Monthly Tech Views – August 2017

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Like every month, August had its share of big tech stories. The world of technology makes amazing advances on an almost daily basis. Which makes it all the more surprising that we have not yet figured out a way to completely vanquish Eclipse, the sky monster that repeatedly tries to obliterate civilization by eating the sun and leaving us to perish in freezing, utter darkness.

But there we were two weeks ago, holding our breath as darkness did, in fact, cover swaths of the land, technology sitting impotently by while we bravely resorted to banging pots and pans together in a desperate attempt to scare away the voracious demon. And I’ll tell you, you really have to bang the hell out of those things when nobody else in the neighborhood will join in (although whatever it is they were screaming at me probably did help).

And scare him off we did, avoiding, at least temporarily, humanity’s purge from the face of the Earth, and allowing us to get back to the important work of making fun of BitCoin.


With A Name Like BitCoin Cash, It Has To Be Good

For those of us having trouble wrapping our heads around the concept of Bitcoin being real money, new entrant in the market BitCoin Cash arrives to put our minds at ease, because having two money-related terms in its name makes it, obviously, twice as real.

And lets face it–even if you accept it as currency, “BitCoin” doesn’t sound like much. “BitCoin? It’s just a coin?” Best case, it sounds like something your computer savvy grandpa digs out of his pocket so he can dazzle you with the old “what’s this in your ear?” trick.

But BitCoin Cash? Now you’re talking cash. Foldin’ money. No, you can’t actually fold it, because it’s still on a computer somewhere and still isn’t real money, but it sounds like you could, and perception is everything when it comes to marketing.

But even BitCoin Cash’s relevance is doomed to be short lived, inevitably eclipsed by BitCoin Cash Fat Stacks.

Bonus: Ten Million Cores Nearly Handles The Highest Settings On Witcher 3

Chinese researchers set a record for building the largest virtual universe. Utilizing a ten-million-CPU-core supercomputer, they simulated the birth and tens of millions of years of the universe.

Granted, this overshadows my creation of a virtual town with its first six months simulated on a dual-core Pentium PC, though the researchers provide no indication whether they too had one of their Sims stuck in a bathroom the whole time.

StarFox 2 Better Be The Best Damned Game Ever

Nintendo announced that the SNES Classic would be available for preorder in late August and available in stores on September 29. When the preorders were, in fact, possible on August 22, customers who’d had earlier preorders revoked—due to a Walmart glitch offering them prematurely–showed there were no hard feelings by jokingly pointing at their screens, smirking, and saying, “Oh yeah? How do I know it’s real this t—“ at which point they were sold out.

When You Need To Repeatedly Hear “Sold Out” Faster Than Ever

Hyperloop One had a test pod reach 310 kilometers per hour on a 500-meter test track in Nevada. The first test of a pod with human occupants is expected to take place September 29 on tracks linking Target, Walmart, and Best Buy Nintendo departments.

He’s Also Worried People Might Confuse Them With His Virile Putin Network

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law banning VPNs, the aim being to deny access to “unlawful content,” particularly “that damned Photoshop of me and Trump making out on horseback.”

Check Local Listings For Name That iTunes

Apple is expected to spend $1 billion on original video content next year. The good news is this provides viewers with ever expanding viewing options. The bad news is that there is a better than even chance Apple follows up this year’s competition show Planet of the Apps with the sitcom Appy Days and reality dating show I’d App That.

Must Pre-See TV

Two weeks after a hack made scripts and episodes of Game of Thrones available online before their air date, an HBO affiliate in Spain accidentally posted another episode of the hit show prematurely.

“It’s not ideal, of course,” said an HBO spokesperson, “but it could have been a lot worse had they gotten access to the DVD bonus features and spoiled the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty tribute video Stop Dragon My Heart Around.

I Bet They Find A Tesla Charging Station Up There

Google Lunar X Prize competitors, attempting to send the first privately funded spacecraft to the moon, are no longer required to launch by December 31 of this year. X Prize now only stipulates that the mission be completed by March 31, 2018. This applies only to the current five finalists, of course. Otherwise, like the smartest kid in English class writing a term paper the night before it’s due and still wrecking the grading curve, Elon Musk would probably just take a day off Hyperloop-building, launch a rocket on St. Patrick’s Day, and win the $20 million.

When Nobody’s Looking, He Actually Nails Demi Lovato’s Cool For The Summer

Hackers at DefCon were able to hack into voting machines in less than two hours, some doing so remotely.

The hackers apologized for a bug in the earlier version of their software, explaining that Donald Trump was only supposed to win The Voice.

Those Expectant Mothers Can Probably Use Some More Exercise

The two men who devised a way to remotely hack a Jeep have been named heads of security at Cruise, GM’s self-driving division, where, no matter how late they arrive, they always end up with the best parking spaces.

We Have The Tickernology

Some pacemakers have been recalled by the FDA due to software vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to change its settings. The required firmware patch requires a doctor’s visit.

“I’m really getting tired of this. Maybe you could have spent $7 million,” said Steve Austin.

“Are You Ready For Some New Phones?!”

The New York City Police Department is throwing away 36,000 Windows Phones after Microsoft ended support for them.

Meanwhile, at a football stadium not very far away, the New York Jets excitedly asked, “Do you literally mean they were throwing them? Did they come close to hitting the garbage can, like, fifty percent of the time?”

You Don’t Suppose The Thermal Updrafts Could Help With The Other Thing?

Amazon tested an autonomous glider that stays aloft by using predictive math to anticipate thermal updrafts. While the test fell short of breaking the flight-time record of five hours, it was a promising outing that proved Amazon can use predictive math for something other than eerily knowing when I can no longer kid myself about the viability of the elastic and it’s really time to order more underwear.


Regular readers of The Monthly Tech Views learned long ago to believe very little of what you find here. You do know that, right? (Could you imagine coming here for information?)

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Mike Range

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