Tag Archives: humor

Monthly Tech Views – Jan 29, 2017

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Welcome to the first Monthly Tech Views of 2017! This will be very similar to the beloved* Weekly Tech Views, though it will appear, as you calendar aficionados have guessed, approximately 25% as often.

I would like to start by addressing the concern I’m sure most of you have–rest assured that, although I will now have four times as many stories to choose from, I will not be saddling you with a blog post four times as long. No, I see no point in annoying you with a twenty-minute read when I have every confidence I can annoy you in five minutes.

 

Do We Really Need An Accountant?
The Right to Disconnect Law went into effect in France, requiring companies of more than 50 employees to establish hours when work email is not to be sent or received. The hope is for less stress and burnout among workers, while some experts go so far as to predict that this will result in France leading the world in companies of exactly 50 employees.

It Depends On What Angle You Look At The Subscribers From
Sprint has purchased 33% of artist-owned (well, 67% artist-owned, apparently) music service Tidal. Tidal claims 3 million subscribers, though there are reports that this total is inflated and is actually closer to 1.1 million. Even if that is true, it’s tough to come down too hard on them with the double duty they were pulling estimating inauguration crowds.

I’d Hate To Have To Raid The Emergency Bags In The Panic Room
Amazon has begun placing virtual Dash buttons on shoppers’ home screens. On the plus side, you don’t have to pay the initial five dollars required for the physical button, but the obvious drawback is what if I run out of Doritos while sitting on the couch in the living room and my laptop is way the hell over on the dining room table? I’m supposed to get up and walk to the computer, boot up, log in to Amazon and click on the button? Instead of the reliable, instant method of manically mashing the real-life button on the nearest end table (I always run out of Doritos on the couch) with my Jacked-Smoky-Chipotle-BBQ-cheese-dust-caked hand? Okay, sure. And why don’t I just use smoke signals from now on to call 911?

We Apologize For Overestimating How Hard They Were Willing To Work
Uber reached a $20 million settlement with the FTC for exaggerating drivers’ potential income, quoting a “median” annual income that only 10% of drivers reached.

“Okay, maybe we shot a little high on how much most drivers would make, but still, there’s no denying that our drivers can make decent money while having the freedom to work any hours they choose. They are their own boss! I mean, they can bring in a pretty respectable chunk of change whether they decide to work 6am to midnight or noon to 6am!”

You Can Sleep When You’re Rich
An MIT study found that 3,000 ride-hailing vehicles could meet 94% of the demand currently handled by 14,000 taxis in New York City, though the simulation indicated the requirement of autonomous vehicles running continuously for extended hours.

“Who said they have to be self-driving?” yelled underpaid Uber drivers as they hunted for the accelerator through a clattering, calf-deep sea of Red Bull cans.

It’s Called An Homage. A Desperate, Frantic Homage.
Jerry Seinfeld received a $100 million deal to bring Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee from Crackle to Netflix. “Yeah, so, what do we care? We’ll be… just… fine,” said Crackle executives as they hurriedly ramped up production on their hot new show Teachers in Trucks Getting Tang.

There’s Always A Catch
Ford has a device called SmartLink that can be added to 2010-and-newer Ford and Lincoln vehicles, adding not only remote start, lock, and unlock capabilities, but also providing a WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.

“Sweet!” said teenagers who use the family car to cruise around town, envisioning the hero they’ll be to all their friends on limited data plans.

Plus, the accompanying app will track driving habits and alert the car’s owner if preset speed limits and geographical boundaries are exceeded.

“Why you gotta ruin everything, Ford?” said teenagers.

You’re Saying My Oven Will Never Be On For More Than Ten Consecutive Minutes?
GE WiFi ovens now integrate with Nest Protect smoke detectors so that if smoke is detected, the detector will shut down the oven.

“That’s all well and good, but where is something like that for phone batteries?” asked Samsung.

All You Had To Do Was Ask
Stanford researchers have invented a lithium-ion battery that, should it overheat, melts its fire-retardant shell and stops a fire in less than half a second.

