Today in Tech History – June 11, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1959 – The first experimental hovercraft, Christopher Cockerell’s SRN-1 made its first trials at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

In 1978 – Texas Instruments introduced the Speak & Spell, the first electronic duplication of the human vocal tract on a single chip of silicon. It used linear predictive coding to make a mathematical model of the human vocal tract and predict a speech sample.

In 1983 – IRM took its Japan Capsule Computer subsidiary and formed Capcom Company, Limited “for the purpose of selling software.”

In 1997 – Philippe Kahn took the first cameraphone photograph of his newborn daughter and then wirelessly transmitted the photo to more than 2,000 people around the world. He had hacked together a digital camera and a phone. Kahn went on to form the company LightSurf.

In 1998 – Compaq Computer paid $9.1 billion to acquire what remained of Digital Equipment Corporation, the company that had brought the world PDP and VAX.

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

DTNS 2512 – Toasters Fly Again!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comScott Johnson and Brian Ibbott discuss Spotify’s war chest, Samsung’s shiny new mirror, and the eternal magic of Flying Toasters. Tom Merritt is on assignment.

MP3

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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 guests: Scott Johnson and Brian Ibbott

Headlines: 

One day after Apple announced a new music streaming service, Spotify closed a massive new round of funding. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify has raised $526 million from investors, and the company is now valued at $8.53 billion dollars.

Re/Code reports that Spotify also announced is has more than 20 million paying subscribers in addition to 55 million active users of the free version. That’s up from the 15 million paid subscribers and 60 million total active users the company reported back in January. We’ll be talking much more about this after the headlines.

Microsoft announced pricing today for the Surface Hub, its giant 4k multi-touch display designed to replace the whiteboard in your super sleek startup conference room. Engadget reports that the 84-inch version will cost $19,999 and go on sale in July. There will be a smaller, 55-inch version for $6,999. Both should ship in early September.

Samsung  unveiled a 55-inch mirrored OLED display, as well as a 55 inch transparent display. Ars Technica reports that Samsung anticipates the displays would be used as “digital signal” for retail. The mirror OLED panel has a more than 75 percent reflectance level, which Samsung says is “at least 50 percent higher” than mirror LCDs that are currently for sale. The transparent OLED display is more transparent, letting through 40 percent of the light versus the 10 percent transparency of today’s transparent LCDs. No price was announced. Both displays are paired with Intel’s RealSense 3-D camera technology, which means that someday soon, when you look into the mirror in the dressing room, the mirror will LOOK BACK. And it will not be pleased.

Kaspersky Lab’s has admitted to being hacked. Kaspersky Lab CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky wrote, “We discovered an advanced attack on our own internal networks. It was complex, stealthy, it exploded several zero-day vulnerabilities, and we’re quite confident that there’s a nation state behind it.” The firm called this attack Duqu 2.0 — named after a specific series of malware called Duqu. Kaspersky explained this situation as a mix of both good and bad news but claims none of its services have been compromised.

According to The New York Times, the malware was used in a cyber-espionage campaign targeting hotels that hosted Iran nuclear negotiations.

The Washington Post reports that Elon Musk’s “other company” — Space X — has asked the US government for permission to test low orbit satellites that would beam internet service from space.  The plan calls for 4,000 small and cheap satellites that would beam high-speed internet signals all over the globe. If the tests go well, the full service could be up and running in about five years. Facebook recently scrapped similar plans, maybe because they don’t own their own rockets?

Facebook Messenger has topped 1 billion Android downloads, according to PCMag.com. Messenger’s David Marcus posted a photo displaying the Google Play Store’s 1 billion download badge with the image likes by colleagues Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Stocky. Facebook and Google are the only two companies with 1 billion-plus bragging rights: which according to TechCrunch includes,  Facebook and WhatsApp, as well as Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Maps.

PCWorld is reporting that Congress is worried that foreign government-owned SSL certificate authority could issue phony security certificates to harvest login details from social networks, corporate networks and email accounts. The US House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce recently sent letters to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla with questions about how the backbone of HTTPS security could be violated. In one example the Certificate authority Diginotar was hacked in 2011 and hundreds of fraudulent certificates were issues for Google, Skype and Yahoo. There are numerous government-owned CAs across the globe, including in China, France, Spain, and Turkey.

News From You:

Do you long for a simpler time? A time when toasters flew and you could revel in the simple joys of The Randomizer? Apparently you do, because this item submitted by natebob received a whopping 48 votes in the DTNS subreddit. Sensing your need for a return to innocence, Developer Brian Braun has thoughtfully recreated every original After Dark Screen Saver including the iconic flying Flying Toasters. The iconic screensaver images are on his Github page.
The After Dark screensaver software launched for the Apple Macintosh in 1989 and appeared on Windows computers in 1991.

djsekani shared this Ars Technica story covering Verizon’s apparent failure to make good on 22 years old promise to Pennsylvania to provide fiber Internet or “comparable technology” supporting at least 45 megabits to its service area in the state. So far more than 2 million homes have either slower DSL or wireless service out of 4.2 million in Verizon’s service area. The original agreement allowed Verizon to charge higher phone rates for higher speed broadband. Telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick wrote in the Huffington Post that officials relaxed the requirements over the years, giving up on the “45 megabits per second” minimum and allowing Verizon to meet the obligation with wireless instead of fiber or other wireline technology.

DTNS producer jollyroger would like you to know that RayNiro, one of the lawyers who pioneered the wave of contingent-fee patent litigation, says he’s ready to exit the business because quote “The stand-alone patent case is dead on arrival, and I don’t think we’re unique.” Ars Techina reports that patent litigation dropped by roughly 20 percent in 2014, and patent lawsuits by “non-practicing entities,” also known as patent trolls, dropped by nearly 25 percent.
Those trolls filed about 3,700 lawsuits in 2013, and 2,800 in 2014. With more judges awarding fees to defendants, patent trolling has taken on higher risk.

