Veronica Belmont is on and we’ll talk about Google and Facebook’s new tools to protect your privacy and how Millennials get their political news from Facebook. Is this going to make the echo chamber worse?
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Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont
Tery Myerson wrote on the Windows blog today that Windows 10 will become available as a free upgrade to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users starting July 29. The upgrade is only for PCs and tablets with no announcement for phones or other platforms. Myerson asks users to reserve the free Windows 10 upgrade now by looking for a Windows icon in the system tray and following the prompts. VentureBeat reports to see the reservation icon you must have installed Windows update KB3035583.
The Verge reports Google launched a new privacy and security site at myaccount.google.com. It has tools that walk you through checking your settings including what information is shared with which Google services, what permissions apps have, and what devices you’ve authorized to access your account. It also links off to and consolidates other services like downloading copies of your data and designating a trustee to handle your account.
The Next Web reports Facebook announced the ability to list an OpenPGP key on your Facebook profile. This sllows Facebook to sign notification emails with its own key and send them securely. Key management is only available for the desktop, though Facebook hopes to add mobile support int he future.
Eurogamer reports that Lego has launched a Minecraft-style game called Lego Worlds developed by TT Games and available from Steam Early Access for $14.99. The game will feature familiar lego game elements as well as procedurally-generated worlds, “discoveries and unlocks”, ridable creatures, vehicles and a day/night cycle. The main differences from Minecraft appear to be a focus on creativity rather than survival, and the ability to change vast chunks of the terrain at will.
It’s Computex time which means Asus announced more ZenPad tablets than we could possibly tell you about here. Anandtech does a good job of boiling down the announcement, breaking down the ZenPad 8 and the ZenPad S8. The 8 has LTE, a 1280 x 800 screen and a1.2GHZ Silvermont Atom processor. The S8 has a 2.33 GHz Silvermont Atom processor, a 2048 x 1536 screen and a USB Type C connector. It also suports a 1024 pressure level stylus Thery also have interchangable back plates one of which has a built in battery and another with 6 speakers that can deliver 5.1 DTS surround sound. From your tablet cover. Asus also announced a phone called Selfie with front and rear 13-megapixel cameras and the Zen Watch 2 which has a power button that looks like Apple’s ‘digital crown’ in 49-mm or 45-mm versions. None of these products have price or release dates yet.
Reuters reports BlackBerry and Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo have settled their dispute over Typo’s Blackberry-like keyboard case for phones and tablets. The settlement is that Typo won’t sell the cases for phones anymore but they can sell them for devices with screens larger than 7.9-inches.
Nvidia has unleashed its latest flagship GPU the GTX 980 Ti according to the Verge. The GTX 980 Ti sports 22 SM units, 2,816 Stream Processing Units, 6GB of VRAM with a clock frequency of 1000Mhz and texture filtering rate of 176 gigatexels per sec. The card achieved 4K performance well over 30fps on Battlefield 4 and Shadow of Mordor with max settings. The GPU is future-proofed with support for DirectX 12 and Nvidia’s new Virtual Reality API, GameWorks VR. The GTX 980 Ti will retail for $649.99. (A bit cheaper than the $1,000 Titan X)
TechCrunch is reporting that GoPro has announced the Hero+LCD. The camera targets YouTubers with an LCD touchscreen, 1080p 60fps recording, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Hero+LCD will release June 7th for $299.
Reuters reports Intel has agreed to buy FPGA chip maker Altera for $16.7 billion. Intel will be able to bundle its chips with Altera’s programable chips which are often used to do things like speed up Web searches.
TechCrunch passes along that a Wall Street Journal’s source says Apple will reveal its new streaming music service next week at WWDC and it will cost $10 a month for unlimited listening. It will not have an ad-supported tier though there may be some free tracks available. New channels will come to iTunes radio too hosted by Dr. Dre and other talented recruited from places like BBC1.
News From You:
habichuelacondulce submitted the Guardian writeup of the fact that the US Patriot Act section 215 dealing with bulk surveillance was allowed to expire Sunday night meaning such data collection must be stopped int he US for the time being. The USA Freedom Act is expected to be revived and passed later this week to allow a more limited form of data collection to be allowed. The Freedom Act does not allow the NSA to collect records in bulk and includes rules on transparency.
tm204 flagged the CBC writeup about the woman who dropped off an original Apple computer for recycling at Milpitas’ California’s “Clean Bay Area.” She said she cleaned out her garage after her husband died and didn’t want a receipt and did not leave a name. Only 200 of the first Apple’s were made. Clean Bay Area sold the computer to a private collection for $200,000 and is seeking the woman to split the money with her.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Engadget report that passes along info from Nikkei that Nintendo’s forthcoming NX console could use Android as the operating system. Nintendo has said it will not discuss NX until 2016.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day:
Since telling you what the weather is like seems like the thing to do, it’s humid here in Michigan! I have another YouTube channel that I’d like to suggest as a pick The Ben Heck Show is great for makers and maker-curious (like myself) to learn and get ideas. I’ve always described it as “The New Yankee Workshop for geeks”. I started watching around the time he made automatic light-sensing glasses that will flip his sunglasses down. More recently, he made a portable Dreamcast, made a DIY PIC32 dev board, and did a tabletop CNC tutorial. He’s been doing this for 4 years, so there’s a ton of back-catalogue to watch as well as a new episode every week.
Thank you for all you do and keep up the great work!
Drew writes in:
On Friday’s show, the subject of using VPNs to fool geofencing restrictions came up again, and Darren mentioned his dream of living in a world where so many people use VPNs that there’s really no telling where anyone is physically located, because the IP addresses are all obfuscated.
This made me think of an analogy with area codes, now that we all have cell phones. Not all that long ago, it was very practical to reverse-lookup a caller’s area code and be very confident in their physical location. With the prevalence of cell phones, and the ability to keep your phone number when you move or change carriers, and synchronized address books that keep any of us from knowing more than a handful of numbers….area codes mean very little these days.
I think that Randall Munroe summed it up most succinctly:
As always, love the show…
Allan P. wrote about Google’s Project Jaquard:
In the early 1800s, Joseph Jacquard basically invented punched cards as a way of programming a machine. He designed a loom which could automatically and repeatably produce very complex patterns in fabric. The pattern was stored on a loop of cards; at each “clock cycle” of the weaving process, the machine would lift (or not lift) colored threads based on the pattern of holes in the next card in the chain.
Jacquard inspired both Babbage and (much later) Hollerith. I think Jacquard is the perfect name for a Google project which combines technology and woven cloth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom
In a slightly belated reaction to the Tesla Powerwall Alex wrote:
I used to design and oversee production of diesel tanks, systems support and enclosures for large commercial generators (think about the size of a truck trailer when enclosed and a 18 cylinder engine with several thousand gallons of diesel underneath it).
One of the big consumers of these systems was data centers. Facebook, Google, NSA, etc would buy these by the dozens and have grids of them around their data centers. If there was a brownout or blackout, these generators would kick on and keep the data centers at least partially operational until the grid came back up.
If Elon can prove the concept of these batteries, develop the technology further, and scale it, this could be a huge market for them. Currently a tank (empty) and enclosure with support systems could run around half of a million dollars and the generator could run twice that.
Tuesday’s guest: Patrick Beja