Weekly Tech Views – April 9, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

If this edition of the Weekly Tech Views makes even less sense than usual, blame today’s visit to the dentist. It was just a cleaning, but their unexpected change of rinse from Cool Mint Listerine to Original Mint Scope really threw me.

For the week of April 4 – 8, 2016…

How Much For Netscape?
Verizon is apparently going to make a bid to obtain Yahoo’s Web business. Already the owner of AOL, Verizon anticipates, if all goes according to plan, to dominate not only the telecommunication business, but the 1998 internet.

With A Special Appearance By The Follow-At-A-Safe-Distance Warrior!
The European Truck Platooning Challenge came to an end Wednesday as a dozen self-driving semi trucks completed travels across Europe and arrived in Rotterdam. As you can imagine, this event, like any involving a significant number of large trucks, was heavily advertised.

“WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! IF YOU THOUGHT MONSTER TRUCKS WERE BIG, YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET! GET ON DOWN TO APM TERMINALS AND WATCH A DOZEN 18-WHEELERS BARRELL INTO ROTTERDAM AT PRECISELY THE SPEED LIMIT! OH, BIGFOOT AND GRAVEDIGGER MIGHT CRUSH CARS, BUT THESE FREIGHT HAULERS ARE CRUSHING HIGHWAY CONGESTION! YOU’LL WATCH IN STUNNED AWE AS THE WI-FI GUIDANCE SYSTEM KEEPS THEM RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR LANE, ALLOWING NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY TO HAPPEN! WEDNESDAY! WE’LL SELL YOU THE WHOLE SEAT, BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE!

Get Ripped In Just 50 Texts Per Day!
Huawei (pronounced Hua-wei) introduced two phones this week, the P9 and P9 Plus. They offer high-end specs in slim, lightweight form factors, each weighing less than six ounces. Less publicized is their alternative device–developed in concert with fitness guru Tony Horton–for users who are looking for the functionality of the P9 line, “but aren’t sissies”–the fifteen-pound P90X Plus.

Just Page Me
The FBI has briefed Senator Diane Feinstein on how they accessed the data on the iPhone used in the San Bernadino terrorism case. In other news, every one of Diane Feinstein’s family members and acquaintances “lost” their phone yesterday.

The More Things Change, The More They Ruin Our Dreams
The FBI Director stated that the method used to finally unlock the San Bernadino iPhone 5c without Apple’s help will not work on the iPhone 5s or newer. Which, of course, makes sense. Things change. I had an amazing reverse two-handed dunk on the Playskool basketball hoop I had when I was six, but the same technique didn’t fly when I “advanced” to a regulation ten-foot hoop. I, for one, will not blame the FBI if, years from now, it digs out the old 5c and throws down some awesome hacks for old times sake.

Step Up Your Game, Thailand
Messaging app Line may have run into some trouble in Thailand. One of its users created a set of stickers that mocks the royal family, and Line didn’t catch it. Well, who doesn’t mock their leadership a little, right? The correct answer is Thai citizens. Not without some fallout, anyhow. It is against the law to insult the monarchy, with punishment ranging up to 15 years in prison. This sounds harsh, but will look tame when President Trump institutes his own “no insulting the monarchy law” (no, the presidency is not a monarchy, but if Mr. Trump likes the way something sounds, he tends to run with it), where offenders who, say, create an unflattering image of the president on their Miitomo app, will scrub clean a stained section of the ten-foot Mexican border wall and turn around to face a firing squad, giving the next offender something to clean. *

Let Me Twist That Knife A Bit
The new Tesla Model 3 electric car was preordered a phenomenal 276,000 times in just three days. Not surprisingly, the amazing success has prompted a new competitor to enter the market. The Edison Model 1 will be pretty much the same as the Tesla, but is expected to be remembered by historians as the very first electric car.

Relax, I Didn’t Even Have A Girlfriend In 11th Grade
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, riding high on those huge Model 3 preorders, further stoked anticipation by saying the steering controls would “feel like a spaceship.” Easy to claim, since almost none of us know what the controls of a spaceship feel like. Comparisons are more effective if a large number of people have experienced the alternative, like “a high-end joystick” or “my girlfriend in eleventh grade.”

