DTNS 2575 – Headlines

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIt’s the Labour Day holiday so Tom reads some headlines about a wealth of new phones coming to India, a new top phone maker in the US, and why eBook sales are declining.

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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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here.

Weekly Tech Views Blog – 8

Untitled drawing (1)

Real tech news. Really shaky analysis.

Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying facts or common sense.

For the week of August 31 – September 4, 2015

Hooray for Applewood
Apple may be looking to compete with Netflix, as Apple executives have reportedly been in touch with Hollywood, seeking the production of original video content. Talks were delayed when Hollywood movie executives doubled over, laughed for half an hour, and finally gasped, “Original? Did you hear that? They want original content!” After another spasm of laughter, during which three more Paranormal Activity sequels were greenlighted, they wiped their eyes and said, “You guys are looking for TV; they’re next door.”

Don’t Let the Door Hit You…
Stanford, MIT, and Toyota are teaming to create “intelligent”, rather than self-driving, cars, with artificial intelligence that will make people better drivers. That’s cool, as long as they come up with what the industry calls a TAW function (“the industry” being Weekly Tech Views writers) that works like this: if a driver cuts someone off three times in a month or stays ten miles per hour below the speed limit for over ten minutes or leaves their left turn signal on from Cleveland to Indianapolis, the dashboard flashes “THIS AIN’T WORKING” while the car pulls over and the seat tips the driver out onto the sidewalk, dispenses cab fare, and lists itself on Craigslist.

I’m Just Saying, Get a Receipt
Nextbit is Kickstarting a new phone called Robin that would automatically store your lesser used apps and data in the cloud to save space on the phone. Sweet. Why not store what you’re not using somewhere else? When you need it, you just bring it back. A fine idea. Except, I’ve kind of been through this before.

It starts out, “You haven’t looked at these comic books in a while, let’s make some space in your closet and store these in the attic.” You say, “Whatever.” They weren’t bothering you in the closet, but if it’s that big a deal to your mom, fine, it’s not battle-worthy.

Then, a year later, in eighth grade homeroom, you meet a cute girl who is actually into Marvel Comics. So you race home from school to prepare your collection to show her the next day. You perform the Olympic-level gymnastics necessary to hoist yourself through the ladderless two-foot square opening in the ceiling. It’s early September, so the attic has maintained its customary 197 degrees and your new school clothes are plastered to your body, including the sweater-vest, for god’s sake, that your mom made you wear, despite the fact that it was still officially summer, so you’d be a “handsome young man” for the first day of school.

But none of that matters, because you’ve reached the box that’s going to let you impress Cindy Stewart before any of the other guys have a chance. You throw open the slimy-yet-sticky, perpetually-on-the-verge-of-melting lid to the Rubbermaid container, and gaze upon six cubic feet of… tiny plastic pilgrims. And Indians. And turkeys. All slightly warped, losing their own non-air conditioned battle with the Cleveland summer. What you don’t see are four neatly-wrapped and bound packages of Marvel comics.

You have the wrong bin. Easy mistake.

You look at the side of the container and see the curling masking tape… Mike’s Comic Books is crossed off, Thanksgiving Decorations is squeezed underneath in your mom’s neat cursive.

You interrupt your mother’s viewing of General Hospital with a scream that convinces her you’ve finally impaled yourself on one of “those damned light sabers scattered all over your room.” And when you try to explain that she has ruined any chance you ever had at being happy, she responds, with the same tone she might use to say she cleaned up an accident the dog had in the living room, “Oh, you hadn’t looked at those in forever, I got rid of them.”

Careful, Nextbit. Be very careful.

The Battery’s Just Showing Off
Runtastic introduced the Orbit, a fitness-tracking smartwatch which stores a week’s worth of data, is waterproof, and contains a lifetime battery. Technically, it’s a six-month battery, but, after completing an in-depth study consisting of flipping through my workout journals of the last five years, I’ve determined that nobody has ever used a fitness tracker long enough to know the difference.

What’s In a Name?
Wikipedia banned nearly 400 accounts for targeting users who’d had a requested article change declined, and offering to publish them for a fee. Then they would require as much as $30 per month to “protect” the article. Yes, that’s extortion, and sure, it’s unethical, but looking at it from a purely financial standpoint, at thirty bucks a month, was I paying too much to have my entry read “Lord High Tech Blogger of the Entire Tri-State Area”?

