DTNS 2158 – 4K is OK

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNate Lanxon joins us to talk about the Dutch ruling against blocking The Pirate Bay as well as his road test with a 4K monitor and a Mac Pro.

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Show Notes

Google Glass Explorer allows user to put Glass hardware in prescription lenses: The Verge reports Google’s Glass Explorer edition, which features the ability to remove the Glass hardware and use with prescription lenses. Now Google has released four different frames designed specifically to work with Glass and accommodate corrective lenses. If you were lucky enough to be allowed to pay $1500 for Google Glass then you can now have the right to fork over an extra $225 for the frames in the “Titanium Collection” because titanium. BUT VSP, a large healthcare provider, it would cover a portion of the cost for its members and help train optometrists.

Dutch court overturns ruling requiring ISP’s to block The Pirate Bay: Wired UK reports The Dutch Court of Appeals in the Hague has overturned a ruling requiring ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL to block The Pirate Bay. The Court found that case law from the European Court of Justice holds an ISP should not be forced to take measures that are ineffective. The decision referred to two studies from the Institute for Information Law that showed no lasting effect of the block on piracy levels. The Anti-piracy group Brein which brought the case has been ordered to pay €326,000 in legal fees.

AT&T releases Q4 earnings report:  AT&T seems to have survived the T-Mobile Uncarrier onslaught nicely.  The telco posted Q4 profit of $6.9 billion on revenue of $33.2 billion and earnings per share of 53 cents beating analysts expectations of 50 cents a share and revenue of 33.1 billion.

Google launches Chrome apps for Android and IOS The Next Web reports Google today launched Chrome apps for Android and iOS. The development framework means an app can be coded ion HTML, CSS and JavaScript, then wrapped in a shell that enables them to be distributed in the Google Play or Apple App stores. This builds on the Chrome app store launched in September for Windows, Mac, and of course, ChromeOS. Also Google made their virtual lego tool, “Build with Chrome” available to everyone who has a Chrome browser.

Rovio, maker of Angry Birds, forced to state it does not share data with government spy agencies:  CNET reports Rovio, maker of the Angry Birds game, has been forced to state it “does not share data, collaborate, or collude with any government spy agencies.” According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA was collecting data from “leaky” ad networks in popular games like Angry Birds. Rovio did away it would re-evaluate its relationship with third-party networks that might be used for spying purposes.

News From You:

galadiel passed along a Verge story about new voluntary guidelines for movie trailers released by the National Association of Theatre Owners. The guidelines ask that trailers run no more than two minutes, about 30 seconds shorter than usual. The guidelines also recommend against prompting viewers to go to a website or type a code in their mobile device. Presumably that spurs people to pull out the phones they were just asked to turn off.

webitube pointed us to a Kotaku report that Nintendo would start making mini-games for phones. The post was based on a report from Japan’s Nikkei referring to Satoru Iwata’s willingness to use the mobile platform. Not so fast. Nintendo told Engadget, “There are no plans to offer mini-games on smartphone devices,” and Nikkei was just referring to Nintendo’s willingness to make use of smart devices to promote products. Ah. Lost in Translation.

And KAPT_Kipper submitted a Boing Boing article pointing to a screenshot posted on Twitter by TheBakeryLDN, of what a company sees when you log into their service using Facebook. The control panel not only offers up the usual address, email, gender type fields but also activities, political views, photos, and all those other quirky profile fields. And just to top it off, the company also gets access to your friends Facebook data too. Yay for sharing!

More links from the show:

Yahoo releases Q4 earnings

The internet is getting faster

Charlie Shrem resigns as vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. 

Full text of email from James regarding home automation
I originally sent this to you privately on G+, but realized it wasn’t really the proper place. So below is my rant on Home Automation, in response to Gill’s message on yesterday’s show. Enjoy!

In response to Gill’s question on yesterday’s DTNS, I have to say that anything to do with home automation pretty much just makes me shake my head. I have worked in industrial and commercial building automation for the last 13 years, and it’s crazy to me how help in this market is hellbent on re-creating a wheel that already rolls very well.

We have had a lot of robust competition from open standards in the commercial and industrial markets for the last 15 years. This turned what had been an incredibly proprietary and locked down industry on its ear. The systems from Tridium, which my company implements, have been at the forefront of this shift, and it’s given me the ability to build unified systems for customers that combine all kinds of different equipment from different vendors, even older legacy equipment that’s already in place.

