DTNS 2400 – CES: The Down Lowe on Oculus

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRoger Chang and Paul Spain join us to chat about the top CES announcements from Dish’s Net-only TV service with ESPN to Nvidia’s Tegra X1 to a report from Allison Sheridan on using an Oculus Rift to remodel your bathroom.


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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Paul Spain of the NZ Tech Podcast is at CES, Roger Chang, tech journalist with a special report from CES from Allison Sheridan


Dish announced its Internet-only service called Sling TV that will stream 12 channels for $20 a month starting “soon.” The star of the show is ESPN but it also will carry Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Subscribers will have the option of adding other channels in $5 a month packages like Kids, and News and Info. Streams can be paused, rwound and fast forwarded but there is no DVR functionality. Subscribers can only view on one device at a time though it supports Web, iOS, Android, Roku, FireTV, Xbox One and LG and Samsung Samart TVs. Best thing? No contracts.

Engadget reports that Intel unveiled 14 broadwell-series chips including including 13 15-watt processors with basic Intel HD graphics, and four 28-watt models with Intel Iris graphics. Most of those are Core i5 and i7s and they’re all dual core. While these chips boost productivity and battery life a little, the big gains come with 22 percent improvement in 3D graphics benchmarks, and up to 50 percent faster video-conversion time.

Ars Technica reports Google unveiled partnerships with new audio products that can take advantage of Google Cast. That means you can send audio from compatible apps and websites straight to things like speakers, just like you would do with a Chromecast devices. Sony, LG and Denon were named as partners but no product details were provided.

LG today announced the LG G Flex 2, a successor to the G Flex, which is a little smaller at 5.5-inches but a higher resolution screen at 1080p. It still has the curved body and the self-healing coating on the back. It also contains Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor with 2GB of RAM and support for LTE Category 6. No word on price or availability.

The Next Web has Garmin’s announcement of three GPS smart watches. The Fenix 3 supports GPS and GLONASS for location, and measures heart rate, speed, distance, vertical drop and more. It arrives Q1 in five versions starting at $499.99 up to the Sapphire model at $599.99. The Epix is touted as a hands-free navigation device, with maps, compass, altimeter available Q1 for $550 or $600 with topo map preinstalled. And finally the Vivoactive is the budget model with apps, color display interchangable bands and wireless sensors. It also launches Q1 from $250 to $300.

TechCrunch reports that a company called Gogoro announced the Smartscooter, an electric scooter powered by swappable batteries lithium ion batteries. The scooter goes from 0-30 in 4.2 seconds, with a max speed of roughly 60mph, and has two battery slots. Max range is 100 miles. When the scooter runs low on battery power a smartphone app would direct you to a “Go Station” hub where you can swap out the shoe-box sized, 20 pound batteries. Batteries can be reserved, but the user doesn’t “own” any batteries–instead you subscribe to rent. No cost has been announced, and a battery swapping network large enough for a major city is more goal than reality at this point.

Nokia can make phones but not feature phones because Microsoft still owns the Nokia brand from when it bought part but not all of Nokia but it only owns the brand temporarily, so when I say Microsoft launched a phone called the Nokia 215 that’s why. It’s a $29 feature phonerunning Series 30+ with Opera Mini and Facebook Messenger and Twitter. It has a dual SIM model and it gets 29 days on a charge. It will roll out first in select markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe this quarter.

CNET reports Tencent has launched China’s first private bank. It’s entirely operated online. WeBank launched Monday and although it’s the first bank in China not controlled by the government, Premier Li Keqiang attended the launch ceremony.

The Verge reports Panasonic will release its Life+ 4K TVS this spring, running Firefox OS. No pricing or release dates were announced. Meanwhile don’t confuse THAT launch with the FirefoxOS powered Matchstick which struck up it’s own partnership to be built inside smart TVs, monitors and settop boxes from TCL and Philips/AOC. The integration features Matchstick’s answer to Google Cast called Flint, an open source casting protocol that anyone can build with.

Ars Technica reports that Sony has announced its replacing its per rental remote game subscription service for Playstation Now with a flat monthly fee. Starting January 13th, PS4 owners in North American can sign up for unlimited streaming access to more than 100 PS3 games like Batman: Arkham City and The Last of Us. A one month subscription will cost $19.99, three months $49.99, and a free seven day trial is available for new subscribers.

