All posts by acedtect

DTNS 2198 – Nice to M8 you

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comStephen Shankland joins the show to talk about the HTC One M8 and the new CEO of Mozilla. Can Firefox rule mobile?

MP3

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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: Stephen Shankland, senior writer, CNET News

Headlines

HTC announced the new HTC One today AKA the M8, in Gunmetal Greay, Glacial Silver or ugly, I mean Amber Gold. Many gadget reviewers have admitted to crushes on the all-metal design. Among the features are two rear-facing cameras to allow changing focus on photos after they’re taken. You can also answer a call just by picking up the device and holding it to your head. The Android 4.4 KitKat phone runs HTC’s Sense 6 on a Snapdragon 801 processor, with 2 GB of RAM with either 16 or 32 GB of onboard storage. The 2600 mAh battery should be good for up to 20 hours of 3G talk time, though the phone is LTE. A $50 Dot View case from HTC allows you to see notifications like 8Bit graphics through the cases cover. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Rogers, Bell and Telus in North America have it for pre-order now, it’s coming to more North American outlets in early April and Australia, UK, Taiwan and France by the end of the month. Price runs $649 unlocked, $699 for the Google Play edition without Sense and from $199 to $249 with a contract.

The New York Times reports US President Barack Obama will propose bills to the US Congress to eliminate the NSA’s in-house phone call data storage and create a new surveillance court to handle phone data requests. The new court would review requests for phone data directly from the phone companies, that go no more than two hops from a phone number of interests. The bill would not address overseas surveillance programs.

Google made waves in enterprise cloud service announcing a 32 percent across the board price cut.  SVP Urs Hölzle told attendees at Google Cloud Platform Live that the company will also offer sustained-use discounts without pre-payment. Amazon is holding its own cloud event tomorrow so expect Amazon Reserved Instances to possibly get a price adjustment themselves.

MacStories reports developer Olga Osadcha noted Apple is testing a related search suggestion feature for its App Store which started rolling out today for iPhone users on iOS7. The suggestions show up as a scrollable menu bar with similar or related searches.

ExtremeTech reports Nvidia’s Jen-Hsun Huang made a handful of announcements at the GPU Technology Conference. Nvidia and IBM have partnered up on NVLink which connects GPUs and CPUs at a claimed 12-15x over the current implemntation of PCI-Express. Nvidia also talked up the successor to Maxwell, code-named Pascal coming with new features in 2016. And Nvidia announced a dual-GPU Titan card called Titan Z with up to 8TFLOPS of theoretical FLOPS performance. The dual GK110 card will run companies $3,000.

News From You

beatmaster80 submitted the Business Insider story on the IRS decision to classify Bitcoins as property not currency. That means every time you spend BitCoins you have to report it the way you would selling something like stock or a house. Put another way, buy something with bitcoins, pay capital gains tax. The good news is the US Treasury Department should now begin developing formal regulations, so this guidance may not be the final word.

ancientbearwizard submitted the Ars Technica story on Microsoft donating the source code for MS_DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Word for Windows 1.1a to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The museum also holds source code for Adobe Photoshop 1.0 and Apple II DOS. The source is now freely downloadable by anyone.

KAPT_Kipper gave us the TechCrunch story on Google signing up Italian company Luxottica to design and build Google Glass. Luxottica makes the Ray-Ban, Oakley, Miu Miu, Armani, and other brands of eyewear. Google cited Luxottica’s experience selling eyewear to the public as a key factor in the deal. This can easily be read as a sign Google’s getting closer to making a Google Glass product available to the general public.

cincyhuffster sent in the Engadget story about new lighter weight airbags for mortorcycles. The Ducati Multistrada D-Air has sensors attached to the bike’s electronic system that monitor the vehicle’s acceleration, breaking and orientation. In the event of a crash, it can send a signal over WiFi to your jacket, so that the internal airbags will deploy before you hit the ground. The produce is scheduled to launch in Europe in May.

Discussion Section Links:  HTC One M8

http://www.cnet.com/news/htc-one-m8-to-arrive-in-google-play-edition/

http://www.cnet.com/news/htc-announces-htc-one-m8/

http://www.cnet.com/products/htc-one-m8/

http://www.cnet.com/news/the-inside-story-of-the-htc-one-m8/

http://androidcommunity.com/htc-one-m8-dot-view-case-hands-on-20140325/ 

http://www.cnet.com/news/brendan-eich-mo zillas-alpha-nerd-takes-over-as-ceo-q-a/

Pick of the Day: Boxcryptor

I came across this great piece of software for encrypting your documents in cloud storage accounts called Boxcryptor
They have a free and paid for accounts that allow you to…….wait for it…..encrypt your files…..
You can use it with OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive etc…. It uses AES-256 bit encryption, you can use it on Mac or PC. It’s just a great way to keep you stuff secure. I found this program looking for something to put on added security with my tax returns in the cloud.