In one case Niro and his firm were ordered to pay fees in a patent suit he brought against HTC. The parties are still litigating over the amount, but HTC is seeking $4.1 million. The fee order was “a wake-up call,” Niro told Crain’s Chicago Business. “I can take it once, twice, but am I going to take it three or four times? No. Why should I?”

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/06/10/spotify-raises-526-million-amid-battle-with-apple/
 http://www.businessinsider.com/jimmy-iovine-apple-music-real-agenda-2015-6#ixzz3cgTPHXDY
 http://recode.net/2015/06/10/spotify-has-20-million-paid-subscribers/
 http://thenextweb.com/apple/2015/06/09/apple-music-will-stream-at-256kbps-below-the-industry-standard-320kbps/
 http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/10/investing/pandora-apple-music-spotify/
 http://9to5mac.com/2015/06/09/spotify-rdio-pandora-respond-apple-music/
 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2485680,00.asp
 http://www.cnbc.com/id/102743329

Pick of the Day:

Proud Co-Executive Producer gadgetchaser writes in to say:

” I’ve never sent in a pick before, but I’d like to suggest a Web service/app called Kifi (I pronounce it KeeFee, but it could also be Kai-Fye…I’m not sure what the creators call it).

It’s first and foremost a way to self curate the Web using a Chrome extension. You make Libraries for different interests and subjects and then save them in the browser. You can add tags and notes that are searchable though the web app or the extension.

There is a *gasp* social aspect to the service too, you can make your Libraries Public or Private. ..One of my favorite aspects of the Chrome extension is when I visit a new page, I get a little pop up in the corner showing me others who have added that site to a Library of their own.

I’ve tried a lot of “Pocket” type services over the years, but I’ve found that I’m actually using this one to “read it later”, likely due to the fact that I can organize things by more than just tags. I have a private library to go to and catch up and from there easily move it to a more permanent Public or Private Library if I want to keep it or just delete it and forget about it.

Messages: 

HotBranch in summery-ish Montreal writes:

“Catching up on my backed up episodes, the mention of Facebook Lite in episode 2508 caught my attention because I used it to replace the regular Facebook app (and Messenger) on one of my older phones and my pokey 2012 Nexus 7 tablet.

I believe I had seen news of the original release on AndroidPolice, who provided a link to download the APK for side-loading. The interface is not as polished, but it uses far fewer resources than the regular app, and the messenger app is integrated, producing further storage savings.

Ironically, I installed Facebook Lite on my Nexus 5 and found no improvement in the Zuckerburgian experience other than to have two notifications of comments or likes that arrived at different intervals. The Lite version usually delivered the notifications first.

All this to say that Facebook Lite is available to those willing to invest 30 seconds of searching and two minutes of downloading and side-loading.

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Thursday’s guest:  Allison Sheridan and Todd Whitehead

DTNS 2511 – Slow Moving Fiber

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja and Iyaz Akhtar chew on some WWDC leftovers, some Xbox News and of course, IPV6 Day in Finland! Note: Tom Merritt is on assignment.  The audio on this MP3 is imperfect. Because Jennie is imperfect. Improved audio coming tonight. :) 

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 guests: Patrick Beja and Iyaz Akhtar

Headlines: 

Major Nelson has revealed that Microsoft has released a new Xbox One console. This new variant includes a 1TB hard drive, new matte finish, a newly designed Xbox One Wireless Controller and in select regions HALO The Master Chief Collection. The new controller will feature a 3.5 mm stereo jack so you can plug a headset directly into the controller with settings for volume, voice and game balance, and mic level in the console’s settings menu. The updated xbox one will ship June 16th in the US and select markets for $400. You can also buy the controller separately for $60 or in a Special Edition Covert Forces silver and black color scheme for $65. The price of the current 500GB Xbox One will now drop to $350.

Re/code clarified that Apple Music will support offline listening for albums, songs, and video. WHAT ABOUT PODCASTS, asked everyone in this audience?!?! Technology writer Jordan Merrick rounded up more details that weren’t in the WWDC presentation, including the fact that OS X El Capitan will support third-party photo editing tools in the Photos app, and Maps for OS X will gain support for transit directions. He has lots more interesting nuggets on his site, which will be in the shownotes And sunbun submitted this Verge article, about Apple’s FIRST Android app, called Move to iOS, that helps transfer essentials like contacts, messages, calendars, mail accounts, and media from an Android device to any iPhone or iPad running iOS 9 wirelessly.

Business Insider has a write up of a report from The Information which says Facebook had a previously unknown plan to build a satellite which would have provided cheap internet access in the developing world. As it turns out, it’s not so cheap to build and launch a satellite. The venture would have cost around $500 million, and so it was cancelled, all before we ever knew about it. Facebook may still continue with its plan to deliver cheap internet via leased satellites.

Twitter has tweaked how they’re shown on the Tweet page to make conversations easier to follow. Tweets that are part of a conversation are connected by a line. To see more of the replies to a specific Tweet within a conversation you can click “View other replies”. The feature will roll out to all users on twitter.com today and roll out to mobile apps in the future.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the US FBI wants Congress to expand their authority to tap into secure messaging apps. According to the FBI, Islamic militants and their followers are using instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Kik, as well as data-destroying apps such as Wickr and Surespot. The FBI estimates that 200,000 people around the world see “terrorist messaging” each day from Islamic State zealots and that the group’s recruiters then troll Twitter, Facebook and other sites to see who is re-posting their messages and invite them to text directly on encrypted or data-destroying apps.

The Verge reports that starting today, Sony’s PlayStation Now game streaming service is available on select Samsung Smart TV’s in the US and Canada. Although you won’t need a playstation console to play you will need a Dualshock 4 controller. The service will support standard features like trophies, online multiplayer, and cloud-based game saves. PlayStation Now started as an online streaming game rental service but Sony has since offered a monthly $20 subscription fee option.

