Daily Tech Headlines – September 15, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500iPhone 7 Plus sells out before launch day, Pandora launches new paid streaming radio service, NYC shuts down public Web browsing terminals.

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DTNS 2856 – The Eagle Has Landed On The Drone

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comUber launches their self-driving car test for passengers in Pittsburgh. Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt talk about how long before it becomes the norm. Plus eagles that take down drones in the Netherlands.

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

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Show Notes
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Daily Tech Headlines – September 14, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Uber goes autonomous Twitter brings live video to Apple TV, Amazon Echo turns white launches in UK and Germany.

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Show Notes
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DTNS 2855 – Project Fi’s Big In Japan

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comiOS 10 arrives, Samsung solves its battery problem, and Tom Merritt talks with Patrick Beja about his experience roaming on T-Mobile and Project Fi while in Japan and Korea.

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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!

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Daily Tech Headlines – September 13, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500iPhone 7 bats records, Twitter ads exemptions to 140 character limit, Netflix fights data caps.

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Show Notes
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Your Private Driver: The Perfect Pickup

This is a weekly column that offers news, insights, analysis, and user tips for rideshare platforms like Uber and Lyft. Look for it every Monday after the live show, right here on dailytechnewsshow.com.

Since there’s no real Uber news this week and I haven’t talked to anyone who’s taken a ride in one of those fancy self-driving cars yet, I’m switching back from commentary and analysis to more tips for a better rideshare experience. One of the biggest sources of complaints for riders and anxiety for drivers is the initial pickup, the part where your driver has to find exactly where you are to get you into the car. I frequently hear complaints from riders about drivers who claim to show up and then cancel without ever being seen, and vice versa from drivers who complain that their passengers that keep them waiting around without ever making themselves known. Hopefully the advice in this article will reduce the number of these situations.

Don’t rely on the pin

Rideshare apps unfortunately make it way too easy to incorrectly enter your pickup location. An errant thumb can throw your location off by several blocks, or a mis-calibrated GPS in your phone can also cause errors. What to do?

The best solution is to manually type in your address. If you’re not sure of your exact address, you can type in the name of the store or business you’re patronizing. As long as you have the city and street right, the apps will take care of the rest.

If that doesn’t work and you just have to rely on the pin, zoom in a little on the map to make sure you’ve placed it as close to your actual location as possible. Seriously, in a busy area just having the pin on the right side of the street can make a huge difference.

Finally, it never hurts to call or text your driver to let him or her know exactly where you are, just in case. This avoids issues such as navigation apps routing drivers into back alleys when you’re at the front door, as well as other problems which I’ll get into later.

Be on time

When a driver arrives at a pickup location, a rider has five minutes to get into the vehicle (two minutes for UberPool and Lyft Line) before they risk being charged a cancellation fee. The drivers’ cut of this fee makes them significantly more money than waiting a few extra minutes for you to come to the car would, which is why many drivers will cancel and drive off instead of starting the “meter” early. The only real way to avoid this is not requesting a ride until you’re sure you can be ready to walk out the door in five minutes or less.

Special situations

Busy streets: Your driver should not have to block traffic and risk getting a ticket to pick you up. Find a safe place where your driver can at the very least pull out of the way of thru traffic. Bus stops do not count as safe places; bus drivers can be driven to irrational levels of anger by rideshare vehicles in their way.

Gated communities and apartment complexes: You’re responsible for telling your driver how to get through the gates, whether it be a key code to dial or just a message to the security guard. Failure to do this is a good way to rack up cancellation fees. Sure, some drivers will call you first and ask for instructions on how to get to you, but all of them won’t.  (An example, I actually had one passenger complain about drivers constantly pulling up to her complex’s unmanned gate and cancelling after two minutes. She would text drivers that she was past the gate at the end of the street, but left no instructions on actually how anyone was supposed to get to the end of the street! I only managed to get past the gate because I lucked out and followed another resident in. Otherwise, I would’ve cancelled the ride as well.)