Guys, Could You Not Be A-Holes, If It’s Not Too Much Trouble?
The Federal Communications Commission, in an effort to help consumers understand the terms they are agreeing to with internet service providers, issued non-mandatory guidelines for ISPs to spell out things like prices, data caps, overage charges, and speed. Finally! Nothing says “get your act together!” like non-mandatory guidelines. I remember as a kid, when my brothers and I would be teasing my sister, hiding her Shaun Cassidy album,** nothing got us back in line quicker than Mom dropping the hammer with one of her non-mandatory guidelines rants:

“YOU GUYS THINK IT’S A BIG JOKE TO TEASE YOUR SISTER LIKE THIS, BUT IT’S NOT! IT’S NOT HURTING YOU ANY TO HEAR HER MUSIC, AND I WANT YOU TO GIVE HER BACK HER RECORD RIGHT NOW! THAT’S HER PROPERTY, AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TOUCH IT! JUST REMEMBER, THIS IS A SUGGESTION ON MY PART! I’M NOT MANDATING HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE YOUR LIFE; YOU’RE FREE TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS! THIS IS A GUIDELINE! IT’S COMPLETELY UP TO YOU WHETHER YOU DO THIS OR NOT! THERE WILL BE NO CONSEQUENCES OR REPERCUSSIONS, REGARDLESS OF YOUR DECISION! NOW GO ON AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT!”

Let me tell you, that, combined with Dad reaching for his belt, was really effective.

 

*   That got dark, didn’t it?

** You can’t blame us for that. Nobody should be subjected to Da Doo Ron Ron twelve times in a lifetime, let alone an afternoon.

 

Want to keep following Team DTNS’s progress in the Night Attack Summer Movie Draft? Sure, I use the term “progress” loosely, because none of Tom and Jennie’s movies are out yet, but other stuff happened. You can check in on the CRUMDUM… HERE.

That’s another week of tech news battered beyond recognition. Now I have a stern non-mandatory guideline letter to work on for my dentist.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2731 – Kill this Bill

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIs Brave’s plan to replace ads in the browser and share revenue with publishers AND surfers Brave? or crazy? Shannon Morse and Tom Merritt discuss while +Len Peralta illustrates!

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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 2731 – Kill this Bill

DTNS 2730 – Yahoo! – Japan not included

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comFacebook isn’t Facebook anymore. It’s Oculus and WhatsApp and more. It looks like a 1980s conglomerate. Google split up into slices and now Verizon is possibly adding Yahoo to its collection. Justin Young and Tom Merritt discuss if decentralization is the new pivot for the big dogs.

MP3


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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 2730 – Yahoo! – Japan not included

DTNS 2729 – Vivaldi makes your browsing sing

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comFacebook’s adding lots of Periscope-like features to its live streaming function. Why is live casual video getting so much attention? Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt discuss.

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 2729 – Vivaldi makes your browsing sing

DTNS 2728 – Twitter Scored a Touchdown

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTwitter is ready for some football. Live. On Streaming video. On Twitter. Most Thursdays this fall. Why? Tom Merritt and Patrick Beja discuss.

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 2728 – Twitter Scored a Touchdown

DTNS 2727 – Nobody’s touching contactless payments

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDepending on the source contactless payments like Apple Pay are skyrocketing or unused. Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about what they’ve seen, including veronica’s attempt to replace her wallet with her phone for a day.

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 2727 – Nobody’s touching contactless payments

Weekly Tech Views – April 2, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

We’ve made it to April, and the top tech question here in northern Ohio, is, of course, “Where can I get a VR headset? Any VR headset? Just please let me forget it’s still snowing.”

For the week of March 28 – April 1, 2016

 The Upgrade Bug–Catch It!
It’s been reported that some users of older iPhones, after updating to iOS 9.3, encountered a bug in which they were asked to enter their Apple ID, and if they couldn’t do so were denied access to the device. After three incorrect attempts a notification appears reading “Probably easier to just buy a shiny new iPhone SE, huh? You know you want one. Or how about a 6s? This is the perfect excuse, right? What’s your penny-pinching spouse going to say? You have to have a phone, and the FBI couldn’t make us unlock one for them; what can you do?”

I Don’t Understand, It Goes With Anything
Microsoft announced there will be a Windows 10 “anniversary” update this summer. Great. Another anniversary to remember. Let me guess–they aren’t going to be happy with a Weekly Tech Views t-shirt, either, are they?

You Can’t Get Anything Good For 99 Cents Anymore
Amazon is banning cheap USB-C cables after a Google engineer’s Chromebook Pixel was fried when using one. It’s certainly disillusioning, because one of the last things I had faith in was 5-star “most best cabel of usbc I have used of myself” reviews.

