DTNS 2178 – Descending Mt. Gox

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRoger Chang joins me to dig into the Mt. Gox Bitcoin mess, have some further thoughts on Comcast-Netflix and look at a new language! Also, do selfies cause lice?


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


A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the 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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Roger Chang, TV and web video producer


Mt. Gox goes offline: Ars Technica and really the whole tech journalism sphere are reporting on Mt. Gox going offline. The site has been replaced by a message that transactions are closed for the time being for the protection of users. A joint statement from other Bitcoin exchanges accuses Mt. Gox of being a bad actor and promises make botching more secure and easy to use for customers. A leaked set of slides purports to show Mt. Gox plans to name a new CEO and possibly sell the company to new investors and relaunch under the name Gox. The domain name Gox.com is owned by MT. Gox’s CEO and the record was updated Feb. 24th.

Apple releases OS X patch for SSL security bug: TechCrunch reports Apple has released their OS X patch for security bug that meant all data secured in SSL was susceptible to man in the middle attacks from nearby hackers. The bug was patched for iOS this weekend. Anyone running OS X 10.9 is urged to update the OS as soon as possible. The patch also adds audio-only capability to FaceTime on the desktop.

Blackberry announces a Foxconn-made phone called the Z3: TechCrunch has the new BlackBerry announcements including the much-rumored Foxconn-made phone called the Z3. The touchscreen smartphone has a 5-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz dual core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage and an internal FM radio! The Z3 will launch in Indonesia first. BlackBerry also announced a 3.5-inch phone with a QWERTY keyboard called the Q20.

T-Mobile adds 1.6 million subscribers in Q4: But they lost $20 million or 3 cents a share on revenue of $6.83 billion. All those snotty ads cost money. Still they only added 61,000 subscribers a year ago so the expensive ads did seem to work.

Tivo founders launch QPlay device

Motorola took to Twitter to announce the company is working on a watch to come out this year and promise a new version of Moto X coming late summer

Freescale Semiconductor introduced an ARM-baed micro controller unit smaller than a golf ball dimple for use in embedded devices that make up the Internet of Things. 


News From You

pete_C posted a ZDNet story to the SubReddit that got some up votes. Seems Ars Technica noted the security team at FireEye developed a proof-of-concept app that could run in the background of a mobile device and log your keystrokes. FireEye originally posted that they successfully got such an app through Apple’s app store but that post has been removed. The defense for now is to be careful what apps you install, and only allow apps you trust to run in the background.

and sewell2 submitted the Ars Technica article on Stephen Elop becoming head of Microsoft’s Devices and Studios group, once Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset division is completed. Devices and Services makes the Xbox and the Surface among other things. The Nokia handset business will fall under that division as well. Julie Larson-Green, who currently heads Devices & Services, will become “Chief Experience Officer” of the “My Life & Work” team as soon as Elop joins.

News from Roger: Google sets roadblocks to stop distracted driver legislation


Discussion Section Links: Mt Gox Has Fallen










Pick of the Day: 

Tomorrow’s Guest:  Sean Hollister, West Coast Editor at The Verge

DTNS 2177 – Samsung has a Fit

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comWe have Iyaz Akhtar and Nate Lanxon joining us to chat about the Samsung Galaxy S5. We also clear up *some* of the confusion around the Netflix Comcast agreement. The bad things about it are likely not the bad things you think they are.


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


A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the 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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Samsung announces  the Samsung Galaxy V:  The 5.1-inch phone comes with a fingerprint unlock button, built-in heart rate monitor, and is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance. It can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It also comes with a 16-megapixel camera capable of recording at 4K and inside sports a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM,and a 2800mAh battery. The Galaxy S5 is scheduled to launch globally on April 11 and will be available on all major US carriers. Samsung also announced the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear 2 Fit with a heart rate monitor, the next versions of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch. The new versions run on the Tizen operating system, promising better battery life and camera placement.

Nokia introduces Android-based smartphone with Microsoft Apps Ars Technica reports Nokia introduced a line of Android-based smartphones. Similar to a Kindle Fire, the Nokia X phones will run Android underneath but without any of the Google services. Nokia will have its own app store, mapping services, search by Bing, and Microsoft apps like Skype and Outlook pre-installed. The interface also has a Windows Phone-like style. The 4-inch Nokia X goes on sale immediately for €89. The 4-inch X+ and 5-inch XL go on sale next quarter, at €99 and €109 respectively.

