Weekly Tech Views – July 23, 2016 (Sort of)

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Okay, I took a vacation this week, which means today you get the Weekly Tech Vacation Blog. Not a blog post about my vacation, the details of which require a security clearance well above your pay grade, but a post which requires no additional work on my part than typing this intro.

As this also marks a year since I started this little venture, why don’t we flash back to July of last year and Issue #1, when the world was innocent and the stories focused on spunky startups like Apple, Facebook, Logitech and Comcast…

On DTNS, you hear in-depth, reasoned discussion of the day’s most interesting tech stories from Tom Merritt and his esteemed guests. You get research, insight, and analysis.

Now, finally, there’s equal time for the other side.

That’s right, this is your stop for shallow, reckless rambling on a selection of those same stories. Welcome to the Weekly Tech Views Blog, where, at times, up to 12% of what you read could be factual. No, WTVB doesn’t roll off the tongue like DTNS; frankly, it sounds like the call letters for a 5,000 watt radio station in Tateville, Kentucky (WTVB – We’re Tateville’s Best!). If I gave it some more thought, I could probably come up with something better. But, as you’ll discover should you decide to read on, “more thought” is not my highest priority.


For the Week of July 13 – 17, 2015 – And, as a premiere issue bonus, some of the previous week as well. Huzzah.


Like Shakespeare Said, A G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Gaming Keyboard By Any Other Name…
For much of their product line, Logitech is changing the name to Logi, which is huge news, in that it provides new, exciting territory to be explored by those who love to debate the pronunciation of GIF.

You Say Vulnerable, We Say Quirky
Facebook’s head of security called for Adobe to place an end-of-life date for Flash. An Adobe representative reportedly responded by saying Flash is still extremely functional, a valued and vital part of our internet lives, and how about you guys at Facebook just worry about why the sea lion photos my wife posted from the zoo keep getting tagged as me?

If You Decide You Don’t Want The Game, Just Talk To Three Customer Service Reps For 45 Minutes To Delete It
Comcast is starting a streaming game service with Electronic Arts. How enjoyable an experience this will be–using phones or tablets as controllers–is up in the air, but what is certain is that I would pay significant money to watch Comcast customers Twitch stream Cable Crush Saga, where points are awarded for lining up matching customer service reps. Get five in a row and their headsets tighten until their heads explode, at which point they are replaced by Tier 2 reps. There are infinite levels, and you do not, of course, ever win this game.

Break Out The Face Paint
A Saudi computer–the Shaheen II–entered the Top 500 Supercomputer list at #7, the first time a Middle East computer has been in the top ten. If you stop to think about this, one point in particular really jumps out at you: THERE’S A TOP 500 SUPERCOMPUTER LIST! This list has apparently existed for twenty-two years, and this is the first I’m hearing about it? Is the Associated Press involved? A committee of former supercomputer programmers? Have I been missing playoffs, bowl games… The International Supercomputing Conference Championship Game Sponsored by Tostitos (“Tostitos–Not silicon-germanium, but still a great chip.”)?

I have heard ZERO listeners call in to radio shows complaining about the Cray Titan XK7 Opteron 6274 being ranked ahead of the IBM Sequoia BlueGene/Q Power BQC, claiming that the Titan’s narrow half a petaflop win was definitely a result of an easier number-crunching schedule.

This Just In…
A study claims that Twitter and Facebook are used as news sources by 63% of their users. I’m inclined to buy that, but then I remember that I know people who consider “one of the girls who sang the Nicki Minaj song on Ellen just had a birthday” as news.

I Hope There’s A Deal On Carpal Tunnel Braces
Amazon celebrated their 20th anniversary with Prime Day, a day they claimed would have more discounts than Black Friday. I assume this means customers were able to relive the treasured Black Friday tradition of–for the rare worthwhile item–starting to click their mouse three minutes before the scheduled sale start time so that when the precise second strikes, they may, if the gods are smiling on them, be informed that the item has sold out but they have been granted a coveted spot on the Wait List. Certainly, like waiting for a lottery drawing, half the fun is the exciting anticipation, the “what-if?”, the dreams you dream while your constantly clicking finger cramps and gnarls like that of a fairy tale witch.

And I Can Now Name Every American Girl Doll
One feature of the wrist-worn Kickstarter product Doppel is to keep you focused at times you might be inclined to doze off–boring meetings, dinner with your spouse’s friends, an opera–by issuing rapid taps to your arm. This could replace the less-portable device many of us have–the CINDY (Constantly Interrupting Niece Disturbing You). CINDY is typically triggered after Thanksgiving dinner, moments after you position yourself on a recliner in front of the Cowboys blowout. As your eyes begin to close and sleep threatens, CINDY—with no need for prior programming!– initiates an insistent tapping on your arm. If this fails to rouse you, audio prompts are activated: “Hey, guess what?… Hey guess what?…Hey, Uncle Mike, guess what?” I have not fallen asleep at a family gathering in six years.

I’m Going As The Start Button
Microsoft will be throwing Windows 10 launch parties in thirteen major cities around the world, so expect Harry Potter book release-levels of excitement–parents letting their kids stay up late to be one of the first to claim an OS-wielding USB drive from the stacks piled high on folding tables, spirited discussions of which new desktop themes will be available, and of course everyone will be dressed as their favorite Microsoft icon, presumably 99% CEO Satya Nadellas, and, off in a corner, drinking fruit punch, a subdued handful of Clippies. Refreshments will be provided, and in keeping with the spirit of the new mandatory Windows updates, attendees will eat a slice of pizza whether they want it or not.

With Special Musical Guest “Nancy In Accounts Payable’s Kid” On The Clarinet
And finally, Apple announced the new iPod Touch this week at an event featuring appearances by Pete from PR and a Whole Foods veggie tray.


There you have it. One down. Back next week with more of… this.

(And I say it’s pronounced “lodgy.”)

Looking for more 2015 ridiculousness? I guess you could go back and read the rest of the blogs on this site, but why not get them collected in a convenient Kindle format for just $.99 in The Internet is Like a Snowblower (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year)? That’s what I’d do. Here’s a handy clickable sentence to make it easy for you.

The Internet is Like a Snowblower: (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) by [Range, Mike]

Back with new stuff next week. Now back to vacation, where… okay, I’ll tell you–I’m appearing at Comic Con! Stupid autocorrect–I’m peering at Comic Con. On the Roku app. So I probably didn’t need to spend quite so much time on my Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man cosplay.

Mike Range

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