DTNS 2570 – Enter The Snapdragon!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSmartwatches are narrowing in on a few standard features, like notifications, fitness tracking and proactive alerts. But are the features that wearables still need to have to make us want one? Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss.

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Weekly Tech Views Blog – 7

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Real Tech News. Really Shaky Analysis.

Thanks for visiting the Weekly Tech Views Blog. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying facts or common sense.

 
For the week of August 24 – 28, 2015

AT&T–Advertising Through & Through
AT&T was discovered to be sending ads to users of one of their free wifi hotspots, even if the web sites being visited were ad-free. If this initiative goes well, AT&T plans to expand the program:

[Rrrrring]

“Hey, Bob. I’ve got tickets to a game this week, thought you’d like to go.”

“Sounds good, Joe. When is it?”

“It’s–”

Got a ticket? Don’t just blindly pay it–fight it! We here at Schlichter, Schefter, and Shyster have never, in our fifty-five years of practice, seen a ticket issued that was justified. Most lawyers won’t handle traffic tickets, claiming there’s no real money to made, but we care about the little guy, and nobody is hiring us for anything else these days, so just buy us lunch and sit there and talk to us while we eat and we’ll fight to have that ridiculous going-seventy-five-in-a-school-zone charge disappear!

“What the heck was that?”

“I don’t know, Bob; I thought it on your end.”

“Weird. So, when’s the game? I’m going to be out of town a few days this week.”

“It’s a one o’clock start on–”

Love to travel, but hotels are too expensive? Motels seem pretty pricey, too? Hostels… that’s more like it, but still think you’ve got better things to do with that ten bucks a night? You need to get to your App Store and download Hobo-ocity. Get reviews of the most comfortable, least police-patrolled park benches in over thirty major cities.

“Send me an email, Joe.”

My Weekend is Now Booked
The battery in the new LG Gpad 2 tablet promises two days worth of constant use, which is great; we all want more power and efficiency from our devices, but I have to admit that I’m going to kind of miss my wife and I looking each other in the face every ten hours or so.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Cheater Whose Identity Has Been Revealed
Not surprisingly, hacked affair-promoting website Ashley Madison has been sued by multiple people for breach of contract and violation of privacy laws. Ashley Madison quickly filed a response, reading, “C’mon, baby, why you gotta be like that? I made a mistake; I didn’t mean anything by it. What about the good times? Remember how I helped you get some strange and you gave me a lot of money? That was fun, right? Can’t we go back to that?”

Laid Off Worker Regrets Joining Angry Birds Pharmaceuticals Division
Angry Birds creator Rovio is laying off 260 employees, citing that the company tried to do too many things and will now scale back. The fear is that this could jeopardize their latest game, Angry Trump, as the development team had completed only two levels: launching reporters out of press conferences and slingshotting anyone with an accent over a twenty-foot U.S. border wall.

[Rrrrring]
“Welcome to printer technical support. Do you agree to the $4.95 per minute charge?”

“Yes, sure, this should only take a couple seconds. I just need to find an updated driver for my printer.”

“Yes, sir. That’s on the web site. Just go to–”

Golfers! Looking to be longer off the tee? Gary’s Golf World has the drivers you need! We’ve got Calloway, Cleveland, Cobra, Ping, TaylorMade, Bridgestone, Nike, Mizuno, Titleist…

“Hey! What is this crap?”

…on sale this week is the Calloway Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver. It’s forged composite crown, lively titanium face, and adjustable OptiFit hosel will have you playing like a pro. And it’s a steal at $450! Isn’t it worth the kids wearing last year’s school clothes to add ten yards to your drive?

“I’m not paying for this!”

Sometimes You Really Have to Squint for That Silver Lining
Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers involved in the creation of the Fire Phone. While the loss of a paycheck will certainly be a tough financial hit, this does, at least, provide a much-needed respite from Amazon’s grueling schedule. Say what you want about how hard Amazon drives their people, they have a strict policy that once an employee is laid off, they are not to work more than forty hours per week.

