DTNS 2611 – Say Halo to my 60fps

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDo you value performance over looks? Eric Franklin and Tom Merritt discuss 343 Industries’ decision to prioritize 60fps over everything else in Halo 5: Guardians.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2611 – Say Halo to my 60fps

DTNS 2610 – The Hunt For Red Cord Cutters

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDo social networks provide meaningful info about current events? They want to, to you and to journalists. Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about Twitter and Facebook’s rocky relationship with news.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2610 – The Hunt For Red Cord Cutters

Weekly Tech Views 15 – Oct 24, 2015

Untitled drawing (1)

Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Welcome to WTVB, where accuracy is a lucky accident.

C’mon, How Hard Can It B–Oof… Ow!
The Chinese company Ninebot announced a new scooter, the Ninebot mini. Upon hearing its description–a scooter with no handle that can be controlled by an app–executives at ABC immediately renewed America’s Funniest Home Videos for three more years.

Study Shows Majority Of Drivers Require Short Nap to Replenish Energy After Issuing Grueling Voice Command
Recent studies have shown that it takes up to 27 seconds to regain full concentration on driving after issuing a voice command to the car’s “info-tainment” system. 27 seconds!? Unless there’s a voice command that instructs your seat to do something that sure as hell didn’t come standard in my Corolla, I don’t get it. Okay, if your name is Marty McFly and a minute ago you were listening to Huey Lewis on a two-pound Walkman in 1985 but now you can tell your car to play Back in Time and it does it, you can have half a minute to absorb that.* Everyone else: we would all really appreciate it if you would please remove your head from your ass.

Back That App Up
Instagram announced a new app called Boomerang that takes a series of five photos and turns them into a video that plays forward and backward in a loop. The killer feature, says the second-grader portion of my brain (approximately 78%), is the playing in reverse aspect. If Boomerang can engender the pure joy an elementary school classroom received watching a mind-numbing account of how corn was harvested become the height of hilarity by convincing the teacher to run the film backwards–the downed stalks popping back up when the tractor backed over them, how crazy is that!?–then Instagram is on to something.

Gullible Public Shakes Head, Says “You Got Me”
The European Court of Justice ruled that bitcoin is exempt from consumption tax. In other words, value added tax, or VAT, is not to be added to…

Okay, okay. We’ve all had a good laugh, but it’s time to come clean. As many of you have no doubt realized, there is no such thing as “bitcoin.” Don’t feel bad if you fell for it. I bought in for a while. But come on. Think about it. Somebody suddenly says, “Guess what? These bits of information on my computer? They’re now worth money!” Really, how much money are they worth? “That’s an interesting question. In July of 2010, a bitcoin was worth eight cents. A year later, it was worth a dollar. Another year later, two dollars. Then, get this, in 2013 it went up to $266! Then down to $100. The up to $1,250! Then down to $600. Today, about $280, give or take. ”

Suurrrrrre… that makes sense. But say you still haven’t caught on to the gag. You ask:

So it’s really currency? I could buy stuff with it?

Yep.

I could just walk into McDonald’s and buy a Big Mac with bitcoin?

No, not McDonald’s.

Burger King?

No, Burger King doesn’t sell Big Macs.

Okay, a Whopper then, smartass?

Nope.

Grocery store?

Probably not.

So it’s more of an online thing?

Ahhh…

I can use it at Amazon, then?

No. Well, not directly. You could go to a bitcoin-accepting site that sells gift cards and buy an Amazon gift card with bitcoin, then buy something at Amazon with the gift card.

Uh, okay. But if I spend a bitcoin today to get a $200 gift card, I might find out that if I had waited until tomorrow I could have gotten a $300 card? Because the value fluctuates?

Entirely possible.

So how do I know when to spend my bitcoin?

You don’t.

Well then, are people actually spending them, or are they investing in them, hoping the price goes up like a stock?

Yes.

Finally, the light bulb comes on, you elbow the person pranking you and say You had me going.

We expect this will be the topic of the series-ending episode of Mythbusters next year, right after they reveal to Cubs fans that there has never been such a thing as a “World Series,” but only a hoax–like the moon landing–performed each year to frustrate them.

Operating System Update Brings Us To The Cutting Edge Of Hieroglyphics
Apple has released iOS 9.1 which includes some boring stuff about Live Photos and Messages, but also has a host of NEW EMOJIS! These include, as listed on DTNS, middle finger, unicorn head, hot dog, taco, and cheese wedge! Right there, with five emojis, the geniuses at Apple have encapsulated the work day for 98% of us. Commute to work-fantasize (about quitting work)-eat. It’s even my exact nightly menu from when I was single. If you keep a digital journal, your entries just got ridiculously easy: Dear Diary, click-click-click-click-click. Talk to you tomorrow! On weekends, you don’t even need the middle finger. Unless you’re a Browns fan.

