Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.
Sure, the Weekly Tech Views may not be able to convey the intricacies of technology with the same detailed expertise of a presidential candidate explaining The Cyber, but–
No, actually, that pretty much is what you can expect here.
For the week of September 26 – 30, 2016…
Just To Keep You On Your Toes, Every Hundredth Song Is What Does The Fox Say?
Spotify has launched Daily Music Mix, a feature that creates a “bottomless,” or unending playlist for subscribers. While 75% of the mix will be songs Spotify knows you like, 25% will be new songs they think you’ll like, including their first-ever in-house production, the upbeat little ditty called Nice Knowing You, Pandora.
Acronyms Killed The Radio “R”
After an investment of five years and $180 million, China now lays claim to the world’s largest radio telescope with FAST, or the Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, which supplants Puerto Rico’s 300-meter telesc–
Hang on. All of a sudden it’s okay to just drop three out of seven words to get the cool acronym we want? Look, I understand blowing off things like a, of, and the–I mean, those are just tiny syllables that–many people don’t realize this–most of your major dictionaries refuse to even recognize as words. Heck, I’m even willing to let you slide on hundred and meter because you cleverly attached them to Five with hyphens. But, c’mon, how do you arbitrarily get rid of radio?
Without radio you can’t distinguish this type of telescope from the kind you give your ten-year-old so he can look at the moon through his bedroom window (and yes, that one time, at Mrs. Peterson down the block when she was careless with her blinds).
Without the word radio nobody knows that you are referring to a telescope that… well, hell, I’m no astronomer–I have no idea what a radio has to do with a telescope. I want to say… you can listen to Pink Floyd while you look at the stars? Like at the Laserium when you were in high school? Hey, does it have lasers? That would be awesome.
Whatever, radio is important enough to be in the name, so to me the acronym is not FAST, it’s FASRT. Which is better anyhow because if you just glance quickly it looks like “fart,” which is funny.
They Could Be So Good That Philly Fans Will Boo Only 90% Of The Time
The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers have gotten into the esports biz with the purchase of two teams–Dignitas and Apex–which will be merged into a single superteam. Sixer fans, understandably, aren’t sure how they feel about the organization being associated with something as radically different as a winning team.
A Google self-driving car was in an accident last week in which another car ran a red light and collided with the Google vehicle. Google claims that the traffic light for their car had been green for six seconds. “Six seconds?” asked the human driver of the other car. “Are you sure? I don’t think the Vine I was watching was finished.”
Internet Access By Any Other Name…
Google has been providing free WiFi at over 50 train stations in India, a program that has proven hugely popular. They are now officially branding the program Google Station, just in time to expand into places like cafes and malls, which are not, if you want to nitpick, “stations.” Also, the new locations will be allowed to charge for access to the WiFi (slogan–Google Station free WiFi: It’s not just for stations any more! Or necessarily free!)
This isn’t to say it’s a bad program. There’s still the fast, free WiFi at train stations, and even if the new locations charge a little bit, it’s making the internet easier to access. The problem is that our office building manager likes to emulate things he thinks are cutting edge, so the free coffee in the vending area on the fourth floor–a program cleverly dubbed Free Fourth Floor Coffee–is doomed:
A sign appears in the lobby announcing that the program will now include doughnuts on the fifth floor.
Me: “Cool, coffee and doughnuts on the fifth floor!”
Building Manager: “No, just doughnuts.”
Me: “So you’re calling this Free Fifth Floor Doughnuts?”
Manager: “No, still Free Fourth Floor Coffee. We just expanded.”
Me: “It’s Free Fourth Floor Coffee on the fifth floor? Where there’s no coffee, just free doughnuts?”
Manager: “Oh, I see the confusion–ha-ha, no, of course not, that would be silly. Doughnuts are a dollar.”
Me: “But… this isn’t the same program at all. You’re going to confuse people.”
Manager: “You’re right; we should start charging for the coffee.”
Which One Has The Three Months Of Free HBO?
Roku announced their new line of streaming devices, abandoning the straightforward naming convention of Roku 1, Roku 2, etc for Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, and Roku Ultra. The company is now just a mandatory monthly hardware fee from their ultimate goal of becoming as annoyingly incomprehensible as your average cable programming package.
Uber Obviously Hasn’t Seen Travolta And Cage In Face/Off
Uber has initiated Real-Time ID Check to prevent Uber account sharing or theft. Drivers are periodically required to take a picture of themselves and submit it before providing rides. Uber then uses a facial recognition program to match the image with the one they have on file. It’s a helpful security feature, but the timing couldn’t be worse for everyone who took advantage of the Uber Driver Appreciation Day Sale at Frank’s Full-Face Tattoo Emporium.
Sorry, Snap Who?
Snapchat had a busy weekend, renaming itself Snap Inc and unveiling their first foray into hardware with Spectacles–a $129 pair of sunglasses containing an embedded camera capable of recording ten-second videos, which are transferred via Bluetooth or WiFi to the Snapchat app.
Responding to a request for their reaction to the news, an Instagram executive wearing a company polo shirt with a small, ragged hole where gram used to be, replied, “Dude, you got us confused with someone else; this here is Insta Inc. Oh yeah, I see you’re checking these babies out.” The exec pointed with both index fingers at his face, where what looked a lot like a pair of those comically oversized plastic sunglasses you can win at an amusement park arcade with 100 Skee-Ball tickets was perched on his face and tilting precariously to the left thanks to the GoPro masking-taped to them.
“Guess you get the scoop, bud–this is a prototype of our newest thing–Specta-Cools. We’ve been working on these for… months. A lot of months. Maybe a year. Certainly before anyone else might claim to have had the idea. Even if someone stole the idea…which happens, you know–industrial espionage is a thing, man–we had the idea waaaay first.
“Anyhow, we’ve barely slept around here, we’re so anxious to get this beauty to market. But it’s all going to be worth it when they go on sale probably tomorrow or the day after or maybe December 18 for a hundred and twenty-… eight dollars. And they’ll be so Insta-rad, they’ll be worth every dollar! But not a dollar more. One-twenty-nine would be ridiculous.”
If It Ain’t Broke
Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 will use “intelligent assistants” to help sales teams determine the next best action to close a sale. Said veteran sales managers, “If you think I’m deleting my spreadsheet of clients’ favorite bourbons and hookers, you’re crazy.”
When It Rains, It Pours. Wait, That’s Not Rain… Where Did All These Soap Suds Come From?
Reports that some Samsung washing machines are “going Note 7″and exploding have been exaggerated. “There have been no actual explosions,” said a Samsung spokesperson. “There are just, occasionally, while washing very heavy loads, a few “abnormal vibrations” that cause the appliance to behave like a square, 150-pound pinball ricocheting off, or possibly through, every wall of your basement. So everyone relax. Jeez.”
In conclusion, beware The Cyber.
See you next week.
Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.