A recent Ericsson Mobility Report shows mobile subscriptions in Q1 2015 was at 910 million for all of Africa including 21 million new subscribers according to BizTech Africa. The report also indicates smartphone subscriptions will be more than double reaching 6.1 billion and that in Sub-Saharan Africa GSM/EDGE only subscriptions will still be predominant until 2020.

Tech Crunch reports that messaging App Jott has become super popular in US middle schools. Jott allows users to send private messages on a closed network without a data plan or wifi connection. The app uses a mesh network that operates via low energy Bluetooth or a router within 100 feet of each user. Jott began testing in select middle schools in March and it like, blew UP.

News From You:

KAPT_Kipper sent us this story from GeekWire covering Amazon’s push to become an SSL Certificate provider by applying to be a root certificate authority. By becoming a root CA, Amazon can sell SSL certificates that are automatically trusted by common web browsers and operating systems. It is unclear how big the revenue opportunity for Amazon is for digital certificates and how aggressively they will market them, but GeekWire thinks providing encryption certificates seems to be a natural add-on service for Amazon Web Services.

spsheridan sent us this Reuters story reporting that top US tech companies sent a “strongly worded letter” to President Obama yesterday, saying “We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool.” The letter was sent through two industry associations — The Information Technology Industry Council and the Software and Information Industry Association. They represent tech giants including Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft. The letter was also sent to other government officials, including FBI Director James COMEY, who was like, “C’mon, people. I JUST TOLD YOU we have a problem with WhatsApp!”

Discussion Section Links:  

 https://www.viestintavirasto.fi/en/ipv6now/index.html
 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2484216,00.asp
 http://www.wsj.com/articles/coming-this-summer-u-s-will-run-out-of-internet-addresses-1431479401
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_IPv6_support_in_routers
 http://6lab.cisco.com/stats/

 

Pick of the Day:

LWATCDR aka David the Programer in Florida sends in this suggestion:

If I might add a suggestion for pick of the day for very low spin or even spin free news. Yes Voice of America is still around. A lot of people will dismiss this as propaganda but VOA actually worked on the principle that if they told the truth then people would believe them and that the truth was almost always better for the US than the oppressive nations. Of course you do not need to take my word for it just try it out and see what you think.”

Messages: 

Rich from Lovely Cleveland writes:

Thinking about the Apple Music service as announced and I started considering that Apple may not need this to initially be massively popular to be successful.

This may be a move to deny, or simply slow, the scaling of other streaming services to profitability. Everyone considers Spotify to be the giant in the space, but to this point they are not a profitable service, they need to continue their impressive growth to scale to a point where they can be.

Apple could win, or at least create a foothold in the space, simply by disrupting Spotify’s growth. At this point, their biggest advantage is being convenient and already built into the device millions of people are using (and when subscribing on mobile that have a big price advantage).

Simply by being a frictionless service for people to access, they could disrupt Spotify’s business. Admittedly I’m sure Apple would love to be the biggest player in the room, but they’ve set this up to be a war of attrition, which I have a hard time seeing them losing.

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Wednesday’s guest:  Scott Johnson & Brian Ibbott

Today in Tech History – June 9, 2015

Today in Tech History logoIn 1902 – Joe Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first US Automat at 818 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. The waiterless restaurant charged a nickel for most dishes.

In 1931 – Robert Goddard received a patent for rocket-fueled aircraft design (US. No. 1,809,271). Sadly we do not have a lot of rocket-planes in operation.

In 1986 – The Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center opened to support the National Science Foundation’s NSFNET, which linked five supercomputer centers. NSFNET would eventually allow commercial uses and transition to the open Internet.

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

DTNS 2510 – WWDC: What Would Drake Curate?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont and Justin Young join to break down the four big announcements from Apple’s WWDC about OS X, iOS, WatchOS and Apple Music.

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 Guests: Veronica Belmont and Justin Robert Young, DTNS contributors

Headlines

Because there’s nothing developers like more than sitting apparently, Apple took 2.5 hours to announce four things. here’s the shorter version if you missed it. OS X. will have an API for search and spotlight gets some natural language search capabilities. You can slide a tab left to pin it in Safari and now mute from the address bar. Windows Snap comes to OSX too. The Metal graphics API comes from iOS to OS X bumping out OpenGl and delivering 50% rendering improvements and reducing CPU usage 40%. So better performance and battery life. OS X El Capitan comes to public beta in july and as a free upgrade int he autumn.

iOS 9 introduces Proactive assistance so it can do things like put “now playing” on the screen when you plug in your headphones or automatically add calendar appointments based on emails you get. Search can deep link into apps. The notes appgets checklists, camera integration, drawings and more. Maps gets transit directions. And Newsstand is replaced by a news app that pulls in pretty pages from partners and regular pages from everyone else. The iPad adds shortcuts to the keyboard, the ability to use the keyboard as a trackpad, a new task switcher and a slideover panel for using two apps at once, a split view if you have an iPad Air 2 and picture in picture for video apps. Finally low-power mode can turn 1 hour left to three hours left on your battery, HomeKit added support for more devices, Carplay can support wireless connections in future cars and Swift 2 is going to go open source with a compiler and standard libraries for iOS, OS X, and Linux by the end of the year. It’s coming to Public Beta in July then as a free upgrade in fall to all previously supported iOS devices.

WatchOS 2’s big news was native apps and the ability to connect directly to WiFi. Devs get to access the mic, healthkit, homekit, accelerometer, taptic engine and sounds, digital crown and play audio and video. Devs can also customize the ‘complications;’ that get added to watch faces and there are some new watch faces to boot. You can also time travel by rotaing the digital crown and seeing what appointments and notifications are coming up. And transit maps and Wallet with its loyalty cards are coming to the watch as well as the ability to control HomeKit. Devs get access to a preview of the SDK next week. Watch OS 2 will be a free update in wide release this autumn.