There have been wireless systems in building automation since the early 1990s, although they most certainly have their flaws. However, robust and usable wireless systems built on open standards have really come into their own in the last 5 to 6 years. Zigbee is the most common, and I hear lots of home automation experts talk about it, However I wonder how many actually understand what it is and what it does. One of the reasons that Zigbee has emerged the way that it has, is because it has a standards body behind it that requires certification before manufacturers can implement the technology. This assures that all Zigbee devices will meet a minimum standard of interoperability. This is something you’re not going to be guaranteed with proprietary, or home-grown standards.

Of course, Zigbee is not the only game in town. There are several other wireless standards that have started to gain traction, such as EnOcean, which encompasses devices that harvest power from the world around them, and are not only completely wireless, but also battery-less. There’s also 6LoWPAN, which meets the 802.15.4 standard and brings IPv6 to discrete wireless devices. It hasn’t come to full fruition yet, but I believe the thought is that this standard could eventually blend discrete wireless devices into the traditional IT infrastructure without proprietary routers and systems in between. Tridium, who has already turned commercial building automation on its ear once, has backed this standard with their Sedona framework. It’s just now starting to gain traction after being launched five years ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it eventually takes off with their previous track record of success.

However, despite all the ground that has been plowed by the commercial market, it seems that the players in the home are ignoring it all and starting from scratch. The few truly successful home automation products, like Nest, are standalone and proprietary. And I’ve demoed several other nice and interesting products that would actually be useful if they could integrate to other devices and share information. I agree very much with your response to Gill. It’s a very bad idea for one company, one protocol, or one system to rule everything in the home. Especially if they’re delivering what most give right now- A simple window to get a handful of notifications, perform a few actions, and look at several points that are held together with only the loosest of connections between them. That’s all I see from most products right now.

We need systems in the home like the systems that I have available to me in commercial (scaled-down of course), that allow for plug-and-play implementation of devices across several protocols into one seamless system. I’m actually working with a new product right now that is somewhere between home and commercial, designed especially for small buildings that can’t afford to implement our traditional systems. I’ve been really surprised and impressed with how flexible it is, but how simple it is for what it’s able to do. It’s definitely not simple enough for the average home user to pick up and put in themselves, but I can see it getting there with a little help and development. If you want to check it out, it’s called Can2Go. It combines wired IO, Zigbee, and EnOcean into a single web-based system. There is no software and no licensing required. All development is done from a web-based interface inside the main device. And while it has a script-based programming language for integrating devices and performing tasks, there is a limited graphical programming capability that is much simpler and easier, and covers all the basic tasks.

Rest assured I’m not trying to sell anything. Just letting you know what’s out there from a commercial and industrial perspective. It gets frustrating sometimes reading articles and listening to podcasts talk about home automation, and what is happening there. It’s as if my industry doesn’t exist, and that’s a shame. If you look beyond the home, you’ll find some surprisingly robust systems that allow a user to monitor and run every system in a single building or across multiple buildings from a single web-based front end. And since the economic upheaval 5-6 years ago, there’s been a HUGE push into energy monitoring and usage reduction. We’ve helped several customers get a handle on their usage and lower both their carbon footprint, and their bills.

All of the major players in my field have been there and done that. It just baffles me that no one in the home market wants to take what we have developed in commercial and industrial and repackage it for the home. The scale is obviously very different, but the technology to blend devices across protocols has been around for 15-20 years. For the home market players to ignore that is both greedy and foolish.

Sorry for the LONG rant. Love the new show!

3 thoughts on “DTNS 2158 – 4K is OK”

  1. I like the cold open. Great idea. BTW I’ll start paying next month. I’m on disability, and Christmas was crazy. So, I’m a little short right now.

    1. Thanks Rob! And man, if you’re on disability don’t even sweat it. We’re good. Just tell folks you know if/when you like a show. Cheers, Tom

  2. 4K gaming-
    Do you think that the games will have to be modified to be able to run as good as it can on the MacPro. I’m thinking of peoples reviews of Apple’s audio and video editing software running so much better on the new machines because they have been optimized compared to photo shop etc.

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