Weekly Tech Views (The Tech – No Logic Blog) – Aug 20, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

As we all try to slog through these dog days of August (so called because just brushing your teeth on a 90-degree day results in sweating so profusely you smell like a wet dog all day), we here at the Weekly Tech Views recommend that you find a nice hammock in the shade and count your blessings for the ability to scroll through the WTV with an effortless finger swipe instead of reading the way our ancestors were forced to do their August reading, by turning actual pieces of paper, that exertion requiring a shower after each page.

For the week of August 15 – 19, 2016…

It’s All Coming Together
Intel announced Project Alloy, an all-in-one “merged reality” headset. What makes this “merged”(1) reality as opposed to simply augmented or virtual reality is Project Alloy’s wireless design and “six degrees of freedom,” a term meaning you can move in any direction without restriction, giving you the freedom to completely lose yourself in the virtual world and enthusiastically merge your face with the nearest wall.

It’s Taking Up A Lot Of Their Focus
Ford announced plans to have a fleet of fully autonomous cars on the road by 2021. Asked what made them so optimistic, a spokesman for Ford’s Department of Dubious Expectations replied, “It’s simple. We have conducted numerous engineering studies, discussed infrastructure requirements with cities of every size, and, having analyzed the data vis-à-vis the viability of completing the project over various timelines, have concluded that we have a model called the Escort which is bar none the best possible name EVER for a driverless car and we are so anxious to use it we are about to pee ourselves.”

Making Stickers Great Again
Twitter will begin selling “promoted stickers” that advertisers can design and which will generate custom hashtags. Pepsi is first on board, though the Trump presidential campaign was in line to kick things off until they kept calling back to change their hashtags–“I know I said ‘#SendThemBackWhereTheyCameFrom” but of course I didn’t mean that literally; I meant ‘ShipThemOut’–I don’t actually care where they end up going.”

So Much Better Than Email
Don’t think the Clinton campaign doesn’t want in on the sticker game, too. They’ve designed a variety of fun images covering everything from light blue pantsuits to navy blue pantsuits, each generating the same fun hashtag: NothingOnTwitterIsClassifiedRight

Maybe You Can Call Yours A Wee-Reader
Kobo has announced the Aura One, an e-reader with a large 7.8-inch, 300 pixel-per-inch display.

Meanwhile, in the offices of another e-reader manufacturer…

“You!”

“Me, sir?”

“Yes, you, Henderson, get in here.”

“It’s Brandenberg, sir.”

“Yes, fine. What do you see on my desk, here, Hindenburg?”

“Um…I want to say e-reader, but this feels like a trick.”

“No, you’re exactly right. It’s an e-reader.”

(pause)

“Okay. I guess I’ll be–”

“Tell me, Harrisburg, what do you think of when you hear the word ‘Amazon’?”

“Great place to work, sir!”

“Yes, of course. But before you worked here.”

“A ri–?”

“And don’t say river.”

“A ra–”

“Or rain forest. I’m talking in the broader sense. If something is described as Amazonian?”

“Big?”

“Ah. Big. Yes. Would you go so far to say huge, even?”

“I guess so. Sure”

“Sure. Like this e-reader, Bergman. Would you say this e-reader is Amazonian, Bergman?”

“Well, it looks pretty… big. As e-readers go.”

“Not only is it pretty big, Bergdorf–Amazonian, if you will–it is, in fact, the biggest high-resolution e-reader you can buy. It’s also only 6.9 millimeters thick, weighs only 230 grams, and is water-resistant in up to two meters of water.”

“That all sounds very impressive, sir.”

“It does, doesn’t it? I can think of only one thing that would make it better. You know what one thing is missing?”

“No sir.”

“Well, it seems this Amazonian e-reader is MISSING THE NAME AMAZON! WHY IS OUR NAME NOT ON THIS DEVICE INSTEAD OF KOBO’S, DORFMAN?!”

“Well… I’m no lawyer, sir… but I’m pretty sure if we put our name on something Kobo made, we’d get in trouble.”

(pause)

“Why didn’t WE make it?!”

“Gee, it’s hard to say, sir. I mean, I work in Human Resources; I’m just down here to see if anyone wants to sign up for flag football this fall.”

“You know, Dorfman, I’m not crazy about your pass-the-buck attitude.” (to intercom): “Shirley, Mr. Dorfman’s employment has been terminated; have Security escort him from the premises.”

The words were barely out of his mouth before three men appeared in the doorway. They led the fired employee to the elevator. As the doors closed, the employee, Pete Miller, said, “Dorfman! Nobody had Dorfman, did they?”

“No, but I had Bergdorf, damn it. When he changed it I almost ran in there and kicked him.”

“Okay, pot rolls over to next week. Everyone get your ten bucks in to Shirley.”

“I Shouldn’t Tell You This, But The Wagon Is Hidden In The Apple Tree”
Samsung sent out invitations to an event on August 31 in Berlin. The invitation includes the word “Gear” and the phrase “Talk About 3.” They then tweeted “stay tuned for a timely innovation.” Clever tech journalists–some devoting as many as four seconds to the investigation–pieced together the subtle clues to determine the event would be introducing the Gear 3 Watch. “Hey, they cracked it, huh? Good, I was afraid I might stump them,” said media consultant Milton Gleckman, on loan from Highlights for Children.

Nobody Said There Would Be Math
Google seems to have its answer to Apple’s Facetime, introducing video chat app Duo. Duo, as you might guess, is designed for use between only two people, but does allow calls between iOS and Android devices, and–

“Wait, I don’t get it. Why did they call it Duo?” asked Milton Gleckman.

Free Apps, Damn It
Verizon is allowing advertisers to pre-install apps on it’s subscribers’ Android phones. This is part of Verizon’s exciting new initiative, Bundling Lots Of Apps That Will Anger Really Everyone, referred to internally as Project B.L.O.A.T.W.A.R.E.

At Least I Think Brainstorming Is What They Meant By B.S.
There was more evidence of a genuine cord-cutter movement this week as cable subscriptions were reportedly down 600,000 this past quarter. The cable companies are understandably dismayed, and everyone is intent on coming up with ways to reverse the trend, with ideas being formulated in emergency high-level management meetings all the way down to customer service reps taking it upon themselves to organize hours-long brainstorming sessions with each other, during which they display an uncanny, unwavering focus allowing them to ignore the fact that you’ve been on hold for 73 minutes waiting for an answer to why they charged you for that pay-per-view of Andy Samberg’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping even though you applied that coupon code they kept promoting like it was as freaking valuable as tomorrow’s Powerball numbers.

 

(1) Not to be confused with the process of VR helmets allowing you to see everyone in the real world with an enormous blue beehive hairdo, or Marged Reality.

 

Movie Madness
Man, is it heating up in the Movie Draft. Down more than $250 million a couple weeks ago, Tom and Jennie are within $42M with two weeks to go. More details (and Weekly Tech Views-ish writing) in the CRUMDUM.

Hey, a book! Last year’s stories! $0.99! Get it HERE!

The Internet is Like a Snowblower: (And 200 Other Things I Got Wrong About Tech This Year) by [Range, Mike]

That will do it for another week. All that’s left is to blot up the typing-induced rivers of sweat flowing between my keyboard keys. On the plus side, that did dislodge some hard-to-reach potato chip crumbs.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMIke

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