Okay, But I Better Get My BAD2THEDRONE License Plate
The Department of Transportation and the FAA are looking to require registration of some consumer drones. The stated reasons include increasing safety through education and accountability for incidents such as the recent interfering with firefighting efforts, but there is suspicion that the true catalyst for this move is a highly-placed government official giggling at the thought of side-by-side Departments of Motor Vehicles and Rotor Vehicles.

I Think I’d Miss Squeezing The Melons
Amazon is charging $299 a year for Amazon Fresh, their grocery delivery service. Sure, $299 sounds like a lot, but wait until Black Friday, when non-members can only wistfully look on as early adopters stock up on 90%-off cranberry sauce. Then who’s crazy? Huh?

Mission Accomplished
Asked about Apple’s plans in the automobile industry, CEO Tim Cook said they want people to have an iPhone experience in their car. “That’s a good one,” said every pedestrian trying to cross an intersection while three straight cars blow through a red light as their drivers stare at a text message.

Any Resemblance To Actual Phones, Living Or Dead, Is Purely Coincidental
Speaking of an iPhone experience, HTC announced their new phone, the One A9, that many claim is blatantly copying the look of the iPhone. “Absolutely not,” said PR spokeswoman Carrie Pilkington. “We are, and always have been, proud of the unique qualities we bring to phone design, and will continue to be innovators in the field. Furthermore, do you really think it looks like an iPhone? You’re not just saying that?”

 

* Thought you were done hearing about Back to the Future this week, didn’t you?

 

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t take any wooden bitcoins.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2609 – Two Factors Diverged in a Wood, and I – I Took the One More Authenticated

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comShould your phone replace your password? Shannon Morse and Tom Merritt discuss whether that’s a good idea or not.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2609 – Two Factors Diverged in a Wood, and I – I Took the One More Authenticated

DTNS 2608 – Arsenal Pitches Data

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comWhy sports teams are embracing Big data and analytics to win. Turns out that stuff data nerds are into is even more helpful than the spreadsheet you read about in Moneyball. Justin Young and Tom Merritt discuss and consider supporting Arsenal.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2608 – Arsenal Pitches Data

DTNS 2607 – iOS Gives You the Middle Finger

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comYouTube Red has music, Amazon Prime shipping has mucis Apple Music has 6 million paying members but Spotify is the top grossing iOS app. So how the heck should we listen to music these days? Nate Lanxon talks with Scott Johnson and Tom Merritt about just such matters.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2607 – iOS Gives You the Middle Finger

DTNS 2606 – I Was Born Reading

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja has been gleaning the rumors of the Nintendo NX console and shares his theories and predictions for Nintendo’s success with Tom Merritt.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2606 – I Was Born Reading

DTNS 2605 – One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Power

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comWhat if we could burn trash for power? Well, we can’t. But we can Pyrolisize it for power. Josh Clark from the Stuff You Should Know podcast explains to Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt what that means and whether we will face a landfill shortage.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2605 – One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Power

Weekly Tech Views 14 – Oct 17, 2015

Untitled drawing (1)

Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Welcome back to the Weekly Tech Views, where thoughtful analysis is for suckers.

For the week of October 12-16, 2015:

That’s So 2014
Acer is coming out with two completely separate mobile devices, a laptop and a tablet. Haha! No, of course they aren’t. Acer is, of course, introducing a hybrid computer, as mandated by the computer industry’s new HYBRID policy (Here’s Your Best Revenue-Increasing Device).

How About You Back Up That “Like” With Some Cash?
Facebook is testing shopping features in their mobile app with a Buy Now button. This will allow retailers of virtually any product, from clothing to auto parts, books to handmade crafts, to sell to you, with just the click of a button, a hybrid computer.

Avoid The Origami Setting
Laundroid is a robot capable of folding clothes. While the five minutes required to fold a T-shirt may seem excessive, the time, like everything, is relative. For testing purposes, I performed a time trial measuring my speed at folding a t-shirt, and completed the relatively foreign task in ten seconds. While not necessarily up to the precise standards you might encounter on the shelves at Neiman-Marcus, it was satisfactory for my needs (a low bar, true, as “worn for two days and hanging inside-out from the bathroom doorknob” is satisfactory for my needs). At that pace, I could theoretically fold thirty shirts in that same five minutes. Theoretically. But that little experiment took place in a controlled, distraction-free environment of our laundry room.* In the real world, I have been known to remove a t-shirt from a laundry basket as the Browns kicked-off against the Steelers and had that same shirt in my hand at half-time. So, assuming the Laundroid has no interest in football, I’m willing to give it a whirl.

