Weekly Tech Views (The Tech – No Logic Blog) – June 18, 2016

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Real Tech Stories. Really shaky analysis.

The past week had both Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place, so it’s no surprise that the week’s biggest news was… the unveiling of new celebrity couple Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift. And their dubbing, 4.7 seconds after they were first spotted within three feet of each other, as HiddleSwift (for god’s sake people, not every celebrity couple needs a name-melding nickname–yes, I realize there’s no stuffing that genie back in the bottle, and, yes, I’m probably a little bitter that my suggestion of Swiftleston didn’t stick). Can’t wait until next week when they will be the featured attendees at the inaugural C3 (Celebrity Couple Con).

For the week of June 13 – 17, 2016…

There When You Need Us… But Not For That
Apple’s WatchOS 3, available this fall, has a feature that allows you to call local emergency services with a three-second press of a button. Training begins now for 9-1-1 operators to handle the new calls…

“What’s your emergency?”

“Yeah, my battery is draining really fast.”

“Sir, I assume you are placing your call via an Apple Watch. Be advised this function is not for tech support, but actual emergencies–health issues, threats of violence, that sort of thing.”

“Oh, okay, fine. But let’s hear your definition of ‘actual emergency’ when your battery craps out after three hours and you can’t watch a Vine of a panda adorably hassling the zoo worker that’s trying to clean its cage.”

Another Fine Product From The Irwin Mainway Toy Company *
The FAA proposed a $350,000 fine against Amazon for careless shipping of hazardous materials when a one-gallon container of the awesomely-named Amazing! LIQUID FIRE corrosive drain cleaner caused burns to nine UPS employees. I’m sure we all have the same safety-related question: Nine employees?

Does UPS unload their vehicles using the bucket brigade method? You might say, “Well, it was probably a few guys at the Kentucky location and a few guys on the plane and a few more in Colorado–not nine guys unloading a truck.” Fair point. It does make you wonder, however, what grudge the first eight guys were holding to not notify the next guy to put on a pair of freaking gloves. But all I know for sure is that the Amazing! LIQUID FIRE never got here, leaving a bunch of kids with empty Super Soakers and water balloons pretty darn disappointed and actually thinking about canceling this year’s neighborhood Hunger Games.

I’ll Start My Own Club. And It’ll Have A Tree Fort. And A Little Tiny Fridge In There Somewhere.
Xbox Live will be adding Clubs, allowing users to group friends by play styles. This will presumably let you exclude troublemakers who intentionally frag their own teammates or use excessively foul language or, I fear, someone who spends most of their free time writing a goofy tech blog and doesn’t get a chance to play Counterstrike very often so they don’t know exactly where the damned cave on the south side of the damned ravine is without taking one damned second to think and allegedly exposes his whole team and gets them all killed, repeatedly.


“What’s your emergency?”

“My heart rate is 234 beats per minute!”

“I’m sending help. How long has this lasted?”

“Like, thirty seconds, I guess. A minute ago it was twelve!”

“Twelve? And now it’s 234? Are you sure?”

“I’m looking at the readout right now.”

“Do you have any other symptoms?”

“I don’t think it’s keeping track of my steps accurately, either. I’m sure I have more than 2,000 today; I walked on my lunch for half an hour, that alone would give me–“


“–at least 3,000. Okay, I did stop to grab a quick ice cream cone. Sue me. Still 2,500 steps minimum, and that doesn’t count walking to the bus or all the back and forth to the copy machine–“

“Sir, this isn’t–“

“This is a health issue! I’m supposed to get 10,000 steps for better health! Also, I think it’s related to the battery drain.”


But The Closing Argument Was Succulent
The US Court of Appeals ruled against overturning the FCC’s open internet guidelines. While agreeing in part, one judge did state that the FCC’s justification was “watery and thin,” phrasing which perplexed many legal analysts until they read the judge’s food blog, where he criticized the soup at a local diner as “lacking judicial precedents and obviously overreaching in its governmental authority.”

Consider A Career In Coding, Kids. Unless You Can Write A Bunch Of Million-Selling Songs. Then You Should Probably Give That A Whirl.
Apple is introducing the Swift Playground app to help teach kids the Swift programming language. This is not to be confused with the HiddleSwift Playground, which is a recreational area set aside for a couple composed of two crazy-rich people to do pretty much whatever they want, said area colloquially known as “Earth.”

If You Want A Retweet Done Right…
Twitter is now letting you retweet yourself. I wonder what moms think of that?

“Oh good, one more thing to do myself, since nobody else in this family is going to do it. I do the laundry myself, I do the dishes myself, I clean the bathroom myself–I may as well retweet myself. When is the last time any of you retweeted me?”

“C’mon, Mom, all you tweet are photos of piles of dirty laundry.”

“Or piles of dirty dishes.”

“Or piles of dirty towels in the dirty bathtub. Which, really, is just more dirty laundry.”

“Yeah, and each tweet has, like, fifteen angry red-faced emojis with smoke coming out of their ears.”

“Or tears. Sometimes they have tears.”

“Why would we retweet that?”

“Hey, wait–I retweeted that photo of you in the front yard last week!”

“That was your sister’s tweet after she took a picture of me butt-up on the lawn because I stepped on your stupid field hockey stick which I couldn’t see because I was carrying four bags of groceries… BY MYSELF!”

“Oh yeah. Sis, you got like a hundred retweets on that. Nice.”

Thanks, Apple!
We learned Monday that iOS 10 will allow users the long-wished-for ability to remove Apple’s pre-installed apps–like Stocks and Weather and Maps–from their devices. I have to give the gang in Cupertino credit for reducing by one the number of times I startle my wife and cat by shouting, “Damn it, Apple!”

Damn It, Apple!
We learned Wednesday that “removing” Apple’s pre-installed apps only gets rid of the icon and user data; the application remains on your device taking up almost as much space as always. A member of the iOS team took time from her hectic schedule to explain the reasoning behind the decision: “You should see the look on your faces! You thought you could delete them! Classic! This is what makes my job worthwhile!”


“What’s your emergency?”

“I’m being attacked and I can’t defend myself!”

“Are you playing Runeblade and your sword isn’t responding to screen taps and you consider this a threat of violence?”


“Could be a battery drain issue.” (click)


Thanks for reading the Weekly Tech Views. I have to get going–next week’s C3 replaces the previously scheduled TaylorSwiftCon, and my Calvin Harris** cosplay obviously needs some tweaking.

Tom and Jennie are still in the top three, and gaining, in the Summer Movie Draft. Follow along in the CRUMDUM.


* If you are not familiar with Mr. Mainway’s products, I urge you to watch this: SNL Consumer Probe

** I looked it up.

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