Tim Stevens joins the show and we’ll talk about Tesla. Is it overhyped? Are the cars exciting? And is that Powerwall battery really any good for anyone?
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Today’s guests: Tim Stevens
The Next Web reports that Yahoo has overhauled its Flickr photo app for the web, mobile and desktop. New features include an intelligent search tool, improved coordination with its mobile apps, and a bulk uploader that allows the user to send as many as a half million photos into the cloud to take advantage of that free terabyte of photo storage.
The Globe and Mail reports Canada’s House of Commons passed Bill C-51, an antiterrorism act. If it passes the Senate and receives royal assent, the law would allow police to make preventive arrests, broaden the no-fly list, ease transfer of information on citizens between federal agencies as well as new surveillance abilities for intelligence agencies. The bill is expected to become law by June.
Ars Technica reports AT&T has changed its its LTE throttling policy for customers with unlimited data. Previously once a customer used more than 5GB in a month experienced reduced speeds for the remainder of the month. Jon Brodkin at Ars points out the policy deatiled on AT&T’s website has changed that to customers who use more than 5GB of data “may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion.” AT&T is facing a lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission.
Kantar Worldpanel has several reports out on the phone market. Phablets claimed 21% of US smartphone sales in Q1 tripling the marketshare form a year ago. The iPhone 6+ led the way with 44% of phablets sold. Overall in smartphones, Android gained 0.2 points to 58.1% of the US market. LG made the biggest jump going from 7.4% a year ago to 10.8%. In Europe’s big 5 markets, Android dropped 3.1 points but maintained its leading share at 68.4%. iOS grew 1.8 points to 20.3%. And in urban China Apple grew its lead from 179% to 26.1%.
Microsoft has backed up statements made its developer Jerry Nixon during the Ignite Conference this week. Nixon said “Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.” A company spokesperson told the Verge that while it wasn’t speaking to future branding, Nixon’s comments “are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service.”
News From You:
The top vote-getter in the subreddit today was submitted by phredd. Ars Technica reports that US FCC chairman Tom Wheeler went into the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) conference in Chicago and told his audience “more competition would be better,” and “History proves that absent competition, a predominant position in the market such as yours creates economic incentives to use that market power to protect your traditional business in a way that is ultimately harmful to consumers.” He also said: “Often people say to me, ‘I know you won’t do anything crazy, but what about those who follow you?’ My response is, I take you at your word to protect an open Internet, but what about those that follow you?’” According to the LA Times, Wheeler received “a frosty reception” at the gathering.
habichuelacondulce sent us the Business Insider report that after bumping its head against a brick for a few years Nintendo has earned some gold coins. The company reported its first annual operating profit since 2011, slightly ahead of analysts estimates. Profit of 24.8 billion yen ($207.6 million) beat the company’s forecast of 20 billion yen as well as the average estimate of 23.8 billion yen. Reduced costs offset the impact of slowing revenue growth. Nintendo forecasts operating profit of 50 billion yen for the year started April 1.
and BOL’s own gknee sent us the news from Wired that Nintendo has teamed up with Universal Parks & Resorts to build Nintendo-themed attractions in Universal’s parks, “creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.” So we’ll all be able to bump our heads against the bricks and have gold coins fall out. Of our pockets.
spsheridan submitted the Reuters story that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the Patriot Act did not authorize the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ calling records in bulk. Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch called the extent of the collection staggering and wrote that such expansive collection should “be preceded by substantial debate, and expressed in unmistakable language. There is no evidence of such a debate.” The court declined.” The court declined to halt the program as the relevant part of the Patriot Act, Section 215 expires on June 1st.
magoojc posted the Verge article noting Google’s I/O conference schedule made specific mention of Android M, the first official mention of the next version of Android. That session has since been removed from the schedule. Google’s I/O keynote led by Sundar Pichai kicks off May 28th at 12:30PM.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day:
Sand Sailor Writes:
I really love your show, and noticed that you’ve been talking a lot about VR and AR hardware, but I haven’t heard you mention the DAQRI Smart helmet yet. This is a pretty awesome industrial product, and word on the street is they’re going to be starting BETA programs with some Fortune 100 companies very, very soon. I’d be interested to get your take on this and their industrial focus.
