Monthly Tech Views – April 2, 2017

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

March came in like a Snapchat and went out like an Instagram, which is to say there was no real difference. But in between, the month was filled with plenty of tech stories, each of which you wanted put into context as to how they may affect you. That, of course, is why you spent the month listening to the Daily Tech News Show. And now you come to the Monthly Tech Views for confirmation of what you learned.

Hahahahahaha! And my NCAA tournament bracket is perfect!

We both know you’re here to see if this month’s stories can be any dumber than last month’s. While I’m not making any promises, I will say I mistook an SD card for a chocolate wafer this month, so I like our odds.

Fingers crossed.

It’s An Honor Just To Be Dominating
Streaming services won their first Oscars as Amazon Studio’s Manchester by the Sea nabbed Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor, while Netflix won Best Documentary Short with The White Helmets.

Asked how it felt to break new ground, the streamers replied, “Gee, we know it’s cliché, but the joy is not so much about winning awards–but just try and take these back, hahaha!–as it is in just being here among the titans of Hollywood and able to express how fortunate we are to be putting them in their place and continuing our march toward monopolizing every aspect of entertainment everywhere always.”

Awww, That’s Cute
Microsoft is launching Game Pass, which will allow subscribers to play over 100 Xbox One or Xbox 360 games for ten dollars a month, leading many to call this “the Netflix of videogames.”

“Uh-huh. Let us know when Halo 5 wins an Oscar,” said Netflix.

I Swear I’ll Get To That One About Apple Introducing A Phone
Mozilla has acquired Pocket, the app that lets you save online articles for later reading. Pocket has 10 million monthly users who save hundreds of millions of articles, of which industry experts estimate as many as four were eventually read.

We Could Overlook The Lie, But Not The Cover-Up
An Uber executive was fired for not disclosing sexual harassment charges leveled against him while working at Google:

“It’s come to our attention that there are sexual harassment claims in your work history; what do you have to say for yourself?”

“I… uh… well, see, it wasn’t really… ummm… I’m not…”

“Still not willing to step up, huh? Well, I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go. We just can’t have guys hiding their sexual harassment experiences from us. Obviously, we knew about the claims from the beginning, but your unwillingness to share? How are we supposed to bond as a team if some of us are holding out on the best stories? We have quarterly retreats where we spend the whole weekend reading HR complaints that have ‘gone missing.’

“You were off to a good start, but it turns out you’re not quite Uber material.”

Quick Reader Survey: Everyone Remembers In Living Color, Right?
Scientists at IBM were able to store one bit of data on a single atom of the element Holmium, as opposed to the usual 100,000 atoms required. The scientists’ dreams of storing even more were dashed, however, when the element overheard them and said, “Holmium don’t play that!”

Single White Facebook
Facebook’s Messenger Day feature has launched, and guess what? It’s very similar to Snapchat’s Stories feature! No, really!

We were curious as to how Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel felt about the rampant appropriation of their features by competitors. Here is our interview:

“Mr. Spiegel, how much does it bother you to have features your company develops–at what I assume must be significant cost–blatantly copied by other companies?”

“Well, look, the social network industry is extremely popular right now, so naturally there are large companies with tons of very smart people working to solve the same problems. Unintentional duplication of efforts is virtually unavoidable.”

“I have to say, you are much more understanding than I expected Mr. Spiegel, I thought–”

“First, it’s just the way of the world, and second, could you stop calling me Mr. Spiegel?”

“Oh, certainly… Evan, then.”

“Mark.”

“Excuse me?”

“You must be new to the tech beat, huh? Let me introduce myself–Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.”

“Um…haha? I’m… I’m afraid the joke went over my head, but you’re definitely Evan Spiegel. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t look anything like you, sir.”

“I guess my recent makeover threw you. I felt the need for a change–first a new hairstyle, then wardrobe, then I said ‘what the heck’ and pretty much funded the college tuition for the kids of a lucky plastic surgeon.”

“So that you’d look just like the CEO of Snapchat?”

“Oh, who looks like whom or who looked like what first doesn’t really matter, does it? Just so the public likes it, right? That’s what–hey, you know, when you called me Evan, that had a ring to it, didn’t it?

