Since Len and Darren both had conflicts, and it’s the Good Friday holiday in some parts of the world, Tom just talks about the main headlines and reads a few extra emails.
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Headlines Only show today, so here are some headlines!
VentureBeat reports Microsoft will not turn on “Do Not Track” by default in the fortcoming Project Spartan browser. Microsoft began turning on DNT by default with the release of Internet Explorer 10 two years ago. The W3C standard states users must set their own tracking preferences. The effectiveness of DNT is questionable since The Digital Advertising Alliance, The Better Business Bureaus and DMA do not penalize companies for not honoring the signals.
Reuters reports Indonesia is looking to expand its requirements that importers of smartphones manufacture a percentage of their product in Indonesia or have their import license revoked. New regulations targeting 4G smartphones are expected to be completed in June and go into force Jan. 1, 2017. No phones were manufactured in Indonesia until last year when 15 companies, including Samsung, submitted plans to the Industry Ministry to start production.
News From You:
h82or8 posted an article about Sony buying what’s left of cloud game streamer OnLive. Sony Computer Entertainment gets patents and some assets and the service will shut down April 30. Sony bought similar game streaming company Gaikai in July 2012 and has since launched PlayStation Now. VentureBeat notes Steam games purchased through the service will remain in Steam but no refunds will be given for any purchases and all saved game date will be deleted.
Starfuryzeta posted the Gizmodo story about the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System that lets a pilot see through the aircraft’s airframe thanks to infrared cameras streaming from around the aircraft. Additionally information like airspeed, heading, altitude, targeting information and warnings are projected on the helmet’s visor. For this Oculus Rift of Reality in the Air you just need $400,000. And Form 4009 .
spsheridan pointed out the Wired piece covering comments made by CTO of Microsoft Azure Mark Russinovich at ChefConf about open sourcing Windows. The words getting everyone excited are “It’s definitely possible. It’s a new Microsoft.” But don’t expect it to happen soon. Russinovich also said. “If you open source something but it comes with a build system that takes rocket scientists and three months to set up, what’s the point?” It seems Russinovich, is trying to say that the Microsoft that vilified open source in the late 1990s is gone. Linux can run on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft has open sourced .Net and some other software. And at some point it would make sense to move Windows to a Linux-like support and implementation business model.
And finally thanks to starfuryzeta we saw the Engadget article that BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch told Autoblog that for “the introduction of every new model, there will be a plug-in hybrid version of that, too.” Notice he said new model. Willisch squashed rumors of a BMW i5/i7 plug-in hybrid, though BMW did say when it announced plug-in options for core models back in December, that it’s plug-in hybrid tech could go into any of its vehicles. So never say never. Still Willisch says it won’t happen “any time soon.”
Pick of the Day: Razor Blades!
On episode 2461, you talked about how you’re excited to use the Amazon Prime Dash to order razor blades. As a much cheaper alternative, I’d like to recommend Dorco razors. The Dorco razor cartridges cost a dollar and change per blade, where the major brand blades on Amazon are sold for almost $4 per blade. You can order the blades direct from the manufacturer at DorcoUSA.com with free shipping. — Jason from ‘getting warmer’ Manhattan
Hello Tom, Jennie, and Guest
This is not remotely tech-related. In fact, it’s old-school. Listening to episode 2461, you mentioned purchasing your razor blades from Amazon.
As a listener and supporter, I would like to do you and the rest of your audience a favor by recommending shaving with a double-edged razor.
The blades last for quite a few shaves, and can be had for as little as $0.13 each compared to the latest $4, mach 25, tea tree oil-infused, turbo-galactic blades with rotating DLP color-wheel.
I have a heavy beard and get no cuts or ingrown hairs with double-edged shaving. I also gave up on using shaving cream 15 years ago; hot water is all you need. Just, you know, DON’T be in a hurry.
Jonathan from Columbus ( 2 hours south of lovely Cleveland )
Message of the Day
Hi Tom & Jennie
I realise that I’ve probably missed the “edit” now as this is from last week, but it’s still super interesting to me.
Microsoft is accepting patches from Adobe into their new browser, Project Spartan. I’d not really considered the possibility that Microsoft might open source Spartan previously but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me.
Firstly, Microsoft is really trying to sell Spartan as a new, different browser – killing the IE brand and strongly emphasising web standards (at least in the web development community). They also recently(ish) announced their intent to open source .NET, another of Microsoft’s big closed source projects. Finally, apart from Safari, all the major desktop browsers are open source.
Am I crazy?
Keep up the good work,
Ali Smith a.k.a. fortythieves in chat
On your Wednesday show, you and Allison talked a lot about accessibility of phone apps – it was a great discussion.
A couple things came to mind when I was listening:
– You didn’t mention Web sites much, but they are actually a large percentage of what people visit from their computer and phone, and they have a lot of accessibility issues and solutions.
– The US Federal government (and many other governments) publish standards on accessibility. For the US, it’s called Section 508 (or longer, Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). This addresses accessibility across everything digital, from documents to websites to applications. Here’s a good site to get a sense: http://www.section508.gov
While a lot of what you talked about is part of this, such as text instead of images for buttons, there are other things as well that are less obvious, like ensuring contrasting colors for people who are colorblind. There are a number of tools that can automatically test for the objective items, like alt-tags on images, but there is a lot of Accessibility that is more qualitative and open to interpretation, and requires people who are dedicated to testing and ensuring accessibility.
As an example, our company has a number of people dedicated to Section 508 compliance and accessibility, including people who actually depend on it (e.g. people who are blind, deaf, and others).
This might be a case where the federal government(s) are ahead of industry since it’s part of their mission – many agencies issue Section 508 report cards and grade their systems on accessibility!
Thanks for the great show,
Travis wrote a detailed note on how Surface and Surface pro are used in his world as an IT manager: “iPads are great, I’ve had one since the iPad 2 and loved it, but they can be a bear to manage for our company. Something like the Surface, we can manage with our existing group policies and deliver all of the software we need. The HP, Dell and Lenovo devices again are nice and more serviceable (i.e. removeable battery, ssd, etc); however, they typically aren’t built as well and some features do not function quite as well as they do on the Surface. For example, the pen and digitizer work better on the Surface than the Dells in our experience.”
Hey there Tom, Jennie & guest(s),
While I am not currently an engineer for a cable company, I was one previously, and worked directly with upgrading the infrastructure of our network to implement the ‘new’ DOCSIS 3 technologies.
Parsing the various statements shows that while Comcast looks to be leveraging their current business fiber offering for metro Atlanta subscribers (a technology offered by most cable internet providers), Wired posted an article right around the end of Friday’s DTNS episode, and an expanded quote from Comcast mentions specifically that their new DOCSIS 3.1 implementation will allow “almost every customer in our footprint will be able to receive gigabit speeds over our existing network.” This is telling, as Comcast would need to spend tens of billions of dollars to implement a FTTH solution to their ~20 million subscribers. This is based on a fairly low estimate of $1500 per fiber install. As they had approximately that many total cable subscribers a couple of years ago, it will be interesting to see how they plan to roll out a true fiber solution to so many people.
Not that a DOCSIS 3.1 solution is a bad thing, as the new standard offers multi-gigabit download speeds and significant upload speeds as well, though not symmetrical, due to the nature of DOCSIS technology. Comcast is one of the companies really pushing hard for the new standard, with some of the first live test deployments to the field.
Thanks for the great news and commentary, and keep up the great work,