DTNS 2284 – Is that a store in your pocket…

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comThe Amazon Fire Phone is out tomorrow and Anthony Carboni is on the show to help us ask the question on everyone’s mind: why? Also a workers paradise is coming to Helsinki and robots may take over the Olympics.

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Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Anthony Carboni, of wehaveconcerns.com

Headlines

PC Mag among the folks reminding us that Apple’s public beta of OS X Yosemite begins tomorrow. The first 1 million people who signed up at applessed.apple.com will get a link to download the beta and be asked to submit feedback if/when they run into problems. Yosemite has been available to developers and will be finished and available to all later this autumn.

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DTNS 2283 – Amazon Wallet is a POS

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMolly Wood is on to talk about Amazon’s new wallet app, the future of payments, and possibly a tiny little patent rant.

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Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Molly Wood, of the paper of record! 

Headlines

Techcrunch reports Xiaomi announced a new phone called the Mi4 and a wearable called the Mi Band. The wristband device is a fitness tracker and can unlock your mi phone, coming in 5 colors and will sell for 79 renminbi or about US$13. The Mi4 has a metal band reminiscent of the iPhone with a 5-inch 1080p display 2.5GHz processor snapdragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage and a 3,080 mAh battery. It’s also the first model with LTE. TNW reports the Mi 4 will be available for CNY 1,999 (approximately $322) for the 16GB and CNY 2,499 (around $403) for the 64 GB. 3G versions come July 29 (China Unicom) and August (China Telecom), while the 4G version will land some time in September. 

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DTNS 2282 – Trust Us, We’re Apple

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMarques Brownlee is on the show today. We’ll touch on iOS backdoors, sapphire screens and opinions on the Tesla 3.

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Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Marques Brownlee, aka MKBHD, web video producer

Headlines

ZDNet reports Jonathan Zdziarski gave a talk at the HOPE/X conference Friday called “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices.” in which he did that. Zdziarski identified undocumented services that access user data with no reasonable explanation. He said, “Your device is almost always at risk of spilling all data, since it’s almost always authenticated, even while locked.” Even so, he wrote on his blog “DON’T PANIC,” noting that these are not security vulnerabilities. He wants Apple to explain and disclose the services and correct the problem. He wrote on his blog, “I want these services off my phone. They don’t belong there.”

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DTNS 2281 – Sane Plane Game

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is back and we’ve got a well-reasoned arguments why low-flying drones could cause serious problems. Also a stolen ID database that sort of doxxes hackers and normals alike, and Kindle’s devious all-you-can-eat ebook service. And Len Peralta illustrates something out of that gumbo of tech news.

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Show Notes

Kind of ‘free,’ but not really: Engadget reports The European Commission says Google is responding to its request to change how in-app purchases are handled, but Apple is not. At the end of September, Google will no longer use the word “free” to describe games that have in-app purchases and will guide apps not to encourage children to buy things in-app. Apple already implements alerts warning of in-app purchases and other parental controls as well as a kids section of the app store but has not responded to the EC with new strategies. habichuelacondulce and spsheridan submitted this topic on the subreddit.

But do they carry “50 Shades of Grey”? The test pages must have worked, since Engadget reports Amazon has officially launched Kindle Unlimited, an all-you-can read ebook subscription service for $9.99 a month. The service claims to have more than 600,000 books and thousands of audio books. Not all books from major publishers are part of the service, but big names like “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Hunger Games” are among those that are. Independent publishers must agree not to sell their ebooks anywhere but Amazon in order to be part of the service. spsheridan and MANAGEMIKE submitted this topic on the subreddit.

It’s 10 inches, I swear: GigaOm reports Lenovo announced it will no longer sell Windows-based tablets in North America if they’re smaller than 10 inches. Remaining stock will be diverted to countries where demand is higher including Brazil, China, and Japan. Lenovo will continue to sell smaller Android-based tablets int he North American market.

Bitcoins accepted here: The Next Web reports Dell will start accepting bitcoin for all items sold on Dell.com to U.S. customers. If the pilot program goes well, the company may consider expanding it internationally. Bitcoin payment processor Coinbase will power the payment process.

