GTX 970 and 980 are powerful, their high costs ($350 -$600+) have turned many towards AMDs cheaper but still capable Radeon offerings. Nvidia’s Maxwell based GTX 960 sports 1025 CUDA cores and clock speed of 1.1 GHz although with overlocking and decent cooling the GPU speed can be bumped up to 1.5 GHz. For the past year AMD has been able to leverage the $200 sweet spot in GPU price/performance arena, but with the release of GTX 960 AMD will be under pressure with their next generation of products.

Ars Technica lets us know about a report from cloud backup provider Backblaze on the reliability of its hard drives. HGST, owned by Western Digital now, led the way with low failure rates. For instance 2 TB 7K2000s were on average 3.9 years old but had a failure rate of 1.1%. Seagate improved a little from the last Backblaze report but still 23.8% for the Barracuda 7200.11 and 9.6% for the Barracuda LP. The 3TB Barracuda 7200.14 had an awful 43.1% failure rate with an average of 2.2 years in service. However newer Seagate model 4 TB HDDD15 only had a 2.6% failure rate albeit after an avaerage 0.9 years in service.

The Verge reports journalist Barrett Brown has been sentenced to 63 months in prison after pleading guilty to charges of transmitting threats, accessory to hacking charges, and interfering with the execution of a search warrant. Brown uploaded YouTube videos containing threats, tried to redact sensitive email procured by hackers and hid laptops in a kitchen cabinet. Brown had been originally charged with fraud for sharing a link to an Anonymous IRC chat room where stolen credit card details were being shared. Those charges were dropped. Brown has served 28 months in prison during trial which will count toward his sentence.

News From You: 

tm204 posted the VentureBeat story that Amazon has introduced a program t help produce ebooks for students. The Kindle Textbook Creator, now in open beta, can make books to be sold through the Kindle Direct Publishing EDU service. It’s available for OSX and Windows. The books can have flashcards, allow note-taking, and highlighting, “cut” segments out to a separate notebook, or annotate with context.

metalfreak pointed out the PC World article noting that Documents, prepared by the Latvian presidency of the Council of the EU, note that blocking or filtering content in the “public interest” as part of a proposed net neutrality law could violate privacy laws that protect the confidentiality of communication. Last week EU ministers called on ISPs to do just such blocking and filtering of extreme content. The Latvian presidency plans to discuss changes to three articles of the proposed text at a meeting of the Council’s working party on Jan. 27

starfuryzeta sent us an Associated Press report about a drone overloaded with methamphetamine that crashed into a supermarket parking lot in Tijuana, Mexico. Tijuana police said six pounds of meth were taped to the six-propellor remote controlled craft. Authorities are investigating where the flight originated, but said it was not the first time they’d seen a drone used to smuggle drugs. Said the drone, “I am the one who flies.”

Discussion Section Links: 

http://www.cnet.com/news/google-reportedly-wants-to-sell-wireless-service-through-sprint-t-mobile/#ftag=CAD590a51e

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/01/22/google-could-become-a-wireless-carrier-heres-what-that-means-for-you/

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2391605/google-to-become-mvno-in-rumoured-deal-with-us-carriers

https://www.theinformation.com/Google-s-Next-Telecom-Move-Becoming-a-Wireless-Carrier?token=ab0427829572f58d05a85f83758ffdb5

Why Google’s Plan To Sell Wireless Probably Doesn’t Scare Network Providers

Pick of the Day: Freedom(TM) by Daniel Suarez via Paul Wheatley

Boss #1248 Paul writes, “Hi Tom, Hope you are well?

The HoloLens Microsoft announced yesterday got me very excited for a possible future 2nd dimension overlaid over our current dimension described in the book Freedom(TM) by Daniel Suarez, this is the sequel to Daemon. Both are excellent reads and great audio books on Audible.

The book describes a dimension overlaid using hologram glasses (and contact lenses) using augmented reality, but where people can almost entirely live in that dimension, separate currency, jobs, relationships, experience point and levelling up in ‘real’ life. Of course the book details it in a partially scary way but i for one welcome our Daemon overlords and cannot wait for this second dimension to be created.

Tomorrow’s guest:  Darren Kitchen