Finally Apple Music will be Apple’s new subscription music service. It has a 24/7 radio station called Beats One manned by Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga. a social network called Connect that lets artists post music, photos, videos and messages which can crosspost to Facebook and Twitter. And of course for $9.99 a month you can get access to everything in the iTunes library as well as curated recommendations based on your tastes and exposure to new music you might like. Apple Music will launch in more than 100 countries June 30 with iOS 8.4 and a new iTunes. Apple TV and Android versions are coming this autumn. And a family subscription allows up to 6 accounts to share a subscription for $14.99 a month.

Well that’s all the Apple news from WWDC. Now with the wasting no time award comes Bloomberg with a new Apple rumor. According to its sources, Bloomberg says Apple is assembling a high-speed data network and upgrading how it builds data centers so be more competitive in the cloud. Basically it wants its own connections between its 4 data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon, to increase reliability and speed. Its building new data centers in Arizona, Ireland and Denmark as well. Seems likely given that new music service and a rumored TV service.

The Next Web reports that Skype’s automatic voice translation tool, which was part of a separate Translator app, will be integrated into the main Skype desktop app for Windows by the end of this summer. You can still try out Translator app until then. The app translate voice conversations between English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin speakers, as well as over 50 written languages. No word on when the integration will roll out to other operating systems.

9 to 5 google reports that AT&T has officially unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active on its website. The phone runs 5.0.2 Lollipop, comes with a 5.1″ QHD Super AMOLED display and gets its ACTIVE name from an IP68 rating and certification to meet military standards for water and dust resistance, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, humidity, and high altitude. It comes in Blue Camo, White Camo, or Gray and as expected has a 5.1″ QHD Super AMOLED display and 16MP rear and 5MP front-facing cameras. The S6 Active will be available June 12th from AT&T with $0 down and installments ranging from $23.17 to $34.75 a month depending on your plan.

Tech Crunch reports that a company called Menlo Security emerged from stealth today with $25 million in Series B Funding. Menlo has some buzz because it plans to fight malware by isolating every email and web page in a virtual container and then delivering a safe mirror image to your browser. The malware is therefore trapped in a virtual container which is ‘disposed of’. It doesn’t use special software or require modification at the browser level.

Boing Boing brings us the news that The Reddit experiment The Button has ended. The Button was launched April 1 and after 1 million, 8 thousand three hundred 16 presses, the timer reached zero (for real this time) without anyone pressing it. Rest in peace button.

News From You:

starfuryzeta sent us the Engadget report that South Korea plans to fight the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory System, known as MERS by tracking the cellphones of 2300 people under quarantine to make sure they don’t leave home and infect others. The country’s deputy prime minister called it an “unavoidable measure”.

thegraphics sent us a Tech Crunch report that Showtime’s standalone streaming service will launch on Roku and Playstation Vue in addition the previously announced iOS and Apple TV launch. The service will cost $10.99 per month and include both the East and West coast live Showtime feeds. As with its launch on Apple devices, Roku customers in July will be able to try the service for 30 days for free before committing to the monthly fee. PlayStation Vue subscribers can add it as an alacarte option.

Discussion Links: 

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/06/apple-music-is-the-next-chapter-in-music/

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150608006468/en/Introducing-Apple-Music-%E2%80%94-Ways-Love-Music.#.VXX1XFxVikp

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/06/apple-gives-developers-a-more-powerful-native-apple-watch-sdk/

Apple Teases Wireless CarPlay And Automaker Apps

http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/08/apple-homekit-wwdc-update/?ncid=rss_truncated

Apple Just Turned The iPad Into A Real Computer With QuickType

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2015/06/08/apple-announces-swift-2-will-be-open-sourced/

http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/8/8737639/apple-ipad-split-screen-multitasking-wwdc-2015

http://recode.net/2015/06/08/apples-ios-9-software-promises-a-smarter-siri-multitasking-on-ipad/

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2015/06/08/apple-announces-news-its-flipboard-competitor/

http://recode.net/2015/06/08/apple-pay-wants-to-be-your-wallet-so-it-added-loyalty-and-store-branded-cards/

Apple Lets You Search Within Apps With A Deep Link Search API In IOS 9

Square Will Launch An Apple Pay-Ready NFC And Card Chip Reader This Fall

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/06/apple-announces-ios-9/

http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/08/osx-el-capitan/?ncid=rss_truncated

Apple Announces Proactive Assistant, Its Google Now Competitor

Pick of the Day: VTC.com 

Jeff has a pick: Recently you mentioned safaribooks.com, which is a great site for learning.

I would like to add VTC.com which offers high end sys admin training videos. I have learned so much from this site and I don’t know of any other site that offers so much high end technical content like this and when you are done with a course you can print a certificate to turn into HR. They have reasonable pricing and multiuser accounts.

Check it out at http://www.vtc.com

Tomorrow: Tom is on assignment, but DTNS contributor Patrick Beja and CNET’s own Iyaz Akhtar are on the show!

DTNS 2509 – Wireless Power Corrupts Wirelessly

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen joins the show to look back on two years of Edward Snowden leaks and whether it’s done good, bad or otherwise. Plus Darren’s encryption picks AND Len Peralta illustrates the show.

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 guests: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

Headlines: 

The Skype for Web beta is now available in the US and UK. New and existing users can sign in and connect to Skype without the Skype app by installing a plug-in for IE, Chrome, Safari or Firefox and going to Skype.com or web.skype.com. Skype will continue rolling out Skype for Web worldwide over the next few weeks.

USA Today reports that Google will begin to report incidents involving its driverless cars on a dedicated website with the human driver details redacted for privacy. In addition to reporting accidents, google.com/selfdrivingcar will give examples of how the cars adapt to everyday traffic situations, and take community feedback. After nearly six years of testing and 1.8 million miles driven, the Google fleet has been involved in 13 accidents, according to reports the company submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Project leader Chris Urmson noted that all of the accidents were the fault of other drivers

Bloomberg reports that Apple is still negotiating with record labels over the revenue split from a music streaming service. Apple is expected to announce the service at its Worldwide Developers Conference this coming Monday. Music labels currently receive 55 percent of Spotify’s monthly $9.99 rate, and music publishers take 15 percent. The labels are allegedly asking Apple for 60%.

