DTNS 2465 – PC Pick-up Sticks

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTodd Whitehead is on the show today to talk about the Intel Compute Stick, Chromebit, and the future of PCs on a stick.

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Show Notes

Today’s Guest: Todd Whitehead, head geek of Alpha Geek Radio 

Headlines

Reuters reports Twitter complied with Turkey’s request to remove photographs of a hostage taking by left-wing militants in Istanbul last week, causing a block on the site to be lifted. YouTube is among several sites that remained blocked. An Istanbul judge ordered access blocked to social media sites showing photographs of the slain prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz. Presidential spokesman said a prosecutor had demanded the block because of concerns the images could be used to spread terrorist propaganda. Twitter says Turkey filed more than five times as many content-removal requests than any other country in the second half of 2014.

CNET reports an LG Display blog post stated Apple “announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year.” So far Apple has made no claim to be releasing an 8K iMac. The highest resolution iMac apple sells currently is the iMac with Retina 5K display featuring a 27inch screen with 5120 x 2880 pixel resolution.

Eweek notes Apple has announced 3:01 AM Eastern Time as the moment when online preorders for the Apple Watch will begin in the US. You can configure the details like which band and model you want ahead of time to speed up ordering. Meanwhile Ars Technica passes along that the Apple Watch won’t come to Switzerland due to an existing trademark belonging to Leonard Timepieces. That trademark expires December 5th. Before then the Swiss will have to travel to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK or the US when it goes on sale April 24.

The Verge has the lowdown on all the new Roku models available in the US today. The new Roku 3 comes with remote that has a dedicated voice search button that searches across multiple services. Roku also released the Roku Feed, which tells you when movies you select are available to stream online. The Roku 3 costs $99. The Roku 2 is being upgraded to have the same hardware and performance as the 3, but without the voice remote and costs $69. The Roku smartphone app will have voice search capability as of today.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/04/apple-watch-sales-in-switzerland-to-be-delayed-over-30-year-old-trademark/

The Next Web passes along a Times of India report that clothing retailer Myntra will shut down its website May 1st and only sell it’s products through mobile apps. 80 percent of Myntra’s traffic and 70 percent of its sales are on mobile. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart last spring. It’s Android app launched in May and iOS app in September.

Tech Crunch reports Hulu is launching a GIF search engine, powered by Tumblr, called “The Perfect GIF” which lets you search for TV-related GIF’s. The GIFs will be branded with a Hulu hash tag. Ugh. The site features 1400 GIFs from current and classic shows.

News From You:

starfuryzeta sent us the re/code report that SlingTV was not quite ready for the madness that is March. Sling TV tweeted an apology to users who saw errors “due to extreme signups and streaming” during the college basketball semi-finals, featuring Duke vs. Michigan State and especially Wisconsin vs. Kentucky. According to Sling CEO Roger Lynch, the issues only affected 1,000 users. Pro tip: Game of Thrones premieres next Sunday, and with HBO coming to Sling, expect more “extreme signups.”

But they better not get too many signups at Sling because The_Corley sent us this story on Sling TV’s Subscriber Cap from PC Magazine. It turns out according to Ad Age that Dish Network has put a limit of 2 million subscribers on its SlingTV service. As of last month Sling TV has about 100,000 subscribers. Discovery CEO David Zaslaw said Sling TV is bound by agreements made with content creators which means Sling TV can’t push past its subscriber limit or content companies might start pulling their media from the service.

sewell2 posted the Ars Technica article that scientists from Carnegie Mellon and NC State published a letter describing an unpowered exoskeleton they’ve developed that uses a clutch and spring to fulfill one function of the calf muscles and achilles tendons. The idea is to reduce the energy it takes to walk. The 7.3% increase in efficiency could prove a big help to the elderly and mobility impaired.

Audioillusion pointed out the excerpt from John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight where Oliver interviews Edward Snowden in Russia. Oliver pressed Snowden on the responsibility in handing over so much information saying “you have to own that… you’re giving documents with information you know could be harmful.” Snowden said “in journalism, we have to accept that some mistakes will be made.” Oliver also had Snowden explain which government programs could result in the government seeing private pictures of your private parts.