On This Week’s Episode Of Cute Or Creepy…
Also on the robot front this week is RoBoHoN,** a small robot from Sharp that walks, talks, dances… and is a phone. The default mode for calls is speakerphone, with the cute little robot standing on your table and moving and acting like he’s talking when the person at the other end speaks. There is also the option to pick up the robot and hold it to the side of your head, wherein RoboHoN will whisper in your ear. And you will talk into… well, there’s some debate about that.

There is no word on pricing yet, but to purchase one you will have to pass an extensive psychological evaluation. No, not really, but it would be a damned good idea. I have a friend, let’s call her Jane, who really likes her current phone. Really likes it. It’s covered in stickers, she won’t let anyone else touch it, and she calls it Phonebert. An iPhone 4s. She could easily afford a newer one, but she is attached to Phonebert. Somehow, despite a protective case and the additional padding of half-inch of stickers, she cracked a corner of the glass, and was bed-ridden with depression for days.

Imagine if she gets a RoBoHoN. At first, she’ll be in heaven. She will be the catalyst for third-party RoBoHoN outfit designers. Her RoBoHoN-ey will have a crib, a changing table (let’s face it, version 2.0 is going to drink from a bottle and wet itself), and a spinning, lighted disco ball and dance floor. Jane will be in her glory. Until she drops him. On his head. Because this phone HAS A HEAD! And it will happen. Jane will be ending a call, RoBoHoN’s hand will catch in her hoop earring, he will slip from her hand, and crash to the floor.

So let’s be careful, Sharp, about who you sell these to. Because I can’t handle that memorial service.

It Rhymes And Has A Laser, Does It Have To Work, Too?
Kickstarter suspended funding for the Laser Razor because there is no working prototype for the device that its creators claim will remove facial hair with a laser beam. The public’s reaction, of course, is, “Whew.”

Sure, the idea is cool–anything with lasers is cool–but, inevitably, RoBoHoN would arm himself with one of these, and, when you’re on the phone while eating and you drip mayonnaise from your Italian sub on RoBoHoN’s legs one time too many, he aims his modified laser up your nose and Swiss cheese-ifies your brain. Granted, he gets rid of that one nose hair you can never cut because it curls up somewhere inside your nostril until you’re out in public when it extends to its full length and it looks like a spool of thread you keep up there has started to unravel, so, silver lining and all that, I guess, but still.

Maybe I’m Planning Her Surprise Party; Did You Think Of That?
HP and 3M are going to build privacy protection screens into some laptops. These will be in HP’s new line of business laptops, protecting sensitive data from prying eyes, particularly useful when the user is in crowded public spaces, as viewing will be restricted to the person looking at the screen head-on.

Said an HP spokesperson, “It is certainly not designed to enable you to watch porn while your significant other is in the same room. Why would you even think that? That would be crazy. We would call it a porn screen, if that was the case, and we didn’t, did we? For our line of funny business laptops. But that’s not even a thing. So everyone get that idea out of your head right now. Don’t look at me like that.”

What Was Plan B, Again?
There is a theory being advanced that our need for screen interfaces is on the decline, in favor of voice commands and gesture controls. “Ain’t that a kick in the head?” said HP and 3M.

Can I Get A Discount If I Only Need Three Games?
Valve’s new SteamOS gaming system, the Steam Machine, will launch with 1,500 games available, a huge library providing plenty of variety, which is probably great news for all of you who didn’t just finish the first Portal, eleven months after starting it.

Unleash The Next Wave Of Lawyers!
A jury found that Apple had infringed on a patent held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Damages could have been as high as $862 million, but came in at $234 million. Apple responded by saying, “Okay, sorry about that,” and cutting a check on the spot. Hoho! No, Apple will appeal faster than Packer fans can say “Cheesehead.”

 

*  Now that I think of it, why don’t we have a TV down there?

** Current leader in the “Most Annoying Name To Type” race.

 

Hope you enjoyed this robot-heavy edition of the Weekly Tech Views. See you next week for another dose of the premium misinformation you can’t find anywhere else.

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

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

DTNS 2604 – There’s No Place Like 127.0.0.1

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIs Home automation finally affordable? High-end installers are now fighting for the average consumer’s dollar. Richard Gunther is at CEDIA 2015 Future Home Experience. and explains it all to Tom Merritt and Andrew Mayne.

MP3


Using a Screen Reader? Click here

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

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 headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

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!
Continue reading DTNS 2604 – There’s No Place Like 127.0.0.1

Helping each other understand.