As always a huge fan of all your podcasts and keep it up!

Chris Denny

Wednesday’s Guest: Andy Ihnatko, technology columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times

DTNS 2197 – Pay the Troll Toll

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Robert Young is on the show and we’ll talk about Comcast and Apple’s plans for an Internet TV service. Do they violate net neutrality? We ask Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin what he thinks.

MP3

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 guests: Justin Robert Young of  Nightattack.tv and Jon Brodkin, senior IT reporter for Ars Technica

Headlines

Comcapple? Ars Technica reports on the Wall Street Journal story that Apple and Comcast are negotiating video service. Sources say the video would be delivered to Comcast customers separately from Internet traffic, to avoid net neutrality violations. Comcast must abide by the FCC’s guidelines until 2018 as part of the NBC acquisition. The service would be viewed on Apple-made hardware. The negotiations involve who controls customer data, how much is charged for the service, and how the profits are split. WSJ’s sources say the two sides are not close to a deal.

And after all, you’re my Photowall: TechCrunch reports Google launched an app called Photowall for Android and iOS, that sends photos from a mobile device to a TV using Chromecast. Stop yawning because I haven’t told you it includes photo editing that allows you to make snarky notes and draw mustaches on people. Multiple participants can take part and even add photos from a Web-based interface if they don’t have the app. You can also make a YouTube video montage of the creation. Ok, you can yawn now if you want.

Nokia does not expect to close handset business sale this month:  Reuters reports Nokia does not expect to close on the sale of its handset business to Microsoft this month, and no hopes to close in April. Google and Microsoft have asked Chinese regulators to ensure the deal doesn’t lead to higher patent licensing. Right now Nokia has to pay to license patents for the handset division, as well as charge for its patents. Once the handset business is Microsoft’s problem, Nokia might choose to jack up patent license fees since it no longer risks retaliation. Future revenue from patents is expected to make up as much as half of Nokia’s market capitalization.

Some ATM companies considering Linux to replace Windows XP: As we near the end of support for Windows XP on April 8, ComputerWorld reports some companies are considering migrating their ATMs to use Linux. Windows XP currently powers nearly 95% of the world’s ATMs. Microsoft has offered extended support to some, but not all, companies. Many are upgrading to Windows 7, though often that requires hardware upgrades as well. If you’re laughing about Windows XP, remember the previous dominant operating system of ATMs was IBM’s OS/2.

It was like a SmartBulb going off over my head! TechWeek Europe reports LG announced a smart light bulb controlled from a mobile app. The LG SmartBulb app runs on Android 4.3 and iO6 and later versions of both OSs. The app lets you turn on and off, put the bulb on a timer and more. The Android app can have the bulb flash to the beat of music. LG claims at 5 hours of usae a day the bulb should last 10 years. It costs 35,000 won ($30) and is only available in Korea.

News From You:

Draconos and Lythander both submitted reports from the New York Times and Der Spiegel that the US NSA infiltrated servers at the headquarters of Huawei. Reuters reports Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said, “We demand that the United States makes a clear explanation and stop such acts.” Huawei has been accused by US lawmakers of connections with the Chinese military and of spying on US interests.

HobbitfromPA sent in the Engadget story that Google Now’s preemptive search and assistance has arrived for all users of the Chrome browser. Cards will show up in the system tray or notification area of your operating system. Users get access to voice search, reminders for events and flights, and location-based info like commute times. Although the location may often come from your phone not your PC. If you’re signed into Chrome and don’t see it, hang in there, Google says it will roll out slowly to all over the next several weeks.

tekkyn00b pointed out the TechCrunch story that security company Palo Alto Networks bough Cyvera, a security company from Israel. The $200 million deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014. Cyvers touts an approach to combatting zero-day vulnerabilities, providing real-time prevention that slows down malware long enough to identify and eliminate it. Palo Alto Networks makes firewall-like hardware and software that protects against all kinds of Web malware, including botnets. Together they’re murder— on malware.