CNET reports that California based Microdia is showing off the Xtra Elite 512GB microSD card at Computex in Taipei. That’s right 512GB! The Micro SDXC card will use version 4.0 of the SDXC standard which means Ultra High Speed – II bus speeds of up to 300MB/s. This gargantuan yet tiny flash storage will cost $1000 and goes on sale in July.

VentureBeat reports that Google partnered with Adoble to make Flash more power efficient in Chrome. The Chrome beta will now automatically pause Flash content that isn’t “central to the webpage” while keeping central content playing without interruption. If Chrome beta pauses something you want to see you can resume playback by clicking on it. Google expects the feature to make its way into a stable release as early as September.

Earlier this week PayPal updated its user agreement with a clause that specifically allowed the company to send robocalls and promotional text messages to users even if the users had never shared their phone number with Paypal. This did not go over well. Today Tech Crunch reports that customers can “opt out of receiving auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls”, most likely because an angry customer and an advocacy group drafted a letter to the FCC, which takes a dim view of robocalls of any kind. It’s not clear yet just how Paypal will allow you to opt-out.

News From You:

habichuelacondulce submitted the Engadget article on an attack on the US Office of Personnel Management database containing 4 million records of current and former US federal employees. The Office is in charge of conducting background checks on federal employees. The US FBI is in charge of the investigation. The Office will issue notices from June 8th-19th offering credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The New York Times cites researchers who believe the attack may have been conducted by the same people who attacked insurance companies Anthem and Primera’s systems.

starfuryzeta chose the Ars Technica story that Administrator Charles Bolden said that NASA is looking into advanced propulsion technologies that could cut the 8-month journey to Mars in half. The technologies being studies range from solar-electric propulsion to nuclear rockets.

spsheridan picked the Wired story about a computer that developed a scientific theory with no human help. Scientists and Tufts University programmed a computer to develop theories when faced with a problem. Then biologists chose the 120-year-old problem of sliced-up flatworms’ ability to regenerate new organisms it he proper shape and proportion. The computer reverse engineered a solution which has been published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/opinion/edward-snowden-the-world-says-no-to-surveillance.html?ref=opinion
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/05/edward-snowden-claims-victory-on-surveillance-in-nyt-op-ed/
 http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/05/snowden-balance-power-shifted-people-defy-government-surveillance-nsa
 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

 

Pick of the Day:

Darren’s Picks for Data Security:

For Linux Full Disk encryption go with LUKS  — it’s built into modern distros.

For Windows Full Disk encryption go with Diskcryptor — it’s been vetted by the EFF

For volume encryption I recommend EncFS – it’s open source and cross platform. Here’s a video tutorial on how to use it with DropBox.

Messages: 

Joe writes:

Joe just bought an Amazon Echo and well… He writes ” She arrived 2 weeks ago and I must say, I’m in tech love! She is extremely responsive to my voice. … I most commonly ask her the time, weather, to set alarms, and play music playlists. I sometime ask her to tell me a joke or for other words of encouragement or empathy. She sounds really sincere. I especially like lying in bed and having her read me my tech news casts for the day.

The only thing I would have liked to see is the ability for her to recognize that I am speaking to her without having to call out her name before each command. It looks like Jibo can do this but he is nearly $700 more so I think I’ll stick with Alexa…well, at least until we have a fight and break up, but for now, she’s the one for me!

=====

Friday’s guest:  Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

DTNS 2508 – The Dish Ran Away with the Phone

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young joins to look over the rumored T-Mobile USA Dish merger. Verizon has OnCue. AT&T is probably about to get DirecTV. Find out why all these mobile carriers want TV solutions and T-Mo/Dish may be the best match of all. MP3 Using a Screen Reader? click here

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Show Notes Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young

Headlines:  The Wall Street Journal reports people familiar with the matter say Dish and T-Mobile USA are having high level talks about a merger. The two companies agree on the form a combined entity would take with Dish’s Charlie Ergen as Chairman and T-Mobile’s John Legere as CEO. The thing the two sides have not agreed about yet is money. Dish owns a lot of unused mobile spectrum and every self-respecting wireless carrier in the US dreams of marrying a video distributor someday. (Except for that jerk Verizon who went and just BOUGHT Oncue from Intel. Dirtbag.) Set the timer on your smartphone, people! Apple will begin selling some models of the Apple watch in retail stores beginning in two weeks, according to Tech Crunch. The watches will also go on sale in seven more countries on June 26th, including Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and (gasp) Switzerland- the very backyard of many fancy watchmakers. If you ordered an Apple Watch online in May, you should get it within two weeks, unless its the 42mm Space Black Stainless Steel model, which has been slowest to reach customers.

Venture Beat reports that Yahoo announced several product closures including Yahoo Pipes, GeoPlanet, PlaceSpotter and Yahoo Maps. Some Maps functionality used by Search and products like Flickr will be kept running. Several international media properties will close down too, including Yahoo Music in France and Canada and the entire Yahoo home page in the Philippines. Yahoo is also killing support for Yahoo Mail on some older iOS devices. and let me see we have a PRO tip from our producer Jennie: If you work on any of these teams, and your boss wants to meet you in a conference room, start grabbing Kind Bars from the kitchen.

Ars Technica reports that the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY has named 6 games to its new World Video Game Hall of Fame. Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft were chosen by an advisory committee of about two dozen journalists, scholars, and game historians. The goal was to choose games “that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general.” The inductees will be included in playable form at the museum’s eGameRevolution exhibit.

Facebook is rolling out a new Android app that’s designed to use less data and run faster for folks with spotty data connections according to Reuters. Facebook Lite uses less than 1/2 a megabyte of data and supports Facebook’s news feed, status updates, notifications and photos, but doesn’t support videos or advanced location services. Facebook Lite is available in select Asian countries and will soon be made available in parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe.

