Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.
If this edition of the Weekly Tech Views makes even less sense than usual, blame today’s visit to the dentist. It was just a cleaning, but their unexpected change of rinse from Cool Mint Listerine to Original Mint Scope really threw me.
For the week of April 4 – 8, 2016…
How Much For Netscape?
Verizon is apparently going to make a bid to obtain Yahoo’s Web business. Already the owner of AOL, Verizon anticipates, if all goes according to plan, to dominate not only the telecommunication business, but the 1998 internet.
With A Special Appearance By The Follow-At-A-Safe-Distance Warrior!
The European Truck Platooning Challenge came to an end Wednesday as a dozen self-driving semi trucks completed travels across Europe and arrived in Rotterdam. As you can imagine, this event, like any involving a significant number of large trucks, was heavily advertised.
“WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! IF YOU THOUGHT MONSTER TRUCKS WERE BIG, YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET! GET ON DOWN TO APM TERMINALS AND WATCH A DOZEN 18-WHEELERS BARRELL INTO ROTTERDAM AT PRECISELY THE SPEED LIMIT! OH, BIGFOOT AND GRAVEDIGGER MIGHT CRUSH CARS, BUT THESE FREIGHT HAULERS ARE CRUSHING HIGHWAY CONGESTION! YOU’LL WATCH IN STUNNED AWE AS THE WI-FI GUIDANCE SYSTEM KEEPS THEM RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR LANE, ALLOWING NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY TO HAPPEN! WEDNESDAY! WE’LL SELL YOU THE WHOLE SEAT, BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!
Get Ripped In Just 50 Texts Per Day!
Huawei (pronounced Hua-wei) introduced two phones this week, the P9 and P9 Plus. They offer high-end specs in slim, lightweight form factors, each weighing less than six ounces. Less publicized is their alternative device–developed in concert with fitness guru Tony Horton–for users who are looking for the functionality of the P9 line, “but aren’t sissies”–the fifteen-pound P90X Plus.
Just Page Me
The FBI has briefed Senator Diane Feinstein on how they accessed the data on the iPhone used in the San Bernadino terrorism case. In other news, every one of Diane Feinstein’s family members and acquaintances “lost” their phone yesterday.
The More Things Change, The More They Ruin Our Dreams
The FBI Director stated that the method used to finally unlock the San Bernadino iPhone 5c without Apple’s help will not work on the iPhone 5s or newer. Which, of course, makes sense. Things change. I had an amazing reverse two-handed dunk on the Playskool basketball hoop I had when I was six, but the same technique didn’t fly when I “advanced” to a regulation ten-foot hoop. I, for one, will not blame the FBI if, years from now, it digs out the old 5c and throws down some awesome hacks for old times sake.
Step Up Your Game, Thailand
Messaging app Line may have run into some trouble in Thailand. One of its users created a set of stickers that mocks the royal family, and Line didn’t catch it. Well, who doesn’t mock their leadership a little, right? The correct answer is Thai citizens. Not without some fallout, anyhow. It is against the law to insult the monarchy, with punishment ranging up to 15 years in prison. This sounds harsh, but will look tame when President Trump institutes his own “no insulting the monarchy law” (no, the presidency is not a monarchy, but if Mr. Trump likes the way something sounds, he tends to run with it), where offenders who, say, create an unflattering image of the president on their Miitomo app, will scrub clean a stained section of the ten-foot Mexican border wall and turn around to face a firing squad, giving the next offender something to clean. *
Let Me Twist That Knife A Bit
The new Tesla Model 3 electric car was preordered a phenomenal 276,000 times in just three days. Not surprisingly, the amazing success has prompted a new competitor to enter the market. The Edison Model 1 will be pretty much the same as the Tesla, but is expected to be remembered by historians as the very first electric car.
Relax, I Didn’t Even Have A Girlfriend In 11th Grade
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, riding high on those huge Model 3 preorders, further stoked anticipation by saying the steering controls would “feel like a spaceship.” Easy to claim, since almost none of us know what the controls of a spaceship feel like. Comparisons are more effective if a large number of people have experienced the alternative, like “a high-end joystick” or “my girlfriend in eleventh grade.”
Guys, Could You Not Be A-Holes, If It’s Not Too Much Trouble?
The Federal Communications Commission, in an effort to help consumers understand the terms they are agreeing to with internet service providers, issued non-mandatory guidelines for ISPs to spell out things like prices, data caps, overage charges, and speed. Finally! Nothing says “get your act together!” like non-mandatory guidelines. I remember as a kid, when my brothers and I would be teasing my sister, hiding her Shaun Cassidy album,** nothing got us back in line quicker than Mom dropping the hammer with one of her non-mandatory guidelines rants:
“YOU GUYS THINK IT’S A BIG JOKE TO TEASE YOUR SISTER LIKE THIS, BUT IT’S NOT! IT’S NOT HURTING YOU ANY TO HEAR HER MUSIC, AND I WANT YOU TO GIVE HER BACK HER RECORD RIGHT NOW! THAT’S HER PROPERTY, AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TOUCH IT! JUST REMEMBER, THIS IS A SUGGESTION ON MY PART! I’M NOT MANDATING HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE YOUR LIFE; YOU’RE FREE TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS! THIS IS A GUIDELINE! IT’S COMPLETELY UP TO YOU WHETHER YOU DO THIS OR NOT! THERE WILL BE NO CONSEQUENCES OR REPERCUSSIONS, REGARDLESS OF YOUR DECISION! NOW GO ON AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!”
Let me tell you, that, combined with Dad reaching for his belt, was really effective.
* That got dark, didn’t it?
** You can’t blame us for that. Nobody should be subjected to Da Doo Ron Ron twelve times in a lifetime, let alone an afternoon.
Want to keep following Team DTNS’s progress in the Night Attack Summer Movie Draft? Sure, I use the term “progress” loosely, because none Tom and Jennie’s movies are out yet, but other stuff happened. You can check in on the CRUMDUM at https://redd.it/4djyvr.
That’s another week of tech news battered beyond recognition. Now I have a stern non-mandatory guideline letter to work on for my dentist.
Weekly Tech Views by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.