Matthew Martian writes:
Regarding these discussion of self driving trucks in show 2487.
I have been driving truck over the road for 5 years now podcast and audiobooks are what make the long drives enjoyable. In running this trucking company it has been almost impossible to find good drivers for more than 10 years. A majority of truck drivers are reaching or have surpassed retirement age and a looking to quit in the next few years. From this perspective self driving trucks cannot get here soon enough. I hope to see that laws will allow the automated systems to do the simple interstate and highway driving out side of the big cities. With that we can make trucking far more efficient since current laws do not let trucks drive for more than 11 hours without a 10 hour break. That is one reason why truckers work such odd hours. New semi tractors run $130,000-150,000 so if a self driving truck could be purchased for $220,000 or less that makes it a viable option even to us smaller trucking companies who cannot find drivers to hire for $100,000 a year.
Thinking a bit about the self-driving trucks and it might open a whole new possibility for drivers turned ‘monitors’. The scenario of having a second income stream while on the truck working on any number of things from computer based work to small product assembly could change the characteristics of the job overall making it less sedentary and mundane. It could be a job that could be attractive to people who are working on startup type projects (app development, coding, etc.) or writers and artists. Probably a lot of other scenarios there as well but overall seems like a really good thing at a lot of levels.
Rich from Lovely Cleveland compares the coming VR wars to the game console wars where the perception was more important than the specs. He writes:
“I think we could see the same mentality shape up with the VR competition between the Vive and Oculus Rift, with the seemingly interminable lead time of the Rift working against it as being “delayed”, even though I don’t believe the actual consumer release date was ever moved back. Add in the good will that Valve still enjoys, and the initial narrative seems to favor the Vive right now (obviously if there is a huge price delta or dearth of games on the Vive this would change).
But Sony may have the ace in the hole with Project Morpheus in terms of price. Even if the headset is equal in price to its competitors, if Sony can put out a $600 bundle for the entire package (ps4 and headset), that’s probably the baseline price for a PC needed to power the Rift or Vive. Sony could benefit from the same enthusiasm that made the Wii successful (hopefully with more long term success). Of course long term it comes down to user experience and games, I think whoever can make for great group experiences will ultimately come out victorious.”
On your conversation from yesterday about all of the VR headsets coming out and who would be the winner. The answer is simple Unity is the clear winner as well as the key to which headset will get good content. Currently creating a VR experience is changing out the first person camera in Unity to the SDK that you are looking to support. So as long as the makers of VR headsets make that experience easy for developer they will be supported, if the do not then it will be a lot harder to get good content in those platforms.
Mike Calvo Opinionated Ranter and #BlindCrossfitter writes:
“A great example of this are the stickers in FB Messenger, Line, Whatsapp, and others. A novice user doesn’t know the difference between a labeled Emoji and an unlabeled sticker or picture. This makes it rather challenging when a blind person and a sighted person are first meeting online and maybe flirting.
…for example, some of the FB stickers are labeled with alt tags for me to know what they are when sending them, but, for some strange reason, when a person sends me a sticker …I have no idea as to what it is because all my screenreader says is the word “sticker”
…it is important that the developer and graphics author communities understand that these platforms don’t just interpret these Emojis and stickers without the alt tag included by the content’s creator.
Just wanted to clarify to the listeners and suggest that if perhaps you are part of the dev teams of one of the above mentioned chat platforms, perhaps you can encourage the use of alt tags on all graphics but especially Emoji and stickers.”
Drill Sgt Jason Nicholson in already hot as hell Georgia writes:
On Tuesday you talked about portable EEG devices, and controlling tech with your thoughts. In fact you mentioned using you concentration to control the Jedi training ball. Well, it’s already a thing, or rather it was. Back in 2012 they released this gemhttp://www.hammacher.com/Product/Default.aspx?sku=76966 All the fun, none of the blaster scars. Batteries, helmet with blast shield, and Jedi master not included. Oh, and here’s the promo video.https://youtu.be/hbsCsIfyvXc
Friday’s guest: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta