FEATURED REVIEW: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Welcome to our Featured Reviews! In this series, we’ll be highlighting book reviews by the S&L audience. If you want to submit a review, please check out the guidelines here! -Veronica

Review by Derek Brown

It turns out that you can go home again. Or at least you can if you’re Stephen King.

I just finished this, King’s sequel to a much earlier work. The Shining is the story of a small child, trapped in a world so much more dangerous than the one other kids inhabit, because he has a special talent. A power that supernatural forces want to consume. In Doctor Sleep, we get to see that small child, now grown, haunted by the same affliction that nearly drove his own father to murder his wife and son. Not his power, but the drinking problem he now has, the only thing he has yet found to suppress his terrible, awesome power, and keep the ghosts of his childhood quiet. 

To me, this story is largely about demons. Recognizing the worst of them for what they are, and realising that you are never alone with them.

Its also a story about another small child, afflicted (or gifted) with her own set of abilities, and because ka is a wheel, and it always turns, this little girl is also chased by supernatural forces eager to consume her. 

I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed this book. I first read The Shining over 20 years ago, and its one that’s always really resonated with me. Getting to revisit the landscape of that work with King, seeing what happened to Danny Torrance after the events at the Overlook Hotel, and finding out how his life turned out because of it was a lot of fun. 

Fans of King’s other novels will find a healthy helping of the usual Easter eggs here as well. If you’ve read any of his other books, you’ll enjoy the many references to King’s integrated universe. 

The only item to note (and it’s not a negative, but it is a warning), would be that I consider either reading The Shining or seeing the original Kubrick movie a definite prerequisite to reading this book. Preferably both, so you’ll know the correct version of the story that King uses to jump from, but also so that you’ll have the awesome imagery from the movie to help light the way. 

Current Geek 20: It came from the Amazon

On tonight’s Current Geek: Yo has some problems, Yo. Apple Smartwatch watch is in high gear. NASA in the news. Netflix wants you to see Pinkman in amazing 4k. Harrison Ford is not as hurt as you thought. Amazon announced a BUNCH of things and we are buzzing around it like Fireflies. And Youtube is NOT blocking you afterall. We are headed to a video game future. Your emails and more!

DTNS 2261 – Drones are OP, Please Nerf

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is on the show to talk about the U.S. House’s restrictions on surveillance by the NSA, the National Park Service’s restrictions on drones, and why Saturn might be the best place to take a quadcopter. Plus Len Peralta is here to 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

Today’s guest:   Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta


If we were to launch a watch … :People familiar with the matter are BACK! Remember yesterday’s Reuters rumors about an Apple iWatch? Well, the Wall Street Journal has even more RUMORY rumors that say the non-existent unannounced watch will have 10 sensors, including ones to track health and fitness and come in multiple screen sizes. Now those are just statements from unidentified sources, however, somebody willing to go ON the record was KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo who said, “watches are fashion accessories.”

Hey, Yo … yo got hacked: TechCrunch reports three Georgia Tech students claim to have hacked the Yo app. That’s the app that searches your contacts for other people that have the Yo app and then allows you to send each other messages that say Yo both ou tloud and in text. The GT students emailed TechCrunch details on their ability to get any Yo phone number, spoof Yos, spam users and send notifications with any text. Yo founder Or Arbel says some of the security issues have been fixed and they are working on the others. 

Let’s talk:  TechCrunch reports Path is separating out a messaging app called Path Talk from the main Path app. Path Talk has ambient status updates that let friends know things like when you’re traveling, nearby, and or have a low battery. Path also bought TalkTo and will roll its features into PathTalk soon. TalkTo lets you text businesses and provides the backend communication over the phone for businesses that don’t take texts.

It’s a PC! It’s a tablet! It’s a … Surface Pro 3: The Next Web reminds us the Microsoft Surface Pro 3’s i5 processor version goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada today starting at $799. The i3 and i7 models will follow on August 1. As a side note, The Verge passes on Paul Thurott of WinSuperSite’s discovery that the Surface Pro 3 user guide has references to a Surface Mini. A lot of people expected a smaller Surface to be unveiled at the announcement on May 20.

