Weekly Tech Views 19 – Nov 21, 2015

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Welcome to the Weekly Tech Views, your five-minute sanctuary from annoyingly-early Christmas commercials.

For the week of November 16 – 20, 2015

You know how basketball teams, before a game, will run layup drills? Take some really easy shots to warm up? Yeah? Good…

You’re Getting Warmer
Nvidia’s Shield Tablet is back on sale with a price reduction of $100, after a recall during the summer for potential battery fires.
[Dribbling toward the basket…]
The company is obviously hoping the recall didn’t burn any bridges with customers and that new sales don’t flame out, but at $199 this red-hot deal may be asbestos you can find.

Emoji To Your Mother
Oxford Dictionaries named their annual Word of the Year this week, and the winner was… “Face with tears of joy” emoji. Of course, this emoji is not, if you’re going to nitpick, actually in the Oxford Dictionary, nor what uptight purists would technically call a “word,” but there you have it. Whether or not this is just another flashy publicity stunt from the perpetually attention-seeking dictionary industry, it opens the door to a busy award season for the world’s most popular emoji. With the ridiculous onus removed of having to officially belong to a group in order to be judged the best of it, FWTOJ is now the frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar and NBA Player of the Month.

Son, Pretty Much Everything Is A No-Fly Zone
Drone maker DJI will be implementing a geofencing system to keep drones from entering restricted areas. This technology is expected to prove extremely lucrative once adapted for a line of wristbands that a father can slap on the wrists of the boy arriving to date his daughter.

Government For The People… Yeah, Right
The New York Attorney General’s office has issued a subpoena to Yahoo related to its investigation of daily fantasy sports. Sure, now they’re looking into fantasy football. But when I contacted them about the injustice of my 2004 Rudy Johnson-for-Randy Moss trade getting vetoed in my neighborhood auction league, they were all, “Sir, if Security has to remove you a fourth time, we will press charges.”

I’ll Bet They Never Get Tired Of These Jokes
Apple Pay went into effect in Canada this week, where it is known, of course, as Apple P-eh?

I Paid $200 And I’m Still Under Contract, I’m Not Throwing It Away
Amazon has enabled two-factor authentication, making your account more secure by requiring a code from an app or text message in addition to your password for access. If you are accessing your account from an Amazon Fire Phone, this additional step is unnecessary, because, well… who else has a Fire Phone?

Guy Who Lugged Twenty Pounds Of Punch Cards To Program A Computer In 1971 Finds Another Reason To Bang His Head On The Table
Google and Asus launched the Chromebit, a complete Chrome OS computer fully contained on an HDMI stick. Approximately thirty seconds after this “PC on a stick” was announced earlier this year, a phone rang in the Google marketing department:

“Hello?… You’d be perfect for what?… Who is this?… Jeff Dunham? A ventriloquist? You want to do a commercial for our PC on a stick? I’m not sure how a ventril… you’d use your Jalapeno on a stick? Why is a jalapeno on a stick?… On a steeeeek? I’m afraid that doesn’t really explain anything…”

That Is One Sexy P/E Ratio
Owner of dating companies Match.com, OKCupid, and Tinder, the Match Group issued an IPO with stock at $12 per share, which was at the low end of expectations. Spirits on Wall Street were buoyed, however, when a number of investment analysts rated the company “a strong right swipe.”

It’s Not Me, It’s You
Facebook is introducing tools to allow users to “digitally distance themselves” from former loved ones without going as far as blocking or unfriending them, instead providing the option to share less information with the other party. Guess that means you’ll be missing out on my holiday activities this year, Cleveland Browns.

On The Other Hand, They Do Make Tasty Lasagnachos
Google is encouraging users to contribute to Google Local Guides, their Yelp-like review service, by offering point-based awards for things like fixing errors and writing new reviews. A heads-up: it turns out you can’t rack up points by repeatedly submitting a review of Smitty’s Pizzaritos (“Greater Cleveland’s Finest Mexitalian Cuisine”) claiming that forgetting your side of refried anchovies makes them, to quote Homer Simpson, “the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.”

I Get Distracted By The Craft Beer Aisle–You Don’t Just Cruise Past “Old Leghumper” On Your Way To The Canned Tuna Without Stopping For A Second Look
Forecasters expect that, with the increased use of on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft, car sales will decrease while total miles driven will actually increase. Currently, cars in the U.S. travel approximately two trillion miles, half of which is likely the result, based on personal experience, of husbands returning to the store for something they forgot “that was written right here on the list if you bothered to look.”

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and thanks for spending a few minutes each week to read these Weekly Tech Views, despite the very real possibility that you end up knowing less about tech after doing so. And if you have actually told someone else about this blog, you get not only my thanks, but I’m going to come up with a wristband to wear in your honor (if there are any colors left to choose from).

 

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

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