Global IQ Reaches All-Time Low as Throngs Join Hacked Adultery Site
A funny thing happened while Ashley Madison employees were cleaning out their desks and sneaking mouse pads, staplers, and pads of Post-It notes into their briefcases–the business didn’t die. According to Ashley Madison (slogan: “Sure your data is vulnerable; it’s the risk of getting caught that makes it exciting.”), hundreds of thousands of new users signed up in just the last week. Apparently, the recent deluge of news stories has served as effective advertising, despite that recent news being, essentially, “if you sign up for Ashley Madison, there is a good chance your name will be published as a client, your spouse, family, and friends will find out, you will be ridiculed, sued for divorce, and possibly lose half your net worth.” Which, as ad copy goes, is not CLIO Award-winning stuff. Asked to explain the surge in business despite the horrible publicity, an Ashley Madison spokesperson said, “We’ve found that the demographic least swayed by news is humanity’s impulsive, wandering loins.”

OK, Google…Find Hair Plugs
Following last month’s major reorganization, Google has now changed its logo. The new font is  sans serif (from the French, meaning “without a particularly good reason”), which some say looks “more modern and playful.” Industry insiders predict this isn’t the last of Google’s changes, and expect the internet giant to start shopping at Aeropostale, driving a Jaguar, and dating search engines half their age.

Thanks again for stopping by the Weekly Tech Views Blog. If you enjoyed it, feel free to send a friend or five this way. If you weren’t so crazy about it, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2574 – from DragonCon

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDue to a technical failure the audio in this episode is substandard. Our apologies. We included it for completeness but please know we will endeavour to better in the future.

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Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here.

DTNS 2573 – Headlines

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSamsung steals the stage at IFA and North Carolina gets all the bandwidth. Just the headlines today as Tom travels to DragonCon.

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Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here.

DTNS 2572 – Acer Detect

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIt’s an avalanche of product announcements from IFA in Berlin, phones, watches and even a modular desktop PC. Plus, it’s the sequel to Fanmail Friday– What’s Up Wednesday?– where Tom Merritt and Scott Johnson read a bunch of your expert emails about Apple content, Nielsen ratings, smartphone glucose monitors and more.

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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

(more…)

DTNS 2571 – Just Use a Bigger Tube

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDoes every tech company need to get into making TV shows and movies? Tom Merritt and Patrick Beja discuss the report of Apple’s original programming and more.

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Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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

(more…)

DTNS 2570 – Enter The Snapdragon!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSmartwatches are narrowing in on a few standard features, like notifications, fitness tracking and proactive alerts. But are the features that wearables still need to have to make us want one? Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss.

MP3

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

(more…)

Weekly Tech Views Blog – 7

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Real Tech News. Really Shaky Analysis.

Thanks for visiting the Weekly Tech Views Blog. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying facts or common sense.

 
For the week of August 24 – 28, 2015

AT&T–Advertising Through & Through
AT&T was discovered to be sending ads to users of one of their free wifi hotspots, even if the web sites being visited were ad-free. If this initiative goes well, AT&T plans to expand the program:

[Rrrrring]

“Hey, Bob. I’ve got tickets to a game this week, thought you’d like to go.”

“Sounds good, Joe. When is it?”

“It’s–”

Got a ticket? Don’t just blindly pay it–fight it! We here at Schlichter, Schefter, and Shyster have never, in our fifty-five years of practice, seen a ticket issued that was justified. Most lawyers won’t handle traffic tickets, claiming there’s no real money to made, but we care about the little guy, and nobody is hiring us for anything else these days, so just buy us lunch and sit there and talk to us while we eat and we’ll fight to have that ridiculous going-seventy-five-in-a-school-zone charge disappear!

“What the heck was that?”

“I don’t know, Bob; I thought it on your end.”

“Weird. So, when’s the game? I’m going to be out of town a few days this week.”

“It’s a one o’clock start on–”

Love to travel, but hotels are too expensive? Motels seem pretty pricey, too? Hostels… that’s more like it, but still think you’ve got better things to do with that ten bucks a night? You need to get to your App Store and download Hobo-ocity. Get reviews of the most comfortable, least police-patrolled park benches in over thirty major cities.

“Send me an email, Joe.”

My Weekend is Now Booked
The battery in the new LG Gpad 2 tablet promises two days worth of constant use, which is great; we all want more power and efficiency from our devices, but I have to admit that I’m going to kind of miss my wife and I looking each other in the face every ten hours or so.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Cheater Whose Identity Has Been Revealed
Not surprisingly, hacked affair-promoting website Ashley Madison has been sued by multiple people for breach of contract and violation of privacy laws. Ashley Madison quickly filed a response, reading, “C’mon, baby, why you gotta be like that? I made a mistake; I didn’t mean anything by it. What about the good times? Remember how I helped you get some strange and you gave me a lot of money? That was fun, right? Can’t we go back to that?”

Laid Off Worker Regrets Joining Angry Birds Pharmaceuticals Division
Angry Birds creator Rovio is laying off 260 employees, citing that the company tried to do too many things and will now scale back. The fear is that this could jeopardize their latest game, Angry Trump, as the development team had completed only two levels: launching reporters out of press conferences and slingshotting anyone with an accent over a twenty-foot U.S. border wall.

[Rrrrring]
“Welcome to printer technical support. Do you agree to the $4.95 per minute charge?”

“Yes, sure, this should only take a couple seconds. I just need to find an updated driver for my printer.”

“Yes, sir. That’s on the web site. Just go to–”

Golfers! Looking to be longer off the tee? Gary’s Golf World has the drivers you need! We’ve got Calloway, Cleveland, Cobra, Ping, TaylorMade, Bridgestone, Nike, Mizuno, Titleist…

“Hey! What is this crap?”

…on sale this week is the Calloway Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver. It’s forged composite crown, lively titanium face, and adjustable OptiFit hosel will have you playing like a pro. And it’s a steal at $450! Isn’t it worth the kids wearing last year’s school clothes to add ten yards to your drive?

“I’m not paying for this!”

Sometimes You Really Have to Squint for That Silver Lining
Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers involved in the creation of the Fire Phone. While the loss of a paycheck will certainly be a tough financial hit, this does, at least, provide a much-needed respite from Amazon’s grueling schedule. Say what you want about how hard Amazon drives their people, they have a strict policy that once an employee is laid off, they are not to work more than forty hours per week.

I’d Have Preferred a GIF of Kevin Bacon Screaming, “Remain Calm! All is Well!”
Apple’s Tim Cook sent an email to financial analyst/TV personality Jim Cramer to allay fears about Apple’s stock and iPhone sales in China. Inspired by this, Denver Broncos GM John Elway, after watching quarterback Payton Manning throw three consecutive incomplete passes during a morning practice,  emailed ESPN’s John Clayton and told him to “chillax.”

[Rrrrring]
“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“Someone just broke into my house! They picked the lock and ripped out the screen and now they’re coming up the stairs!”

“What is your address, sir?”

“It’s 24–”

Lock screen problems? We can take care of those and just about any other issues you’re having with your smartphone here at Phone Phixers. Same day service for half what the manufacturer charges. Remember, your phone’s not dead, it just needs Phone Phixed.

“Sorry about that, sir. Your address?…. Sir?……..”

OK, I’ve had my fun. AT&T inserting ads into web sites via a wifi hotspot may be annoying, but what real harm is being done?

Web Site Ads Can Kill Your Computer!
According to a recent study, malware delivered via ads tripled in the eight months between June 2014 and February 2015. At this rate, it’s possible that by the end of the year, in the U.S. alone, we will actually have more computers infected with malware than we have Marvel movies.

Waiter, There’s a Six-Millimeter Countersunk-Head Stainless Steel Rivet in My Pizza
The RoboHow project demonstrated two robots working together to make a pizza, the first delivering the ingredients to the second, which assembled the pie. Stories like this have prompted the ABC television network to capitalize on the public’s increasing fascination with robots, perhaps by replicating the tone Fox used with last year’s Cosmos and launching a program where the tremendous, mind-bending advances in robotic technology and artificial intelligence can be seriously analyzed, and its future repercussions discussed by leaders from every scientific field, or they could do a reboot called Two Robots, a Droid, and a Pizza Place.

Thanks again for stopping by the Weekly Tech Views Blog. If you enjoyed it, feel free to send a friend or five this way. If you weren’t so crazy about it, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2569 – Are You VR Experienced?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comHTC’s Vive VR headset won’t ship in large numbers until 2016. So Lamarr Wilson and Tom Merritt discuss what the VR headset landscape will look like after Vive Oculus and Project Morpheus have all shipped next year.

MP3

Using a Screen Reader? Click here

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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

(more…)