“That’s all well and good, but can you stop marketing it as Samsung-proofed?” asked Samsung.

Buy High, Sell High. Or At Least Really Drunk.
The value of alleged digital currency Bitcoin surpassed $1,000 for the first time in three years on the Bitstamp exchange. In other fake currency news, the magic beans I got for the family cow are now worth 14 flippityzillion dibzerts on the Beanstamp exchange.

The Public Will Forgive An Honest Mistake
Reacting to a story, a San Diego news anchor said, “I love the little girl saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse’,” thus activating many viewers’ Amazon Echoes, prompting them to order dollhouses.

Hopefully this will serve as an important lesson to other newscasters, who should realize that doing something like that–except substituting “dollhouse” with “the really funny book, Tech, Please!”–is a good way to earn a quick fifty bucks.

———————————————————————————–

Speaking of books filled with humorous tech stories, sales of Tech, Please are going so well that the New York Times called me “the Stephen King of tech humor.” Wait, no… it wasn’t in the Times, it was in my daydream journal. Still, it was nice to see in writing.

You can get your hands on your own copy of Tech, Please!, the book Publishers Weekly is calling–

Nope, that was in my journal, too. Damn, I could have sworn there was a real one–

Ah-ha! Even better!–the book Tom Merritt and Justin Robert Young called “Hilarious… clever… amazing” on DTNS. Take that, periodicals!

Anyhow, you can find it at Amazon RIGHT HERE.

 

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in February, when we’ll hear Crackle say, “Bookkeepers on Boats Getting Beer?”

 

* My wife said she liked it once.

 

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

Weekly Tech Views: The Tech, No Logic Blog – Nov 20, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

It’s starting to snow here in Cleveland, Christmas cookies are being baked not ten feet from me, and Christmas music (currently Pentatonix) is playing on the Amazon Prime Music machine. All of which naturally puts one in the mind of gift-giving. But more on that, ahem, later. For now… to the nonsense!

 For the week of November 14 – 18, 2016…

Face-Sell Recognition
Facebook has acquired a company that specializes in providing facial analysis in real time for smartphones. A Facebook spokesman said this “will help bring more fun effects to photos and videos.” Then, after pausing a moment while employees started fourteen blenders, nine vacuum cleaners, a half-dozen chainsaws, thirty-three leaf blowers, and a garbage disposal packed with silverware, he whispered, “And it can measure reactions which could, theoretically, if we ever decided to go in that direction with it, be helpful in advertising.”

“FanKings” Was Ruled Out When An Intern Said “FanKing Awesome”
Fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel are merging. I would have bet a lot of money that the new name would be DraftDuel, but there are rumblings that, in order to better reflect their new monopolistic market dominance, they are going to go with Comcast.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Not Having To Be Creative Ourselves
Twitter is now letting users to add friends via QR codes, a feature very similar to Snapchat’s.

Asked just how important this ability was, a Twitter spokesman replied, “Are you kidding? This is huge! Look around, what do companies that are really thriving right now–Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp–all have in common?”

“Um, they don’t take forever to implement changes their customers want cough edit tweets cough?

“Hahaha no. They steal from Snapchat! I don’t know how Snapchat does it without a Snapchat to steal from. Hey, if you close one eye and tilt your head, doesn’t our bird look like a ghost?”

It’s Got 560 Under The Hood. No, Not Horsepower, Degrees
Samsung is buying Harman International for $8 billion. The maker of Harmon/Kardan and JBL audio products, Harman also produces infotainment, safety, and security electronics for vehicles. According to Samsung’s Chief Strategy Officer, this does not mean they will begin manufacturing cars.

“Whew,” said everyone familiar with the size of a car battery.

