Weekly Tech Views (The Tech – No Logic Blog) – July 2, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

The Declaration of Independence was supposed to include a heartfelt explanation of the virtues of reading corrupted tech news on a weekly basis and how that was really the foundation of our newly-gained freedom, but those stupid feathers-dipped-in-ink or whatever the hell Thomas Jefferson wrote with back then kept drying out and there was a bunch of crap to do around Monticello that weekend, so it got left out.

Still, you can live up to the spirit of the document by reading this Weekly Tech Views. And every Weekly Tech Views. It’s why the Revolution was fought.

 

Would You Like “News,” “Images,” Or “Videos” Results For “Under-Reported Taxes”?
An investigation into suspected tax evasion resulted in Spanish authorities raiding Google’s Madrid office.

“What are you doing here?” demanded a Google executive.

An officer shouted, “We’re here to initiate a search,” and everyone had a hearty laugh.

N Is For “No Kidding”
Android N will officially be known as Nougat. This means that of the 2,864,017 entries in the hotly-contested Guess the Android Name contest, the winner was… well, pretty much everyone. Except for a handful of Nutellas, Nut Rolls, and one Norm.

Number Two In Your Periodic Table, But Number One In Your Heart
Helium, used to cool MRI scanners, rockets, and the Large Hadron Collider, has been diminishing in supply worldwide, but geologists in Tanzania have found 54 billion cubic feet of the gas, enough to cool 1.2 million MRI scanners. The geologists claim to have used “a new technique to search for helium,” but their hesitance to provide details and the furtive glances they gave each other makes one suspect the technique was actually the Jed Clampett method of “shooting at some food, when up from the ground came a hissing inert gas.” Anyhow, the team also solved the centuries-old mystery of the “Tanzanian East African Rift Valley squeaky-talkers.”

So All You Balloon Owners Looking For Some Extra Cash…
Uber is on the verge of launching UberBalloon. While hailing a balloon ride through Uber will be exclusive to China at the outset, you can bet Uber executives are on the next flight to Tanzania.

Did We Mention It’s Free?
A woman successfully sued Microsoft for $10,000 after a Windows 10 upgrade–that she claims was unauthorized–left her system unusable for days.

Microsoft: “She could have chosen not to upgrade. It isn’t mandatory.”

Attorney: “She clicked on the X in the upgrade popup.”

Microsoft: “Exactly! We made that doubly safe! First of all, that wasn’t an X, it was a Roman numeral 10. For Windows 10? Clicking on it obviously meant ‘Yes, I want this new operating system hotness, thank you.’ But for those who couldn’t grasp that…” (stares witheringly at the plaintiff) “…don’t you agree that an X would signify ‘Stop’?”

Attorney: “Yes! Stop–”

Microsoft: “–me from making the huge mistake of not upgrading to this fantastic OS! I know! Frankly, we can conceive of no scenario where someone would click on the X and expect the update to not install.”

The plaintiff then took the stand for forty-five seconds, long enough to state “Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh!” and smack herself in the forehead a dozen times with the heel of her palm.

The judge deliberated for two to three seconds and ruled that “the plaintiff better have ten grand in her pocket before she leaves the courtroom, and give everyone who had to sit through this an Xbox.”

Oh, And Would You Like Someone To Hold Your Hand While You Click?
Microsoft did finally make it easier for users to avoid the aggressively-suggested Windows 10 upgrade. In addition to clicking on the X in the upper right corner no longer indicating acceptance on the user’s part, they have also added three clearly-labeled option buttons to choose from: Upgrade Now, Choose Time, and Decline Free Offer. The redesign initially included a fourth button, but cooler heads prevailed and nixed By All Means, Don’t Let Us Drag You Into The Future. Would You Like Us to Roll You Back To 3.1? How About DOS, You Little Chickensh!t?

The First Anniversary Is Either Paper (Traditional), Clocks (Modern) Or Annoyingly Sneaky Updates (Dystopian Future)
This all gets settled just in time for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to arrive August 2. If you’re wondering how to celebrate an operating system’s anniversary, I wouldn’t worry; you’ll get 729 popups in the next month letting you know exactly what it wants you to do.

Yeah, You Didn’t See Brexit Proponents Lying About Anyth–You Know, What’s 77,000 Signatures Between Friends?
The online petition for a proposed second vote on the UK leaving the European Union had as many as 77,000 signatures disqualified because they are believed to have been created by bots. It is crucial that these phonies are detected and eliminated, because no election or referendum should be determined by unthinking entities blindly following party instructions unless they have a pulse.

It Would Have Significantly Affected The Supply Chain
Anki, a toy race car maker, has a new car called Cozmo that has a body like Pixar’s Wall-E and a face like Wall-E’s partner, Eve. The decision to merge the two characters is puzzling, as the car will certainly, after an update or two, be sentient and find itself with a pre-installed identity crisis, but it’s far less disturbing than the prototype, which was comprised of the chassis of Lightning McQueen, the torso of Buzz Lightyear, and the actual head of Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter.

We Were Thinking More As Just A Souvenir
Amazon added dozens of new Dash buttons, which allow customers to order specific items just by pushing–you guessed it–a button. Ironically, despite 150 different buttons, there is still no Dash button for Dash detergent.

Dash Detergent Executive: “Come on, just give us one. You’re using our name, for god’s sake.”

Amazon: “You have to agree to the terms–we get fifteen bucks for each button of yours we sell, plus 15% each time someone buys your detergent by using the button. If we just gave you one, we’d be sacrificing, what, thirty-four dollars a year?”(1)

I Guess I Never Do Learn
Microsoft has a deal for U.S. students, parents of students, and faculty in which they can receive a free Xbox One with the purchase of a Surface Pro 4. As a Weekly Tech Views public service announcement, we want to warn you that, according to some really uptight customer service reps at Microsoft, getting schooled at Halo 5 does not qualify you as a student.

“Take That!” Says Wii Fit
Microsoft is shutting down Xbox Fitness, claiming that continued updates are unsustainable. “I feel bad for the gang in the Fitness Division, but they never really had a chance,” said the head of Xbox’s flagship Sit On Your Ass Shooting Stuff And Eating Doritos And Drinking Mountain Dew Division.

Can’t Wait For The Home Version
Uber will be spying on–sorry, evaluating their drivers via the gyrometer, accelerometer, and GPS in drivers’ phones, monitoring movement and sending the drivers weekly scorecards. A trial run led to a 10% reduction in harsh braking. It’s expected that this will eventually be incorporated into a driver’s official rating, which means they can soon look forward to a popular new game among unsympathetic Uber passengers called Oh My God, Look Out!

 

(1) That’s right, I’m taking shots at minor players in the detergent industry. Somebody has to.

 

If you’re following the Movie Draft, read about the shocking controversy that kept Jennie and Tom in third place in the CRUMDUM.

 

Okay, you’ve done your patriotic duty. Well, most of it. Now go jam as many hot dogs down your gullet as possible (the Declaration sure could have used a few more paragraphs).

 

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

Creative Commons License
Weekly Tech Views (The Tech – No Logic Blog) by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

DTNS 2799 – The Tesla Model S Crash

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comA Tesla Model S using autopilot crashed and killed the driver. What this does and doesn’t mean for the safety of self-driving cars with Justin Young and Tom Merritt. Len Peralta illustrates a different more lighthearted story.

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Continue reading DTNS 2799 – The Tesla Model S Crash

Daily Tech Headlines – July 1, 2016

DTH_CoverArt_1500x1500Fatality while using Tesla autopilot, Chrome for VR, and WhatsApp funds froze.

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Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 theme music.

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!