Speaking of zero-day vulnerabilities,

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young of  Nightattack.tv and Jon Brodkin, senior IT reporter for Ars Technica

Headlines

Apple and Comcast talking? Ars Technica reports on the Wall Street Journal story that Apple and Comcast are negotiating video service. Sources say the video would be delivered to Comcast customers separately from Internet traffic, to avoid net neutrality violations. Comcast must abide by the FCC’s guidelines until 2018 as part of the NBC acquisition. The service would be viewed on Apple-made hardware. The negotiations involve who controls customer data, how much is charged for the service, and how the profits are split. WSJ’s sources say the two sides are not close to a deal.

And after all, you’re my Photowall: TechCrunch reports Google launched an app called Photowall for Android and iOS, that sends photos from a mobile device to a TV using Chromecast. Stop yawning because I haven’t told you it includes photo editing that allows you to make snarky notes and draw mustaches on people. Multiple participants can take part and even add photos from a Web-based interface if they don’t have the app. You can also make a YouTube video montage of the creation. Ok, you can yawn now if you want.

Nokia does not expect to close handset business sale this month:  Reuters reports Nokia does not expect to close on the sale of its handset business to Microsoft this month, and no hopes to close in April. Google and Microsoft have asked Chinese regulators to ensure the deal doesn’t lead to higher patent licensing. Right now Nokia has to pay to license patents for the handset division, as well as charge for its patents. Once the handset business is Microsoft’s problem, Nokia might choose to jack up patent license fees since it no longer risks retaliation. Future revenue from patents is expected to make up as much as half of Nokia’s market capitalization.

Some ATM companies considering Linux to replace Windows XP: As we near the end of support for Windows XP on April 8, ComputerWorld reports some companies are considering migrating their ATMs to use Linux. Windows XP currently powers nearly 95% of the world’s ATMs. Microsoft has offered extended support to some, but not all, companies. Many are upgrading to Windows 7, though often that requires hardware upgrades as well. If you’re laughing about Windows XP, remember the previous dominant operating system of ATMs was IBM’s OS/2.

It was like a SmartBulb going off over my head! TechWeek Europe reports LG announced a smart light bulb controlled from a mobile app. The LG SmartBulb app runs on Android 4.3 and iO6 and later versions of both OSs. The app lets you turn on and off, put the bulb on a timer and more. The Android app can have the bulb flash to the beat of music. LG claims at 5 hours of usae a day the bulb should last 10 years. It costs 35,000 won ($30) and is only available in Korea.

News From You:

Draconos and Lythander both submitted reports from the New York Times and Der Spiegel that the US NSA infiltrated servers at the headquarters of Huawei. Reuters reports Hong Lei, spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said, “We demand that the United States makes a clear explanation and stop such acts.” Huawei has been accused by US lawmakers of connections with the Chinese military and of spying on US interests.

HobbitfromPA sent in the Engadget story that Google Now’s preemptive search and assistance has arrived for all users of the Chrome browser. Cards will show up in the system tray or notification area of your operating system. Users get access to voice search, reminders for events and flights, and location-based info like commute times. Although the location may often come from your phone not your PC. If you’re signed into Chrome and don’t see it, hang in there, Google says it will roll out slowly to all over the next several weeks.

tekkyn00b pointed out the TechCrunch story that security company Palo Alto Networks bough Cyvera, a security company from Israel. The $200 million deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014. Cyvers touts an approach to combatting zero-day vulnerabilities, providing real-time prevention that slows down malware long enough to identify and eliminate it. Palo Alto Networks makes firewall-like hardware and software that protects against all kinds of Web malware, including botnets. Together they’re murder— on malware.

Speaking of zero-day vulnerabilities, Darren Kitchen alerted us to the fact that a new zero-day vulnerability in Outlook allows remote code execution just by viewing rich text email in Outlook while using Word 2010 as the viewer. Microsoft suggests delpoying a fix that disables the ability to open RTF content in Microsoft Word from Outlook as well as reading all email in plain text format.

And motang posted the Mozilla announcement that co-founder and current Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla. He was the guy who invented javascript back in 1995 when he was at Netscape. So he’s got chops. He brings along Li Gong, who’s been built up Firefox OS, as Mozilla’s new COO. Co-founder Mitchell Baker remains Mozilla Executive Chairwoman. Interim CEO Jay Miller will stay on through the transition then leave for a solo career as a saxophonist. Or possibly something more technology related. It’s impossible to tell for sure from the press release.

Discussion Section Links:  Comcapple?

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/apple-wants-its-own-path-on-comcast-network-for-video-service-wsj-says/

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/23/apple-comcast-streaming-tv/

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/att-promises-to-lower-your-internet-bill-if-fcc-kills-net-neutrality/
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017609040

Pick of the Day: Rescue Time  

Your conversation about distraction motivated me to write in about one of the most useful anti-distraction tools I use: Rescue Time.