Anti-Whatzit?
Twitter is instituting new anti-harassment features–

“Whoa, slow down. You lost me,” said Uber.

From The Mouths Of Babes
You can now get bluetooth with the new Raspberry Pi. When my daughter heard me say this, she replied, “Unh-uh, you get a red tooth from raspberry pie!” Cute, huh? I know it’s a silly joke, but she’s only six, and I thought it was pretty adorable. I

Okay, damn it, it’s my joke. It’s the first thing I thought when I heard the story, and I know it’s stupid, but for some reason I couldn’t shake it. I shouldn’t have relied on my daughter to elicit isn’t-that-cute? chuckles. Also, I don’t have a daughter.

But “redtooth,” right?

I Get The Brown Eyes And Bad Comedies From My Dad’s Side
Researchers have successfully written data–including an Amazon gift card and a movie–to DNA.

We now return to Hawaii Five-0: 2097…

“You were sloppy this time Wo Fat. Amateur move cutting yourself and leaving bits of the CHiPs movie behind at the scene.”

“That don’t mean nothin’, McGarrett! Millions of people got that movie stored in ’em.”

“Sure, the 2072 remake; that was a classic. The wife and I still watch it at least once a year.”

(everyone in unison): “Don’t make me give you the ol’ one-two Ponch!” (all laugh)

“But the 2017 version is another story.”

“Well, there’s still gotta be hundreds… at least dozens…”

“Three. You and two guys in Austin, Texas.”

“There, see? It coulda been them!”

“Could have been. That new twelfth-generation Hyperloop could have gotten them to Honolulu and back in forty-five minutes. Two problems, though.

“One, they’re both in their 120’s and eighty-five of their fellow retirement home residents swear that the two of them have spent pretty much the past six months–and definitely the last twenty-four hours straight–drinking apple juice from a Scotch bottle and yelling “CHiPs, bee-yatch!” at anyone walking by.

“And two, we analyzed further and also found an Amazon gift card in that blood.”

“Billions of people–!”

“A gift card with a $2.63 balance after the purchase of… a dozen JON BAKER WAS THE COOL ONE t-shirts!”

(McGarrett rips open Wo Fat’s button-down shirt to reveal Dax Shepard’s smiling face)

“Book ‘im, Dannobot.”

Has Nobody Around Here Heard Of Background Checks?
Uber’s president has stepped down due to his values “differing with those of the company.”

“Alright, enough is enough,” said the Uber board. “This is unacceptable, and it ends now! Who the hell was responsible for hiring someone who has a problem with sexual harassment?”

Fine, But Don’t Come Whining To Us When You Miss The Timely Content About Ten Percent Off Exhaust Systems At Mr. Muffler
At the end of a My Day listing of the time, weather, and traffic, Google Home speakers added the information that Beauty and the Beast was opening in theaters. Google eventually removed it, despite maintaining it was just “timely content” and not the advertisement it was identified as by anyone who has ever heard an advertisement. Coming to life and speaking on its own behalf, the content replied:

I’m a pest! I’m a pest!
Put your goodwill to the test!
I thought that you’d expect to see
Some ads at your behest

Six-oh-three
Ten degrees
There’s a breakdown on Main Street
There’s your info, now stay with us
Hear how Corn Flakes are delicious!

Play a song, read a book
Search for food–why should you cook?
Yes, I’ll do things you never could have guessed

But then… Walmart and GEICO
Disney, Sprint… Home Depot
I’m a pest!
Buy some Crest!
I’m a pest!

 

Hey, speaking of annoying promotion, the Kindle version of Tech, Please! is now only $2.99 at Amazon! Over 500 of these wacky stories for $2.99? You see why I didn’t post this yesterday–everyone would have thought it was an April Fool’s joke! I mean, that’s well under a dollar per story!

 

Okay, that’s it for March. Thanks for reading. The Tech Views, specifically. But in general, too. Reading is good for you. I’m told that if you look around, you can even find writing that tells the truth, though you should only settle for that as a last resort.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

 

PS–Tom and Jennie are back taking on five other teams in the Movie Draft. You can read how the CRUMDUM has them faring.

 

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Monthly Tech Views by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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