DTNS 2502 – AdBlock, Now With SueBlock

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comScott Johnson is on today and we’ll talk about Mary Meeker’s annual Internet trends report. Can this woman ever be wrong? Will messaging apps become the dominant mobile hub?


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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Scott Johnson


An AppleInsider reader, Kaitlyn, let the blog know Tuesday that receiving a particular text message made up of Unicode characters from various character sets caused iPhone restarts and lockouts from messages. When the text is received while the screen is locked the phone reboots and messenger is unavailable until a new message is sent to it. The problem according to Apple Insider is that notifications can’t render the full block of Unicode text, so iOS hogs resources trying to render the message. Apple is aware of the problem.

During an interview with Walt Mossberg at Code Conference reports The Verge, an audience member asked Apple’s senior VP of operations, Jeff Williams what Apple was going to do with its huge cash reserves. Williams said, “Well the car is the ultimate mobile device, isn’t it?” Was he trolling or telling?—- Williams also confirmed that a preview of a native Apple Watch app development kit will be released at WWDC on June 8.

Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers delivered her Internet trends report at the Code conference. She started delivering them 20 years ago. Meeker says Messging is becoming the dominant use of mobile and messaging apps may become a hub for commerce and identity management. She also discussed the rising popularity of drones, identified Housing, Transportation and Food is areas ripe for innovation, the increasing easiness of freelance and contracting and the need for regulatory reform there and pointed out India is number 1 in new Internet users and is becoming the next big tech market.

Google will soon index some iOS apps in the search results it returns in the iOS versions of the Google app and Chrome, according to Tech Crunch. Google has been indexing apps on Android phones for a few years and started indexing apps whether installed or not a few months ago. Developers who want to have their iOS app indexed by Google will have to add deep linking support among a few other things and fill out an online form. The form does not guarantee Google will begin indexing the app.

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said the messaging service is planning an initial public offering, at Re/code’s Code Conference. Spiegel also mentioned plans to expand its reach to include older users including changes to the Apps hold-to-watch feature. Spiegel also predicted a market correction is coming and his company has prepared accordingly. You can catch the rest of the interview on the Re/Code website.

Fortune reports Pebble began shipping the Pebble Time to around 79,000 Kickstarter backers today. The Pebble cost $199 has an e-paper display multiple day battery life and works with multiple smartphone platforms.

9to5 Mac reports sources say Apple is developing an alternative to Google Now supposedly codenamed Proactive. It would automatically provide timely information based on the user’s data and device usage pattern. Apple acquired the personal assistant app Cue in 2013, which was sort of a mix of voice-recognition assistant like Cortana and predictive notification like Google Now.

Xiaomi (Shao-me) posted on Facebook that it will officially launch online stores in the US on June 1 and Germany France and the UK on June 2 at http://mi.com/store. The Mi Stores will not sell phones in these regions but will sell lots of accessories like headphones and the Mi Band.

News From You:

starfuryzeta sent us the Business Insider report that AdBlock Plus won again in court, this time in Munich, Germany. Two German broadcasters RTL Interactive and ProSiebenSat 1 had sued saying that users should not be allowed to block ads. The court ruled that the software was not anti-competitive because users chose to install AdBlock Plus and Eyeo did not have enough dominance of the market to stop online publishers from finding sufficient users who would see ads.

Kylde, our self-described subreddit janitor, sent us a Washington Post report that Chuck Johnson has been permanently suspended from Twitter after asking for funds to “take out” civil rights activist DeRay McKesson. Twitter has also suspended several of Johnson’s new accounts.

AllanAV noted the Ars Technica writeup on the US Internal Revenue Service’s disclosure that it has shut down its transcript service, which allowed taxpayers to request copies of past tax returns. The IRS noticed unusual activity and found that more than 100,000 accounts had been accessed by unauthorized parties. The system required knowledge of personal, financial, and tax information—including date of birth, tax filing status, and address. It appears the attackers had such information on the accounts that were accessed.

tm204 sent us the Engadget report that pop culture retailer Hot Topic has purchased Geeknet, owners of the ThinkGeek online store for $122 million. Companies who license pop culture, FORM A… MEGASTORE.

starfuryzeta sent us the Recode announcement that Vox Media which runs The Verge will acquire Revere Digital, which runs ReCode. Several ReCode staffers will move over to The Verge (including Bonnie Cha and Lauren Goode) to write reviews while Walt Mossberg will write for both sites.

Discussion Section Links:  



Pick of the Day:

Derek aka Bishma – Director of Engineering in Eugene, Oregon writes:

Here is a pick I’d like to share: Safari Books Online

Safari is a service from O’Reilly and Associates (makers or the iconic animal books on all things technology) that offers on-demand access to tens of thousands of titles. The service is not limited to O’Reilly as the make titles available from other big technical publishers like Adobe Press, Prentice Hall, Pragmatic Bookshelf, and more. Additionally you get access to many titles as “rough cuts” (not necessarily their final edit) or “fresh cuts” (finished editions sometimes weeks before they arrive in stores) so that you can get a jump on the latest and greatest. They also have a good collection of videos including many from O’Reilly’s conferences (OSCON, Velocity, Strata, etc).

Reading can be done via website or mobile app – their features page says the Android app is “coming soon” but it is in fact available in the play store. Each month you’re on the service you can earn credits toward downloading titles or chapters in pdf, mobi, or epub formats if you need or want offline access.

The cost, at $39/month or $399/year, seems a high compared to things like Netflix but when you consider many of the titles available retail for $40+ dollars it pays for itself quickly if you spend a lot of time researching new technologies or improving your tech skills as I do.

I’m always surprised how many technology professions I encounter who don’t know this service exists so I wanted to share with everyone in DTNSland.


Rich from Lovely Cleveland:

Once Google Tone makes its way to mobile, I could see it being a huge boon for radio advertisers. Imagine if radio ads had Google tones embedded, each time your phone hears one, it pings Google and lets the advertisers know (and Google gets to keep the demographic info of the phone user for their own purposes). All of this could easily be accomplished by including some small bit of language in the EULA and providing for some obscure method to opt-out. It could totally change the metrics used for ad sales on radio.

What’s that, Google Tone is included in the next Google Now update that’s already installed on every new Android phone? I could NEVER see that happening <insert yet-to-be-agreed-upon-sarcasm-punctuation-mark>.


Thursday’s guest:  Justin Robert Young