Shopping malls and other large places: Text your driver to let them know what store or entrance you’re waiting outside of. This could save you a long walk to the other side of the mall to find your ride. Same principle goes for beaches, parks, stadiums, arenas, and the like. Oh, and speaking of stadiums and arenas….

Special events: Taking an Uber or Lyft to sporting events and concerts is usually pretty simple, but getting back can be quite the headache if you’re not prepared. First, make sure you know where the designated rideshare pickup location is. Every venue handles this differently, so you’ll have to check with their website or social media accounts to find out this information. Secondly, BE PATIENT! Traffic at these events is always a nightmare, and your driver isn’t going to be able to get through the sea of cars that quickly. Allow some extra time for your driver to arrive. If you’re really impatient you can walk to someplace off-site and away from traffic and request a ride from there. This will not only get you a quicker ride, but may also have the benefit of avoiding some of the surge pricing that inevitably shows up at the end of just about any major event.

Sekani Wright is an experienced Uber driver working in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. If you have any questions you would like answered for this column, you can contact him at djsekani at gmail dot com, or on twitter and reddit at the username djsekani. Have a safe trip!

DTNS 2854 – Samsung Is On The Note-Fly List

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comThe XOXO conference won’t be coming back next year. Veronica Belmont attended and talks with Tom Merritt about what makes it special and how its independent Web spirit can live on.

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Show Notes
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Daily Tech Headlines – September 12, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Ford buys Chariot, Amazon wants to stream sports, and vDOS goes dark.

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Show Notes
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DTNS 2853 – Everyone Hates Facebook

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comApple Rumours killed before they even have a chance to thrive, and get yourself a Star Trek Badge

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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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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

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Show Notes
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Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog – Sept 10, 2016

Untitled drawing (1)

Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

It certainly is New Tech season, what with the likes of Apple and Sony making big announcements this week, but it is also, you may have noticed, football season. This means a couple pigskin-related references may have snuck into the Weekly Tech Views. If you come across one and you are not a football fan, just nod your head and say “uh-huh” until I stop talking about it. Seems to work for my wife.

 

For the week of September 5 – 9, 2016…

Turns Out The Cord Was My Safety Net
With the iPhone 7 doing away with the headphone jack, Apple introduced AirPods–tiny, wireless, individual earbuds. You can use them to access Siri by just double-tapping either one to say “Siri, how deep is the average sewer?” or “Siri, can I buy just the left AirPod?” or “Damn it, never mind, Siri, how do I order both?”

Big Apple News
Apple CEO Tim Cook: “With the Apple Watch Series 2, we have added a dual-core processor, GPS, water resistance up to 50 meters, and maintained the same battery life while increasing thickness by less than a millimeter!”

The Bill Graham Civic Center goes silent.

A glass is dropped and shatters.

Then, the whispers:

“Thicker? Did he say thicker? No, maybe he said quicker.”

“Less than a millimeter quicker?”

“I know–it doesn’t make sense, but does thicker make sense? Does it? From Apple?!”

(points at the stage) “You take that back! You say you meant thinner!”

Tim Cook gestures to the list of upgrades: “But… but we added all this–”

The crowd as one: “THIN-NER! THIN-NER!”

Cook: “It’s less than a milli–”

A reporter leaps on stage, grabs the watch, and attacks it with a nail file. “This abomination must not stand!” she screams, the stage lights glinting of the metal grooming tool as it flew furiously but futilely across the watch’s surface.

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick stands and announces, “I’m still going to kneel during the national anthem, but now it’s because I can not honor a country that would allow the updated version of a tech device to get bigger!”

Players who formerly disagreed with Kaepernick’s actions now back him, immediately taking a knee despite the playing of the anthem at their game being four days away.

Minutes later, half the crowd is wearing t-shirts proclaiming THICK IS SICK! AND NOT IN THE COOL WAY IT IS LITERALLY MAKING ME PHYSICALLY ILL!

