Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.
Sure, wine- and gold-colored confetti is still floating in the air here in Cleveland like falling autumn leaves after the Cavaliers’ victory parade, but that doesn’t stop us from realizing what’s truly important… and why would it? CLEVELAND WON A CHAMPIONSHIP!
And tech stuff happened…
For the week of June 20 – 24, 2016…
Everything I Know About Physics I Learned From Looney Toons
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the Tesla Model S electric car will float well enough to serve as a boat “for a short period of time.” Pressed for details on just how long it would stay afloat, Musk tried to present a complicated physics explanation, but finally admitted that the company wasn’t sure why, but like a coyote running off a cliff in pursuit of a roadrunner, it works as long as you don’t look down.
And The Neighbor Didn’t Know!
Tumblr, though it does not provide a live video service of its own, has enabled users of services like YouTube to link their accounts to Tumblr to publish live videos. This is a classic use of the ol’ make-visitors-to-your-apartment-think-you-have-beer-by-cutting-out-the-back-of-your-refrigerator-and-the-back-of-your-neighbor’s-refrigerator-and-the-section-of-wall-between-the-refrigerators-so-you-can-reach-into-your-refrigerator-and-grab-a-beer-from-their-refrigerator ploy that worked so well in that sitcom that time.
Caches of Cash
Tencent is buying a majority stake in video game developer Supercell, maker of the wildly successful Clash of Clans. Supercell will join Riot Games, maker of wildly successful League of Legends in Tencent’s portfolio. I am now going to be a very rich man now that I have broken the code on Tencent’s strategy. It shouldn’t take long to crank out Teams of Titans, Guilds of Gods, and Worlds of Warcrafts (what? fine, Worlds of Wizards).(1)
Making America G-G-G-G-Great Again
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler released a proposal to identify high-band spectrum to be classified as 5G. While the chairman wouldn’t initially define what, exactly, 5G means, he did state that “if you thought 4G was good, 5G is just gonna knock your socks off. These are gonna be the best Gs you’ve ever seen. And you’ll absolutely love all five of them. I’m not ready to unveil my full 5G plan, but I’ve been around Gs all my life, and trust me, I can tell you that these are one hundred percent the greatest Gs ever, and they will be made right here in America!” Then putting on an ill-fitting baseball cap tearing off his Tom Wheeler mask, Donald Trump laughed maniacally and ran from the stage.
Sure, If You’re Going To Take The Word Of A Hundred Million People
Instagram has reached 500 million users, 300 million of which are active daily users. Which doesn’t surprise me given the number of negative comments I get each day on my selfies. I would think, however, that those numbers would translate in a wider variety of ways to say “your photo looks like crap.” At least among those I can understand. Because Facebook also announced that 80% of their users are outside the United States. Which makes it pretty exciting news that…
Apparently, Foreigners Love Me
Instagram is going to start translating captions and comments. It’ll be exciting to finally read the praise I’m getting for my photos from international users instead of relying on my wife to explain, in an unusually soothing tone, that, in their various languages, “mierda,” “merde,” and “skit” all mean “beautiful.”
Though If It Did Make A Mess, I Guess It Could Clean It Up
Boston Dynamics unveiled their newest robot dog–SpotMini. It’s a smaller version of their AlphaDog, weighing in 185 pounds lighter at 55 pounds. It is two feet tall, can run for 90 minutes between charges, and–the biggest selling point–is all electric, meaning no hydraulics. My experience with pets tells me that with a hydraulics-dependent dog we’d be finding puddles of fluid on every rug in the house.(2) And smacking it on the nose with a newspaper–a questionable disciplinary tactic to begin with–is just going to get me zapped by the laser beams that everyone knows all robots can shoot from their eyes.
And, with its ability to put glasses in a dishwasher and garbage in a bin, SpotMini is being touted as the first robot dog capable of cleaning your house, as if all of a sudden nobody remembers my putting a Snoopy mask on my Roomba.
If Only I Didn’t Have To Stand Up To Get To Burger King
During a sit-in at the House of Representatives, C-Span was prohibited from turning on their cameras, so Periscope and Facebook Live were used instead. You knew we were going to find a way to see this, because if there’s anything we Mac & Cheetos-eating(3) Americans like more than sitting it’s sitting while watching other people sit.
But I Know What It Looks Like
Amazon announced a new Kindle that is available in white. “Finally!” said thousands of ebook aficionados as they slipped the new device into its protective purple cover.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Lies. Really.
A photo of Mark Zuckerberg showed his laptop had a piece of tape covering the webcam, indicating he agrees with security company Symantec’s advice to “not do anything in front of a webcam that you wouldn’t want the world to see.” Of course not. That only makes sense. Also, I don’t always write the Weekly Tech Views in a torn pair of plaid boxers and a stadium mustard-stained ELO t-shirt. You know, if my camera turned on somehow and you saw someone you thought was me. Ha-ha! Of course it wasn’t! That was my assistant, Mitch, typing up my notes the last 49 weeks. What a slob, right? Does he ever eat anything besides nachos and energy drinks? Well, something with stadium mustard, apparently; that shirt didn’t stain itself. Stupid Mitch.
Intro To Stereotyping 101
A European Union proposal would have robots classified as “electronic persons” because 1) “Growing automation will require new frameworks for taxation and legal liability,” and 2) “C’mon, they have at least as much personality as an English butler.”(4)
To Each His Brony
Twitter bought London-based machine learning startup Magic Pony Technology, whose algorithms can upgrade low-resolution video using ordinary graphics cards. More importantly, this will definitely increase attendance at Magic Brony Con, where adult males can, unashamedly, dress up as their favorite compression algorithm or Magic Pony employee and discuss computational neuroscience or how cool it would be if there really were magic ponies, and where it is absolutely okay to be called Bronies, because, last time I checked, “Magic” is different than “My Little” SO YOU CAN KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE CEASE AND DESIST LETTERS, “SCOOTALOOHOO,” ESQ.!
Or I Could Learn Self-Contro-HaHaHaHaHa
Navigation app Waze is instituting a new feature that automatically bypasses complicated intersections–those with no traffic lights, a constant flow of cars, or limited visibility. The next update will hopefully incorporate avoidance of the much more dangerous areas where Burger King is selling Mac & Cheetos.
Don’t Care–Drones Are Cool
The Federal Aviation Administration made public a set of rules for drone use–operators must pass a knowledge test, maintain line of site with the drone, keep the flight below 400 feet, etc–known as “Part 107.” “Parts 1 – 106” are a bunch of stories from Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine predicting the destruction of the human race by sentient machines.
(1) Also, dibs on Mobs of Mages. And Realms of Runes. And Purges of Platoons and Fortress of Fairies and Juntas of Jesters… never mind, you can have Juntas of Jesters.
(2) Where “finding” (again, based on experience), means “stepping barefoot in.”
(3) A real thing. Deep-fried, Cheeto-dust-covered macaroni and cheese from Burger King.
(4) Probably didn’t help with the Brexit vote.
A mere $9 million out of second place when this issue of the CRUMDUM was written, Jennie and Tom edge ever-upward (Spoiler alert–the news is even better now. If you want to know immediately when the movie draft update is published–Wednesdayish–follow me on Twitter @MovieLeagueMike).
Or you can pick up the FIVE-STAR REVIEWED (by nearly THREE reviewers!) ebook The Internet is Like a Snowblower (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) for just $1.99. It’s available at Amazon and works on both the black and white Kindle! Or Kindle app, which doesn’t really have a color.