Dude, where’s my password? TechCrunch reports on a new search engine called Indexeus, which searches databases of stolen names and passwords. Interestingly, the databases not only include stolen data from big targets like Yahoo and Adobe, but also smaller sites, including some forums where attackers discuss stealing user names and passwords. Brian Krebs tracked down the creator of the index, Jason Relinquo from Lisbon, Portugal. The site charges Bitcoins for various features, though it now allows requests for removal of information for free.

News From You: 

KAPT_Kipper posted the TechCrunch story that the FCC has received more than 1 million comments from the public regarding its proposed Open Internet Guidelines. The comments range from form letters from people like Joe McTrusty to long pleas from groups like Public Knowledge and businesses like AT&T. After tonight the process moves into the stage that allows the public to respond to comments from the first period. 

normgregory submitted the CNET story that PC Advisor thinks Amazon is about to release an Amazon Prime Instant Video app for Android and if that isn’t rumory enough for you it could feature 4K resolution. Because reasons! Amazon has an iPad and Kindle Fire app for Amazon Instant Video but only some rather inconvenient workarounds can get it streaming in a browser on Android. Amazon’s Fire phone is due out July 25 which makes CNET’s Scott Webster think that might be the day for a new Android app too.  

Johnsie776 and Galcyon both submitted the story from yesterday that Level 3 believes Verizon implicated themselves in their chart accusing Netflix of being at fault for their own streaming problems. In a continuation of negotiation of business contracts by public press release, Level 3 points out that Verizon admits its interconnection is at capacity and Level 3 magnanimously offers to pay for the equipment to upgrade it, although they less magnanimously did not offer to change their peering arrangement based on the decidedly different ratio of traffic that would be involved. Listen people, I’m not a network engineer. But from what I understand Verizon, Level 3 and Netflix all three are undergoing a rather normal peering negotiation involving a change in forecasted traffic. The only difference in this case vs thousands of previous negotiation carried out by sites like Google, Facebook and more is that its being carried out in public and therefore not being carried out as politely. But it’s all about these companies trying to get the best deal. None of them will share any of the money with you if they win.

Pick of the Day: Scientific American via Tom 

 

DTNS 2280 – Finnish Him!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comBreki Tomasson joins us to talk about Microsoft’s Satya Nadella swinging the ax at Nokia X Android phones, Xbox Entertainment Studios and 18,000 employees.

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

Show Notes

Conscious uncoupling: Microsoft announced it will reduce staff by up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, approximately 14% of its staff. 12,500 of the reductions will come in the newly acquired Nokia Handset division. Microsoft also told employees it will shift all non-Windows Phone operating system phones into maintenance phones, including Asha, S40 and Android-based Nokia X phones. Future phones will all run Windows Phone OS. Microsoft will also shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios which was making original content for the Xbox. It appears this will not affect the Halo series.

But I’m FAMOUS: Re/Code reports Facebook has a new app called ‘Mentions,’ exclusively for the use of verified public figures to make it easier to post publicly on Facebook and see what folks are saying about them. Facebook estimates tens of thousands of users will qualify to use mentions.

Don’t you/forget about me/ … uh, wait: Marketwatch reports a coalition of European privacy agencies have invited Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to a meeting next Thursday in Brussels to discuss implementation of the “right to be forgotten” rules. Microsoft began implementing removal requests in its Bing search engine today. Google has taken some criticism over how it has implemented the policy, which allows individuals to request search results that are no longer relevant to be removed from search indexes.

Let’s go shopping! The Next Web Facebook also announced today it is testing a “Buy” button in your Facebook news feed, in cooperation with a few small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. The button allows users to make purchases without leaving Facebook. Payment information will not be shared and users can choose whether to save the info for future purchases or not. 

Oh, by the way … : Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Michael Riley has an in-depth report of how attackers, suspected of being from Russia, used two zero-day vulnerabilities to gain entry to the NASDAQ Stock Market in 2010, harvest an unknown amount of data and plant destructive malware. NASDAQ announced the infiltration in a brief statement on Feb. 5 2010, but downplayed the extent and significance of it. 