HTC reveals mid-range smartphones, saves the ‘flagship’ device for March 25th: According to Recode, HTC announced two mid-range smartphones at Mobile World Congress. The HTC Desire 816 features a 5-megapixel front camera, 13 megapixel rear camera, a quad-cord Snapdragon processor and 5.5 inch display. The device hits China in March and other countries in April. The 4.7-inch Desire 610 ships to Europe In May. No pricing available yet for either phone. The company saved a new flagship device for an event on March 25th. The Verge reports HTC also announced the ‘Power to Give’ app which uses idle phone processors to provide up to a petaflop of processing power to speed help cure AIDS, fight cancer and help SETI find ET, who could then phone home on a new — nope. Not gonna do it.

Zuckerberg talks internet.org at Mobile World Congress: The BBC wrote about Mark Zuckerberg’s speech at Mobile World Congress. Zuckerberg focused on the Internet.org effort he spearheads, which aims to put billions of people online. A pilot program was announced to bring free online education to students in Rwanda. A partnership between Facebook and Unilever will research lack of Internet access in India, and another survey will estimate the value of expanding access in the developing world in general. CNN reports that in a Q&A session, Zuckerberg also said WhatsApp was worth more than $19 billion because it has the potential for 1 billion users. He also indicated he though the government blew it in its response to the Snowden leaks.

News From You

MANAGEMIKE and elefunk both submitted stories about Netflix and Comcast announcing the two companies have reached a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement. The Wall Street Journal claims Netflix will pay for the deal. Ars Technica’s sources could not confirm that. Dan Rayburn argued on streamingmedia.com that this agreement is a good thing for both Netflix and Comcast.





flashsider submitted a CNET report that Mozilla announced a partnership with Chinese semiconductor designer Spreadtrum to produce a FirefoxOS phone that will sell for $25. A prototype was available, and CNET’s Stepghen Shankland said it worked well. Mozilla also showed off new FirefoxOS phones coming from Alcatel, ZTE and Huawei, as well as tablet designs from VIA, Foxconn and Alcatel.

SkyJedi submitted the Guardian article that Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp announced voice capability will be added to the Android and iOS versions of the app starting in the second quarter of this year, followed by some Nokia and BlackBerry phones. Competing messaging apps like KakaoTalk, Line and BBM already offer voice services.

More links from the show

Sony announces two smartphones and a tablet at Mobile World Congress

 Microsoft announces bundles of the Xbox One console with the game Titanfall for $499 starting March 11, that’s the same price the Xbox One sells for in the US without Titanfall

Apple releases security patch for SSL vulnerability

Brazil and the European Union agreed Monday to lay an undersea communications cable between Lisbon, Portugal and Fortaleza, Brazil. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the $185 million cable project was central to “guarantee the neutrality” of the Internet.” 

Current Geek 07: Replicate Me

On this week’s Current Geek, Google gets all 3D and stuff, we are ready to Guard the Galaxy, Zero Point time, Levine is done with Bioshock forever, Leo designers ahoy, 3D priting is coming along so quickly, Spike wants to go to space, Crystal Skull vodka bottle with flesh is weird, Facebook spends big money, wearing our computers one day, your emails and MORE!

DTNS 2176 – Peering into the Rift

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAshley Esqueda and Darren Kitchen join to get pumped for the Samsung Galaxy S V, buyout a Chevy’s, and divine the release date of the Oculus Rift by reading the entrails of an Oculus Rift. Also Len Peralta will illustrate the show.


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


A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the 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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Apple acquires Burstly TechCrunch reports Apple acquired Burstly, the company that owns analytic tool FlightPath and the app TestFlight which lets developers distribute their apps to beta testers before they submit it to the app store. TestFlight plans to end support for Android app testing as of March 21st. Shocker.

Samsung: Number 5 is Alive. (Also, wet.)  TechCrunch reports on Samsung’s teaser video promoting its upcoming February 24th announcement. The video shows a lot of people having fun doing things that involve phones somehow along with suggestive words like “Alive” and “Wet” all accompanied by the number 5. SO CRYPTIC SAMSUNG! I’ll be joining Cali Lewis and John P. for the GeekBeat.tv coverage of the event Monday at 2 PM Eastern.

News From You

Normgregory submitted our first News from You on the subreddit. This Reuters story tells how DirecTV Chief Executive Officer Mike White rather unsurprisingly has called for close scrutiny of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger, and the effective broadband monopoly it would create. But White didn’t exactly say he’s against it, just that his company has not decided what position to take, and wants to make sure it’s appropriately scrutinized.

habichuelacondulce pointed us to this Engadget article on Broadcom’s new BCM4771 Global Navigation Satellite System System on a Chip. What does that mean in English? Better battery life for wearables like smart watches that want GPS built in. The 40-nanometer construction and new sensor hub also make it more accurate. Broadcom will show it off at Mobiel World Congress next week.

