Weekly Tech Views: The Tech, No Logic Blog – Oct 29, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

With Halloween right around the corner, we welcome you to the tech news version of a haunted house. You know something weird–possibly demented–is around every corner, but you can handle it by reminding yourself that it’s all fake.

 (As this is the Halloween season, the first story this week takes a bit of a slasher film turn. If horror movies aren’t your thing, maybe skip to the next story where the most disturbing aspect is my refusal to stop making Galaxy Note 7 jokes)

For the week of October 24 – 28, 2016…

Facebook… Live?
Because nobody had stolen an idea from Snapchat in the last 24 hours, Facebook stepped up to add selfie lenses called Masks. The initial batch includes Halloween themes like skeletons and pumpkins, available when a user starts a live video. The main benefit to this, of course, is that 75% of Hollywood horror movies for the next five years now have their opening scene:

“Have you seen Trevor’s cool Facebook Live videos this week? Dude misses three days of school but he’s going non-stop with these freaky Halloween vids. Hacking away with a rusty axe at that ketchup-filled scarecrow.”

“Oh, here–check out this one! Where he’s wearing the skeleton Mask…”

“Yeah! Watch watch watch!… Ohhhhhhh!–THA-WHACK! Look at that spray! Want fries with that?!”

“Um, guys? That’s not Trevor.”

“Uh, yeah it is. Open your eyes. It’s his account. That’s his letter jacket, his cap, his–”

“His scar?”

“What scar?”

“The scar… that’s been on his neck since he ran into a open locker door in fifth grade. That he’s had for six years? Where is it? Where’s the scar? WHERE’S THE SCAR?! It’s not–OH MY GOD THE SCARECROW HAS THE SCAR AND I DON’T THINK THAT’S KETCHUP!”

Hey Fate, Want To Borrow My Hanky? I Think Samsung Just Spit In Your Face
Despite being torched with negative publicity over the exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung surprised many industry analysts by defiantly refusing to abandon the Note brand, indicating there will indeed be a Note 8 next year. In fact, the company is expected to go all in on the device, with the only color choice being Smoke Gray, and introducing it at a launch party aboard the brand new Hindenburg II.

Meanwhile, Coors Crosses Arms Over Chest And Glares
Otto–an Uber-owned self-driving truck company–had a truck complete a 100-mile trip to deliver a shipment of Budweiser from Fort Collins, Colorado to Colorado Springs with no human intervention. A driver remained on board as a precaution, but did not need to do anything.

“Of course I didn’t,” said the driver. “My bosses were like, ‘it’s gonna be fine, nothing to worry about at all.’ But that sure changed when I agreed and showed them the cool bottle opener I was gonna bring.”

And By The Way, Now It’s Game Of Phones
AT&T is acquiring Time Warner for $85.4 billion, giving AT&T content providers like HBO, CNN, and TNT. They also get Warner Bros films, actually bringing the price down by a billion because AT&T was forced to take ownership of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I Was Only Looking At The Blinking Marquee Font
Google has purchased Eyefluence, a company whose software can tell whether you are bored or interested in what you’re looking at, turning your eye movements into virtual mouse clicks.

“Oh, come on!” said users who, sure, spent a lot of time ogling the model on that “Wanna meet hot singles?” ad but knew damned well if they clicked to see more it would start showing up on every website they visited and their spouse would be sure to notice and never let them hear the end of it.

Those Guys Make Everything Classier
Link, maker of public WiFi kiosks, is following up their New York City installations by bringing them to London. While they will offer USB charging, maps, and free calls to UK phones, they will not have a web browser, a feature removed from the New York kiosks after reports of rampant public pornography viewing. “Thanks for ruining it, America,” said London. “Where are your manners? You couldn’t hold up an open umbrella to privately watch your porn like a gentleman?”

In portions of the U.S. on Tuesday, Uber was offering free flu shots. A “Health” option appeared in their app between 11am and 3pm allowing users to request delivery of a “Flu-fighting” package. Now Uber is thinking about expanding the program, having a “Regret” option appear in the app between 2am and 5am on weekends allowing users to request delivery of “Crud-fighting” package of antibiotic shots to help counteract the possible effects of some questionable decision-making earlier in the evening.

Maybe We Should DM Them To See If They Like Us Or “Like” Like Us
It’s being reported that Disney has renewed interest in acquiring Twitter. The change of heart comes after brainstorming the idea of Twitter Town, which would, like the Magic Kingdom, have its own Hall of Presidents, where visitors can delight in watching a remarkable animatronic timeline of a nation’s leaders frown, cringe, and sometimes even cry as members of the audience, embracing their hard-won freedom of speech, tweet opposing-party hatred at them.

Did You Get The Pic Of The Whole Company Wearing Mouse Ears? 
Twitter will cut 9% of its workforce in an attempt to become profitable. Said a Twitter spokesperson, “See, Disney? See? Hunh? How about now? We’re doing good, right?”

Not To Be Confused With The Creator’s Update, With Noah And The Ark And Everything
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creators Update includes a new version of Windows Paint capable of creating 3D designs, which may sound like an impressive advancement, but I’m guessing a lot of resources went toward that while we still seem to be sitting here without a virtual reality Minesweeper.

Guess We Didn’t Need To Order The Danish Tray
After last week’s denial of service attacks, The Department of Homeland Security held a conference call with eighteen communication service providers to discuss strategic principles regarding the security of Internet of Things devices. We were able to get our hands on a copy of the call’s transcript:

Service Provider: “So how is everybody do–”

Homeland Security: “Get your s*** together.”



 Tech, Please!
In keeping with the scariness of the season, I’m getting ready to take the harrowing step of launching a Kickstarter for the year-end Weekly Tech Views book, this time titled Tech, Please!

Last year I put out The Internet is Like a Snowblower, covering the final six months of 2015, as an ebook . This time around I’m looking to make this collection of hilariously (humorously? amusingly? come on, give me amusingly, okay?) inaccurate tech “analysis” available in paperback as well. It will have another awesome Len Peralta-drawn cover (this time I’m taking full advantage of Len’s talents and cranking the ambition meter to 10), possibly some cool art inside, and a full year’s worth of nonsensical tech stories!

So if you’d like to support the Weekly Tech Views, this Kickstarter is the way to do it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t try something like Patreon some day, but for now the year-end book is the only financial support for the weekly blog foolishness.

If you are interested, it would be great if you checked out the Kickstarter on its opening day, Wednesday, November 16. Early interest increases the chance that, not only will my friends be less inclined to whisper “poor sap” behind my back just loud enough for me to hear, but that Kickstarter could help promote the campaign.

Even if kicking in for a book isn’t your thing, letting others that might be interested know about it would be amazingly helpful. Many experts say promoting this Tech, Please! Kickstarter is actually why Twitter and Facebook were created.*

If nothing else, you can watch me try to not make a fool of myself in a video.

* Where “many” = “one” and “experts” = “members of my family.”


All this tech news the week before Halloween, but inexplicably, still nothing about a candy bowl that can accurately launch fun-sized Kit-Kats across the room to your couch after syncing with your universal remote.

So that’s it until next week, when, if you’re good, I’ll probably mention the Kickstarter again.

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.