Rabbit ears are back: GigaOm has a story on a startup called GoTenna that’s creating a 6-inch long, baton-like device that can connect iOS and Android phones to each other even in places without cellular or WiFi coverage. The GoTenna connects with phones by BlueTooth and with other batons using peer to peer over 151-154 MHz. Its low bandwidth, but long range, makes it excellent for GPS and text messages. GoTenna is taking preorders today for $150 for a pair of devices and expects to ship this autumn.

Pow! Straight to the moon! The Verge reports the United Arab Emirates is establishing an official space agency with the goal of sending an un-crewed spaceship to Mars by 2021. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, says the UAE has already invested 20 billion dirham ($5.4 billion) in space technologies, primarily satellites. He wrote on Twitter, “given the right tools, Arabs, once again, can deliver new scientific contributions to humanity.”

Apples doubles down in Asia: Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports Apple has enlisted FPT Corp, Vietnam’s biggest listed information and communication technology company, to open retail outlets in major cities in the country as part of a push to top Samsung in one of the fastest-growing markets in Asia. Sales of iPhones in Vietnam soared 262 percent in Apple’s fiscal first half ended March 29.

That time of year again: Google reported its Q2 earnings. Analysts expected Google to have net revenue of $12.3 billion and earning per share of $6.25. Google ACTUALLY reported revenue of $15.96 billion up 22% and earnings per share of $6.08. Paid clicks advanced 25% on a year-over-year basis, or 2% on a sequential quarter basis. Cost per click slid 6% year-over-year. 

More Q news: IBM reported its second-quarter earnings climbed 28%, helped by its restructuring moves, while the computing and tech giant also reported its ninth-consecutive quarter of lower revenue.

Whitman replaces Whitworth: HP’s Board of Directors has appointed Meg Whitman to the chairman’s spot following the departure of Ralph Whitworth earlier this week. Whitman was already serving as president and CEO of HP. HP also moved current director Pat Russo to lead independent director and appointed Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive and chairman of Alcoa, to the company’s board, bringing the total number of board members to 12.

News From You: 

AllanAV submitted the EFF post regarding an amendment in the US Congress introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn that would stop the FCC from nullifying state laws that prevent cities and towns from creating their own Internet service. Blackburn received $10,000 from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association this year and last year, according to OpenSecrets.org. She received $12,500 in contributions from Verizon, $10,000 from AT&T, $7,500 from Comcast, and $7,000 from representatives of Time Warner Cable. A roll call vote on Representative Blackburn’s amendment was postponed.

Melchizedek74 posted the Android Central story about DirectTV offering NFL Sunday Ticket to US residents even without a separate television subscription, seemingly a dream for cord-cutting football fans. PC Mag points out it will only be available to those who live in an apartment where DirecTV is not accessible, attend one of a handful of universities, or reside in New York City, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. It also starts at $200 for the season.

And the_big_endian pointed out the CNBC article that the US Copyright Office told Aereo it does not consider it a cable company and would not support its claim to deserve a compulsory license for rebroadcasting TV. “In the view of the Copyright Office, internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license.”

Discussion Section Links: Microsoft Job Cuts

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/07/microsoft-job-cuts-far-worse-than-rumored-could-reach-18000/

http://recode.net/2014/07/17/microsoft-to-shut-down-xbox-entertainment-studios/

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-discontinue-nokia-asha-and-s40-feature-phones-7000031731/

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-nokias-android-x2-experiment-ends-enter-windows-phone-7000031723/

http://www.bgr.in/manufacturers/nokia/microsoft-to-abandon-mobile-phones-x-series-android-smartphones-internal-jo-harlow-memo/#more-318384

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/17/5912289/microsoft-kills-feature-phones-in-favor-of-windows-phone

http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/17/microsoft-details-coming-hardware-shakeup-including-changes-to-its-design-and-manufacturing-assets/?ncid=rss

Pick of the Day: Dark Sky via David Wilke

I’d recommend the iOS app Dark Sky. There are a million weather apps out there and most of them try to out do the other based on design. Dark sky out does the others because it’s accurate. Here’s the deal….it is nearly 100% accurate to the minute as to whether(no pun intended) it’s going to rain or not based on your geo-location….and…it tells you how hard it’s going to rain (drizzle, light, heavy, etc). How is that valuable you ask? Well, whenever I’m at the beach or pool, I know exactly if I should just ride it out or pack it up and head in…..or…if I’m on the golf course…same thing…will it be done in 10 min? Is it a drizzle for the next hour so I can continue my golf game? Dark Sky is the best value I’ve received for an app bar none (I think it’s $3.99 or 1 gallon of gas).