And Rich_Seattle pointed us to an Engadget story that European streaming service Lovefilm will become part of Amazon’s Prime subscription in both UK and Germany starting Feb. 26th, under the new name Prime Instant Video. The Prime service which still gives one-day shipping will jump from £49 (€29) to £79 (€49). Existing subscribers won’t have to pay extra until the next time their subscription is up. Lovefilm will continue to run a DVD rental business.

More links from the show

Oculus Gearing Up to Host its Own VR Convention, ‘RiftCon’

Amazon getting ready to launch an Internet video streaming box?

Google acquires Spider.io

Fitbit issues a voluntary recall of the Fitbit Force following reports of skin irritation

Nvidia announces the Tegra Note 7 LTE for $299

Korean Messaging Service Kakao Gets Ready For A $2 Billion IPO 

Jolla’s Sailfish OS and smartphones are commercially ready and heading into new markets 

Oculus, not just for games

Pick of the day via listener Ron Kehn:

I recently discovered an app that allows me to use my Google chromecast to play videos stored on my android device.

The free application is called AllCast. It is available on the playstore.  A review can be found at Digital Trends

S&L Video: Author Spotlight – Hugh Howey

We’re back!!! Welcome back to the space castle, everybody! HUGE thanks to our Kickstarter supporters for making this possible. In our first episode of Season 2, we talk to Wool Omnibus author Hugh Howey.  Find out how not to get shoved outside, how George R. R. Martin motivated Hugh’s career, and his number one editing tip.

Direct MP3 download here.
Subscribe to the YouTube page here!
Or via iTunes!
Other file formats here!

DTNS 2175 – What’s Appening?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont and Nate Lanxon join us to explain why Facebook REALLY bought WhatsApp. Also why Twitch Plays Pokemon is probably more important.


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


A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the 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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Facebook Did What? I don’t know if y’all heard, but Facebook announced it has agreed to acquire messaging app company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion worth of stock. An additional $3 billion worth of stock goes to the founders of WhatsApp and its employees that vests over 4 years. Co-founder an CEO of WhatsApp Jan Koum also gets a spot on Facebook’s board. Fortune reported Google had offered $10 billion but no board seat.

Reassuring Blog Post from Jan Koum

Jan Koum’s first Tweet

David Rowan of Wired UK spent three days with WhatsApp for article in March 6th issue of Wired

Mark Zuckerberg has learned what Steve Jobs knew: You need to disrupt yourself before your competitors do

NPD releases US smartphone market numbers:  The smartphone market grew there by 21% in 2013. Apple captured 45% of the market growing a bit over 2012’s 44%. Samsung and LG also grew at the expense of HTC and Motorola.

The Kansas legislation attempting to ban nearly all municipal broadband networks is apparently dead: Joshua Montgomery, who runs a small ISP in Lawrence, KS, told Ars Technica he thinks they killed the issue at least for a year. A Senate committee hearing has been canceled and not rescheduled. Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D) told Montgomery in an e-mail that the bill “has lost its momentum at this time.”

News From You

KAPT_Kipper posted the GigaOm story about Aereo losing its court case in the US District Court covering the 10th Circuit including Utah and Colorado. Judge Dale Kimball is the first of three Distrcit Court’s not accept Aereo’s argument that renting a micro antenna to a customer over the Internet is not a public transmission. Judge Kimball wrote “Aereo’s device or process transmits Plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs to the public.” The Supreme Court will hear Aereo’s case April 22. In the meantime Aereo will have to shut down operations in Salt Lake City and Denver.

Dmmacs submitted a GigaOm story about Visa and MasterCard announcing upgrades to their point-of-sale systems to take advantage of new capabilities in Android 4.4, aka Kit Kat. Previous NFC systems required hardware cooperation, meaning mobile carriers could keep out competing payment products in favor of their own. Google has developed host card emulation which allows the security element to be done in software allowing Visa and MasterCard to use NFC without any cooperation front he hardware makers.

Kylde pointed us to a Slashdot posting about Mercedes-Benz new 360-degree video capture method. A ball made of wide-angle cameras allows the viewer to swivel and tilt the camera angle in pretty much any direction as the car speeds around the track. And yes there’s an iOS app. The device will launch with the Mercedes AMG F1 team this year.

And flying spatula submitted this Engadget article about Waze updating its navigation map for Android and iOS to talk to your calendar. If your appointment has a location you can now ask Waze for directions right from inside the calendar.

More links from the show

Microsoft’s Office Web Apps changes its name to Office Online, launches new features

HTC to  show first of three wearable devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. 

Virtual keyboard Fleksy has made itself open and free for developers to integrate into iOS apps

Google announces Project Tango– aims to develop a prototype smartphone equipped with cameras, sensors and chips that can create a 3D map of a user’s surroundings.

