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.”
“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.
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