Weekly Tech Views (The Tech – No Logic Blog) – June 4, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

We’re all feeling the effects of yesterday’s National Doughnut Day–the sugar crash, the weight gain, the sprinkles in our hair. A good way to recuperate is with the Weekly Tech Views, which causes almost none of those things while still providing the same amount of useful tech information as a strawberry-glazed cruller.

For the week of May 30 – June 3, 2016…

It’s On The List Right After Klingon
Facebook has developed Deep Text, a learning engine that can understand written text with “near human” accuracy in over twenty languages. They hope to add more difficult languages like Mandarin and Arabic shortly, but reluctantly admit that they are still many years away from mastering Politician.

Anthropologists Think They Probably Classify As Human
Also, before we get too impressed with Deep Text, let’s find out which humans we’re comparing it to. There is a subset of humans known colloquially as “teenagers” who will interpret the clearly-written, three-word note CLEAN YOUR ROOM as MOVE ONE OF THE PLATES WITH A HALF-EATEN BALONEY SANDWICH FROM UNDER YOUR BED TO THE CORNER OF YOUR DESK AND THEN PLAY UNCHARTED 4 FOR SEVEN HOURS.

“Candy Crush Made It All Worthwhile”
A study indicating that male rats exposed to CDMA cell phone signals had a slightly higher incidence of cancer has been widely challenged on a variety of questionable scientific procedures. One finding that can not be debated, however, is the rampant occurrence of joint issues suffered by the rats because they all just haaaad to have the iPhone 6S Plus, knowing damn well it was way too big for them.

Interestingly, despite being healthier, the control group rats had a much higher incidence of sulkiness–they spent most of their time with their forelegs crossed over their chest, throwing quick, disdainful glances at the phone-toting rats and then quickly looking away, trying to pretend they didn’t care that their only entertainment was that stupid, squeaky wheel.

Don’t Ask Questions You Don’t Want The Answers To
The upcoming Pebble Core wearable fitness device will integrate Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant for voice-activated interaction. The top anticipated queries:

“Alexa, how many steps have I done?”

“Alexa, how many more steps until I can have a doughnut?”

“Alexa, should my legs feel like cement?”

“Alexa, does anybody say ‘fartlek’ without laughing?”

“Alexa, where is the nearest doughnut shop? Haha, just kidding–there are four within a mile radius and I could get to any of them blindfolded.”

“Alexa, where the hell is the damn ‘runner’s high’ everybody keeps telling me about?!”

“Alexa, now how many steps have I done? And if your answer is still under a thousand so help me you weren’t too expensive to throw under this oncoming bus.”

“Alexa, seriously, how many more steps until I’ve burned enough calories for a doughnut? I mean, come on, if we weren’t supposed to eat them there wouldn’t be a National Doughnut Day, right? It doesn’t have to be fancy–no custard or jelly or sprinkles or anything, just the plain kind that are still sitting in the box in the office break room at the end of the day, pushed aside as everyone gets at the good ones. Is that too much to ask?”

He’s Starting To Scare Away The Pizza Guy
Asus revealed Zenbo–a home-assistant robot that you can instruct to control your lights, TV, air conditioning, etc. It can also provide security by accessing a camera trained outside the front door, letting you know who’s there, and, at your command, unlocking the door. I’m sure many people would find this helpful, but every time I hear someone at the door it’s always just this guy I know from work who actually lives here, back from vacation and screaming about how I don’t know how house-sitting works. Like he’s any better, not knowing how squatting works.

I Only Recently Learned There Are Shows Without The Explicit Label
Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace* is cracking down on social media by not only giving foreign messaging apps one year to store all data involving Iranian citizens within Iran’s borders, but also arresting administrators of the messaging app Telegram for “spreading immoral content.” If that were grounds for arrest here in the U.S., I would have maybe two podcasts left to listen to.

To Avoid Bugs, I Always Wait Until Version 48.0
360 million MySpace usernames and passwords, from accounts created prior to June 11, 2013, have been stolen and are being sold online. So now where’s everyone who laughed at me for waiting until last week to sign up for MySpace? **

Live Fast, Burn Bright, Uninstall
Xiaomi (pronounced… well, this isn’t quite right, but if you say it like Cuba Gooding Jr.’s “Xiaomi the money!” then you’ll be closer than most) announced their latest fitness tracker, the Mi Band 2. At only $22, it will track steps and heart rate and also display the time. Xiaomi promises 20-day battery life, a benchmark the company is justifiably proud of, easily exceeding as it will the vast majority of customers’ use of the product.

The only real concern is potential buyers confusing Mi Band with Mii Band, the follow-up to Miitomo, Nintendo’s first ever mobile app. Mii Band lets your Mii play virtually any musical instrument and team up with other users to form a–you guessed it–Mii band. Having learned from Miitomo what users really want from a mobile Nintendo experience, the company has considerately programmed the app to automatically delete itself after a week of intense use.

Flame Throwers and Tear Gas Launchers Are Right Around The Corner
During the first quarter of this year, 31% of new cellular accounts were activated for phones, while 32% were for cars.

“About time,” said David Hasselhoff.

“I know, right?” said KITT.

They had a good laugh together, the kind only best friends can, as The Hoff finished gently scraping mosquito guts from the Trans Am’s headlights.


*   Winner of this year’s Real Organization That Sounds Like A Comic Book Villain’s Headquarters award.

** https://myspace.com/movieleaguemike


(It’s a little quiet for Jennie and Tom right now, but it’s a tight race in the Summer Movie Draft–follow along with the CRUMDUM.)


Okay, if you getting through another Weekly Tech Views doesn’t call for a celebration, I don’t know what does. To the leftover bear claws!

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.