I’ve been working from home as a web developer for the majority of the past 10 years. When you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, managing distractions becomes pretty important to getting any work done.

Rescue Time is a desktop app (with a web component) that does two main things.

1. Tracks all of your website and desktop app usage, then gives you daily productivity reports with fancy graphs and charts. The app comes with good presets for common productive and distracting websites/apps. But you’re also able to redefine these. On top of this, you can configure reporting goals (like “limit distractions to 1.25hrs per day”) to give yourself some positive feedback when you’re doing well.

2. It allows you to set a “Get Focused” time. During this time it the app will block all distracting websites (unfortunately, it’s not technically possible to block desktop apps). They haven’t made the block impossible to bypass, but I find that the Rescue Time wall is often enough motivation get my ass back in gear. This feature works well with something like The Pomodoro Technique.

BTW. Thanks for letting the listeners fund the show to keep it ad free and gratz on the $10k.

Ryan Neudorf

Tuesday’s Guest:  Stephen Shanklandcnet.com

alerted us to the fact that a new zero-day vulnerability in Outlook allows remote code execution just by viewing rich text email in Outlook while using Word 2010 as the viewer. Microsoft suggests delpoying a fix that disables the ability to open RTF content in Microsoft Word from Outlook as well as reading all email in plain text format.

And motang posted the Mozilla announcement that co-founder and current Chief Technology Officer Brendan Eich was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla. He was the guy who invented javascript back in 1995 when he was at Netscape. So he’s got chops. He brings along Li Gong, who’s been built up Firefox OS, as Mozilla’s new COO. Co-founder Mitchell Baker remains Mozilla Executive Chairwoman. Interim CEO Jay Miller will stay on through the transition then leave for a solo career as a saxophonist. Or possibly something more technology related. It’s impossible to tell for sure from the press release.

Discussion Section Links: 

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/apple-wants-its-own-path-on-comcast-network-for-video-service-wsj-says/

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/23/apple-comcast-streaming-tv/

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03/att-promises-to-lower-your-internet-bill-if-fcc-kills-net-neutrality/
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017609040

Pick of the Day: Rescue Time  

Your conversation about distraction motivated me to write in about one of the most useful anti-distraction tools I use: Rescue Time.

I’ve been working from home as a web developer for the majority of the past 10 years. When you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, managing distractions becomes pretty important to getting any work done.

Rescue Time is a desktop app (with a web component) that does two main things.

1. Tracks all of your website and desktop app usage, then gives you daily productivity reports with fancy graphs and charts. The app comes with good presets for common productive and distracting websites/apps. But you’re also able to redefine these. On top of this, you can configure reporting goals (like “limit distractions to 1.25hrs per day”) to give yourself some positive feedback when you’re doing well.

2. It allows you to set a “Get Focused” time. During this time it the app will block all distracting websites (unfortunately, it’s not technically possible to block desktop apps). They haven’t made the block impossible to bypass, but I find that the Rescue Time wall is often enough motivation get my ass back in gear. This feature works well with something like The Pomodoro Technique.

BTW. Thanks for letting the listeners fund the show to keep it ad free and gratz on the $10k.

Ryan Neudorf

Tuesday’s Guest:  Stephen Shanklandcnet.com

DTNS 2196 – Le Tippity Tap

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen on and we talk about how Microsoft did defending their right to spy on their own customer’s email accounts. He was a French blogger. Also Len Peralta is here to illustrate the show!

MP3

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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 guests: Darren Kitchen of hak5.org and Len Peralta of the arts.

Headlines

PC World reports Microsoft Deputy General Counsel John Frank posted an explanation of the steps Microsoft took before investigating the Hotmail account of a French blogger in order to build a case against Alex Kibkalo who was arrested Wednesday and accused of stealing trade secrets and leaking Windows code. Frank stated Microsoft has the legal right to look into its own services, but only did so in a very limited way and only after determining the search would have qualified for a court order. Microsoft claims it could not get a court order to search itself since the court would see no need to issue it.

Berke80 has been keeping us informed on the ground as the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a DNS block on Twitter in order to stop the spread of recordings meant to implicate the Prime Minister on corruption charges. Twitter seems like it may have removed verification from the Prime Ministers account. The Verge reports Turkish citizens are accessing Twitter by posting through SMS, or using alternate DNS like Google’s Public DNS. A picture of the Google DNS Inumber, 8.8.8.8 spraypainted on a wall is making the rounds.

