Monthly Tech Views – July 2017

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.


If you thought the celebratory fireworks ended earlier this month, think again. This July also marks two years of the Tech Views on! (Boom. Crackle.)

And as you are certainly aware, the two-year anniversary of a blog has been known—dating as far back as half an hour ago–as the Create-A-Patreon anniversary.

Not one to spit in the face of cherished traditions, I’ve done just that. If you’d like to be a vital part of helping this nonsense reach a third anniversary and beyond (and maybe even return it to weekly nonsense) please check out the newly minted

Not only will you be supporting the most blatantly misguided technology analysis available on today’s internet, but there are reward levels providing you the end-of-year book of collected columns, the ability throughout the year to demand coverage of your favorite story (or of a really boring earnings report, if it would be more fun to challenge me), and even choosing a word or phrase that I will have to use in the next Tech Views (parsley? panic room? Parasigmatism?*).

Exciting, right? is like the Disneyland of blog support!

Okay, on to the shaky analysis…


The Worst Part Is All The Other Robots Calling Him KnightSoak
A Knightscope security robot was found floating in an office plaza fountain Monday. The robot was equipped with facial-recognition capability, HD video capture, infrared and ultrasonic sensors, and an irresistible desire for loose change.

Just For Fun, How Much For
PayPal began its life as, a domain obtained by founder Elon Musk. Musk has now bought back the domain from Paypal, citing “great sentimental value, and certainly not because I’m distracting you with electric cars and tunnels and rockets while I create real life X-Men.”

A Netflix Original: BLOW (Billionaire Legends Of Wrestling)
Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been arguing recently over the possible negative effects of artificial intelligence, Musk warning that, unregulated, it is “a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization,” while Zuckerberg called it “totally rad, dude.”

Okay, what the Facebook CEO actually said was “that kind of talk is irresponsible.”

Musk countered that Zuckerberg’s understanding “is limited.”

However this plays out, I know we can all agree that the most unfortunate aspect of these two extremely intelligent, forward-thinking tech billionaires going after each other is, of course, that it is too late for their claymation likenesses to pummel the hell out of each other on MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch.

I’ll Install It As Soon As I Bring This Order Of Chips Up The Lift To My Flat
Microsoft Windows’ Fall Creators Update will be known as the Autumn Creators Update in the UK, as they don’t tend to refer to the season as “fall.”

“If that doesn’t annoy the Americans enough, see if we can work “zed” in there; that makes them crazy,” chuckled UK citizens.

Sorry, Not Sorry
500 Startups co-founder/CEO resigned, apologizing in a blog post for numerous acts of sexual harassment. Naturally, many were quick to claim that he had “pulled an Uber.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, that’s not fair,” said an Uber spokesperson. “When was the last time you saw us apologize?”

A Milestone Is A Milestone
Lyft recently hit one million daily riders,** a mark Uber reached in 2014.

“Haha,” said the Uber spokesperson, “I bet they haven’t even reached 100 sexual harassment claims yet.”

What Do You Mean The Security Code Is On The Other Side?
The UK government is going to start requiring porn sites to obtain proof that users are at least eighteen years old, possibly via a verifiable credit card, causing parents across the country to marvel at their sixteen-year-old son’s sudden intense desire to “Ummm… Snapchat the cool checkered tablecloth” when dad calls for the check at the pizza place and slaps down his Visa.

Apple is allowing the use of PayPal for purchases in the App Store and iTunes.

That’s all. Nothing really funny about it. Just thought the headline was kind of mildly clever.

IPO, Here I Come
Google has formed Gradient Ventures to invest $1-8 million in each of 10-15 early AI startups.

Hey Google, have I mentioned my startup, which uses a sophisticated AI algorithm that creates headlines for tech stories by mashing together two company names in a kind of mildly clever way?

The Other Team Won’t Stand Still Long Enough
Logitech spent $85 million to acquire Astro Gaming, maker of headsets for professional gamers on consoles. It’s probably money well spent—I’m told that hearing your teammates with crystal clear fidelity is actually an enjoyable experience when every comment isn’t “I’m on your team, idiot! Stop shooting me!”

We Are Easily Amused
The second-generation Pixel XL is expected to have a curved rear surface and a squeezable frame. “Same way I like my women,” said approximately 3.5 billion snickering men.

Of Course, They’d Just Put Cute Filters Over The Scars
Apple is expected to add 3D lasers to the iPhone’s rear-facing camera. Don’t get too excited though; they aren’t that kind of laser, as we learned when they announced adding them to the front–facing camera and it turned out they were to aid in selfie taking rather than as the hoped-for deterrent to the hordes obstructing every photo worthy tourist attraction for ten minutes each while beaming more and bigger smiles at their camera than they have provided for any member of their family over the past ten years.

Stupid wrong lasers.

Play To Your Strength
Verizon had six million customer accounts compromised, shocking the industry with just how quickly recent acquisition Yahoo made its presence felt.

Ask Not For Whom The Tone Tolls
Ticketmaster has partnered with Lisnr, a provider of data-over-audio technology, to use “smart tones” to help assess the validity of electronic tickets. Aside from adopting tech with the DOA acronym, this seems like a fine idea, because the tones would fall in a kilohertz range that 90% of humans can’t hear, and if it turns out the tones are insistent and discordant enough to drive the other 10% mad to the point of clamping their hands over their ears as they run screaming from the venue, then some pretty choice seats will open up.

For My Next Hack, I Will Break Into This Safe Using Nothing More Than The Combination
It turns out anyone could recover the password to MySpace accounts if they knew the username and birthday.

MySpace executives were stunned to learn this, and acted quickly to remedy the unnecessarily convoluted process. Now you just have to click on a statement saying you will access the damned account once a year and it’s yours.

Video Game? You Lost Me,” Said Bill Belichick
ActivisionBlizzard has announced the first seven teams in its Overwatch league, including a Boston franchise owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“Yes, we’ve had a lot of success on the football field,” said Kraft, “but believe me, we have a lot to learn here. Like, as I understand it, these teams don’t practice in big, open fields, which will definitely make spying on them tougher. And there’s a shocking lack of research on the optimal amount of air to release from a controller.”


There we go—two years of Tech Views in the books. Remember, if you are one of the discerning individuals who enjoy less “news” in your tech news—

BONUS: If you are one of the first fifty to support the Tech Views, you get to say you were one of the first fifty to support the Tech Views! Bragging rights! A part of history! Sure, technically, everything is part of history. You eating breakfast this morning is part of history. But still…


*   The inability to pronounce the sound ‘s’, apparently. Who knew?

** Not physically. Even Uber doesn’t go that far.


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