What do you do when you want to have a nice conversation between just you and 200 of your closest friends? You install Line’s new Android app Popcorn Buzz. As The Next Web tells it, it lets you use your Line Messaging account to send out a link through email, text or social network and any of your Line contacts can join and talk. It’s voice only for now but Line says it’s working on group video chat, interconnectivity with Line Groups and of course an iOS version.

BizTechAfrica reports Zimbabwe’s Dr. Lloyd Muzangwa and Tanzanian engineer George Kahabuka took home the mid-stage prize in the Standard Bank Water 4 Africa challenge for their MAJI 1200 water purification system. The mid-stage prize is given to a system ready for deployment. The MAJI1200 combines UV light with solar energy to make water purification available off the grid and with minimal maintenance. The team will use its $5,000 prize money to build and donate MAJI 1200 units to schools in rural Zimbabwe. A crowdfunding project has been set up at gofundme.com/ohyrac.

New data from IDC shows Xiaomi has risen to the world’s 2nd biggest seller of wearables just behind FitBit. TechCrunch reports that Xiaomi came in with 2.8 million shipments for Q1 2015 at 24.6% of the market ahead of Garmin’s 6.1 percent, Samsung’s 5.1 percent and Jawbone’s 4.4 percent. FitBit still leads the pack at 3.9 million shipments giving it 34.2% market. The data does not include Apple Watch which just started shipping in April.

The Verge reports that Nest will hold an event on Wednesday June 17th, which would be its first substantial smart home product announcement since Google bought Nest. Tech Crunch previously reported that Nest might be moving into audio, so um, stay tuned.

News From You: Griff72 submitted Yahoo Tech’s Rafe Needleman’s report that the updated Pebble app for Pebble Time is being delayed in Apple’s App Store. Pebble got approval on May 18 but found a minor bug which it fixed and resubmitted on May 22. The updated app has been in review since. The updated Android app is available in Google Play.

habichuelacondulce submitted this Engadget article noting a New York Times report that the US Justice Department issued two memos to the NSA in 2012 allowing the NSA to search US citizens International data traffic without a warrant in order to find foreign hackers or malware. The memos allowed tracking of IP addresses and cybersignatures that could be tied to foreign governments. The memos were obtained in documents provided by Edward Snowden. Discussion Section Links:  

 http://www.cnet.com/news/dish-and-t-mobile-said-to-be-in-early-stage-merger-talks/
 http://www.wsj.com/article_email/dish-network-in-merger-talks-with-t-mobile-us-1433383285-lMyQjAxMTI1MzA3NDEwMjQwWj
 http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/06/possible-disht-mobile-merger-could-be-trouble-for-att-and-verizon/
 http://www.cnet.com/news/six-burning-questions-if-t-mobile-dish-network-actually-get-together/
 http://fortune.com/2015/06/04/apple-streaming-video-adobe/

 

Pick of the Day: Tuesday on episode 2506 we talked about the Pinterest “buy” button, and Patrick Beja suggested that someone finding a recipe on Pinterest could use this button to add all the ingredients to a shopping list. Well Paul (aka HotBranch) enjoying Juneuary in Montreal, where Mother Nature is off her meds has a suggestion for an app that does just that!

Asparagus – My Recipes is available on Android and can pull down ingredient lists from web pages and categorize them for you. The paid version extends the abilities of the free version, including the ability to scale a recipe up or down. Now, when I find a recipe online that interest me, I share it to Asparagus and voila! It’s on my phone and tablet.’

Messages:  Joe writes: Joe just bought an Amazon Echo and well… He writes ” She arrived 2 weeks ago and I must say, I’m in tech love! She is extremely responsive to my voice. … I most commonly ask her the time, weather, to set alarms, and play music playlists. I sometime ask her to tell me a joke or for other words of encouragement or empathy. She sounds really sincere. I especially like lying in bed and having her read me my tech news casts for the day. The only thing I would have liked to see is the ability for her to recognize that I am speaking to her without having to call out her name before each command. It looks like Jibo can do this but he is nearly $700 more so I think I’ll stick with Alexa…well, at least until we have a fight and break up, but for now, she’s the one for me! =====

Friday’s guest:  Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

DTNS 2507 – You Down with NDN? No More IP

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comScott Johnson joins Tom to talk with Dr. Lixia Zhang from UCLA about Named Data Networking (NDN) and how it could possibly solve many Internet problems, like security and net neutrality concerns.

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

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Scott Johnson and Lixia Zhang

Headlines: 

The Electronic Privacy Information Center honored Apple CEO Tim Cook at an event Monday. Cook gave a speech and a half. TechCrunch reports Cook said Apple rejects the idea that “customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security,” saying morality demands it. He took a swipe at companies that are “gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it,” saying “We think that’s wrong” But saved his strongest rhetoric for the US government saying “weakening encryption, or taking it away, harms good people that are using it for the right reasons. And ultimately, I believe it has a chilling effect on our First Amendment rights and undermines our country’s founding principles.” He even quoted Abraham Lincoln saying “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Venturebeat reports that Skype has fixed a flaw that crashed Skype when you received the characters “http://:” In fact once you GOT that message Skype crashed any time you tried to sign in. The bug appeared on Windows, Android and iOS, but apparently not Skype for Mac or for the Windows tiled interface. In less than 24 hours though Skype fixed the bug so make sure to head to skype.com/download or your mobile phone’s app store and update to the latest version.

TechCrunch reports Cisco and IBM have both acquired OpenStack companies. OpenStack is an open source project that enables users to create their own cloud services, often used in what is called the private cloud. Cisco announced it has purchased private cloud company Piston Cloud Computing. IBM has acquired private cloud service provider Blue Box.

ReCode reports Apple’s Beats has voluntarily recalled the Beats Pill XL speakers after 8 reports of overheating. Beats has sold more than 200,000 of the speakers since November 2013. The speakers can be identified by a lowercase b on the speaker grill and the words beats pill XL on the handle. Apple urges owners to go to apple.com/support/beats-pillxl-recall/ for details on how to return the speakers and get $325.

