DTNS 2471 – The Guitar Hero We Need, Not the One We Deserve

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show and we’ll bring on Russ Pitts to talk about the new Guitar Hero Live and how it’s almost the exact opposite of Rock Band 4.


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Show Notes

Today’s guests:  Patrick Beja and Russ Pitts


TechCrunch reports that Apple’s 26th annual Worldwide Developer Conference is scheduled for June 8th through June 12th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Starting today devs can sign up for a random selection process to get a ticket. Devs will be notified by April 20th whether or not they get to pay $1,599 to attend. Possible announcements at WWDC could include, OS upgrades, a new music streaming service, maybe some Apple TV hardware, and maybe even the SDK for Apple Watch Apps.

TechCrunch reports Microsoft began replacing Lync with Skype for Business as part of the Office 2013 April update.  Skype for Business resembles regular Skype but has enterprise-grade security and administration features.  The transition will be complete by the end of May.

CNET has the news that Google has launched a new program called “Designed For Families” which identifies apps in the Google Play store that Google deems safe for children. To earn the family friendly label, app makers must go through a review process that includes receiving a rating of “Everyone” or “Everyone 10+” from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and making sure the app complies with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. App makers can begin to apply now, and consumers should see the label in a few weeks.

The Next Web reports Opera Mini’s latest Android browser has a scalable interface that works with high-resolution screens, as well as options to customize the layout for larger devices.  The main menu has been simplified and the Speed Dial feature redesigned. Other updates include a new private browsing mode, a refreshed discover newsfeed that brings more new content from the Web and a counter to show you how much data you’ve saved.

Apple made its open-source ResearchKit tools for developers available today. The kit allows developers to create apps intended for medical and health-related research. Modules in the kit include Participant consent, Surveys and Active Tasks. Some applications were created prior to the public release that have enrolled 60,000 users in studies related to asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

The Next Web reports that Netflix is beginning to add narration tracks for the visually impaired today. The narrations describe the movements, facial expressions, costumes and scene changes. The first series to get the additional narration is Daredevil to be followed by shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

The net neutrality lawsuits continue. Added to one filed yesterday by the USTelecom organization, The Verge reports the CTIA, NCTA and American Cable Association have all filed suits now as well. In addition, Ars Technica reports US Rep. Doug Collins introduced a “Resolution of Disapproval” regarding the Open Internet Order which would use Congress’ fast track powers to cancel the FCC rules. While it is likely to pass, it is also likely that the President will veto it.

The Net Neutrality fight is just getting underway in India and TechCrunch reports it took its first victim.  Flipkart announced it will withdraw from Airtel Zero, a platform that would’ve given Bharti Airtel subscribers free data for services that paid to be in the program.

Cloud communications company Twilio has launched Twilio Video according to The Next Web,to make it easier for developers to embed real-time video experiences into apps and websites and such. The service uses WebRTC and leverages Twilio’s existing data centers to handle up to 4 people on a call, unlimited video connections, low latency relay calls and full optimization for iOS and Android users. Although no pricing was mentioned the company said that there will “always be a free tier of usage”. Interested parties can register for a private beta today.


News From You:

Doorsrio and KAPT_Kipper send us this ray of sunshine for victims of the CoinVault ransomware. PC World has a story on a new tool released by Kaspersky Lab that exploits decryption keys uncovered on a CoinVault command and control server during an investigation by Dutch police. Kapersky researcher Jornt van der Wiel said the tool isn’t 100% effective but police hope to uncover more keys as their investigation continues. No arrests have been made in connection with the CoinVault ransomware operation but the perpetrator is believed to reside in the Netherlands.

Goofball_jones posted the Ars Technica report about an opinion piece written by industry analyst Jack Gold and published by Verizon. Gold makes the fair point that if everyone had unlimited data and used it fully networks would suffer. He also argues that users don’t require more data and wouldn’t want to pay for the infrastructure to deliver it anyway. Network management company Sandvine’s CTO Don Bowman has said Data caps do not do a very good job of managing congestion.


Discussion Section Links:  



Pick of the day:

Jack wrote in saying:

“I have been a long time listener since your buzz out loud days and know you have mentioned Audible over the years and just found out something I did not know before. Audible has an option to stream your books on a browser. This is such a great little surprise for us chromebook users like myself that I can now pop the headphones on and listen to books as I surf the web and my 5 year old claims my phone as his own.”


Ian writes:

Dear Tom,

I just donated to your Patreon because I feel like I give back some value before I insert my opinion and potentially take up air time. I love the show and the coverage you guys give to wearables, even if you’re skeptical of smartwatches. I wanted to write in just to remind folks that wearables is a much broader category than just smartwatches. While, as you noted, most of the products in this sector are aimed at women, there are a growing number of products that aren’t gender specific. I’ve compiled a short list of some wearables that are not smartwatches for you and your listeners:



Garin writes in:

Hey Tom, Jenny and Patrick,

I am emailing in response to the story in the headlines yesterday from Ars Technica (and covered widely across the internet) about TWC increasing internet speeds in Charlotte, NC in response to Google Fiber. I just wanted to point out that they might have rolled this out “early” in response to Google, but this particular instance it is not necessarily anything new.

I have Time Warner Cable in LA County (Santa Clarita, by Magic Mountain) and we got these exact speed increases a year ago. Coworkers of mine also got these increases in Pasadena and Covina, so it appeared to be the wider LA area. At the time I researched it and discovered it was actually rolling out as a pilot program in LA and NY (Press release here.) So this increase has probably been in the works for a while, and will likely come to many other (if not every) Time Warner area in the near future.

I just wanted to email in and point out that a story that seemed to blow up all over yesterday was really less of a deal than it looked (Although I totally get that it has happened previously in other instances.)

Love the show and am a proud Patron!


Nathan the school tech in weird weather Washington (state) sent us this email:

Hi Tom

I do network and desktop support in a medium-large school district.

I agree that some form of punishment for the student involved is warranted (the original suspension seemed reasonable).

A large portion of the responsibility for the incident lies with the teacher as well as whoever was allowing the use of completely insecure passwords for administrative access to the computer.

The adults in the area are responsible for attempting to prevent the irresponsible, dumb things children do because they are children. When a child does gets caught breaking the rules their behavior should be corrected.

When a teacher creates or allows a situation to continue that leads to inappropriate student behavior, they need some serious correcting as well.


Tuesday’s guests: Natali Morris