The US FCC has a new complaints site at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us designed to make your complaining a more enjoyable experience. The new site is streamlined with helpful information, complaint monitoring 24-7 and faster delivery of complaints to customers. The Consumers Union advised the FCC on the new portal.

Lenovo announced a partnership with Intel on the P90 smartphone a 64-bit Atom Z3560 powered device with Intel’s LTe-Advanced modem chip. The Intel XMM can handle 150 Mbps down and 50 up though the service has to also be capable of that. It’s Android 4.4 out of the box unfortunately. Otherwise its a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display at 400 ppi. 32 GB stoarage and 2 GB RAM with a 13-mpxl rear cameras.

And Lenovo got into wearables with the E-ink Vibe Band. The band shows notifications from your phone for calls, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and more, but with no more than 150 characters and can track steps and sleep. The VIBE band will cost just $89 although a release date was not announced.

Qualcomm announced an easy way for manufacturers to make smart light bulbs without worrying about all the crazy protocols out there! Just use theirs! IN partnership with smart lightbulb maker LIFX, Qualcomm has developed chip design that any company can license. It uses the AllJoyn protocol which means it can connect to any product in the house— that uses the AllJoyn protocol. A protocol led by Qualcomm.

Asus unveiled an updated line of Transformer hybrid Windows PC’s and photo-friendly smartphones at CES today. CNET reports that the Transformer Book Chi series is a clamshell laptop that detaches into a tablet. The $699 T300 Chi use Intel’s new Core M processor and has a 1920×1080 resolution screen or $799 for the 2560 x 1440. The $399 10.1 inch T100 has an Atom processor and the T90 costs $299. All three sizes come tot he US in February, no pricing.

As for phones the ZenFone 2 will run Android 5.0 Lollipop Intel’s 64-bit Atom Z3580 processor, a quad-core 64-bit CPU, and includes 4GB of RAM and Intel’s LTE-Advanced XMM modem chip for $199 available in March and the ZenFone Zoom, with a 13 megapixel camera which features a 3x optical zoom. The photo phone will be available for $399 in the US sometime in Q2.

News From You

tninja3000 pointed out the Engadget story that Google’s Nest has announced loads of new partners in its Works With Nest program. Pebble and Jawbone are already in on the action but today Nest announced LG, Philips and Withings are among the new partners. SCenarios could be Nest noticing you leave and making sure the LG smart oven is off, The Withings Aura sleep sensor noticing you go to bed and telling Nest’s thermostat to adjust the temp. Or the Nest Protect smoke alarm causing the Philips Hue bulbs to flash or glow red or something. Uni Key, Ooma and Lutron are among other new partners.

metalfreak called our attention to the OS News post regarding the Intel Management Engine and how operating systems leverage it to restrict things like screenshots of proteced media. The IME is a coprocessor that among many other things implements Protected Audio Video Path to stop nasty pirates from ripping content in ways like using screen recorders on realtime playback. This has the side effect of preventing some innocent things like taking screenshots, because the pixels aren’t stored where they are expected to be.

Discussion Section: CES!



Dish Introduces Sling TV, Its Over-The-Top Alternative To The Cable Bundle




Here’s How Nvidia’s New Tegra X1 Stacks Up To The K1 And Apple A8X On Paper


Pick of the Day: The Computerphile channel via Brent

Hi Tom,

I just wanted to say I love your show and wanted to contribute.

This year I found this youtube channel called computerphile. I first saw it appear when the channel posted a video on how the heart bleed vulnerability works (they did not want people to use the bug, but showed how it worked and why)

Warning some videos are very technical!


The youtube channel has loads of videos about all kinds of computer related questions including networking, computer history and many others. If you have some time browse through the list of videos.




Our next DTNS contributors have been announced: Scott Johnson and Veronica Belmont!  If you’d like to hear more of Scott and Veronica, go here: patreon.com/acedtect

DTNS has an Instagram account! Jennie will be posting from CES until she falls down.  http://instagram.com/dtnspix/ 

Tomorrow’s guests: ALL THE PATRICKS! Patrick Beja from France and Patrick Norton from CES!