I’d Have Preferred a GIF of Kevin Bacon Screaming, “Remain Calm! All is Well!”
Apple’s Tim Cook sent an email to financial analyst/TV personality Jim Cramer to allay fears about Apple’s stock and iPhone sales in China. Inspired by this, Denver Broncos GM John Elway, after watching quarterback Payton Manning throw three consecutive incomplete passes during a morning practice,  emailed ESPN’s John Clayton and told him to “chillax.”

[Rrrrring]
“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“Someone just broke into my house! They picked the lock and ripped out the screen and now they’re coming up the stairs!”

“What is your address, sir?”

“It’s 24–”

Lock screen problems? We can take care of those and just about any other issues you’re having with your smartphone here at Phone Phixers. Same day service for half what the manufacturer charges. Remember, your phone’s not dead, it just needs Phone Phixed.

“Sorry about that, sir. Your address?…. Sir?……..”

OK, I’ve had my fun. AT&T inserting ads into web sites via a wifi hotspot may be annoying, but what real harm is being done?

Web Site Ads Can Kill Your Computer!
According to a recent study, malware delivered via ads tripled in the eight months between June 2014 and February 2015. At this rate, it’s possible that by the end of the year, in the U.S. alone, we will actually have more computers infected with malware than we have Marvel movies.

Waiter, There’s a Six-Millimeter Countersunk-Head Stainless Steel Rivet in My Pizza
The RoboHow project demonstrated two robots working together to make a pizza, the first delivering the ingredients to the second, which assembled the pie. Stories like this have prompted the ABC television network to capitalize on the public’s increasing fascination with robots, perhaps by replicating the tone Fox used with last year’s Cosmos and launching a program where the tremendous, mind-bending advances in robotic technology and artificial intelligence can be seriously analyzed, and its future repercussions discussed by leaders from every scientific field, or they could do a reboot called Two Robots, a Droid, and a Pizza Place.

Thanks again for stopping by the Weekly Tech Views Blog. If you enjoyed it, feel free to send a friend or five this way. If you weren’t so crazy about it, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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Weekly Tech Views Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

DTNS 2569 – Are You VR Experienced?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comHTC’s Vive VR headset won’t ship in large numbers until 2016. So Lamarr Wilson and Tom Merritt discuss what the VR headset landscape will look like after Vive Oculus and Project Morpheus have all shipped next year.

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DTNS 2568 – The Force Touch Is Strong(ly Rumored)

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSo we have a fact about the next Apple announcement which will happen September 9th. Allison Sheridan, Jeff Cannata and Tom Merritt take their best guesses at what will be announced. Also, robots that make pizza.

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Continue reading DTNS 2568 – The Force Touch Is Strong(ly Rumored)

DTNS 2567 – YouTube Can Play At This Game

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comYouTube takes on Twitch in game streaming. Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt gauge their chances of success.

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Continue reading DTNS 2567 – YouTube Can Play At This Game

DTNS 2566 – You’re S-Penning It Wrong!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMicrosoft is just the latest company to show off 3D scanning software for a consumer phone. With MIT’s new 10-material printer, Patrick Beja and Tom Merritt discuss far we are from being able to replicate things with our phone.

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DTNS 2565 – Dat Battery Tho

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comHow Twitter was more restrictive about speech than the European Court of Justice. Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont discuss.

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Continue reading DTNS 2565 – Dat Battery Tho

Weekly Tech Views Blog – 6

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Real Tech News. Really Shaky Analysis.

Thanks for visiting the Weekly Tech Views Blog. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying intrusion of facts or common sense.

For the week of August 17 – 21, 2015

They’ve Got Their Spotif-Eye on You

Spotify’s new Terms of Service allows the company, which, you may recall, is a music-streaming service, to access your phone’s sensor to determine your GPS coordinates, whether you’re walking, running, or standing still, access your photos and examine your contacts, all of which it may share with their partners. “Wow. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything that invasive,” said a proctologists convention.

