DTNS 2355 – Don’t Sweat It, Microsoft

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comChristian Cantrell joins us to talk a little about Microsoft Health and Microsoft Fitness, and a little about why the present isn’t more like the future we imagined it would be.


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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Christian Cantrell, science fiction author and tech writer at Living Digitally


For those of you who already thought Lenovo owned Motorola, well now you’re right. Gigaom reports Lenovo has finalized the deal and taken ownership of Motorola Mobility from Google. Lenovo plans to operate Motorola as a wholly-owned subsidiary with its headquarters to remain in Chicago. Branding of Motorola phones vs. Lenovo phones has yet to be announced.Google retains all but about 2,000 of Motorola’s patents and most of the R&D unit working on things like Project Ara.

GigaOm reports Microsoft launched a new Health platform for mobile and a wristband fitness tracker. Microsoft Health is available for Windows Phone, iOS and Android and can work with 3rd-party apps and devices like he Jawbone Up, Runkeeper and My FitnessPal. The platform uses an ‘intelligence engine’ to calculate things like how restful your sleep was, how much recovery time you should take after a workout and will eventually work with things like Office calendar to determine how your work life is affecting your health. Microsoft also announced BAND a fitness tracker with 10 smart sensors to monitor things like heart rate, calories burned, sleep etc. It has a 1.4-inch 320 x 106 pixel screen, lasts 48 hours on a charge and works with Windows Phone, iOS and Android. It’s available for $19 in the US at MicrosoftStore.com and Microsoft retail stores.

Tim Cook wrote a piece for Bloomberg BusinessWeek acknowledging his sexual orientation. “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” He also writes, ”if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.” He concluded the post by writing, “We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.”

Instagram video ads have arrived. The Verge reports that as of today, Instagram will begin running 15 second video ads that will appear in a user’s feed. Disney, Banana Republic, Activision, Lancome, and the CW network are among the first brands to participate. The Verge dubs the Banana Republic ad the most ‘instagramy’ — it’s a silent time-lapse of someone sketching a clothing design. Producer Jennie dubs Activision’s Call of Duty ad the most likely to make you drop your phone when it starts auto playing in your feed.

The Verge report Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi is now the world’s third biggest smartphone maker, behind Samsung and Apple, according to new research from IDC. Xiaomi still operates primarily in China, only recently expanding into India and Singapore. Lenovo and LG round out the top five, though Lenovo will likely leap back in front once Motorola phones start counting for them. Numbers for Startegy Analytics mostly agreed with IDC and showed number one Samsung declining 10%. Samsung is starting to take on a Nokia-like feel.

Reuters reports Nintendo  will develop a bedside device to measure fatigue and track sleep. According to CEO Satoru Iwata it will be fun! This will be the first product from Nintendo’s healthcare division. The device will be developed with U.S. firm ResMed which makes products to treat sleep disorders. It’s expected to arrive sometime before March 2016.

Reuters reports that Sony will appoint Hiroki Totoki as the new president of Sony Mobile Communications, replacing Kunimasa Suzuki. Totoki, who was previously a senior vice president in the company, will attempt to reverse slow sales of Sony’s Xperia smartphones. The change goes into effect November 16th.

News From You

KAPT_Kipper passed along the TorrentFreak article that the Danish Court of Frederiksberg found Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm and a 21-year-old co-defendant guilty of hacking crimes for illegally accessing systems operated by IT company CSC. Gottfrid claimed the attacks happened because his computer had been compromised, and he was not responsible.

Hurmoth sent in the 9to5 Mac report that Meijer grocery and gas in Michigan is continuing to take Apple Pay even though it is a member of the MCX consortium promoting Current C. If you missed it both Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies are taking heat for no longer taking Apple Pay because of exclusivity with CurrentC. ReCode asked MCX COO Scott Ranking about Meijer and he cleared things up. “I think if they want to go forward and continue to accept Apple Pay, down the road at some point if they want to be a customer of MCX and roll out CurrentC and offer it to customers that’s great.”

KAPT_Kipper submitted the CNET report that Don Reisinger tried to pre-order an Amazon Fire TV stick yesterday and found out his order wouldn’t be arriving until after January 1st, 2015, two months later than the original ship date of November 19th. Amazon advises customers to pay attention to the estimated delivery date upon checkout, which for Don was January 16th. The company says devices WILL begin shipping on November 19th, for those who ordered early, but customer demand outpaced supply. My November 19th ship date has changed to Thursday, December 11, 2014 by 8pm.

And MacBytes posted the Engadget article about researchers in the US and Netherlands who have managed to send data at 255 Tbps over a single strand of fiber a kilometer long. For you network techs, the team used multicore cable sending 50 carriers down the seven channels using spatial multiplexing. For the rest of you that means you could download all 317,060 movies listed at IMDB in 2 and a half hours.

Discussion Links:  Microsoft Health








Pick of the Day: Scrivener via Jennifer in Massachusetts

Hi Tom and Jennie,

With NaNoWriMo starting this weekend, I know you are getting several picks for writing apps. I’d like to add one more. Scrivener has a NaNoWriMo special. Instead of the usual 30 day demo, you can download a demo that will expire on December 7th giving you enough time to finish your novel. Also if you are a winner, 50,000 word written, you get a code to buy Scrivener for 50% off. If you don’t hit the 50K word goal there is a code for 20% off. This is for both the Windows and Mac versions.

Here’s the link: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/nanowrimo.php

Thanks for the show, you make my commute enjoyable.

Your boss,
Jennifer in Massachusetts

Friday’s guest: Darren Kitchen, from the new hak5 space!  Artist Len Peralta, possibly in costume! Because it will be Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!