DTNS 2526 – Worldwide

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMolly Wood and Justin Young talk Apple Music launch and what companies do with your personal data when they get sold or go bankrupt. Hint: The privacy policy may no longer apply.

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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young and Molly Wood

Headlines:

Ars Technica reports Apple released iOS 8.4 today fixing the text message bug that could crash the operating system if a certain string of characters was received. iBooks can now be used for audiobooks as well as a few other new features And of course an updated Music app includes Apple’s new $10 a month music service, the Connect social network, For You recommendation engine and Beats One radio station.

Continue reading DTNS 2526 – Worldwide

DTNS 2525 – Google: Do Know Evil

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont is on the show to discuss how large companies often eat smaller startup’s lunch. Is that what Facebook’s trying to do to Snapchat?

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Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont

Headlines:

TechCrunch reports Facebook has consolidated some photo upload features and added a couple to its app. When you upload a photo to Facebook you’ll immediately see a prompt to swipe to autocorrect or use a filter. You can also choose to overlay colored text and paste stickers. If you’ve used Snapchat or Line you get the pictures. The new features are rolling out to iOS app users and being tested on Android apps.

Continue reading DTNS 2525 – Google: Do Know Evil

DTNS 2524 – Self Driving Kobayashi Maru Test

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJonathan Strickland is on the show to help explain how two self-driving cars did NOT almost crash and why it is that we have to explain that. Also a new fiber tech could unleash crazy Internet speeds. And Len Peralta captures it all in art.

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A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here or giving 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
Today’s guests: Jonathan Strickland of howstuffworks.com and Len Peralta, artist

Check out Len’s amazing art from this week’s show celebrating “The Strickman”

Headlines:

Geekwire obtained a company memo sent by Satya Nadella to Microsoft employees revealing the company’s new mission statement is To “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” He added that the company could achieve the mission with 3 interconnected “bold ambitions.” One: Reinvent productivity and business processes. Two: Build the intelligent cloud platform and Three: Create more personal computing. In a related story someone created styamania shirts at teespring.com/satyamania

Continue reading DTNS 2524 – Self Driving Kobayashi Maru Test

DTNS 2523 – Treasure Truck Tales Tempt Throngs

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young and Iyaz Akhtar are on the show today to talk about Amazon’s true intentions with the hyped up Treasure Truck. Plus theories on Apple Music continue to haunt us.

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A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here or giving 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young and Iyaz Akhtar

Engadget reports that Yahoo has partnered with Oracle to get users to try out Yahoo’s third-place search engine as part of their next Java update. The update comes with a pre-checked installation box to make Yahoo the default search engine. Yahoo says the on boarding process is “highly transparent and gives users choice.” Java and Yahoo Toolbar installation have a astoried history.

Continue reading DTNS 2523 – Treasure Truck Tales Tempt Throngs

DTNS 2522 – Beggars CAN Be Choosers

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comScott Johnson is on the show and we’ll talk about Samsung turning off Windows Update, ICANN turning off privacy and Lexus turning on a Hoverboard.

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Scott Johnson

Tech Crunch reports that the Facebook’s Messenger app is all grown up and has left home. Messenger will now let users to sign up without having a Facebook account. You just need a first and last name and phone number. The feature rolls out today in the US, Canada, Peru and Venezuela with more countries to follow.

Continue reading DTNS 2522 – Beggars CAN Be Choosers

DTNS Guest Post: Fallout from Airline Flight System Hack Will Result in Rise of Grumpy Pilots

Hey, it’s that Joe Pilot guy again. It just so happens I’m on reserve again and have a lot of time to write. It also seems like we have more aviation related stories these days, maybe?

I wanted to calm down the worries on this LOT airlines DDoS. Firstly, this is no reflection on your reporting, just wanted to give you a heads up.

Flight planning doesn’t have anything to do with aircraft flying at the time, it is simply the written/printed PLAN for the flight. It’s not uncommon (at least domestically) for these flight plans to change in the cockpit. That’s not to say it is unimportant; they are important because they are a piece of the safety net we employ at every airline to keep something awful from happening. That also doesn’t mean if the flight plan is wrong— or the pilots don’t notice it’s wrong immediately— anything bad will happen, it just means one level of safety is compromised, the threat is trapped and we move on. Airplanes don’t crash because Dispatch misrouted a plane. Pilots don’t blindly follow plans and Air Traffic Control (ATC) doesn’t blindly clear airplanes through bogus routes. Not happening. A hacker wants to try and affect safety that way? Lots of luck buddy. There’s two people up front ready to laugh it off (until the delay comes and then we grind our collective teeth while apologizing to the passengers). Delays will occur. Nothing more. I promise. We’re safe up there with or without dispatch, and even safer if we’re already on the ground.

What does a flight plan mean?
An aircraft dispatcher (not an air traffic controller) creates a flight plan with a specific route the company has identified as appropriate, looking at best planning techniques, standard or preferred routes, weather, etc. This route is created to estimate winds as accurately as possible to give the pilots on the ground the best idea possible of the amount of fuel required. The printouts help the pilot check against what he’s programmed into the onboard computers (FMS-flight management system), and once in air, check against fuel loads en route to ensure they are close to on plan. When ATC changes everything, this plan sometimes goes out the window but there are other procedures for that.

Why would this DDOS attack matter?
The flight plans are created at an Operational Control Center for the airline (OCC or SOC or OC or AOCC) and have to be transmitted out. The system can have a few glitches at this point.

One: the flight plan has to be transmitted to a network so the gate agents or local airport operations can print the flight plan.

Two: The system simultaneously sends the flight plan to Tracon and their Flight Data department. Flight Data (FD) is trying to fix flight plans as they come in. They usually only have a five-minute window but they’ll need about 25 seconds because they kick ass. Then they kick the plans out to the sectors needing the CID strips.