Now, listen here: CNET reports that search results for music on Android phones now returns links to launch music apps where you can listen to that music. Android detects which apps you have installed and offers you links to launch them. This only works for Google Play, iHeart Radio, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn, or YouTube. It also only works in the U.S., but Google plans to expand to other countries and other services. 

News From You

tekkyn00b posted the TechCrunch story that the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, placing limits on on how the NSA can gain access to communication, including email, online browsing, and chat histories. The amendment received bipartisan support, passing 293-123. It must also be approved by the US Senate.

ssnapier sent along the Verge article that the FCC has issued its largest fine in history, $34.9 million, to CTS Technology, a Chinese company that has been selling hundreds of models of signal jammers, which are against the law in the US. The jammers could block radio communications including cell phone, WiFi, Bluetooth, satellite radio and GPS, sometimes up to half a mile away. CTS must stop selling and marketing the jammers to US customers and hand over information about who bought them.

tm204 has the post from ComputerWorld about the passing of another print tech magazine. June 23 will be the last dead tree edition of Computerworld. Computerworld’s website will continue and get a redesign later this summer. A new tablet version of the magazine will launch August 1. 

metalfreak submitted the Ars Technica report that Johns Hopkins University professor Matt Green asked one of the developers of TrueCrypt for permission to fork the existing code to start a new independent version. TrueCrypt’s developers ceased work on the project at the end of May. One of the developers responded to Green, “I don’t feel that forking truecrypt would be a good idea, a complete rewrite was something we wanted to do for a while. I believe that starting from scratch wouldn’t require much more work than actually learning and understanding all of truecrypt’s current codebase.” 

Discussion Section Links: Drone and where in the galaxy you can fly them



http://phys.org/news/2014-06-nasa-titan-potential-prebiotic-chemistry.html http://www.nasa.gov/content/titan-aerial-daughtercraft/#.U6R_yo1dXA4


Alternate awesome titles:

Title: No drones in parks. DRONES IN SPAAAAACE!

Title: “Drones Are OP Please Nerf”

TItle: I was offered a griffen, so I’m going with the horde.

Title: Yodor

Title: That drone is after my picnic basket!

Title: “Full NASA Regalia”

Title: Parks and Drone Limitations

Title: “Is that a hodor mini?”

Title: So I married a drone

Title: “Park Your Drone”

Title:  “Hodorcrypt”

TItle: This is a drone-free park

Pick of the day:  Duolingo via Tom

Monday’s Guest: Lamarr Wilson

DTNS 2260 – Mineshafted?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRuss Pitts is on the show and we’ll chat about Minecraft’s problems with openness, plus a little on the electric Harley, T-Mobile free music and more.


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:  Russ Pitts, journalist of the first order 


The top story on our subreddit today from habichuelcondulce et. al was T-Mobile USA’s announcement yesterday of new features of their mobile phone plans. The centerpiece is an exemption for music services from counting against the 1Gb, 3GB, or 5 GB data plans. T-Mobile has also partnered with Rhapsody on an exclusive Internet radio service called unRadio which will have no ads and unlimited skips. The service will be $4 a month or free to unlimited plan subscribers. Also starting June 23, customers can ‘test drive’ an iPhone 5S on T-Mobile to get an idea of how the service works in their area.

Engadget reports Intel has launched a video messaging service. Yes, that Intel. The service uses facial recognition to animate an avatar based on your facial expressions. Users can get free avatars or pay for fancier ones like care bears, annoying orange or Mr. Bill for 99 cents. 

Engadget reports BlackBerry earnings were less bad than usual. Reveue declined only 1% compared to the previous quarter. Although smartphone sales fell from 3.4 million last quarter to 2.6 million this quarter, 54% of revenue came from services, which CEO John Chen believes will make the company profitable by 2016. That doesn’t mean BlackBerry will stop making phones right away. Chen announced a phone launch event in London will unveil the BlackBerry Passport later this year.