 

Discussion Links: 

http://liliputing.com/2015/04/intel-compute-stick-mini-pc-now-available-for-pre-order.html
http://liliputing.com/tag/pc-stick
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UYHE60Y/
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=Intel+compute+stick&N=-1&isNodeId=1
http://www.cnet.com/products/asus-chromebit/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2906353/intel-compute-stick-worlds-smallest-pc-will-cost-150-with-windows-110-with-linux.html
http://www.cnet.com/news/intels-150-pc-on-a-stick-dongle-now-available-for-preorder/

 

Pick of the Day:

If you want to play computer games without having to install them, keep the game saves on their media (SD Card or USB Thumbstick), or maybe 3D print a NES console and put the microSD card in to little 3D printed game cartridges and pretend like you’re playing on a little retro console. I would give Vmware ThinApp a try.

This application lets you virtualize the game and system’s environment in to 1 folder, which you then place on a USB thumbstick or SD card. With a well placed Autorun.inf file you can make the game automatically play.

If you want to see a full tutorial on how this is done, check out
http://newagesoldier.com/pcgamecarts

 

Message of the Day

Tom,

I was listening to last week’s show with Allison Sheridan where you talked about accessibility and have a story to share.

I’ve been doing application and web development for a little over 15 years. I admit accessibility has not always been a priority for my team. Not because we don’t care but because there are so many facets to development it’s easy to overlook.

When dog fooding your own apps if you don’t have the disability or someone on the team with a disability it can be easily forgotten. Unless, as Allison pointed out, it is made a core priority in the development process from the start.

At my current job one of the managers is color blind. We’ll call him John. Having John on the team has increased accessibility for color blind people on our site and apps.

For example, we often found ourselves developing a UI we think is straight forward, nice and user friendly. The classic example is pins on a map for store locations. Each pin a different color depending on the store specialty and a corresponding legend to outline which specialty each color reflects.

We would review the new map and everyone would say it looked great. Until we got to John. All the colored pins looked the same to him and so new map was useless to him. We had to adapt and start adding letters to our pins, or icons so color wasn’t the only defining factor.

After about a year of going through this process the team has become very aware of building UI’s that are accessible to the color blind. A standard part of our UI review is to making sure it passes “The John Test”. Having someone as a part of the team with the disability was key to making the team aware of that particular accessibility issue.

Love the show! Brook

========

When did this show become a show about shaving? Lol

I know something about this topic. Actually it’s Dorco that sells double sided razor blades for 10 or 30 cents, so the 2 emailers were writing about the same thing. Lol

As far as the cheapest and best shave, it’s actually something quite different than suggested. The cheapest and cleanest shave you can get is to first shave with an electric razor and then shave with a regular bladed razor. It really works.

I learned that trick from my grandpa when he was still around, an electrical engineer, and a member of the first real tech generation, the world war 2 generation.

Have a great weekend.

Oh yeah, Tom, 2 other things, I read that dry shaving is rough on the blade, so that would increase the cost of shaving. I personally use soap in place of shaving cream. It’s available everywhere.

And for after shave, aloe vera works really well.

What will we talk about next? Lol

Tomorrow: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor and independent podcaster

3 thoughts on “DTNS 2465 – PC Pick-up Sticks”

  1. I’ve been using the Istick A300 for a couple of months which came with Android pre installed. I got it so that I could put a TV in a coffee table. My plan was to use it for D&D maps because, I was tired of drawing or printing them out, and realized it was just easier and prettier and cheaper to make them on my computer by scanning in the tiles. While I was building it I decided to kick a little bit more into the project and got a touch screen glass surface instead of just the glass surface. The reality is I have used this more often as a giant tablet… for Games *caughHerthstonecaugh* and as a web browser while in front of the TV while playing a console game instead of an actual TV or D&D map Projector.

    One tip… Don’t let anyone borrow it… You’ll miss it. Just like when you can’t find your phone.

  2. I get what you’re trying to do with the name bar at the bottom of the screen but it’s not working as it does on news shows or even your old haunt. You’ve always said that this is, first and foremost, an audio podcast. I watch the podcast more than I listen to the audio version so kudos if you’re trying to make the video podcast a bigger part of DTNS. This first version, however, with the black bars on the right, left and bottom sides of the video feed really degrade the viewing experience. The previous version which was full screen with the “panelists” bar overlay in the bottom right corner looked much better in my opinion.

  3. Hey Tom, been a fan since the BOL days with Molly. I’m a program manager at an Ed Tech software company and we use accessibility testing firms all the time for our products. There are numerous companies that do this Deque (“Deck-Q”) and (a href=”http://www.ssbbartgroup.com”> SSB Bart Group are 2 that I’m familiar with. They will test for color blindness, sight, and hearing impaired access and navigation for your website or application. There are also certifications available like those at http://www.section508.gov/, referred to as “section 508 compliance”.

    thanks, and love the show.

    Frank in Indy.

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