(I forget what CID stands for, but if you’ve ever seen a Netflix documentary on airspace since the you’ve seen them. We’ve had those same stupid little paper strips stacked on ATC desks across America since the 1980s.)

Every time a flight plan is sent, FD does their best to move the strip on or kick it out if it’s junk (which sometimes happens apparently). A good FD department probably kicked out a few of the LOT Polish flight plans the hackers generated but it’s unlikely they figured out exactly what was happening until it was too late, and there’s a possibility the FAA/JAA (Federal Aviation Administration in US Joint Aviation Authorities in Europe) computers were overwhelmed at the same time.

So summary: Airline OCCs, the FAA/JAA computers or the staff might get overwhelmed, but none of these flight plans have made it to the pilots yet. The gate agent or operations staff at the airport for the airline are just confused why there are tens or hundreds of flight plans in their software for LOT Polish flight 001 to JFK or whereever.

And then there’s the delay. Even if LOT Polish sends the flight plan by fax after printing it out, the FAA/JAA has to be called by phone and each flight plan submitted by voice. If there are 100 flights going out that day and OCC responds immediately, you’re going to start losing time because the dispatchers will start getting behind on their planes ETA with each flight plan that must be submitted. It would be MAYHEM.

I had something similar happen when I was an aircraft dispatcher at JFK a decade ago. Except for us, the national power grid went down and JFK was the last sector to receive power some 45-55 hours after the event. It was a brutal couple days of running to the Port Authority General Aviation building across from JAL cargo who still had power (generators) and a working fax machine.

There isn’t a good way to get around this problem, flight planning systems like SABRE (my quick research shows at least some of LOT’s system is based off them) or especially LIDO (a Lufthansa system) are completely integrated airline operational systems which do everything from crew scheduling to flight planning to ticket sales (amazing). If you attack those you’ll probably shut down a whole airline for a day.

BUT BUT BUT, what about the planes in the air?
Nothing. We don’t use those systems in the air. The messaging system (SELCAL / ACARS) is sometimes sent by the company. Other groups, like ARINC or SITA, can get ahold of us too as a backup.

So besides passenger delay what WILL happen?
You’ll get a disgruntled pilot. Here’s why.

The dispatcher can call on a dedicated phone line the airline already pays for and tell them, “Tell LOT flight 26 that the First Officer needs to phone scheduling on the ground for a change to his schedule, the company ACARS is down for a while.”

Then the pilot in the front groans after reading the ACARS message and tells the Captain. If he gets junior manned again into a day off he’ll quit. OK, he won’t quit but he’ll be talking about it 10 years later because he didn’t have that 72 hour layover in NYC like he was bidding for to buy some fake Prada bags for his girlfriend, instead he’ll only get 36 hours and get business class back home or to Denver.

And that’s the worse case. A slightly entitled and disgruntled pilot says something mean about the company to another pilot once every two months for the next ten years.

In other news, malicious hackers suck.

Joe Pilot understands his experience with ATC and dispatch is limited compared to someone who is a working professional in either field. Comments clarifying (or correcting) are welcome but take it easy, I’m not trying to present myself as an authority on all of aviation.

DTNS 2521 – Google “Oh Sh** Button” 1.0

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont joins the show to talk about Google’s Unsend feature. Do humans have no impulse control? On the other hand is five seconds of delay even helpful?

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont

The Next Web reports Instagram has updated its app to let you find images by location. There’s also a tab called Explore in the US version that shows trending tags and features a curated selection of accounts, places and topics organized into collections. The update rolls out to Android and iOS today.

Continue reading DTNS 2521 – Google “Oh Sh** Button” 1.0

DTNS 2520 – Swift Justice

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comBreki Tomasson is on the show to talk about Taylor Swift’s ‘victory’ against Apple Music. Is Taylor Swift the Music Industry now? The Internet? Un unstoppable force that has already amassed too much power and become a queen terrible as the morning and the night?

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A special thanks to all our supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here or giving 5 cents a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests: Breki Tomasson

Google officially announced its new site called News Lab today. Tech Crunch reports that the goal of the program is to connect journalists with programs, data and other resources. There will be tutorials and tips on best practices when using Google products in reporting. The site will also showcase Google’s new media partnerships such as the YouTube newswire and other partnerships with Storify announced last week.

Continue reading DTNS 2520 – Swift Justice

DTNS 2519 – Always Use a Condiment

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is on the show to talk about Global Solution Networks. Awful management buzzword for NGOs or the key to solving world problems? Len Peralta is in to illustrate the show too. Be nice to him folks. He’s from Cleveland.

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guests:  Darren Kitchen, founder of hak5.org and Len Peralta, artist

The Next Web reports that Twitter is testing two new types of pages. First, dedicated pages for businesses where users can find information, images, related tweets and prices. And in great news for businesses, users can also buy products right from the app or web. The second page type is Collections, where you can aggregate products and places that might be of interest to your followers. So if you want to know what type of products Reese Witherspoon and William Shatner really love, this is your lucky day.

Continue reading DTNS 2519 – Always Use a Condiment

DTNS 2518 – 00000001 is the Loneliest Number

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young is on the show to talk about the many ways to save online journalism and how robots are stealing our hearts.

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines 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, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young

Headlines: 

Mark Gurman over at 9 to 5 Mac has some sources who say Apple’s plans for Apple Watch 2 include adding a video camera with FaceTime functionality, a new wireless system for greater iPhone independence and new ways to be more expensive (also known as premium options). Battery life on the other hand is expected to be the same as the current Apple Watch. Apple will likely release a full next gen Apple Watch next year, but the camera could be pushed to a future edition.

Continue reading DTNS 2518 – 00000001 is the Loneliest Number