VentureBeat reports Vicarious, an AI company just closed a round of funding that included investments from Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, as well as actor Ashton Kutcher. The company is attempting to replicate the human neocortex in order to develop an AI that thinks like humans do. Right now the company is working on getting its AI to recognize objects shapes and textures.

Reed Hastings posted to the Netflix blog arguing that net neutrality rules should be expanded to govern peering, the practice of large networks exchanging traffic, to essentially make the Internet work. Hastings did not say how he would like interconnection agreements regulated. Netflix recently agreed to a paid peering arrangement with Comcast. The call for regulation is seen as grandstanding by some in the industry, as Netflix could have chosen to continue to deliver data through CDNs and transit providers. But they don’t want to do that, because Netflix saves money when ISPs use its Open Connect program, as Cablevision does. On the other hand, ISPs like Verizon and Comcast, with competing products, don’t want to invite Netflix servers into their last mile. Thus the arguing. The upshot of all this, is large companies are posturing about net neutrality in order to help their business save money, and you, the consumer are probably not the priority on either side of this debate.

Speaking of net neutrality and whether it should be extended to interconnection and peering. Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm reports Harold Feld, SVP at Public Knowledge suggests actual transit providers like Level 3 and Cogent and ISPs who want to merge, like say TWC and Comcast, should provide data to the FCC that could actually be analyzed to understand what the problem actually is, rather than just reacting to vague assertions with vague regulation.

Politico reports Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and other big tech executives will meet Friday with US President Barack Obama to discuss issues of privacy, technology and intelligence. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was reportedly invited but could not make it. Zuckerberg recently posted he felt it would take a very long time for true reform and called on the US government to be much more transparent. President Obama is expected to announce the future of the phone metadata program soon.

Ars Technica reports that Version 0.9.0 of the Bitcoin Core software (previously known as Bitcoin-QT) includes 5 changes meant to make transaction malleability much more difficult to exploit. Transaction malleability uses confusion between transaction ids and actual verification of transactions to cover up theft. Mt. Gox blamed trannsaction malleability for its losses.

News From You:

Speaking of Mt. Gox, HobbitfromPA pointed us to the CNET article that Mt. Gox annoucned Thursday it found 199,999.99 of its missing bitcoins on March 7th in an unused wallet it had lying around. So the number of missing bitcoins has dropped from 850,000 to 650,000.

habichuelacondulce posted a Motherboard article saying US NSA General Counsel Rajesh De, testifying in front of the Civil Liberties Oversight Board, affirmed that collection of data under Section 702 was done with the full knowledge and assistance of the companies from which information was obtained. In an interview with The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, De reiterated “all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies.” referring to PRISM and upstream collection.

the_corley passed along the Wall Street Journal article reporting a source says the White House is testing phones from Samsung and LG for internal use. Previously only BlackBerry phones were allowed due to security concerns. White House Communications Agency, a military unit in charge of President Barack Obama’s communications acknowlegde it is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices.

Discussion Section Links: 

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2014/03/20/strengthening-our-policies-for-investigations.aspx

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/03/20/court-docs-microsoft-searched-through-bloggers-e-mail-to-track-down-alleged-leaker/

Pick of the Day:  Ninite.com

Hola DTNS crew! Tom, I’ve followed you since BoL and am ecstatic about the success of DTNS. For a pick, I would like to recommend

Ninite is a service that allows you to grab an auto-installer for many commonly used Windows applications such as Chrome, .NET, MSE, Dropbox, the list goes on and on. Not only will it download the most recent version of the programs selected from the companies, but automates the process to decline any crap-ware offers (sorry Ask Toolbar).

As an IT Professional that has to deal with an environment where images can’t be used for reworks due to a plethora of hardware, Ninite has been a huge time saver.

Joel from The U.P.

Monday’s Guest: Justin Robert Young! 

FEATURED REVIEW: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

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

Review by Robert Zak

17332218.jpg

Executive Summary: If you enjoyed The Way of Kings, I’d be really surprised if you didn’t like this one as well. Mr. Sanderson does an excellent job building on the foundation he laid down in the first novel. 

Full Review 
This is a really hard review for me to write. I probably won’t do the book justice. I’m very selective about which books I give 5 stars to, and even more selective about which books I deem favorites. When I read The Way of Kings it was easily added to both lists for me. And now so is this one.

While I didn’t have the same wait as anyone who read the first book when it came out, there was at least enough time to build up a sense of anticipation and a little bit of dread while I waited for this book to come out.

Would Mr. Sanderson be able to build upon the momentum of The Way of Kings or would things recede a little like most series tend to do for me? A ten-book, 10,000+ page series is really ambitious. It would be easy for things to go off the rails at any point along the way. I’m here to say: so far, so good.

I can only assume that Mr. Sanderson is writing this series specifically for me. Sure there are other people out there who seem to like his books. But there are many who are critical about them. While I may be critical of some of his other books, you won’t find that here. I loved every minute of it.

The pacing might still be considered slow by those who found that the case in The Way of Kings, but I think it moves along faster as he doesn’t have to do the kinds of setup he did in the first book.

One common comment I saw about book 1 was: “What is the point of Shallan here?”. This book should answer that question for those people. While The Way of Kings focuses on Kaladin, this is Shallan’s book.

Don’t fear Kaladin fans. You’ll get plenty of him in this book, but he’s just not the main focus here.

Once again this is a book that just kept building momentum as it went. It started as a book I looked forward to reading each night and changed to a book I had to force myself to put down.

The structure of the book is once again the same where you have 5 parts with various interludes between each. We are introduced to some pretty interesting new characters in these short interludes, as well as revisiting a few of those we met in The Way of Kings. I would have to say that while I enjoyed them all, Lift, the young thief was my favorite. I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in future books, and not just the interludes.

The prologue is set at the exact same time as the prologue from The Way of Kings, only told from Jasnah’s perspective instead of Szeth. This was a cool approach that I hope continues in the next few books at least. I’d like see Adolin’s and Dalinar’s take on these events at least.

I’d be remiss to review a Brandon Sanderson book without at least mentioning the magic system. I love the world building so far and the characters, but it’s the magic system that once again shines the brightest. We learn more about surgebinding and how it works, but there is still so much left to discover. 

His creativity not only at coming up with rules for various magic systems, but at how he applies those rules in ways I would have never considered always makes for great sequences.

Overall I was really happy with this book. Kaladin is still my favorite character, yet I think I might have enjoyed this one more despite his reduced focus. Shallan really developed from an interesting side story into a proper main character in her own right.

I am already looking forward to and dreading just a bit book 3 of this series. Will Mr. Sanderson be able to work his magic yet again? Well since he’s writing this series for me personally, I’m sure he will.

DTNS 2195 – A Tale of Two Monitors

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comFarhad Manjoo to explain why ONE monitor is actually better than TWO. Don’t agree? You better listen. Plus we reveal our very first Twitter posts.

MP3

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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

Farhad ManjooState of the Art columnist for The New York Times

Headlines

Hack This! GigaOm reports Facebook introduced its own programming language called ‘Hack’ meant to make it easier for developers to write code quickly. Hack is open source, so anyone can use it and combines elements of static languages like C with more dynamic approaches like PHP. Static languages catch errors faster, but dynamic languages allow rapid development. Hack supposedly is the best of both worlds.

Galaxy S5 pre-orders begin tomorrow: The Next Web reports AT&T will start taking orders for Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 phone and Gear watches tomorrow online and in stores. The S5 sells for $200 on a 2-year contract, $650 contract-free, shipping in early April. The Gear 2 watch sell for $299 and the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit for $199. All of them are set to ship in early April.

Thank you FirstTech: The St. Paul Pioneer-Press’s Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports the sad news that FirstTech in Uptown Minneapolis will close its doors March 29th. FirstTech was the first retail outlet for Apple computers in the late 1970s when the store was known as Team Electronics. The store celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2012 but could not compete with national vendors and the Apple Store itself.

Computerworld founder dies: PC World reports more sad news. IDG announced Thursday that its founder and chairman Patrick J. McGovern died March 19th at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. MCGovern founded International Data Corporation in 1964, now a subsidiary of IDG. Three years later McGovern launched Computerworld.

GigaOm reports OpenGarden, makers of mesh networking apps for Windows, OS X and Android, now has an iOS app called FireChat. The messaging app connects people who are nearby, by taking advantage of Apple’s multi-peer connectivity framework that allows devices to connect or Bluetooth or Wifi without using the Internet. Great for subways…if you want to chat with people.

ReCode reports Tribune company has a new app for iOS and Android called Newsbeat that reads you news items from a news feed. You can customize in advance or the app will learn your tastes as you fast forward or skip stories. The app also personalizes things liek weather and traffic based on location. The app is available now and ad-supported.