With the Civic Center moments from being burned to the ground, Cook clears his throat, announces that Super Mario is coming to the iPhone, and all is well.

You Might Want To Go Easy On The Sour Cream
Alphabet’s Project Wing is going to start delivering Chipotle burritos via drone to the Virginia Tech campus. While a very cool technological novelty, sales are expected to be hampered by delivering only one burrito per trip due to the FAA’s 55-pound weight limit.

Detroit’s Only Twenty Miles Away; What Could Go Wrong?
The Michigan State Senate passed an amendment to the state vehicle code allowing “the motor vehicle to be operated without any control or monitoring by a human operator.” This paves the way for self-driving cars or, of course, for someone to get exceptionally drunk, put together a Great Dane-sized chauffeur’s uniform, and “find out just how smart ol’ Duke really is.”

Some Things Just Can’t Be Tolerated
In response to discrimination claims, Airbnb is asking users to agree to a “community commitment” to work with others “regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.” That is all completely reasonable; none of these are criteria for discrimination. Fortunately, the new agreement doesn’t specifically say anything about me having to rent to dirty, stinking, look-how-great-we-are-because-we-beat-the-Browns-ninety-eight-percent-of-the-time Steelers fans.

Because A Huge Glass Of Wine Is Universally Funny
Turner Networks wants to eventually sell streaming subscriptions directly to the consumer, not just in the US, but worldwide. “Okay, but what exactly is a Cougar Town, again?” asked Liechtenstein.

Great, But Isn’t That Everyone’s Goal?
Volvo and Autoliv, Inc. are forming a company to create autonomous driving software. Volvo’s CEO said this is part of the company’s goal to have no one killed or seriously hurt in their vehicles by 2020. That sounds really admirable, but I bet he only means physically hurt, and probably nothing is being done about your feelings when your girlfriend leers at Bike Shorts Guy in the crosswalk.

Better Safe…
The Federal Aviation Administration advised passengers to not turn on or charge Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 during flights, citing the device as a fire hazard. They also recommended not leaving them in checked bags. After a moment, they added, “In fact, we’d rest a whole lot easier if you didn’t use them in the airport or even put the airline’s app on one from home.”

Looking Stupid When My Apple Watch Gets A Text Is A Small Price To Pay
Niantic’s Pokemon Go Plus wearable will be released on September 16. The device is worn on the wrist, and when you near a Pokestop or Pokemon, it vibrates to conveniently let you know how Pavlov’s dogs felt.

The Slim Probably Spits Out Discs When You’re Not Looking
Sony unveiled the new PlayStation 4 Slim, which will contain the same components as the previous model, but in a thinner case. The original PS4 is being rebranded the PlayStation 4 A Completely Healthy Size And Weight That Refuses To Be Body Shamed.

They’re Such A Good R&D Department We Feel A Little Bad About Not Paying Them
Snapchat is discontinuing its Daily Local Stories feature, which compiled videos of everyday activities in various cities. Hearing this, an Instagram executive reached for his phone.

“Hey Barney, that new project we’re working on? Real-time Regional Stories? Kill it. My latest, uh, analytics say it’s not worth it.”

 

Okay, it’s 8:30 on Saturday night, so I can probably just catch the beginning of the pre-game show for tomorrow’s Browns game. See you next week.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

 

Movie Draft Wrap-Up
It was a campaign to remember–the closest finish ever, with the season ending just two days too soon for Tom and Jennie to claim the championship. You can read the CRUMDUM recap of the season HERE and look at who made the most accurate draft day predictions HERE.

Yep, The Book Is Still Here!
Nine months later, these stories are as funny as ever. How funny they were to begin with is somewhat subjective. But, hey, it’s a low-risk $.99! You can check it out at Amazon.

The Internet is Like a Snowblower: (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) by [Range, Mike]

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Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.