Weekly Tech Views (The Tech, No Logic Blog) – July 30, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Two weeks of presidential nominating conventions are behind us, and we’re certainly all deeply disappointed with both parties for failing–after eight days and dozens upon dozens of speeches–to address the truly pressing issues facing us, like how to make more of the nation’s populace aware of the Weekly Tech Views and… well, the one pressing issue.

There Used To Be A Sports Illustrated Till Grandma Learned About The Swimsuit Issue
Google Family Library launched this week, allowing up to six people to share Google Play purchases, including music, movies, TV shows, books, apps, and games. The amount of shareable content is, to say the least, impressive. Bordering on overwhelming, really. Do you have times when there’s so much to choose from that you suffer a little paralysis by analysis and have trouble choosing anything? It sometimes makes me long for the simplicity of a childhood trip to my grandmother’s house, where the “family library” was the three most recent Reader’s Digests in a decorative wicker basket beneath the toilet paper roll.

Yeah, But What Can It Do With Loaves And Fish?
Scientists at a Belgian university have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water. But wait, there’s more! They used the machine at a music festival where they were able to obtain a thousand liters of water from bladder-emptying music fans–which they are turning into beer. “If they figure out wine, I’m gonna have to step up my game,” said Jesus.

Watch For It On The Horseshoes And Hand Grenades Channel
Apple will be hosting sixteen episodes of Carpool Karaoke, based on James Corden’s Late Late Show recurring segment that features him humorously driving around with celebrities and singing. Apple’s show, however, will differ slightly in that it will have a “to-be-determined” host, meaning a stunning lack of James Cordens. The show will be part of a programming block including The Ellen Show without Ellen, The Walking Dead without zombies, and Big Brother without a house full of douchebags.

What Happens In Vegas, Will Happen More Often In Vegas
Hyperloop One, one of the companies working on high-speed passenger transportation (600-750mph) via vacuum tubes, announced it will be opening its first manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas.

Yeah, a factory. That’s all it is. They certainly aren’t building a hub through which all Hyperloop cars will pass. It’s not like casinos, who are willing to spend $4 billion on a hotel, would be interested in keeping those hotels filled by chipping in a billion each to make the trip from LA or San Francisco or Seattle a don’t-give-it-a-second-thought trip of twenty or forty or sixty minutes.

Sure, Vegas is the perfect city for Hyperloop–name a place people want to get both into and out of faster–but those elevated tubes you’ll see leading into the facility will just be for “supplies” and there’s probably no chance that ten years from now on a nationally-televised event David Copperfield will make the 105,000 square foot “factory” disappear to reveal a Hyperloop terminal (designed to look like a 1920’s Grand Central Station or Buckingham Palace or something) branching out to every major city in the country.

I’m sure it will just be producing rivets.

Who Needs “Virtual” Reality?
Amazon is furthering their drone testing by having one person operate multiple drones simultaneously, a necessary action to be able to institute drone package delivery, and also for the ultimate goal of playing real-world Galaga.

I Thought I’d Be Getting New Information
Microsoft Office is getting a new Editor feature which uses machine learning to suggest stylistic corrections beyond simple spelling and grammar checks. And when it does check grammar, it will now go into greater detail, explaining why what you typed was a mistake. And more. For example, at the beginning of each Weekly Tech Views, I say “Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.” The previous grammar check would simply point out that these are fragments, not sentences, while Editor went the extra step of suggesting that “maybe something with numbers” would be a better career track for me.

Fifty Percent Off The Original Price? Nice Try, Xbox
Microsoft reduced the price of the Xbox One to $249, the third price cut in two months, bringing it down to half of the original $499. This is great news–only two years and eight more price cuts until I can follow my usual upgrade path of picking up a system for $79 at Gamestop.

Spam Calls Are Just Annoying Pains In The Rear You Haven’t Met Yet
An Android update will help some phones block spam calls by marking suspicious calls in red, after which the user can confirm that they should be blocked. Good tech, but I’ll probably just stick with my proven method of “if the phone rings, it’s a spam call.” But enjoy this exciting new feature, people with friends.

Next Feature Is GPS Guidance To The One Available 8-Inch By 8-Inch Space To Squeeze Into On The Next Bus
A Google Maps update that would provide customizable notifications for mass transit delays was noticed when it showed up briefly this week for one user, but then disappeared. It’s amazing the effort Google put in to replicate my actual bus riding experience of a bus showing up randomly, picking  up one person, only to stop working.

The App Is Free, But There Are In-Apple-Store Purchases
Apple announced that iPhone sales were down 15% last quarter, but were expected to rebound sharply due to market conditions known in the industry as “overly-exuberant collection of Pokeballs at concrete-based Pokestops.” (1)

Pokemon Went (2)
Nintendo’s Pokemon Go Plus wrist accessory has been delayed until September for software adjustments. You have to commend the company for wanting to have things just right for the thirteen people who will still be playing then.


(1) Damn. Thought I was gonna get through an issue without mentioning Pokemon.

(2) What the heck, I already ruined it.


Movie Draft Update: Things are about to get interesting. Trailing the leaders by $252 million, Tom and Jennie are in 4th place, but have Star Trek and potential blockbuster Suicide Squad. They’ll be in 2nd place in no time, but will they catch the leaders? It’s going to be a fun final six weeks. Follow along with the CRUMDUM.


Cheap Book Update: And, as always, The Internet is Like a Snowblower (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) holds 2015’s collected Weekly Tech Views for your Kindle-aided perusal for $.99. That’s half a cent per thing I got wrong. Try and beat that deal! Or just check out a preview HERE.

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


Now, does anyone happen to know the Green or Libertarian Party’s position on getting people to read ridiculous tech news?


Mike Range

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Weekly Tech Views (The Tech, No Logic Blog) by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.