The Next Web reports Google will give $50 million to organizations that encourage girls to take an interest in computer science at an early age. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote a blog post about the program called “Made with Code” organizations like Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, MIT Media Lab and the National Center for Women & Information Technology, among others. You can find out more at https://www.madewithcode.com/

News From You

soldierblade submitted the GigaOm story that the US Supreme Court delivered a unanimous decision against a patent owned by Alice Corp for a computer program regarding a settlement mechanism. CLS Bank argued the mechanism was centuries old and turning it into a computer program should not make it patentable. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “We conclude that the method claims, which merely require generic computer implementation, fail to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.” The decision is a blow to software patents, but how much of a blwo remains to be determined.

KAPT_Kipper posted the Ars Technica story that the US Marshals service committed the email faux pas of cc-ing rather than bcc-ing revealing everyone interested in their upcoming bitcoin auction. The email was intended for anyone who had e-mailed a question to the general mailbox to ask about the auction. While it doesn’t prove the recipients will join the auction, it does reveal the names of 17 investors, financiers and bitcoin company executives who were at least interested. 

spsheridan pointed out that Twitter announced the acquisition of SnappyTV, which clips edits and distributes TV show clips across a variety of platforms like social networks and mobile devices. Twitter intends to integrate SnappyTV into its products. 

Metalfreak posted the Computerworld article about the US Postal service spending up to $100,000 to research the use of low-cost sensors and wireless tech to help the delivery of mail. The USPS is looking for proposals from suppliers with “expertise and critical knowledge” of the Internet of Things, data strategy and analytics. Everything the post office uses — mailboxes, vehicles, machines, “or a letter carrier” — could be equipped with a sensor to create what it terms the “Internet of Postal Things,” in order to reduce maintenance costs and optimize routes. 

KAPT_Kipper noted the Engadget report that Harley-Davidson announced its ‘Project LiveWire’ electric motorcycle today. Marketwatch reports the bike will launch on a 30-city tour in the US allowing customers to ride the bike and offer feedback. The tour will continue with more cities as well as dates in Canada and Europe next year.

And therobertonline submitted the CNET report that Netflix has signed a deal with comedian Chelsea Handler to create a late night style talk show to debut on the service in 2016. Netflix plans to reimagine the late night format and launch the show in all its territories. Netflix will premiere a one-hour standup special from Handler on October 10 and four docu-comedy specials from her in 2015 in advance of the talk show.

Discussion Section Links: Minecraft steps into a minefield








Pick of the day:  Auphonic.com via Jeremy Dennis

Auphonic.com is a free automatic audio post-processor. I’ve been using it on my podcast for a while because Levelator just wasn’t doing a good job on one of our host’s audio tracks that was really quiet. Auphonic does a great job cleaning our audio and we also have it add our tags, chapter marks, and album art to the files before it uploads the file to our web host. It’s an awesome service that has shaved a good chunk of time from our podcast editing process.

Pocketcast and Le Rendez-vous Tech via Joe Fox

Hi gang, I have a pick for you that’s not a pick so much as a tip. Lately, I’ve been listening to Patrick Beja’s Le rendez-vous Tech, which has been recommended a lot on your show. But sometimes they talk a little fast (mostly the guests — I find Patrick’s cadence very easy to understand), so I’ll slow down playback to about 85 percent using my podcatcher of choice, Pocket Casts. I don’t know how common a feature that is, but it’s really helpful for getting a handle on rapid French.

Friday’s Guests: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

Breaking: Controversial Palpatine Tapes

(Coruscant) Owner of the Coruscant Empire, Palpatine has been implicated in making controversial statements about Jedi. In a recording obtained by Dragon SportsTalk Radio from confidential sources, Palpatine is heard to say “Every single Jedi is now an enemy of the Republic, do what must be done, do not hesitate, show no mercy.”

If the jedi were an active team in the FSL, the statements *might* be considered in the context of firing up his team. Instead, the jedi are without a team, and a minority in FSL’s extended player base. The statements carry the unsuitable character of prejudice.

Coruscant has not issued a statement regarding the recordings.


DTNS 2259 – You Can’t Take the Prime from Me

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRene Ritchie is on the show with a dynamic perspective on whether Amazon’s new Fire Phone is worth your attention.


