Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog – Sept 3, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

It’s Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end to summer, and for many, the last cookout of the season. So enjoy this Weekly Tech Views, then get out the burgers and bratwurst and toss them on the sizzling Galaxy Note 7.


For the week of August 29 – September 2, 2016…

Better Safe…
There have been thirty-five reported cases of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 catching on fire or even exploding due to faulty batteries. Samsung insists there was no indication of this during testing, but the ads sure did show a lot of people dousing the device in water.

Turning Lemons Into Piping Hot Lemonade
Lenovo announced a new laptop/tablet hybrid called the Yoga Book. Sensing an opportunity, Samsung quickly announced its own plans for the Hot Yoga Book.

Portability Is Overrated
Acer is releasing the Predator 21X, a laptop with a curved 21-inch screen, Intel’s latest seventh generation processors, two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs, and five cooling fans. Sure, it costs $5,000, but with these specs it will keep you productive and entertained until the day you die, which should be about eight days after its seventeen pounds pins you to your couch.

Pretty Sure These Companies Hooked Up Just For The MAFIA Acronym
Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Alphabet are teaming to develop ethics standards for artificial intelligence systems, centering around its effect on jobs, transportation, and warfare. Meanwhile, between occasional exclamations of “Ethics!”, Cortana, Alexa, and Watson just laughed and laughed.

It’s A Shame When Even A Shared Belief In Wild Overpricing Isn’t Enough To Sustain A Relationship
A Monster lawsuit claiming Apple subsidiary Beats electronics had fraudulently ended their business relationship was dismissed when the judge ruled Beats was justified in doing so. Beats then countersued for attorney’s fees and court costs.

“Whatever,” said a Monster executive as he reached into his briefcase and peeled cables off of what looked to be a small garden hose reel. “Here’s a dozen of our new Super Ultra Hyper Mega HDMI cables–the contacts are Adamantium-coated and the sheathing is filled with Unobtanium.”

“Those aren’t real things.”

“Says you.”

“This is ridiculous; you are going to owe tens of thousands of dollars.”

“You’ve never bought one of our cables, have you? Keep the change.”

Style For The Camera
Instagram will finally let you zoom in on photos. This upgrade brought to you compliments of the laser hair removal industry.

Well, What Are They Good For Then?
The FAA regulations on commercial drone operation went into effect this week. In addition to keeping the drone in sight, under 100 miles per hour, and below 400 feet, operators can not fly a drone over people not directly participating in its use. The FAA quickly tacked on an addendum clarifying that no, the cute girl wearing that dress you really like and eating lunch outside her office next door and suddenly pointing at your approaching camera-equipped drone and yelling, “What is that?” does not mean she is “participating.”

That’s The Pot Calling The Kettle A Lobbying, Self-Serving Broadband Provider
An AT&T blog post mocked Google Fiber for some recent struggles implementing their broadband service and criticized them for appealing to governments for help. They certainly have a point–AT&T has always built and expanded their business completely on their own, refusing to ask favors of the government or anyone else.

Haha! No, they’re a telecommunications company. They’ve headed a demanding industry ever since Alexander Graham Bell yelled, “Watson, come quick, I need you!” Okay, you invented the telephone. Great. That doesn’t mean Watson may not have been busy doing something important too. I’m sure he had stuff going on. How about “Hey, Watson, if you’re not busy, could you stop by my office when you get a chance?”

Even worse, historians shortened the quote for the sake of catchiness. Bell’s full statement is rather enlightening–“Watson, come quick, I need you… to know that I am now the sole telecommunications provider for the state of Massachusetts with an option to expand into neighboring states, then the remainder of the country, including any states they’ll probably split the god forsaken west into. Anyone who wants to talk with somebody outside their own house is going to pay! AND THEY’RE GOING TO PAY ME! DO YOU HEAR ME, WATSON? STOP NODDING AND BOW DOWN AND KISS MY FEET WATSON, BECAUSE THE WORLD IS MINE! ALL MINE!”

Thanks A Lot, Hue Damned Narc
The Philips Hue smart lighting system is adding motion detectors, enabling your lights to turn on when you get within 16.5 feet of the sensor. “No thanks,” said everyone trying to sneak out of bed at night to cheat on their diet.

That’s Actually Impressive Restraint
Snapchat announced that they would institute behavioral targeting, allowing advertisers to reach users based on their activity. Only activity inside the app will be used; outside web browsing won’t be taken into account. At least for now. Said Snapchat, “We suppose that, technically, anything is possible in the future. Also, while we’re speaking in technicalities, you know that half an hour from now qualifies as the future, right?”

More Like Instant Vid-Uh-Oh, Am I Right?
Facebook added a live video mode to Messenger. It’s officially called Instant Video, but icon that initiates the feature will quickly be unofficially known as the Prove It button, as in:

“Tim, you were supposed to be
home an hour ago to mow the yard”

“Sorry Mom, I got caught up at the
library studying”

“Prove it!”

(cut to video of Tim, obviously in the local park, frantically waving his keg-wielding friends out of the shot)

Awwww, Sharing Is Nice
Over 68 million Dropbox account details–likely obtained in a 2012 hack–are currently being circulated in the “database sharing community,” a community so named, I imagine, to elicit visions of a harmless social club. “Our community is having its monthly potluck dinner with the ‘asset acquisition community’ next Friday. We’ll be bringing the entrees, while the AAC is bringing desserts, wine, and a whole mess of really nice dinnerware courtesy of the Fergusons over on Elm Street and their ridiculously hackable smartlocks.”

Want To Double Check Those Numbers?
The European Commission ruled that Apple owes 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland after receiving illegal tax breaks. Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the ruling as “total political crap.”

In other news, photos were leaked of the European version of the new iPhone 7, which looks suspiciously like an iPod Touch 3G with a “7” scrawled in red marker across the screen.


That’s it. Now get out there and enjoy the end of summer. And remember, if you Note 7 users haven’t upgraded to Nougat yet, nothing tops off a cookout like toasted Marshmallow. Enjoy.

Mike Range


Movie Draft
So close. So very close. Jennie and Tom came back from $260 million down and erased all of the deficit… except for $3 million. $2.9M, actually, in the closest finish in Movie Draft history. You can read all about it in the CRUMDUM.


A book!
Want to remember what happened in the tech world last year? How about what kind of happened mixed with a lot of nonsense? Then The Internet is Like a Snowblower is for you! It’s right here at Amazon.

The Internet is Like a Snowblower: (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) by [Range, Mike]

Creative Commons License
Weekly Tech Views: The Tech – No Logic Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.