DTNS 2234 – 2225 It’s Alive

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDr. Kiki is on the show. We’ll talk about quantum positioning that could be 1000 times more accurate than GPS, and the future of the Internet of Things. Will it rob of us free will? Assuming we have it in the first place.


Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.


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Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Dr. Kiki Sanford, host of This Week in Science


PC Mag reports the Pew Research Center released the next in its 8-part series celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Web, this time asking more than 1600 experts what they think the Internet of Things will turn into by 2025. There are more connected devices than humans right now and that number is growing at a faster rate. As you can imagine, some experts expected cheaper medical diagnostics, improved safety and efficient planning of your day. Others worried about privacy from ubiquitous data collection and security against malicious hackers. Also we might lose our free will. 

Marketwatch reports that Speaker of the House John Boehner and three other House Majority leaders signed a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler warning him not to consider “any plan to impose antiquated regulation on the Internet.” The FCC is meeting tomorrow to vote on a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Open Internet Guidelines.

Reuters reports, Yahoo is continuing its trend of acquiring small, mobile start-ups by buying Blink, a startup with an app that lets users send messages that will self-destruct at a time set by the sender. I should repeat that again, because it’s possible all you heard was Yahoo & self-destruct. To repeat, Yahoo has bought a cheaper Snapchat. Oh and it’s shutting down the app too. REPEAT just the app. Yahoo is not shutting down. 

The Next Web reports Microsoft will refund Xbox Live Gold memberships starting in June for anybody who was paying the fee just to get apps like Netflix which will become free to access starting in June. You have to wait for the change to take place then you can cancel and receive a pro-rata refund. Other than June, no specific date has been set for the change. 

CNET reports Mozilla has agreed to include the Encrypted Media Extensions standard in the Firefox browser. This makes it easier for copy-protected media to play in the browser. Firefox is the last major player in the browser market to adopt the standard. Because Firefox is open source and by definition a DRM module is not, so the module will be downloaded from Adobe after the browser is installed. 

The Verge reports Samsung officially apologized for the illnesses and deaths of some of its factory workers. CEO Kwon Oh-hyun said “We should have settled the issue earlier, and we are deeply heartbroken that we failed to do so and express our deep apology.” A documentary released last month uncovered 56 cases of leukemia and other blood cancers among Samsung workers. 

Tablets failed for years until someone decided they needed an input system suited to tablets not just a translation of a desktop interface. MIT Technology Review reports on a project at Carnegie Mellon University that allows users to control a smart watch by physically tilting, clicking, and twisting the watch’s bezel. Assistant professor of human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, Chris Harrison, who worked on the project thinks the issue with smartwatches is that we can’t get the input and output good enough. Harrison is also exploring ways we can control smart watches without even touching them. 

News From You

Our top story on the subreddit was posted by mranthropology. Business Insider reports on Julie and Scott Brusaw’s project in Idaho to prototype an industrial-strength solar panel that could withstand the weight of even the largest trucks. Not only could the panel turn roads into solar power collectors but could potentially power electric vehicles. The project has already received two phases of funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Their company is called Solar Roadways and they’re looking to raise $1 million on Indiegogo.

KAPT_Kipper posted the TechCrunch article that Google has opened up Google Glass for sale to anyone in the US willing to part with $1500. This is still part of the Explorer Program and will only be on sale while supplies last.  

mranthropology sent us the GigaOm story about new data from Sandvine showing Netflix’s share of prime time download traffic on the Internet rising a couple points to 34.21%. YouTube declined to 13.1%. The big new power in traffic hoggery is TWITCH at 1.35% putting them right up there near Hulu’s 1.74% and in front of the much more restricted HBO Go’s 1.24%. Those are all download. The winner in Upload? Bittorrent of course with 24.53% followed by good old HTTP. But Netflix is 4th at 6.44%. Better work on those ratios Reed. 

Discussion Section Links: Quantum Positioning and the Internet of Things




Pick of the Day:  WSUS Offline Update via Jeremy Dennis

My pick is called WSUS Offline Update. It’s a tool that uses the
Windows Update features of Windows to download all available updates from Microsoft’s servers for the products you select. After
downloading the files it can make an ISO image or output the files to
a folder for use with a USB drive.

I use it on new builds of computers or VMs so I don’t have to babysit
them while getting them up to date. When you run it on the target
system there are options for to automatically restart after rebooting
to continue the update process. It really saves time when you have a
new Windows install and need to do other stuff while it updates.

Thursday’s guest:  Justin Robert Young of Night Attack & Weird Things podcast