Weekly Tech Views: The Tech, No Logic Blog – Oct 22, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

We’re all pretty excited in northeast Ohio that what is, historically, our nation’s most revered championship will be decided right here in Cleveland. It’s been a long season, and now it comes down to a dramatic battle between two worthy contestants to determine a victor and answer the ultimate question: Will Pokemon Go or the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 get the most mentions this year in the Weekly Tech Views?

 Also, the Indians are in the World Series.


 For the week of October 17 – 21, 2016…


You Make A Good Point, But In Our Defense, ‘Autopilot’ Sounds Cool
German officials don’t want Tesla to use the term “Autopilot” to describe its driver assistance technology, fearing that drivers may overestimate its abilities. Tesla argues that that the term has been used in the aerospace industry for decades, apparently reasoning that if pilots with years of intense, high-pressure training can understand Autopilot’s limitations, it shouldn’t be any problem for sixteen-year-olds who took three tries to pass the written test and made the instructor scream, “Mommy!” during parallel parking.

There’s No Pleasing Some People
In other Tesla news, they had a car announcement scheduled for Monday, but CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that it “needs a few more days of refinement,” and the announcement would instead come Wednesday. Then he put down his phone, turned back to his marketing team, and said, “Seriously gang, it’s a nice German name, but I don’t think they’re going to go for Otto Pilot either.

The Grass Is Always Less Explosive On The Other Side Of The Fence
With Galaxy Note 7s banned from flights, Samsung has set up booths at airports where customers can exchange their Note 7s. You get a new, airline-approved phone while your Note 7 gets tossed into a container that will provide perfectly safe housing for the possibly-incendiary devices. “Easy for you to say,” said the Samsung employees having to nervously stand next to the bin for an eight-hour shift while looking longingly across the concourse at Cinnabon where the workers’ biggest worry is getting icing on their pants.

They Are Really Steamed About This
After becoming aware of a YouTube video of a mod for Grand Theft Auto V allowing players to use Note 7s as grenades, Samsung issued a takedown notice. “Sure you don’t mean burn notice?” said pretty much everybody.

Nobody Said It Was A Classy Action
A law firm filed suit on behalf of three Galaxy Note 7 customers who continued to be billed for device and plan charges despite not being able to use their phones for weeks due to the phone’s recall. The attorneys are hoping for class action status to add many more clients to the case.

We asked another class action lawyer how much these attorneys might demand Samsung pay.

“Oh, tens of millions of dollars. Maybe hundreds of millions. This was a grievous injustice.”

We were stunned, wondering aloud how the actual inconvenience incurred could really warrant those clients receiving that kind of money.

The clients? Oh, ha-ha, no. No, they’ll get a ten dollar credit on their phone bill and a coupon for five percent off a faux-leather case,” said the lawyer, chuckling and blowing his nose on a hundred-dollar bill.

Yet They Somehow Tested Equally On “Pizza Delivery Guy”
Microsoft’s speech recognition technology has reached a word error rate of 5.9%, the same level as human transcribers. Humans did perform better at distinguishing “uh” from “uh-huh,” thanks to humans’ vast advantage in watching porn.

China’s LeEco had a new products announcement which included two phones, four TVs, a VR headset, an autonomous car, and an Android-based, battery-powered “super bike” that can reach 30 mph and comes with GPS, internet connectivity, a fingerprint scanner, and a side laser system to mark its lane.

“Well, just like I predicted, nothing about the so-called “super” bike having a unicorn-fur-covered seat customized to my butt. This whole announcement sucked!” said the first comment at LeEco’s blog.

You Have To Be Able To Delegate
A professor at Carnegie Mellon has taken the job of Director of Artificial Intelligence Research at Apple while maintaining his position at the school. Asked if it wouldn’t be difficult to carry on his educational responsibilities, the professor replied, “No, my students are extremely important to me and I have taken steps to assure there is no dropoff in the attention paid these young minds. I don’t think they will notice anything different as long as I do not injure a human being and I do obey orders given by human bein–I mean as long as I manage my time efficiently.”

Believe It Or Not, I Missed Out On A Lot Of School Dances
Facebook’s Messenger app has added a new feature called Conversation Topics that will suggest things to talk about by listing events from the other person’s timeline. You know what this means, don’t you? I don’t want to sound bitter, but there are probably boys in junior high now that don’t have to start every conversation with a girl with, “So, do you think Hulk could beat Superman in a fight?”

It Would Have Been Neat If It Was Eleven Though
Netflix reported earnings twice what analysts expected, twelve cents per share versus the predicted six cents. Asked if they had any expectations internally of such a surprising performance, a Netflix executive said, “Well, we didn’t think it was completely out of the question; we have, after all, seen stranger things.” He then produced a cane, twirled it, and repeatedly doffed his top hat while shuffling sideways out of the room.

The More Things Change
Apple has reportedly shifted the focus of its automotive division from building a self-driving car to building an autonomous system for other cars. “Huh, who saw that coming?” said Apple’s TV division.

C’mon, We’re Sorry About The Wii U
Previously known as Project NX, Nintendo’s new console was unveiled as the Nintendo Switch, the final name chosen only after the marketing department insisted Nintendo Switch Please Switch From The Other Guys C’mon Switch Remember How Fun Mario And Zelda Were wasn’t very tweetable.

He’ll Come Around; He Wasn’t Happy When They Put Hoods On Sweatshirts At First Either
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters that he is “done with tablets” due to in-game technical issues, and is going back to paper pictures to analyze on-field action. “Frankly,” he said, “I don’t see the use for technology of any sort in football.” Then everyone had a hearty laugh as he sent a fleet of camera-equipped drones toward the Pittsburgh Steelers practice field.


Wow, what a comeback for the Note 7! Pokemon Go fans must be furious that the app’s designers didn’t think to add some sort of real injury potential. The sore Pokeball-flipping thumb just doesn’t grab headlines.


Mike Range


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