Weekly Tech Views – Jan 30, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Another month comes to an end, but the Weekly Tech Views rolls on.

For the week of January 25 – 29, 2016…

But Do You “Like” Like It?
Facebook is adding companions to the Like button, called Reactions. You can now also choose from Ha-ha, Wow, Love, Sad, and Angry (which, coincidentally, is the outline for every reality show, ever). This is the second go-round at fame for these five reactions, who originally anticipated movie stardom years ago, before Disney’s Snow White and the Twelve Dwarfs ran into budget cuts.

As a warm up for the arrival of Reactions, how about a quiz? Which reaction would you choose for each of today’s Weekly Tech Views stories? Keep track, and we’ll see if you’ve gotten the hang of it at the end of this post. Good luck!

So You’re Saying People Buy Some Of The Stuff We Make?
Sony is merging Sony Computer Entertainment with their PlayStation businesses to form a new company called Sony Interactive Entertainment. The move doesn’t officially take effect until April 1, giving the company time to put the employees of the computer branch through an intensive eight-week program designed to acclimate them to the concept of being part of a profitable company.

And That’s Without The Pencil
Apple is recalling some wall plug adapters because, in rare cases, the adapter could break and cause a shock. Apple has not identified the degree of shock, but electricians estimate it could range from “shaking hands with someone on shag carpeting” to “learning the price of an iPad Pro.”

Tuesday, 6PM: Come And Knock On Our Door
Microsoft’s virtual personal assistant, Cortana, will soon be able to automatically create reminders for you, based on information in your emails and calendar. For more on this story, we take you to 1977 and an episode of Three’s Company

Stanley Roper: “So it’s going to constantly nag me to do something without me telling it to? You sure it’s not named Helen?”

(Mr. Roper spends a full ten seconds smiling a very self-satisfied smile directly into the camera)

Helen Roper: “Maybe if you had some initiative and did something on your own, I wouldn’t have to nag.”

Stanley: “I do plenty! I just fixed their sink!”

Chrissy: “It’s true. It looked like real good duct tape, too.”

Stanley: “Never mind that. (To Helen): “And what have you ever done on your own?”

(It’s Helen’s turn to stare at the camera, eyebrows arched, and the audience snickers, knowing damned well what’s coming)

Helen: “Believe me, I have to do something on my own every night.”

(Audience howls)

Stanley: “I wish you were Cortana so I could push your button to make you be quiet.”

Helen: “If you would push my buttons I’d let you call me Cortana or Wonder Woman or whatever you want!”

(Huge, ridiculously long laughter from the audience, during which Jack does three double-takes, a spit take, and falls over six separate pieces of furniture.)

Want Some Pants With Those Pockets?
Apple is rumored to be introducing a new phone in March, the iPhone 5se. It will be a return to the four-inch form factor, which comes as a blow to a fashion industry that was finally coming to grips with the needs of the 6 Plus. You can bet they are scrambling now at Oscar de la Renta, desperately trying to decide whether to go ahead with their Prodigious Pockets line of ladies evening wear.

C U L8R
There was an exodus at Twitter this week as the heads of Media, Product, Engineering, and Human Resources all left the company, just days before Twitter’s two-day leadership summit. Also, panels at the summit covering leadership in Media, Product, Engineering, and Human Resources have been cancelled due to irony.

Check It–A Triple Popcorn Combo!
Periscope is integrating with the GoPro Hero 4, allowing users to stream and record video through the app. I’m sure there will be plenty of X-Games types sharing adrenaline-fueled, death-defying exploits with live Periscope audiences. For viewers who think athletes performing back-to-back-double-cork-1260s off of 22-foot walls of ice are just showing off and would rather find some cultural use for this technology, you are welcome to check out our stream, where you get to see which snack my wife and I have chosen for each episode of Jessica Jones.

A Phone In The Hand Is Worth Hours Of Laughs
Microsoft is beta testing the Word Flow keyboard, which is designed to make one-handed typing more convenient. Finally, our national nightmare is over! No longer will I have to put down my hot wings in order to tweet that I’m enjoying hot wings! And I’ll have plenty to watch while tweeting and eating, with YouTube executives projecting–during just the first month of widespread Word Flow use–a 350% increase in “Texters Obliviously Walking Into A Large, Immovable Object” videos.

I Love The Smell Of Union Strife In The Morning
French taxi drivers took to the ring road around Paris and burned tires to protest Uber’s continued operation under different rules than those governing taxis. This was a stroke of strategic genius, because, as history has shown time and again, nothing unites a divided public behind your cause like filling their city and lungs with the world’s most toxic potpourri.