 

 

DTNS 2279 – Tesla Sells S3X

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNicole Lee joins us to chat about G+ reversing the real name policy and where this weird social network fits in the landscape of the Internet. Also more on IBM and Apple making friends.

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

Show Notes

Read more here! Just kidding. GigaOm reports Amazon had some test pages up describing an all-you-can-read book subscription service called Kindle Unlimited. The pages listed the service as $10 a month with access to 600,000 ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. The pages have since been taken down. 

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DTNS 2278 – iBM

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAnnie Gaus is on the show and we’ll talk about what Comcast’s customer service rep. call means in the light of monopolies and net neutrality. Plus a little insight into the Uber and Lyft fights, and IBM and Apple partner up.

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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:  Annie Gaus, technology journalist

Headlines

Bug hunters unite: GigaOm reports Google’s Chris Evans announced Project Zero today, a team of security pros hired by Google to look for vulnerabilities in non-Google software. Any software depended on by a lot of people is fair game. Ben Hawkes, Tavis Ormandy and Brit Ian are apparently on the team, and GeoHotz is the first intern, but they’re also hiring.

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DTNS 2277 – Virtual Personal Netflix

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPeter Wells joins us from Australia, and therefore the future, to talk about how Netflix became the second most popular streaming service in Australia without ever launching there.

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

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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:  Peter Wells of Reckoner, Australia

Headlines

Problems with the phablet? Apple Insider passes along info from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s note that says Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone is still expected to debut in the autumn, but a larger 5.5-inch iPhone will not come until later. Kuo says Apple is working out the kinks in the device’s in-cell touch panel, as well as color unevenness on the next iPhone’s metal casing. Kuo also expects that Apple will debut a new Apple TV set-top box this fall with motion controls and potentially support for a third-party App Store. 

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DTNS 2276 – Amazon to Hone Drones in Test Zones?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAshley Esqueda is on the show today. We’ll talk about Amazon’s plea to let them test their shipping drones. I guess they were serious! Len Peralta is also along to illustrate the show.

MP3

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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!

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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:  Ashley Esqueda, host of Tomorrow Daily on cnet.com and Len Peralta of the arts

Headlines

GigaOm passes along that Chinese state broadcaster CCTV claims iPhone are a threat to national security because of tracking. iOS7 has a frequent Locations function that learns where users frequently visit in order to provide location-based information. The function can be turned off. Apple has about 6% of the market in China. 

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DTNS 2275 – Give Us Our Duck Rights

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTodd Whitehead is on the show to comb through the buzzword bing that was Satya Nadella’s new vision for Microsoft. Who do they want to be?

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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 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

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published an email memo to his employees on the company website today, laying out his vision for all to see. The 3100 word manifesto claims Microsoft is no longer so much about devices and services as it is about productivity and platform. Nadella used the word productivity 20 times in the memo. One notable exception to the productivity push was the Xbox. Nadella said Microsoft would “continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox.” He also showed his literary bent quoting Nietzsche and Rilke.

9to5 Google reports the US FTC announced it is filing a complaint against Amazon, alleging that children can buy things in apps without parental consent. Amazon changed its in-app purchase policy last month but the commission wants full refunds for affected parents and a court order forcing Amazon to continue to get permission before in-app purchases. Apple settled with the FTC over similar issues earlier this year. 

TechCrunch reports Amazon is launching a secure enterprise storage service called Zocalo in limited preview today. Amazon says the service lets users “store, share, and gather feedback on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, webpages, images, PDFs, or text files – from the device of their choice.” Pricing is $5 per user per month, which includes 200 GB of storage for each user. Amazon Workspaces customers get Zocalo for free but at 50 GB a user. 200GB per user costs an extra $2 a month for those customers. 

