Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog – Sept 17, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

If you’re looking for someone to help you make sense of the week’s tech news, you’ve come to the right place to be told you’ve come to the wrong place.

But since you’re here, why not continue reading? You’ll know you have a better handle on tech than at least one person.

May As Well Tell Them About The Cameras We Build Into Every Showerhead
FBI Director James Comey said that putting tape over your laptop’s camera is a sensible thing to do, like locking your car doors at night. “Dude, whose side are you on?” said the rest of the FBI.

Effort Is For Suckers
Ebay’s new Quick Sale program let’s you sell your phone to large volume sellers who will save you the work of handling the actual sale. You can get a Quick Sale quote and compare it to Ebay’s trending price of those sold at auction. The trending price is often 50-70% higher. Oh, and it’s guaranteed by Ebay.

Now I’m no math whiz (though I did once get a B in third grade on a multiplication tables quiz even though that uptight Judy Thompson blocked a lot of her answers with her elbow), but more money is good, right? If Ebay is going to guarantee a much higher price if I sell it myself, how much work do I really have to do? Description: iPhone. Buy it. Or don’t. Here’s a picture of my cat, who is not a phone, but what do I care? Happy bidding!

You Should Have Seen The Line Around Our Block
Apple will not be releasing first week sales numbers for iPhone 7s due to supply issues limiting available stock and, hence, limiting sales. Yet they did proudly announce that the 7 Plus was so popular that it sold out. In other news, my neighbor’s kid just issued a press release announcing that, after finding half a lemon and a paper cup in the kitchen, he opened a lemonade stand and cleared out his entire inventory!

Still Less Annoying Than Your Average Toy Store
Amazon is expected to add up to 100 pop-up stores in malls across the US over the next year to promote devices like Kindles, Fire TVs, and Echos, meaning mall shoppers can easily learn how convenient it is for a group of teenagers to run through the store yelling “Alexa, make a fart noise!”

I’ve Learned To Choose My Battles
The latest PlayStation 4 update provides folders to let you organize content. First up is creating my Games At Which I Can Still Compete With My Nephews folder, which will contain two pinball titles and Peggle.

There Is Not Enough Purell In The City…
400 LinkNYC terminals–which provided free wifi and web browsing at former phone booth locations in New York City–no longer have the web browsing feature due to complaints that the embedded tablets were being used to view inappropriate content, proving once again the old adage that you can clean up Times Square, but Teenage Mutant Nympho Call Girls will not be denied.

Filling A Need
Sony Interactive Entertainment is in talks to have movies made for the PlayStation VR. “Virtual reality movies? Great idea!’ said everyone, until they remembered that Human Centipede is a movie that actually exists. This, naturally, prompted New Yorkers to respond, “Hey, you know what? There’s some open LinkNYC terminals over here!”

AdBlock Plus: Where The Plus Is Ads!
Adblock Plus is starting an ad marketplace where websites can choose, for the cost of six percent of ad revenue going to AdBlock, an ad that AdBlock will not block. Got that? The first AdBlock-approved ads are expected to be for Norton Anti-Virus’s bold new virus-installing software and Benadryl extrahistamine tablets.

Home Is The Place Where, When You Have To Push There, It Has To Let You In
With the release of iOS 10, unlocking your iPhone can no longer be accomplished with a swipe, but requires the pushing of the home button. Why? Because…

“The iPhone 8 won’t have a physical home button. How many people will that entice to get a new phone?”

“Not many.”

“Well, what would make the lack of a home button more attractive?”

“Having problems with the current one, I guess? If it wore out?”

“Brilliant! Get ’em mashing that thing!”

Just Take My Ten Bucks And Put Hootie And The Blowfish On Repeat
Pandora announced a new $4.99 per month music service called Pandora Plus that allows users to skip and replay more songs plus listen offline. Later this year they will also unveil an on-demand service to compete with Spotify and Apple Music, tentatively named Pandora Fine-You-Have-To-Hear-Whatever-Song-You-Want-Whenever-You-Want-You-Ungrateful-Unadventurous-Drones-By-All-Means-Don’t-Try-Something-New.

At Least The Tax Code Never Corrupted My Mowing The Lawn Playlist
The Tokyo Tax Bureau claims that Apple’s iTunes unit owes $118 million for taxes not paid on earnings that they transferred to their Ireland unit. “Look, we’re happy to pay,” said the iTunes unit, “it’s just this tax code! Have you ever seen such a confusing, bloated, inefficiently-designed… um, never mind.”

Plus, It’ll Be Number One At The Box Office Next Summer
Dutch police are moving ahead with plans to use trained eagles to take down drones that appear in no-fly zones. This will be very cool to see. For a while. But the illegal drones will inevitably get bigger and faster until the eagles just can’t keep up. For a while we’ll even the playing field by “enhancing” the eagles, until an acne-covered, tetrahydrogestrinone-fueled defender of the skies–in a fit of paranoid ‘roid rage–regrettably rips the head off his trainer.

Which leads us to where this was always headed–robot eagles. Well, they’ll really just be drones themselves, engaging in shrapnel-filled drone-on-drone dogfights, but as they move in for the kill they will transform into robot eagles to honor their avian ancestors.

The whole program will, of course, be turned over to Michael Bay.

Of Course, There’s Still The Rest Of The Browns Season
A new skill for the Amazon Echo will allow it to read tweets to you, conscientiously bleeping out any swearing. This is a great feature that I will certainly take advantage of. In about two months. Because any election-related tweet is going to sound like an alert from the Emergency Broadcast System.

Then They Flip A Coin To See Who Cleans The Back Seat
Uber began providing rides in autonomous cars this week in Pittsburgh. Allaying concerns for riders is the presence of two engineers in the car–one sitting in the driver’s seat watching for instances requiring human intervention and one in the passenger seat with a laptop, taking notes about the ride and recording whether it is over or under 97% of riders that say “So, it takes two of you to drive a self-driving car, huh?”

It will also be very important for engineer #2 to record, mid-ride, video of the passenger when engineer #1 yells, “OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, SWEETJESUS WHY IS IT DOING THAT LOOK OUT!!!”

The project will be funded by winnings from America’s Funniest Home Videos.


See that? Feel better about yourself now?

Mike Range


And if this one blog post boosted your self-confidence, just think what a whole book of these could do! It’s not in the Self-Help section, but you can find it at Amazon HERE.

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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.