Live Lint Look-In
Facebook has made live streaming available in the U.S. to iPhone users. Friends will be notified that your video is available and the feature will allow unlimited replays of all videos, including what is sure to become the platform’s most frequent post, “Inside of Pants Pocket.”

Grab On To Something
Asian Uber competitor GrabTaxi is changing its name to simply Grab, because they are no longer just a taxi service. There is the private car service GrabCar, motorbike taxis GrabBike, delivery service GrabExpress, and carpooling GrabHitch. They have even made their first foray into the U.S., providing tourists donkey rides in the Grand Canyon via GrabAss…

[Bells ring, a marching band begins playing, confetti falls from the rafters…]

“I’m humbled to accept, on behalf of the Weekly Tech Views, this Low Hanging Fruit Award for making the 10,000th GrabAss joke in response to this story. I guess, contrary to the doomsaying of my high school guidance counselor, a sense of humor that stagnated at the seventh grade level is good for something. Bless you all.”

Facebook Reactions Quiz Answers:

They’re all Ha-Ha. If you didn’t answer Ha-Ha to all of them, you’re doing it wrong. You shouldn’t even be allowed near Facebook, since you’re obviously a liar looking to hurt people’s feelings. Not that I care what you think.*

* Also would have accepted Love.

Remember 2015? Of course not, nobody does. Oh, some of your finer colleges may offer history classes that cover it, but those cost thousands of dollars and require getting out of bed. Instead, for the next week (through February 6), you can relive that bygone year’s biggest tech stories and their accompanying severely flawed analysis for only 99 cents! That’s right, the Weekly Tech Views compilation The Internet is Like a Snowblower (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) is 67% off for one week!

That’s just half a cent per inaccuracy! You won’t find that kind of value outside of a presidential debate.

Amazon, here I come!

Snowblower Cover - Original - Final

Back next week with a special February issue that will be… pretty much like the January issues.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2677 – Point. Shoot. Take cash.

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMore major banks want to enable ATMNs to work with cell phones. Tom Merritt and Darren Kitchen discuss whether this is a good idea. Len Peralta is in to illustrate the episode.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2677 – Point. Shoot. Take cash.

DTNS 2676 – Your Vote Could Not Be Completed as Dialed.

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIs Microsoft the new Diebold? Microsoft partnered with InterKnowlogy to create a system to improve reporting of results from the Iowa Caucus this year, part of the US Presidential Election system. Justin Young and Tom Merritt discuss.

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Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2676 – Your Vote Could Not Be Completed as Dialed.

DTNS 2675 – Apple Falls Far From The Trend

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.com
Is Apple’s hot streak over? Tom Merritt Scott Johnson and Breki Tomasson discuss. Plus machine learning gets better at Go and recognizing things.

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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2675 – Apple Falls Far From The Trend

DTNS 2674 – Mule Fiber

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSony’s doubling down on video games and internet of things while French cab drivers burn tires to protest Uber. Plus Tom Merritt and Lamarr Wilson follow up with your thoughts on what Twitter is good for.

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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2674 – Mule Fiber

DTNS 2673 – Twitter Executives Migrate

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comThe Twitter executive exodus continues and the stock drops. Do you use it? 300+ million people do. Tom Merritt, Veronica Belmont, and Patrick Beja discuss whether Twitter is in trouble and what it’s good for anyway.

MP3


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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2673 – Twitter Executives Migrate

Weekly Tech Views – Jan 23, 2016

Untitled drawing (1)

Real tech stories. Really Shaky analysis.

January may be winding down, but it’s showing much of the country that it’s still got some fight in it. Many find themselves snowbound in their homes, unable to venture out for their usual forms of entertainment like plays, concerts, or new movies. Some may even find themselves resorting to reading a blog they never would have considered previously, due to sheer, utter boredom.

Welcome new readers!

For the week of January 18 – 22, 2016

A Word From Our Sponsor
Messaging app What’s App is dropping their ninety-nine cent yearly subscription fee and turning to “business to consumer communication” for revenue. I’ll understand if you pause reading to calculate your new early retirement date based on this eight cents per month windfall.