LinkedIn may be retiring its Contacts app, but TechCrunch reports they’ve launched a new replacement called LinkedIn Connected. More than just a contacts manager, the new app will try to alert you to information about your contacts that you need to know, such as profile updates, job changes, birthdays and more. The new app will only be available in English speaking countries and on iOS for now, though Android is on the way. 

TechCrunch reports on a new app for Google Glass called MindRDR. It works in conjunction with the Neurosky EGG biosensor, to read brainwaves. The app translates the brainwaves into a meter you see in glass. Focus hard enough to lift the meter and a picture is taken. Focus harder and the picture is Tweeted. It’s a small start— TO MIND CONTROL! Neurosky retails for £71 in the UK.

Reuters reports Google services are working again in China more than a month after maps, email and other functions were blocked. The disruption began int he run-up to the 25th anniversary of demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Line, KakaoTalk, Flickr and OneDrive also began experiencing disruption in China last week.

MANY of you, including normgregory and KAPT_Kipper on the subreddit pointed out the Aereo letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan which argues since the US Supreme Court ruled Aereo has an “overhwelming likeness to the cable comanies” Aereo should get to benefit from their legal protections. Specifically Aereo would like to be allowed to pay the compulsory license fee set up for cable companies in Section 111 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Broadcasters told the court they found this request “astonishing,” but they really have nothing to worry about. The 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act provides the broadcasters the right to demand Retransmission consent which they can charge for. Most likely they could just charge Aereo more than it could afford and be done with them. However the broadcasters don’t want a precedent set that a cable company operating over the Internet is the same as one operating over traditional cables. 

The Next Web reports The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman confirmed that Elon Musk has pledged to donate $1 million toward Inman’s effort to turn Nikola Tesla’s former laboratory into a museum. Tesla will also construct a supercharging station for Tesla cars in the museum’s parking lot. Today is also Nikola Tesla’s birthday. He is 158.

News from You:

KAPT_Kipper submitted the GeekWire report on Microsoft Bing’s preternatural ability to predict the World Cup Soccer results. Bing has predicted every one of the 14 knockout round matches correctly. It only got 60% of the group matches right. Bing uses data like team records, strength of schedule, margin of victory in past matches, home field advantage, weather and playing surface among others. It predicts Germany will beat Argentina in the final.

fja sent in the BBC story that emergency legislation will be brought in next week in the UK to force phone and Internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use. A recent ruling of the European Court of Justice has removed the obligation on telecoms companies to retain records of when and who their customers have called, texted and emailed. The three major parties in the UK all agree that the data needs to be retained to aid law enforcement. The emergency legislation will not extend previous rights and will create a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as well require transparency reports.

jcsheffield posted the Wired story about research published in the journal Nature today describing the first steps toward creating a new type of ultrathin, superfast, low-power, high-resolution, flexible color screen. The displays use phase-change materials that change between crystal and disordered glass in response to a current. The material, known as GST can be layered on mylar to create a flexible screen. As usual it will be years and hundreds of millions of dollars before you can buy contact lenses made of the stuff, but hey, someday!

Discussion Section Links:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/ceo/index.html

http://recode.net/2014/07/10/five-takeaways-satya-nadellas-future-of-microsoft-memo/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/10/us-microsoft-xbox-idUSKBN0FF1O520140710?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

Pick of the day: Waze! via Jennie

Now I’ve recommended Waze to you before, but yesterday Jennie was driving down from Connecticut to New York City at 10:30pm at night and ran into terrible stand still traffic. Her Apple map program had nothing to say about this, so she opened up Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app. Jennie discovered that due to construction, I-95 was down to ONE LANE. She says there was something very comforting about knowing that ten Waze-rs were ahead of her in the jam, showing her exactly where the crunch began and ended. Armed with their knowledge, Jennie was able to exit I-95 and drive the streets of Stamford, CT for a mile and a half, then get back on the highway post-construction and cruise on home to New York City. So thanks Waze!