DTNS 2406 – Amazon Gets a Woody

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comSimon Dingle joins us as we review Prime Minister David Cameron’s desire to be able to read all your SnapChat messages if necessary. Can you have a back door that bad guys won’t use?


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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Simon Dingle, broadcaster and product guy out South Africa


Engadget reports that Facebook has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to deliver location-specific Amber Alerts to inform users about missing or abducted children in the US. The alerts include photos of the child, license plate numbers and any other relevant information and will appear on mobile devices and desktops. Facebook was inspired to add Amber Alerts after missing children were recovered due to information posted independently by users.

PC World reports AllCast is now available for iOS users. As Android users already know, AllCast can send photos, videos and music from your mobile device to multiple devices like Xbox (360 and One), Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and certain smart TVs. The app can access anything on your camera roll as well as Google+ Dropbox and Instagram. The free version has a time limit. The $5 paid version takes away that limit and removes ads.

Windows 7 is getting old. The first sign occurred today as free tech support for the operating system has ended. That also means no new features will be added to the OS. Microsoft would rather you upgrade to Windows 8.1 please. Believe it or not Windows 7 is more than 5 years old after all. You can still pay for support through 2020 and Microsoft will continue to patch security issues.

Fujitsu has a smart ring that not only does motion control but recognizes in air handwriting. Trace letters with your fingertip in the air and motion sensors translate the movements to written characters. The ring also has an NFC reader. Engadget reports Fujitsu is conducting real world tests and hopes to have a product out before March of 2016.

Boing Boing has the tale of a man from Hong Kong who tried to cross over the Chinese border with 94 iPhones strapped to his torso, legs and groin. Customs officials stopped the man for “weird walking posture” and “joint stiffness.” I’m guessing they don’t use metal detectors at that crossing. The man was carrying iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, which have been available for purchase at Apple Stores in China since mid-October.

El Nuevo Herald reports Cuba’s ETECSA telecom denies they would offer wiFi service in Santiago de Cuba as we had mentioned yesterday. The original report was based on an announcement from the Cuban Journalists Association. ETECSA called the information false, and said it is only offering WiFi at a technological park through the Youth Club navigation network called Tinored.

Engadget reports Uber announced it will share some of its ride data with the city of Boston. The anonymized metadata zip code tabulation area for starts and ends of trips, distance traveled, time, date and duration of trip. Boston hopes to use the data to improve city planning.

TechCrunch reports a report from appFigures indicates more new apps came to the Google Play store than the iOS app store in 2014 for the first time. Google Play developer community growth also exceeded iOS for third year. The fastest growing app category for Apple was Business while for Google it was Games. Both app stores, and Amazon ’s app store experienced growth of at least 50%.

News From You: 

Philo1927 posted the Multichannel News article assessing the world’s readiness for 4K streaming. Akamai’s latest State of the INternet Report suggests 15 Mbps is required for sustained adaptive bitrate 4 K streaming. OK. How we doing? 12% of connection to Akamai arounf the world can be considered 4K ready. That’s a 32% jump from last year at this time. South Korea is most prepared with 66% of its connections ready, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Singapore and Belgium. Those last three had 21% readiness. The US as a whole is 19% ready.

HobbitfromPA sent us the Business Insider report that Amazon Studios has signed Woody Allen to create his first ever television series. The show will be a half-hour long, and available to Prime Instant Video subscribers in the US, UK and Germany. Allen got his start writing in television in the late 1950’s. He wrote monologues for The Tonight Show, and various comedy specials, including one for Sid Caesar. But Allen’s standup career began to blossom, and he began appearing on TV shows instead of writing them. Allen’s Amazon show does not yet have a title or a release date.

Pick of the Day via Joe Fruchey

My pick is the book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold.

If you’re at all interested in technology (and you certainly are, since you’re listening to a tech news podcast!), this book is a serious eye-opener. We use these things–computers, tablets, smartphones–every day, but the vast majority of us don’t know how they work. How DO they work? How can an array of transistors play a movie on my screen?

In this book, the author takes you through the process of building a theoretical computer, starting with nothing but a flashlight. It’s very easy to understand, and is highly relevant, despite the fact that it was published 15 years ago(!).

It’s the #1 seller in Theory of Computing on Amazon, but don’t let the categorization scare you. It’s very approachable and requires no prior computing knowledge.

It is definitely my favorite book.