PCMag.com reports that AMD announced its 6th generation Processors codenamed Carizzo in A8, A10, and FX-Series models. The A8 and A10 APUs feature 10 compute cores (four CPU cores plus six GPU cores) and the FX-Series APUs feature a total of 12 compute cores (four CPU and four GPU).The chip’s use Heterogeneous System Architecture (or HSA) design shares workloads and system memory between the CPU and GPU rather than have the CPU direct everything. The A8 and A10 processors get R6 graphics, and the FX-Series R7. When paired with a discrete graphics card the R6 or R7 APUs will work in conjunction with the discrete GPU to boost graphics performance. Look for laptops with A-Series APUs this month.

News From You:

metalfreak sent us this story from Ars Technica. At long last Microsoft is bringing SSH aka Secure Shell to Windows and PowerShell. Until now Windows lacked any native SSH client/server, however the Windows PowerShell Team has announced that Microsoft will work with and contribute to OpenSSH, the standard for SSH implantation in Unix, to add that functionality to Windows. This will let Unix/Linux and Windows machines securely access each other. The Linux-Windows war is over.

starfuryzeta submitted the Engadget article that the US State of Virginia has marked 70 miles of highway in the northern part of the state as the “Virginia Automated Corridors.” This allows companies who have received approval for their cars to do public road testing of self-driving cars. Nokia’s HERE mapping division will develop 3D maps for the test roads.

doorsrio submitted the TechCrunch report that augmented reality device Magic Leap has launched a development platform. Chief Creative Officer Graeme Devine announced it on stage at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference. A developer’s section of the website has been launched where folks can sign up for the SDK, which is coming soon. CEO Rony Abovitz also said the company is out of the R&D phase and transitioning to a real product. Oh and they had author Neal Stephenson on stage to help convince you this is the real world arrival of the Metaverse.

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-internet-of-names
 http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~lixia/
 http://named-data.net/
 http://www.networkworld.com/article/2602109/lan-wan/ucla-cisco-more-join-forces-to-replace-tcpip.html

Pick of the Day:

Devulu, genius from the west:

Here is another one for you, and today it’s a Chrome extension.

If you’re like me and use Google chrome with many extensions – each for a different purpose – and want to manage them easily, then SimpleExtManager is here to the rescue.

Features include:
– basic function to enable/disable, access options and uninstall extensions via popup
– customize the popup
– ability to create extension groups
– enable/disable extension groups via popup and right-click menu

Nothing much, but sure saves a lot of time, and is way better than the Chrome extensions page.

Messages: 

mikem.exe+yt writes in:

Hey Tom. Finally getting around to episode 2497 (Run, Spotify, Run) where you had a conversation with Lamarr Wislon about how YouTube would rather you watch videos from their recommended list instead of subscribing to a creator and binge-watching all of their uploads in order.

They make it pretty difficult to binge-watch a single creator. I find myself manually adding videos to the Watch Later list, then moving them from there into a new playlist, then playing that playlist.

Well, after enough of that every day (I watch a lot of youtube), I decided to write a little script that does all that for me. You can specify a user and it will automatically add any new videos as they’re released to the end of the associated playlist in your account.

If there’s anyone in your audience who would benefit from this, have them send me an email and I’ll get them set up. mikem.exe+yt at gmail.com

David says Hello from hot and rainy Florida: 

The New Broadwell cpus are an interesting shift for Intel. They are for most part uninteresting for workstations and high end gaming. The CPU performance is lower than the current Haswell CPUs because they run at a lower clock speed. For other users they are very important because they offer very good graphics performance and much better OpenCL performance than the Haswell CPUs.
As more of programs make use of OpenCL I expect to see more computing power shifting to the GPU and OpenCL from your traditional CPU. Of course when Silverlake comes out and we get a die shrink the clock speed should come up.

=====

Thursday’s guest:  Justin Robert Young

DTNS 2506 – Thunder-C(ats)

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja discusses the theft of ThinkGeek by GameStop, Nintendo’s staunch denial of Android and Apple’s new curated games lists in the app store.

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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!

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

Show Notes

DTNS 2505 – A Millennial Ways to Get Your News

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont is on and we’ll talk about Google and Facebook’s new tools to protect your privacy and how Millennials get their political news from Facebook. Is this going to make the echo chamber worse?

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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 guests: Veronica Belmont

Headlines: 

Tery Myerson wrote on the Windows blog today that Windows 10 will become available as a free upgrade to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users starting July 29. The upgrade is only for PCs and tablets with no announcement for phones or other platforms. Myerson asks users to reserve the free Windows 10 upgrade now by looking for a Windows icon in the system tray and following the prompts. VentureBeat reports to see the reservation icon you must have installed Windows update KB3035583.

The Verge reports Google launched a new privacy and security site at myaccount.google.com. It has tools that walk you through checking your settings including what information is shared with which Google services, what permissions apps have, and what devices you’ve authorized to access your account. It also links off to and consolidates other services like downloading copies of your data and designating a trustee to handle your account.

The Next Web reports Facebook announced the ability to list an OpenPGP key on your Facebook profile. This sllows Facebook to sign notification emails with its own key and send them securely. Key management is only available for the desktop, though Facebook hopes to add mobile support int he future.

Eurogamer reports that Lego has launched a Minecraft-style game called Lego Worlds developed by TT Games and available from Steam Early Access for $14.99. The game will feature familiar lego game elements as well as procedurally-generated worlds, “discoveries and unlocks”, ridable creatures, vehicles and a day/night cycle. The main differences from Minecraft appear to be a focus on creativity rather than survival, and the ability to change vast chunks of the terrain at will.