One More Office Pool For Mindy In Payroll To Win
While the Department of Justice has dropped their case to require Apple to help them break into a terrorist’s phone, the iPhone maker has probably not seen the last of the DOJ’s attorneys. The American Civil Liberties Union has found 64 more cases in which the DOJ has filed orders to have Apple or Google unlock phones.

Hearing this, marketing department executives at Apple and Google looked at each other and said, “Did they just say 64?” Moments later, they had whited-out their own failed March Madness brackets and distributed the phones in question across the four regions, promising that the winning device would, in fact, be unlocked, with the tournament champion determined by a combination of votes by DOJ employees–live-streamed via YouTube–and those of a worldwide viewing audience.

The number one overall seed, a Galaxy S7 Edge owned by Florida drug kingpin Russ “Don’t Call Me Rusty” Tee, should have no problem marching through the Southeast Region, where, surprisingly, its stiffest competition may come in the third round from the controversial #4 seed, a Louisiana iPhone 5s suspected of containing a pirated copy of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Then it’s a simple matter of turning the phone over to Apple or Google to let them do their jobs, right? Wrong! The device will then be presented to ten teams of hackers, each paired with a “celebrity” Apple or Google programmer, who will race to access the critical piece of evidence–with potential national security implications–while also hoping to find love, in a 13-episode run of Hacked Off!, a Syfy original (airing Wednesdays at 10pm, immediately after Face Off).

More Like Rice-A-Phony, Am I Right? *
There’s a new smart rice cooker on the market called the MIJIA Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, which takes longer to say than to cook the microwaveable rice I eat. It sounds impressive–adjust the softness of your rice from an app, gets heating instructions by scanning the packaging of over 200 brands of rice–until you get to the part about it having 2,450 heating methods. Why did they have to undermine their credibility by making such a ridiculous claim? There are, at maximum, five ways to cook rice, and that includes strapping one of those aforementioned microvaveable bags under your arm while putting in 45 minutes on the treadmill.

I Think It’s The Spring Prints That Add Bulk
Amazon now has over a hundred brands making use of their Dash buttons, a button customers can push to automatically reorder an item. Convenient I suppose, but if you’re having some friends over, and those friends are apt to have a few drinks, April Fool’s Day is not the time to install them. Do you know how much space is taken up by 200 rolls of Bounty Two-Ply Spring Prints paper towels?

Also, This Section Of The Site Is Down For Maintenance 6AM-Midnight
A proposed California law would require internet service providers to let customers cancel their service online if they allow them to sign up that way. “No problem,” said ISPs. “Just go to Help – Clientele Facilitation – Account Term Modification – Prolongation/Abbreviation – Suspension/Termination – Have You Considered Our Current Deals? – I Mean Have You Actually Read Them And Evaluated The Benefits Of Staying With Us? – Maybe If You Called We Could Explain It To You Better – Okay, If You Won’t Listen To Reason Click Here and your service will be discontinued within 24 hours of completing the 150-question ‘Why I’m Leaving’ survey.”

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Curse Words
Instagram is apparently on the verge of rolling out an algorithmically-ordered feed. Nobody has seen the result of this yet, but that didn’t stop the internet from shouting, “I hate it, I hate it!”, and then stomping down the hall and slamming the door to its room.

But How Will He Know Classes Are Starting At The Local Community College?
Pandora made a change at CEO, with founder Tim Westergren reassuming the position he held over a decade ago. Departing CEO Brian McAndrews said not only was his severance package fair, but declared the one-time fifty dollar fee well worth not having to hear a couple commercials every six minutes during his exit interview.

 

* In case you’re new to this blog, the answer is, “No. No you are not.”

 

And now for something having nothing at all to do with tech…

Did you know Tom and Jennie have teamed up to compete in a fantasy movie league? Would you like to follow their progress? Are you willing to read more of my writing? Ahh–went one too far, didn’t I?

Well, if you’d like to see Team DTNS gun for the Night Attack Summer Movie Draft championship, here are links to the first two weekly CRUMDUMs (Chatrealmer’s Ridiculously Unofficial Movie Draft Update Memo).

2016 Summer Movie Draft Preview

2016 Summer Movie Draft Week 1

And you can follow me on Twitter to know when each week’s update goes up:

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike (so that’s why he calls himself that)

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

DTNS 2726 – Privacy isn’t over until the Fat Canary dies

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comA statement that Reddit had never received a national security letter disappeared from their latest transparency report. Is the canary dead? Darren Kitchen and Tom Merritt 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 2726 – Privacy isn’t over until the Fat Canary dies