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:  Rene Ritchie, of imore.com 


Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced the Fire Phone today at an event in Seattle. The 4.7-inch has a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, Adreno 330 graphics and 2 GB of RAM, running Amazon’s forked version of Android. It comes with a new feature called Firefly that can recognize objects and audio and give options to purchase them from Amazon. It uses infrared sensors to detect head position give a kind of 3D presentation. The 3D feature is available in an SDK for app developers. The phone is only available in the US on AT&T. A 32GB model costs $199 with a 2 year contract or $649 without. A 64GB is $299 or $749. Both come with 12 free months of Amazon Prime. 

TechCrunch reports Adobe announced upgrades to its software and two new pieces of hardware. All 14 apps in Creative Cloud got an upgrade and the company introduced a new Creative SDK for mobile developers along with 5 new mobile apps, Adobe Sketch, Adobe Line, Photoshop Mix, Lightroom for iPhone and Creative Cloud for iPad and iPhone. AS for hardware Adobe Ink is three-sided digital stylus and Adobe Slide is a precision ruler. The hardware is sold as a bundle for $199 in the US. Adobe also is offering new subscription plan including a $10 a month plan for photographers that gives access to mobile and desktop photo apps like Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Recode reports Blackberry CEO John Chen says the Amazon App Store will be available for BlackBerry 10 devices with the launch of BlackBerry OS 10.3 later this year. BlackBerry currently offers its own Android store to make it easy to port Android apps to Blackberry. 

GigaOm reports Facebook has built a networking switch called Wedge that runs a Facebook-created distro of Linux called FBOSS. Both will be provided to the Open Computer Foundation as open source designs. The goal is to make switches modular and controlled by software that can be updated as needed without learning proprietary networking languages.

The Telegraph reports the European Court of Justice has been asked to rule on whether the Irish Data Protection Commissioner should be forced to investigate allegations that Facebook passed data to the US NSA. The Data Commissioner says Facebook is allowed to pass data to the US under current safe harbor rules. An Austrian group called Europe-v-Facebook argues that doing so gives the NSA the opportunity for surveillance without probable cause, in violation of the law. 

News From You

tm204 submitted the 9to5 Mac story that Apple has released a new low-end model of the iMac. at $1099. The new model features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 500 GB hard drive, low-end Intel HD 5000 integrated graphics, and a 21.5-inch screen. 

ubrkifix submitted a ComputerWorld article quoting John Du, director of GM’s China R&D Division, Speaking at the Telematics Detroit 2014 conference about a new social driving app. The prototype called DiDi Plate uses an Android phone’s camera to scan a license plate, send it to a cloud ID service, and allow the driver to send a text to the owner of that plate. Du said “Even if the other driver didn’t register this app, you can still give them greetings and comments.” Great for getting someone to move their car if it’s blocking you, or extending opportunities for road rage. 

habichuelacondulce has the Albany Times-Union story that Elon Musk wants to build one of the world’s largest solar panel factories in Buffalo. IN addition to SpaceX, Tesla, and potentially a Hyperloop company, Musk is the chairman of SolarCity. His company just acquired Silevo which had contracted with the state of New York to build a solar panel factory. However in true Musk fashion he has decided that instead of building a 200 mw factory, he’d like to build a gigawatt factory. Because, crazy rich genius guy. Oddly and probably totally unrelated,on the same day Musk bought Silevo, Monday, New York’s governor signed a bill to allow Musk’s Tesla dealerships to continue to sell cars directly and open new locations. Just coincidence.

KAPT_Kipper submitted the Next Web story that Sharp has a new ‘free-form’ display technology that frees displays form the tyranny of the rectangular bezel. Sharp touts its own proprietary circuit design methods that take a different method for organizing power amplifiers, meaning there no longer has to be a minimum width to the bezel to accommodate the gate driver drive circuit. That means the LCD screen can be made in whatever shape a designer wants. Right now the displays are prototypes but Sharp intends begin mass production at the earliest possible date, which could mean any time really.

Discussion Section Links: Amazon on FIYAH



Pick of the day: Media Goblin via metalfreak

If you’re concerned that YouTube may be heading down the road to a full on block-apocalypse, Metalfreak writes in with a FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) alternative to YouTube: MediaGoblin is a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run. You can think of it as a decentralized alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.

Thursday’s Guests: Annie Gauss and Russ Pitts, journalists of the first order