News From You

mayesa submitted the TechCrunch article noting Google has announced it will always us an encrypted HTTPS connection whenever a user checks email or sends mail through Gmail. Messages will also remain encrypted inside Google’s datacenter network as well. The NSA has reportedly been tapping cables between foreign datacenters of US companies.

habichuelacondulce pointed us to the CNET article about Twitters new FirstTweet feature. In celebration of its 8th birthday tomorrow, Twitter has a tool at first-tweets.com that lets you see yours or anyones very first tweet. April 17, 2008 Farhad, you let us know it was national high five day!. — Jan.7, 2007 I was “Sitting at the CNET booth at CES”

tekkyn00b sent us the Verge article about ex-Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo being arrested and accused of stealing trade secrets and leaking confidential beta copies of Windows 8 to an unnamed French technology blogger. MS identified the leaker after the blogger contacted another MS employee by email. Kibkalo works in Mictosoft’s Lebanon office. Computerworld reports Wzor.net, a frequent source of leaked copies of Windows went offline Thursday after the arrest and the Twitter account has also disappeared.

tm204 pointed us to the PC World article about HP’s plans to start making 3D printers. CEO Meg Whitman, speaking to shareholders said the two big problems with 3D printers are speed and quality, particularly the surface of the substrate. Whitman said the company has solved these problems with 3D printers and will make a big announcement about them in June.

 Discussion Section Links:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/technology/personaltech/surviving-and-thriving-in-a-one-monitor-world.html?_r=0

https://www.dell.com/downloads/global/products/monitors/en/dual_monitors_boost_productivity_whitepaper.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/technology/personaltech/15basics.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324339204578173252223022388?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887324339204578173252223022388.html

http://lifehacker.com/do-distractions-help-you-work-better-1178468917

Pick of the Day:  Backblaze

Hey Tom-

Since you are accepting PotD suggestions, I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. I highly recommend that everyone keep an off-site backup of some kind, and I have done a lot of homework and recommend Backblaze very highly.

There are lots of ways to keep an off-site backup (Mozy, Carbonite, Crashplan, Transporter…even Dropbox or the recently discounted Google Drive). But for me, Backblaze is the best balance of cost, security, and ease of use.

I pay $5/month for unlimited backups, and I definitely get my money’s worth. I have an external Drobo holding over 100,000 photos and videos, plus the usual cadre of music and documents and whatnot. It is currently 2.1TB of stuff, and Backblaze never bats an eye.

In a nutshell:
– $5/month unlimited
– Data is heavily encrypted on your machine before transmission and storage
– Incremental backups (roll back as far as a month if a file gets deleted or damaged)
– Lightweight, install-and-forget client for Mac and Windows
– Backs up the whole computer by default (you don’t have to pick folders or keep your stuff somewhere specific)
– Free Internet restores (from anywhere) as zip files, or get mailed a USB drive or hard disk for a fee

Thanks for keeping up the good work…Drew (audio listener since BoL)

Friday’s Guests: Darren Kitchen & Len Peralta!

S&L Podcast – #167 – Spitcoin

We evaluate George R. R. Martin’s plans to stay ahead of the HBO show, look forward to spaceships returning to SyFy, congratulate Arthur C. Clarke Award finalists and ponder the disgusting need for spit as a payment method in Richard K. Morgan’s “Altered Carbon.”

Direct download link here!

QUICK BURNS

FINALISTS: 2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award

People Who Use E-Readers Dive Far Deeper Into Books

Incredible Game of Thrones pop-up book folds out to 3D Westeros map

J.K. Rowling has released History of the Quidditch World Cup online

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

George R.R. Martin knows how to stop ‘Game of Thrones’ from catching up to his books

Frederik Pohl’s dread-coated ateway to get a TV series adaptation

Syfy promises a return to space opera at last, with Ascension

Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson – who watched it?

BOOK CHECK-IN

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

First impressions

Payment Methods

Punishment

Our April book pick will be selected by Bryan Benson who backed our Kickstarter. Thanks Bryan. The book is “A Dance of Cloaks” by David Dalglish. — Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.

Bryan also is an author so we’re going to make HIS book our official alternate pick. So check out Brand by Bryan Alexander Benson as well! It’s a fast-paced, Fantasy action novel with steam-punk tendencies. It is the first book in the Order of Luminan series. We’ll have Bryan on for our wrap-up episode at the end of April.

BARE YOUR SWORD

What good would come aliens arriving from another planet?

Recommend a book you think most people haven’t heard of

DTNS 2194 – Mama, Dadda, iPad

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNicole Spag is on the show to talk Sony and Oculus’s VR headset announcements AND whether that iPad is safe for your baby.