It’s Computex time which means Asus announced more ZenPad tablets than we could possibly tell you about here. Anandtech does a good job of boiling down the announcement, breaking down the ZenPad 8 and the ZenPad S8. The 8 has LTE, a 1280 x 800 screen and a1.2GHZ Silvermont Atom processor. The S8 has a 2.33 GHz Silvermont Atom processor, a 2048 x 1536 screen and a USB Type C connector. It also suports a 1024 pressure level stylus Thery also have interchangable back plates one of which has a built in battery and another with 6 speakers that can deliver 5.1 DTS surround sound. From your tablet cover. Asus also announced a phone called Selfie with front and rear 13-megapixel cameras and the Zen Watch 2 which has a power button that looks like Apple’s ‘digital crown’ in 49-mm or 45-mm versions. None of these products have price or release dates yet.

Reuters reports BlackBerry and Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo have settled their dispute over Typo’s Blackberry-like keyboard case for phones and tablets. The settlement is that Typo won’t sell the cases for phones anymore but they can sell them for devices with screens larger than 7.9-inches.

Nvidia has unleashed its latest flagship GPU the GTX 980 Ti according to the Verge. The GTX 980 Ti sports 22 SM units, 2,816 Stream Processing Units, 6GB of VRAM with a clock frequency of 1000Mhz and texture filtering rate of 176 gigatexels per sec. The card achieved 4K performance well over 30fps on Battlefield 4 and Shadow of Mordor with max settings. The GPU is future-proofed with support for DirectX 12 and Nvidia’s new Virtual Reality API, GameWorks VR. The GTX 980 Ti will retail for $649.99. (A bit cheaper than the $1,000 Titan X)

TechCrunch is reporting that GoPro has announced the Hero+LCD. The camera targets YouTubers with an LCD touchscreen, 1080p 60fps recording, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Hero+LCD will release June 7th for $299.

Reuters reports Intel has agreed to buy FPGA chip maker Altera for $16.7 billion. Intel will be able to bundle its chips with Altera’s programable chips which are often used to do things like speed up Web searches.

TechCrunch passes along that a  Wall Street Journal’s source says Apple will reveal its new streaming music service next week at WWDC and it will cost $10 a month for unlimited listening. It will not have an ad-supported tier though there may be some free tracks available. New channels will come to iTunes radio too hosted by Dr. Dre and other talented recruited from places like BBC1.

News From You:

habichuelacondulce submitted the Guardian writeup of the fact that the US Patriot Act section 215 dealing with bulk surveillance was allowed to expire Sunday night meaning such data collection must be stopped int he US for the time being. The USA Freedom Act is expected to be revived and passed later this week to allow a more limited form of data collection to be allowed. The Freedom Act does not allow the NSA to collect records in bulk and includes rules on transparency.

tm204 flagged the CBC writeup about the woman who dropped off an original Apple computer for recycling at Milpitas’ California’s “Clean Bay Area.” She said she cleaned out her garage after her husband died and didn’t want a receipt and did not leave a name. Only 200 of the first Apple’s were made. Clean Bay Area sold the computer to a private collection for $200,000 and is seeking the woman to split the money with her.

KAPT_Kipper submitted the Engadget report that passes along info from Nikkei that Nintendo’s forthcoming NX console could use Android as the operating system. Nintendo has said it will not discuss NX until 2016.

Discussion Section Links:  

 http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/1/8699719/pew-survey-politics-news-source-facebook-millenials
http://www.journalism.org/2015/06/01/millennials-political-news/

 

Pick of the Day:

Randy writes:

Since telling you what the weather is like seems like the thing to do, it’s humid here in Michigan! I have another YouTube channel that I’d like to suggest as a pick The Ben Heck Show is great for makers and maker-curious (like myself) to learn and get ideas. I’ve always described it as “The New Yankee Workshop for geeks”. I started watching around the time he made automatic light-sensing glasses that will flip his sunglasses down. More recently, he made a portable Dreamcast, made a DIY PIC32 dev board, and did a tabletop CNC tutorial. He’s been doing this for 4 years, so there’s a ton of back-catalogue to watch as well as a new episode every week.

Thank you for all you do and keep up the great work!

Messages: 

Drew writes in:

On Friday’s show, the subject of using VPNs to fool geofencing restrictions came up again, and Darren mentioned his dream of living in a world where so many people use VPNs that there’s really no telling where anyone is physically located, because the IP addresses are all obfuscated.

This made me think of an analogy with area codes, now that we all have cell phones. Not all that long ago, it was very practical to reverse-lookup a caller’s area code and be very confident in their physical location. With the prevalence of cell phones, and the ability to keep your phone number when you move or change carriers, and synchronized address books that keep any of us from knowing more than a handful of numbers….area codes mean very little these days.

I think that Randall Munroe summed it up most succinctly:

https://xkcd.com/1129/

As always, love the show…

Allan P. wrote about Google’s Project Jaquard:

In the early 1800s, Joseph Jacquard basically invented punched cards as a way of programming a machine. He designed a loom which could automatically and repeatably produce very complex patterns in fabric. The pattern was stored on a loop of cards; at each “clock cycle” of the weaving process, the machine would lift (or not lift) colored threads based on the pattern of holes in the next card in the chain.

Jacquard inspired both Babbage and (much later) Hollerith. I think Jacquard is the perfect name for a Google project which combines technology and woven cloth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom

In a slightly belated reaction to the Tesla Powerwall Alex wrote:

I used to design and oversee production of diesel tanks, systems support and enclosures for large commercial generators (think about the size of a truck trailer when enclosed and a 18 cylinder engine with several thousand gallons of diesel underneath it).
One of the big consumers of these systems was data centers. Facebook, Google, NSA, etc would buy these by the dozens and have grids of them around their data centers. If there was a brownout or blackout, these generators would kick on and keep the data centers at least partially operational until the grid came back up.
If Elon can prove the concept of these batteries, develop the technology further, and scale it, this could be a huge market for them. Currently a tank (empty) and enclosure with support systems could run around half of a million dollars and the generator could run twice that.

=====

Tuesday’s guest: Patrick Beja