While many assume that “business to consumer communication” means “ads,” the company insists this isn’t the case. Said one marketing manager, “No, absolutely not. No ads. We, uh, do not want to degrade the user experience for our… our… 990 million customers… jeez, that’s almost a b-b-billion people… (starts sweating) do you know how much we could get for just a couple of tiny ads?… would anyone really be all that upset?… no, no; we said no ads, and we meant it… there are plenty of revenue stream options available… sure, ads would be the most efficient and lucrative method, but… (sweating increases, begins pacing) but since somebody apparently has some bug up their ass about not using ads like the rest of the civilized capitalist world–it sure wasn’t me, I’ll tell you that!–I guess we’ll run some bake sales and car washes like a high school glee club trying to pay for a trip to the regional finals in–aaaahhh I QUIT!”

Fine, Take Away My Access To Other Cultures
IBM has purchased the live streaming service UStream. A new cloud streaming unit will reportedly be created combining UStream and three other services. IBM’s involvement has naturally prompted industry analysts to ask, “How does this affect my ability to watch Japanese-dubbed versions of Ride Along 2 recorded off of some kid’s iPhone?”

Mom And Dad Really Did Know Best
Microsoft will recall power cords from the Surface Pro, Pro 2, and Pro 3 due to overheating concerns, heeding the advice our parents drummed into our heads throughout childhood: “If at first you don’t succeed, ignore the problem for two more iterations, but if people keep whining, I guess you’ll have to recall the damned things.

He Says He Can Do The Dance Scene, Too
Apple hired Doug Bowman, the former Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, who focuses on “three-dimensional user interface design.” In submitting his resume to Apple, one assumes he simply handed them the Ex Machina script.

They Probably Aren’t Interested In Our Thoughts On “Cheers,” Either
Facebook will be providing statistics to the Nielsen company showing how often users mention specific TV shows, the data to be incorporated into Nielsen’s new social TV ratings. My wife and I have been politely informed that our posts will be excluded, because “‘Can you believe what Walter White did? Breaking Bad is crazy!‘ two-and-a-half years after the show ended isn’t doing anybody any good.”

No Matter Who You Root For, We Can All Agree On This
Facebook is also introducing Facebook Sports Stadium, where you can follow major sporting events in real time, including stats, videos, and play-by-play. There will also be, of course, social interaction, with a tab containing experts’ posts and another with those of your friends. A fun third tab in the works will allow you, whether it’s a full count in the bottom of the ninth of the seventh game of the World Series or 15-love in the first game of the first match at Wimbledon, to post, in all your favorite colors and fonts, Boy, the Cleveland Browns sure suck, don’t they?

Cheap Shot Approaching
General Motors started a car-sharing service called Maven. A trial is being run in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where cars can be accessed for as low as $6/hour. Business immediately boomed, because Ann Arbor residents who previously lacked readily-available transportation options now have a convenient way to GET THE HELL OUT OF ANN ARBOR! (Ohio law requires that any mentions of the home of the Michigan Wolverines include at least one insult).

Wow, That Is A Lot
Google reported that they blocked 780 million ads last year that carried malware, were deceptive, or otherwise made for a poor user experience. If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around that 780 million number, think of it this way: that is nearly TWICE the number of Draft Kings or Fan Duel ads you hear in an hour of sports talk radio.

Or, The Phone Could Just Shut Down, If You Aren’t Into Cool Stuff
Elliptic Labs has created software called Beauty that uses sound waves, rather than current infrared sensors, to determine how far your phone is from your head, causing the display to dim when you are talking on the phone and not looking at it. This software solution is less expensive than infrared, and frees up space inside the phone, which finally allows for the long-awaited addition of a packet of quick-hardening gel that streams into the user’s ear when the software determines that the phone is at the side of their head while driving. This will temporarily deafen them, making talking on the phone while driving pointless. The remainder of the gel spreads over the phone’s screen, because it knows damned well that an ear canal plugged with gel is not going to get the message across to most people, who are just going to try to tweet a photo of their goo-filled ear.

And there we have another Weekly Tech Views. For you snowbound new readers–that was better than being out in the cold, shoveling, right?… Well, how about being out there without gloves or a hat?… Naked?… Come on, you’ve got to give me naked–things could freeze to other things.

Anyhow, thanks for reading. See you next week.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2672 – I like Big Brains and I Cannot Lie

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comEveryone’s excited and/or scared about artificial intelligence but should we be excited and/or scared about Intelligence Amplification instead? Tom Merritt and Darren Kitchen discuss while Len Peralta illustrates.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2672 – I like Big Brains and I Cannot Lie

DTNS 2671 – Botline Bling

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDo we want messaging to replace apps? Wired asks, and Justin Young and Tom Merritt try to answer.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Follow us on Soundcloud.

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

If you are willing to support the show or give as little as 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
To read the show notes in a separate page click here!
Continue reading DTNS 2671 – Botline Bling