Mobile analytics firm Distimo releases a new report showing the most lucrative markets for game apps are Japan, Australia, and South Korea, in that order.


DTNS 2174 – Google, Now with More Fiber.

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAndrew Zarian joins us as we talk about Google Fiber possibly invading 34 new cities, and the FCC cracking down on Net Neutrality violations again.


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


A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the 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 and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

FCC announces it will create new rules to strengthen net neutrality Ars Technica reports US FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today that the agency will not appeal the court ruling that struck down parts of the Open Internet Order. Instead the FCC will begin the process of creating new rules to prevent ISPs from blocking or discriminating against websites, that have a more solid basis in law. Wheeler said the FCC will also continue to consider reclassifying ISPs as a common carrier as an option.

Google Fiber expands Ars Technica also reports Google posted that Google Fiber will investigate 9 new metro areas, a total of 24 cities, as possible sites for Google’s 1 Gbps Internet service. Google will send representatives to Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashiville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham to meet with municipal governments and make detailed studies of the areas. Google hopes to make decisions about the new locations by the end of the year.

Important thing that happened after the show

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $16 billion

News From You

pete_c submitted this Wired article about Steve Perlman’s attempt to end cell phone congestion, and increase speeds about 1,000 times what they are now by replacing cell phone broadcast antennas and adding a card into existing cell phones. Perlman’s technology is called pCell which works by targeting individual cell phones and using a data center and an algorithm, provides each device with its own connection, rather than sharing bandwidth with every other device in the area. Perlman demonstrated the technology publicly for the first time this morning at Columbia University in New York.

lythander sent in a story from the Charleston Daily Mail describing how customer complaints have dropped nearly 70% since Frontier Communications took over Verizon’s West Virginia landline operations. Frontier has also expanded access to roughly 176,000 households. Regulators required Frontier to invest in infrastructure and increase access as a condition for buying the operation from Verizon.

And ancientbearwizard posted this Popular Mechanics story about a study published in Current Biology showing that an app called UltimEyes lengthened the distance people could see by an average of 31%. The app works by taking advantage of neuroplasticity, the way the brain can require itself. The app confronts you with patterns based on the Gabor stimuli which the brain uses to represent incoming visual information in the visual cortex. This trains your brain to process the patterns more efficiently. Researchers are still unable to say what is happening int he brain that improves acuity.

More links from the show

Microsoft OneDrive launches

Canonical  announces the first Ubuntu-powered phones for sale; will ship later this year from BQ in Spain and Meizu in China

 Nokia to introduce Treasure Tag, a previously rumored device meant to pair physical objects like keys and wallets with a Nokia smartphone

Glove for Android to help you pick the right mobile carrier by collecting your mobile data

Russian company Yandex launches a firmware kit for Android phones offering a suite of services for carriers and device manufacturers wanting to use Android without agreeing to Google’s terms 

Pick of the day:

Jennie Pick! Ridiculous awesome thing: Z-Board –It’s an electric skateboard for pete’s sake. Lean forward to go, lean back to stop. The company was founded by two guys in Hermosa beach who learn as they go and always try to please their customers. They built a special skateboard for the hills of San Francisco,  and made a replica of the Back to Future II hoverboard, complete with awesome promo video. What’s not to love?  (Jennie road a Z-board once, and it was awesome. Also she used it to film a Dolly shot.)

S&L Podcast – #163 – Hugh Howey Hullabaloo

Hugh Howey caused quite a stir with his findings about independent authors, but what does it mean for us readers? We also talk about the Wizard of Earthsea feminism implications and have an exciting election for the March book pick! There is a gavel involved.

Direct download here!


Tom: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Veronica: Vina Robles Red Blend




Hugh Howey’s Report

Self-published ebooks: the surprising data from Amazon

Most Amazon bestselling authors aren’t making minimum wage

WH Auden told JRR Tolkien to cut the love story from Lord of the Rings

Daemon And Influx Author Daniel Suarez On Why Innovation Has Stalled



Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch

More on the Redshirts TV Series

What was cut to make the “unfilmable” book Winter’s Tale into a movie


A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin

Earthsea and Harry Potter

Women in Earthsea

Among Others and Earthsea

March Pick


A forgotten classic?

Looking for more firearms in “High” Fantasy


Hi Tom & Veronica,

Listening to Gregory A Wilson talk about his daughter’s name made me think of my own family. I was named after Jessica Atreides (Dune), putting me in the odd position of being named for a sci-fi character AND having one of the most common girls names of my generation.

I passed the nerd legacy onto my own children as well – my son’s middle name is Zaphod (as in Beeblebrox) and my daughter is named Aeryn (after Aeryn Sun from Farscape). Hopefully she won’t resent me for it the millionth time she has to spell it out loud for someone.

Love the show,