MP3

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

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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:  Nicole Spagnuolo 

Headlines:

Project Morpheus: The Verge reports Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida announced the company’s Virtual Reality headset during a panel at the Game Developer’s Conference called “Driving the Future of Innovation.” Project Morpheus is a prototype headset, similar to the Oculus Rift, that currently works with a PS4 by HDMI and USB connection, though the company would like to make it wireless. It uses 1080p LCD screens and has a 90-degree field of view. The PlayStation and Camera and PlayStation Move integrate with the headset which tracks position 100 times per second. An SDK is on its way, but Yoshida told the Verge that the product would not be out for consumers this year.

Ars Technica reports the Oculus team had a little announcement of its own today. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 or DK2 bumps the pixel count to 960×1080 per eye, reduces image persistence to 2-3 ms, meaning smoother images,adds an on-device USB port for accessories, and an external CMOS sensor to assist in position tracking. DK2 will be $350 at launch and you can pre-order today at www.oculusvr.com/order, with the first batch expected to ship in July.

Engadget reports that Oppo unveiled the Find 7 phone in Beijing and yes it can take 50-megapixel photos, if you have a use for such capability. Although before you get too pixel crazy it’s just a 13-megapixel sensor using software tricks to boost the count. It can also record 4K video. The 5.5-inch Android-based Color OS phone will sell for The $499 for Find 7a or Lite in China, with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, or for $599 Find 7 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage,and a quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) display. The Find7a should arrive mid-April and the Find 7 follows in May or June.

Flappy Bird to fly again?

GigaOM reports GE and Quirky are teaming up on an Air Conditioning unit that learns your preferences over time and can cool your room perfectly without any input from you. The unit will work with the Wink app which you’re probably already using for your connected egg carton, right? The 8,000 BTU WiFi -enabled unit will be out in May for $300.

Remember how Huawei was bucking the trend and going to put out a dual-boot Android and Windows Phone? Well they got to ‘em. TechCrunch passes along the FierceWireless report that Huawei has changed its mind and will not release a dual-OS handset, though it still plans to release a Windows Phone in 2014. Asustek recently backed off from a dual-boot phone of their own after reportedly getting pressured by Google and Microsoft.

News From You

 AllanAV submitted the Ars Technica article indicating Cogent isn’t the only Internet transit provider upset with ISP’s demanding paid interconnections. Level 3’s general counsel for regulatory policy Michael Mooney, posted to their blog complaining that ISP’s are using their near-monopolies over the last mile in the US, to strongarm providers into paying. The ISP’s say the ratio is out of whack because much more traffic comes into their netowrk than out. Level 3 points out that’s becuase end users do more downloaading than ulpoading, and proposes bit miles, the distance traffic is carried, rather than the direction, should be the basis for interconenction agreements. Level 3 also argues that FCC network neutrality regulation should cover peering agreements as well.

Speaking of regulation, Draconos sent in the Engadget story reporting attorneys general in Florida, Indiana and a few other states are working with the US Department of Justice to determine if the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would violate antitrust laws. This gives the DoJ a few more resources, though it isn’t unusual for states to join in antitrust investigations.

cincyhuffster submitted the Pandora blog post announcing price increases for new subscribers. Existing subscribers will continue to pay the 1009 rate of $3.99 a month. New subscribers will have to pony up an extra buck at $4.99 a month, starting in May. Annual subscribers, who were paying $46 a year will be moved to the monthly $3.99 plan when their next year is up.

ChaseLaursen posted the Globe and Mail story celebrating the arrival of the Google ChromeCast in Canada for $39. The Chromecast also launched Wednesday in ten European countries — Germany, Denmark, France, Spain, Finland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain. App compatibility varies by country. Canada for instance gets YouTube and Netflix. Britain gets the BBC and in France, you can use it with FranceTV Pluzz and SFR TV.

Discussion Section Links:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/03/sony-reveals-virtual-reality-headset-plans-at-gdc-panel/

http://www.today.com/moms/surprise-doc-says-ipads-may-be-ok-babies-2D79361986

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/16/290110766/parenting-in-the-age-of-apps-is-that-ipad-help-or-harm?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=npr&utm_campaign=nprnews&utm_content=03162014

http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1840251&resultClick=3

Pick of the Day:  Nite Ize Gear Ties

Whats Up!

Something that I use on a daily basis to keep my cables organized are Nite Ize Gear Ties. Granted, they are glorified twist ties, but they’re super durable and useful. I use one to keep the usb with my external, one for my macbook charge cable, and one for my headphones. When they’re not holding cables, they make great stands for phones/tablets.

Thanks for the great Show!

Tuesday’s  Guest:  Farhad Manjoo, of the New York Times