Weekly Tech Views – April 2, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

We’ve made it to April, and the top tech question here in northern Ohio, is, of course, “Where can I get a VR headset? Any VR headset? Just please let me forget it’s still snowing.”

For the week of March 28 – April 1, 2016

 The Upgrade Bug–Catch It!
It’s been reported that some users of older iPhones, after updating to iOS 9.3, encountered a bug in which they were asked to enter their Apple ID, and if they couldn’t do so were denied access to the device. After three incorrect attempts a notification appears reading “Probably easier to just buy a shiny new iPhone SE, huh? You know you want one. Or how about a 6s? This is the perfect excuse, right? What’s your penny-pinching spouse going to say? You have to have a phone, and the FBI couldn’t make us unlock one for them; what can you do?”

I Don’t Understand, It Goes With Anything
Microsoft announced there will be a Windows 10 “anniversary” update this summer. Great. Another anniversary to remember. Let me guess–they aren’t going to be happy with a Weekly Tech Views t-shirt, either, are they?

You Can’t Get Anything Good For 99 Cents Anymore
Amazon is banning cheap USB-C cables after a Google engineer’s Chromebook Pixel was fried when using one. It’s certainly disillusioning, because one of the last things I had faith in was 5-star “most best cabel of usbc I have used of myself” reviews.

One More Office Pool For Mindy In Payroll To Win
While the Department of Justice has dropped their case to require Apple to help them break into a terrorist’s phone, the iPhone maker has probably not seen the last of the DOJ’s attorneys. The American Civil Liberties Union has found 64 more cases in which the DOJ has filed orders to have Apple or Google unlock phones.

Hearing this, marketing department executives at Apple and Google looked at each other and said, “Did they just say 64?” Moments later, they had whited-out their own failed March Madness brackets and distributed the phones in question across the four regions, promising that the winning device would, in fact, be unlocked, with the tournament champion determined by a combination of votes by DOJ employees–live-streamed via YouTube–and those of a worldwide viewing audience.

The number one overall seed, a Galaxy S7 Edge owned by Florida drug kingpin Russ “Don’t Call Me Rusty” Tee, should have no problem marching through the Southeast Region, where, surprisingly, its stiffest competition may come in the third round from the controversial #4 seed, a Louisiana iPhone 5s suspected of containing a pirated copy of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Then it’s a simple matter of turning the phone over to Apple or Google to let them do their jobs, right? Wrong! The device will then be presented to ten teams of hackers, each paired with a “celebrity” Apple or Google programmer, who will race to access the critical piece of evidence–with potential national security implications–while also hoping to find love, in a 13-episode run of Hacked Off!, a Syfy original (airing Wednesdays at 10pm, immediately after Face Off).

More Like Rice-A-Phony, Am I Right? *
There’s a new smart rice cooker on the market called the MIJIA Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, which takes longer to say than to cook the microwaveable rice I eat. It sounds impressive–adjust the softness of your rice from an app, gets heating instructions by scanning the packaging of over 200 brands of rice–until you get to the part about it having 2,450 heating methods. Why did they have to undermine their credibility by making such a ridiculous claim? There are, at maximum, five ways to cook rice, and that includes strapping one of those aforementioned microvaveable bags under your arm while putting in 45 minutes on the treadmill.

I Think It’s The Spring Prints That Add Bulk
Amazon now has over a hundred brands making use of their Dash buttons, a button customers can push to automatically reorder an item. Convenient I suppose, but if you’re having some friends over, and those friends are apt to have a few drinks, April Fool’s Day is not the time to install them. Do you know how much space is taken up by 200 rolls of Bounty Two-Ply Spring Prints paper towels?

Also, This Section Of The Site Is Down For Maintenance 6AM-Midnight
A proposed California law would require internet service providers to let customers cancel their service online if they allow them to sign up that way. “No problem,” said ISPs. “Just go to Help – Clientele Facilitation – Account Term Modification – Prolongation/Abbreviation – Suspension/Termination – Have You Considered Our Current Deals? – I Mean Have You Actually Read Them And Evaluated The Benefits Of Staying With Us? – Maybe If You Called We Could Explain It To You Better – Okay, If You Won’t Listen To Reason Click Here and your service will be discontinued within 24 hours of completing the 150-question ‘Why I’m Leaving’ survey.”

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Curse Words
Instagram is apparently on the verge of rolling out an algorithmically-ordered feed. Nobody has seen the result of this yet, but that didn’t stop the internet from shouting, “I hate it, I hate it!”, and then stomping down the hall and slamming the door to its room.

But How Will He Know Classes Are Starting At The Local Community College?
Pandora made a change at CEO, with founder Tim Westergren reassuming the position he held over a decade ago. Departing CEO Brian McAndrews said not only was his severance package fair, but declared the one-time fifty dollar fee well worth not having to hear a couple commercials every six minutes during his exit interview.

 

* In case you’re new to this blog, the answer is, “No. No you are not.”

 

And now for something having nothing at all to do with tech…

Did you know Tom and Jennie have teamed up to compete in a fantasy movie league? Would you like to follow their progress? Are you willing to read more of my writing? Ahh–went one too far, didn’t I?

Well, if you’d like to see Team DTNS gun for the Night Attack Summer Movie Draft championship, here are links to the first two weekly CRUMDUMs (Chatrealmer’s Ridiculously Unofficial Movie Draft Update Memo).

2016 Summer Movie Draft Preview

2016 Summer Movie Draft Week 1

And you can follow me on Twitter to know when each week’s update goes up:

Mike Range
@MovieLeagueMike (so that’s why he calls himself that)

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

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