The Other Shoe Has Dropped. The Shoe She Never Wears for Her Husband, But Just For This Guy She Met Online. The Sexy, Strappy, Three-Inch-Heeled Shoe That’s the Same Shade of Red as the Slinky–Uh, Sorry, Where Were We?

Now that The Impact Team has publicly released the data they hacked from adultery web site Ashley Madison, clients are scouring the list, all with the same simple thought: If the Oculus Rift people had their act together and I had a Star Trek-like holodeck in my basement where I could order up an imaginary but very lifelike mistress like choosing a candy bar from a vending machine then I wouldn’t be in this mess it’s not my fault I was born fifty years too soon stupid 2015 aaahhhhhh there’s my name!

Amazon: River of Tears?

Based on comments by some former Amazon employees, we envision this typical Tuesday morning:

“Well, Janet, I really hate to do this, but we have to let you go. This is the second time in the last 24 months you’ve been late.”

“But, it was only three minutes. And I was in a bad car accident.”

“Well, that may be so, but you know our philosophy here at Amazon: Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.”

“But I live only fifteen minutes away and still I leave home an hour-and-a-half early to make sure I’m on time every day. It was the accident. It was an Amazon truck that hit me; it wasn’t my fault. The paramedic said I should be in the hospital; he said I broke my leg in two places and there’s a good chance I ‘dented my brain’ but I came to work instead.”

“That’s all well and good, Janet; I’m not saying I don’t believe you–say, could you grab those? I think a few of your teeth landed on the corner of my desk… and here, have a couple more Kleenex, that nosebleed doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.”

“It’s broken.”

“Yes, I would have guessed, the angle it’s at. Anyway, I’m sure you think you tried your best, but like our twelve-inch plush Talking Yoda–a Lightning Deal today at $16.99, with free two-day shipping for Prime members–would say, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ So, thanks for coming by; we’ve cleaned out your desk and Security will escort you to your car–or, I guess it’s the bus stop, now, isn’t it? And on your way, could you send Mr. Hibberd in? Guy’s been here sixteen years; you’d think he’d know better than to put a photo of his kid up on his cubicle wall during work time. It’s ironic, too–you’ll find this funny, Janet–he gets fired just minutes after getting the $19.84 bonus for turning you in for being late.”

Does a Bear Twitch in the Woods?

A study indicates that bears show signs of stress when drones are around, evidenced by a rise in heart rate. Now, I’m no bearologist, but wouldn’t that also be true when a plane, car, axe-wielding lumberjack, or another attractive bear were around? And I’m almost positive I’ve seen a documentary about a bear that actually piloted a drone in his attempt to steal a picnic basket. Sure, his little bear friend was pretty freaked, but I got the impression he was naturally nervous, drone or no.

Would You Like Fries With That?

iPods, once the glamour boys of Apple technology, have been relegated to the accessories shelves in Apple Stores. The next step is that all iPods remaining in two years get painted yellow and included with the Minions 2 Happy Meals at McDonald’s.

Sprint: It’s the Lease We Can Do

Sprint is getting rid of contracts and leasing their phones. And we all know what the best part of leases are–lease commercials!

“You want yourself a new smartphone, but you sure don’t want to get tied down with some loooong two-year contract, like they do at… well, I don’t want to say their name, but their initials are A-T-T. Well that’s not the way we do things here at Honest Earl’s Sprint Phones and Pawn Shop. No sir, we will lease you a brand new iPhone for just $22 per month. Verizon on your horizon? You best turn yourself around, you’re goin’ the wrong way; get on over to Honest Earl’s. T-Mobile? B-real! You need to Sprint on in to Earl’s! No credit? No problem! Lucky for you, Earl’s Pawn is right next door, and we take just about anything at the Pawn–guitars, firearms, jewelry–what kind of data plan you gettin’ with grandma’s old ring? I didn’t think so. Say goodbye to Nana’s wedding ring, and hello to 20 gigs a month on Sprint’s Over-Half-of-the-Country network!

