Weekly Tech Views: The Tech, No Logic Blog – Oct 15, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

So, Google is going to start adding Fact Check tags next to news stories to help readers better determine which articles are worthy of their time, to which we here at the Weekly Tech Views heartily say “how about you mind your own business, Google?”


That’s Actually Better Than We Expected
Despite a history of carriers delaying updates to Android phones, Verizon vows that owners of Verizon’s Google Pixel phones will receive updates as soon as Google releases them. A Weekly Tech Views poll shows that 18% of respondents believe Verizon, 20% will “wait and see,” and the remaining 62% wouldn’t believe Verizon if it said its name started with a V.

Why Does A Word Have To Mean Different Things?
Verizon attorneys stated that Yahoo’s data breach could be a valid reason for Verizon to halt their $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo.

“Do they think we don’t know what they’re up to?” said a Yahoo executive. “Just trying to get us to agree to a lower price? What do they think we are, a bunch of yah–damn it!”

John Lennon Would Be Proud
Microsoft sent an invitation to their October 26 Windows 10 Event asking attendees to not only “See what’s next for Windows 10,” but to “Imagine what you’ll do,” a more inspirational-poster-worthy shortening of the original “Imagine what you’ll do if you see someone actually pay $119 for this after we freaking begged them for months to take it for free.”

And Prime Members Can Select The Muzak
Amazon is reportedly planning to open brick and mortar convenience stores. I was at first skeptical of how much time this would save me. It only takes me a minute to grab bread, milk and eggs from the local Grab-N-Go, which is about the size of your average living room. So even if they pack my order ahead of time, is it worth it? (And what if they pack my milk and eggs too far ahead of time? I’m going to lose that saved minute about sixty times over while clutching the toilet bowl harking up a bad omelet).

But then I remembered that I have the attention span of a not-very-bright flea, and my subconscious evidently has the philosophy “why make one trip to the store when you can make three?” I’ll grab the milk and eggs and… and then a six-foot display of shiny six-packs catches my eye. What’s this? Why do the cans have pictures of pie on them? Wait–Ass-Kicking Apple Pie Mountain Dew? Get out! I’ve got to try this! Alright, Let’s get out of here! Milk, eggs, Apple Pie Mountain Dew, and… what? Wasn’t there something else? Of course there was, and I’ll remember bread! approximately three seconds after I step through my front door and ten seconds before I turn around and head back out to a different convenience store because I can’t have the bored high school kid at the first one thinking I’m an idiot.

But at an Amazon store, instead of agonizing over my forgetfulness, I just walk back and lift a gallon of milk from the cooler, where you know darned well there will be a screen that detects the milk’s removal and immediately displays Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought… Butter, Ice Cream, Bacon-Scented Air Fresheners, Bread– Bread! Thank you, magic Amazon screen.

Then, secure in the knowledge that I have everything, I can tolerate a possible wait in line by musing on how many people in town must have bought a bacon-scented air freshener with their milk to make that suggestion show up before bread.

Deny, Deny, Then Deny That You Denied
Messaging app Signal has released an update allowing messages to disappear anywhere from five seconds to a week after they’ve been read. Many will recognize this, based on his denials of his own tweets, as the same technology powering Donald Trump.

Make Asgardia Great Again
A Russian scientist has plans to create a brand new nation (true story). In space (still true). Named Asgardia, the nation is to begin on a satellite to be launched in 2017 (not making this up). You can go to Asgardia.space to help determine the country’s flag, insignia, and anthem (true, true, and true) and register for citizenship (why am I even here?). If interested, you should hurry and sign up to avoid the inevitable mad rush on Election Day in the U.S. (sure, I add something and it’s the least unbelievable part of the story).

Okay, Here’s Some Money. But Seriously, What Is The Big Deal? We Always Said It Had A 9-Hour Battery Life
Hoping to retain some degree of brand loyalty, Samsung is offering U.S. customers who exchange their fire-prone Note 7 for another Samsung phone a $100 bill credit. Plus a pair of commemorative, limited-edition Samsung oven mitts.

Now Who’s Good For Nothing?
Scientists discovered that feeding silkworms graphene or carbon nanotubes results in 50%-stronger silk, and that the silk can conduct electricity if it is first heated to 1050 degrees Celsius. Like many scientific breakthroughs, this conductivity potential was discovered accidentally, when during a lunch break someone standing next to the silk turned on their Galaxy Note 7.

When Everyone In Town Goes Vegetarian, You Stop Selling Hamburgers
Samsung halted production of the Galaxy Note 7 after at least five of the replacement models severely overheated or caught on fire. Asked why they were taking such a drastic step, a spokesman replied, “Our customers’ safety is our number one concern, and no matter the financial hit we take, we feel it is much more important to…” he paused, sighed heavily, and said, “Look, what’s the point? Our remaining market for those things is people emerging from month-long comas.

“We know we’ll be facing lawsuits from Note 7 owners, but if nothing else, maybe we can avoid the cost of legal action from non-owners who hurt themselves while running and throwing themselves in a ditch whenever they saw someone else carrying one.”

You Can’t Spell Novelty Without N-O-T-E
Samsung expects total losses due to the discontinuation of their Galaxy Note 7 to reach more than $5 billion. They hope to make up some of the revenue by expanding sales of the Galaxy S7, the S7 Edge, and the extremely popular I Survived The Note 7 t-shirts.

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way To Be Disappointed
It turns out you can add Google Assistant to an Android phone running the Nougat OS–even if it isn’t a Pixel phone–by adding or tweaking two lines of code in a config file. I know what you’re thinking, but save yourself the hassle–based on the fifteen hours I just killed, no amount of BASIC-PLUS coding let’s you play Fallout 4 on your Kindle.


That’s all for this week. You’ll be happy to know our own internal fact checking worked like a charm, finding and discarding a whole host of useless facts.

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.