And Just Turn Your Phone Off If You Get Within Ten Feet Of The Supply Closet
Google’s updated Google Play Music app can now recommend music based on a user’s location and activities, presenting playlists you most often use in different situations. Google thinks this will be appreciated in most circumstances, but they do suggest that if you get to work and accidentally hit “play” on the app-suggested Barry White Sexy Time Mood Music playlist, whatever you do, you and Beth in Accounts Payable shouldn’t make eye contact.

One Potato, Eww Potato
Following the plot of the movie The Martian, The Martian VR Experience became available this week for the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. I definitely want to try this puzzle game out, provided it realistically replicates every aspect of Mark Whatley’s challenges on Mars. Except the potato-growing part. Specifically, the fertilizing part. That can be crayon drawings. Actually, a skip button would be cool.

There’s Always A Catch
The Google PhotoScan app will let you capture physical photos and convert them to digital versions. The process requires you taking five photos of the original photo, which the app analyzes to remove glare, reflections, and shadows before stitching the best aspects together in a high-resolution image.

No thanks. This taking five shots of the same thing feels suspiciously excessive–too much of a Candyman vibe, right? Say his name five times and end up on the business end of a hook? So, what, you take the photo five times and get sucked into the picture for all time? And it’s the photo of the cramped area under your porch that you photographed for Animal Control so they could see the family of rabid skunks living there? And you’re stuck for eternity in the dark being bitten by diseased skunks and you scream with every bite and every time you scream they spray their skunky smell into your gaping mouth?

Wait, I know–take the five photos of that beach you loved in Hawaii! How great would that be? Living on that beach forever, where the setting sun makes the sky an eternal, spectacularly beautiful reddish-orange, and where all your worries melt away until you realize the only thing you have to eat is sand that falls far shy of your recommended daily allowance of everything but sand and it’s a race to see whether starvation or the ironic dehydration of drinking ocean water gets you first.

I’ll live with a little glare, PhotoScan. (1)

I Didn’t Actually See The Last Driver Do It, But He Had That Look In His Eye
Domino’s has begun delivering pizza via drone in New Zealand. This is great news for customers, because not only will the drone get their order to them inside of ten minutes, but it won’t spit on their pizza because they tipped it only fifty cents last time.

Old Buddy, Old Pal
412 million user accounts were accessed in a hack of the Friend Finder Network, including 339 million from AdultFriendFinder.com. The question, of course, is why? Why add to the problems of people who are obviously so overwhelmed with job and family responsibilities that they don’t have time to make friends in their daily life and are willing to pay hard-earned money to find comradeship from… “the world’s largest sex and swinger community.”

Hmm. Okay, in my defense, Friend Finder Network is not as descriptive as it could be.

What Would That Even Be?
Barnes and Noble is releasing a new fifty-dollar Nook tablet to compete with Amazon’s cheapest Kindle. Initial excitement waned, however, when the Fifty Shades of Grey crowd listened closer and discovered it was a Nook e-reader and not, in fact, a nookie (2) reader.

Maybe They Can Hold The Phone
A recent Google AI experiment features a phone app that can rap about what it sees, which, unfortunately, will soon take jobs from elderly white actresses in bad comedies.

 

(1)   Did you know if you rearrange the letters in PhotoScan you get Nacho Stop? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with what we were talking about. Some things are just interesting, okay?

(2)  Do people still say “nookie”? Try it, it’s fun.

 

What else? I feel like there was something else. Nacho Stop was big, but there was something… I want to say… Kickstartery?…

Yes, the Kickstarter for Tech, Please!, my collection of the year’s Weekly Tech Views, is LIVE. What a great gift idea! The chance to read over 500 stories recapping 2016’s tech news without the burden of wondering if the author is qualified to put the news in perspective. He isn’t! Never has been! Isn’t that freeing? One way or another, you end up laughing–either with me or at me. A no-lose proposition! Check it out RIGHT HERE!

 (I’m not saying you necessarily need to drop everything and go right away, but the campaign is only three weeks long, so if you aren’t holding anything breakable…)

 

 

 Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike

Creative Commons License
Weekly Tech Views: The Tech, No Logic Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.