“Vaio” Better Mean “Keyboard of Diamonds”

The Vaio, formerly owned by Sony, is slated to return to the U.S. later this year in Microsoft retail stores, the laptops starting at $2,199. The Vaio brings back memories of myself as a younger, naive computer shopper who thought “I’m never buying a Vaio; Sony makes TVs, what do they know about computers?” Now, as a seasoned laptop buyer, I’ve come around to the more rational viewpoint of “I’m never buying a Vaio; who pays $2,200 for a laptop?”

Orwell That Ends Well

In the UK, Google was ordered to remove links to current stories about Google being ordered to remove links to an older story. I think that’s what happened. Very soon, when they’re ordered to remove links to the coming stories about removing links to the stories about removing links to the original stories, this is going to become the mental version of looking at a reflection of a reflection into infinity. This is all a result of a ruling in Europe allowing people to have outdated information about them removed from search engines. This Right to be Forgotten ruling currently applies to the EU, or Eurasian Union Eastasian Union European Union.

It Was Here a Second Ago

Google permanently lost a small amount of data when the power grid that Google’s data center in Belgium was connected to was struck repeatedly by lightning. Just moments afterward, the lightning bolt was adopted as the logo for the Right to be Forgotten proponents.

It’s Been a While Since I Mentioned Ashley Madison, So…

Up to 10,000 of the email addresses listed in the Ashley Madison hack belong to government accounts. And the flood of U.S. Right to be Forgotten legislation begins in 3… 2… 1…

Call During the Next Ten Minutes and We’ll Include This Industrial Plant Emission Bracelet

Scientists have reportedly developed a method for removing excess carbon from the air and turning it into carbon fibers, which could be used in the production of things like cars and artificial diamonds. Estimates are that a sufficiently large facility, running for just half an hour in Los Angeles, could fill four car dealerships and stock QVC for a decade.

You’ll Update What We Tell You to Update and You’ll Like It

Apparently, while security updates to Windows 10 are explained in detail by Microsoft, descriptions of additional updates are vague. I’d like to get worked up over this, but I do pretty much the same thing. If I do something I’m proud of, like patch a hole in the wall, my wife will hear every damned detail about it, from how many ounces of spackle I applied and at what angle I held the putty knife, to the grit of the sandpaper used to finish it off. On the other hand, if I call DIRECTV to correct a billing error and impulsively order the NFL Sunday Ticket–after said wife and I had just agreed to watch our budget more closely–then she gets “I took care of the TV.”

Yeah, Well, In Four Years I Got a Couple Three Percent Raises and an Extra Personal Day

Uber, in four years since its official launch as an app-based alternative to taxis, has reportedly become valued by investors at fifty billion dollars. In a related story, the world’s leading lawn-care company is run by Jeremy, the kid who was walking around the neighborhood last fall with a rake over his shoulder asking if he could rake our leaves for ten bucks.

Thanks again for stopping by the Weekly Tech Views Blog. If you enjoyed it, feel free to send a friend or five this way. If you weren’t so crazy about it, we’ll just pretend this never happened.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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Weekly Tech Views Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

DTNS 2564 – Sorrify

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.com Darren Kitchen, Shannon Morse, Justin Robert Young, and Len Peralta are filling in for Tom, who is out on assignment. What the Ashley Madison leak says about the state of internet security, an update on Spotify’s controversial new privacy policy, and quantum computing-powered cryptography.

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

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Show Notes
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Continue reading DTNS 2564 – Sorrify

DTNS 2563 – Don’t You Forget About Me

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.com Justin and Andrew Mayne fill in for Tom, who is on assignment. New hardware from Microsoft, the insistence to be forgotten, and diamonds in the sky

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Continue reading DTNS 2563 – Don’t You Forget About Me