DTNS 2207 – Flexible future

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIyaz Akhtar is on the show today. We’ll discuss some pretty cool flexible tech that could let you scan things by laying it on your screen. Also, we get the scoop on Android TV from The Verge’s Sean Hollister.

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Iyaz Akhtar of CNET & GFQNetwork

Headlines

GigaOm reports Android lock screen app Cover said Monday it was joining Twitter. The app that launched in invite-only beta in October, replaces the Android lock screen with one that suggests apps based on location. The current Cover app will remain in the Google Play store for now, but the development team will be working on things for Twitter.

Geek.com has the story of Seagate’s 6TB hard drive, matching Western Digital in capacity, but without needing to fill the drive with helium. The Seagate Enterprise Capacity hard drive is available in 2, 4, 5, and now 6TB capacities with a 128MB cache and spin speed of 7,200rpm. No pricing or word on consumer models were made available.

GigaOm reports two new chips from Qualcomm were announced Monday. The Snapdragon 808 and 810 support 64-bit computing, support LTE-Advanced wireless speeds up to 300 Mbps and dual-stream 82.11ac WiFi. The 810 also gets 4K video support. Apple has 64-bit support in its A7, and Intel has a 64-bit Android Kernel, but Android does not have an official 64-bit version yet. Google I/O is coming up end of June though. The new Qualcomm chips will become available in commercial devices in the first 6 months of 2015.

Microsoft introduced a new version of Skype for broadcasters Monday morning, called Skype TX. The “studio-grade” version has high-quality audio and video without unnecessary features like call notifications and ads. Skype TX comes with HD-SDI video output and input, balanced audio output and input, auto aspect ration conversion, support for multiple, simultaneous calls, operator previews, and more. Media organizations can sign up at media.skype.com/skype-tx but no other details on pricing or shipping were announced.

The Verge reports M3D launched a Kickstarter today to bring a new consumer 3D printer called Micro. The Micro accepts PLA and ABS plastics as well the company’s own Micro filament spools. The company also claims it has made much more intuitive software. M3D hopes to have assembly line production rolling between August and September for delivery starting in March next year. The printer costs only $249 but you’ll have to back at $899 if you want one from the first batch. The $50,000 was reached in minutes and in the first day, M3D has raised almost a half a million.

News From You:

Our top vote-getter on the subreddit was submitted by KAPT_Kipper. The TechCrunch story relates the protest that took place against Kevin Rose outside his apartment in San Francisco. Rose, the co-founder of Digg and Revision3, works for Google Ventures now. Protestors targeted Rose because he is a venture capitalist and because of controversial things he said on the show DiggNation in the past. The group demands Google give $3 billion to an anarchist organization to create autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the bay area and northern California.

Draconos posted the Ars Technica article that the US Supreme Court has declined to rule on the constitutionality of the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata surveillance program. Activist Larry Klayman had appealed directly from the US Distric Court decision in December, skipping over the US Appeals Court, which has been done before. That means the case would have to go through the appeals court, which also means it would likely not be resolved before the US Patriot Act expires on June 1, 2015.

tekkyn00b submitted the 9to5 Mac story on a demonstration at Microsoft’s ThinkNext Conference of a device that charges batteries compact enough for smartphones in 30 seconds. StoreDot claims the commercial version of the charger will only cost about twice as much as today’s chargers but production isn’t expected until 2016.

gowlkick sent us the CNET story on HTC’s earnings. It’s not a good report. Between January and March 2014 HTC’s total revenue fell by more than twenty percent over the previous quarter with a loss of $62 million. However, sales didn’t fall for the first time in 28 months AND KGI INvestment projects a 50% rise in Q2 sales due to the popularity of the HTC One M8 and HTC Desire 816.

cincyhuffster posted the Verge article about the Amazon Dash, a 6-inch long plastic stick that lets customers of the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, add items to their shopping list either by voice command or scanning an item itself. Shoppers then have those items already queued up the next time they need to place an order.

And pnthrldy posted the OMG Chrome story that the London Borough Council for Barking and Dagenham is replacing 2,000 of its Windows desktops with Samsung Series 3s running Chrome OS. The council expects to save £400,000. About half that is from licensing costs and the other half to power efficiency.

Discussion Section Links: Android TV and flexible tech

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/5/5584604/this-is-android-tv

http://gigaom.com/2014/04/07/how-thin-flexible-electronics-will-revolutionize-everything-from-user-interfaces-to-packaging/

Pick of the Day: Roboform.com

Tuesday’s guest: Michael Wolf, Forbes contributer and host of the Next Market Podcast

FEATURED REVIEW: The Tyrant’s Law by Daniel Abraham

Welcome to our Featured Reviews! In this series, we’ll be highlighting book reviews by the S&L audience. If you want to submit a review, please check out the guidelines here! -Veronica

Review by Emily Carlson

Since this book is the third in the series, there are mild spoilers for the earlier books in this review! Be warned…

91-pFFv68CL._SL1500_.jpg

The Low-Down 
The Tyrant’s Law is the third book in the Dagger and the Coin Quintet by Daniel Abraham. The series as a whole follows the emergence of a cult, worshipers of a spider goddess who gives them the ability to tell the difference between spoken lies and spoken truth. As this cult gains prevalence in the political sphere after centuries of exile, the layers of lies and deceit within the court begin to crumble. The regent of the kingdom is a devotee of the new religious order, using its truth-telling abilities to interrogate and weed out dissenters from within the court. But as more and more men and women begin to doubt his motives and his abilities, his death list grows longer and his friends are fewer and far between. New power vacuums lead to chaos and the hungry spider goddess urges her followers to swallow all of the world into her cult of truth and to purge the world of all liars in the process. 

Key Themes
Truth and lies, self-deception, genocide, imperialism, DRAGONS, banking, poisoned swords, MORE DRAGONS

What’s Good 
Like the previous books, Tyrant weaves back and forth between plot-lines and characters, allowing Abraham to show us both sides of the war. Some characters are more interesting and original than others, and this form of narrative allows the reader to avoid boredom with any one story. Furthermore, Abrahams is obviously a darling of the emerging “low fantasy” sub-genre and this allows us a glimpse into multiple layers and classes of life within the kingdom. 

    Ultimately, Tyrant is about conquest and about the nature of deception – deception of the self and deception of others. One character named Kit, an apostate priest who has abandoned the spider goddess, points out the flaws in the human-lie-detectors taking over the country. Their lie detectors are only as reliable as the people they question. That is, priests can determine confidence rather than truth. If they were to ask, “Is it raining outside?” their lie detector would only be triggered if you knew you were giving the wrong answer. If you think it is raining but it’s actually try as a bone outside, their spidey-senses don’t get tripped. This leads to a multilayered understanding of the truths within the novel. It’s not as simple as who is lying, but rather who has the correct information and how are they interpreting it, etc. 

    There are also some real character gems within the novel. The tyrant whom the book is named for, Geder, is one of the most sympathetic and horrifying villains I’ve ever read. While he orders the slaughter of children and rages like a child himself, it is very easy to understand him on his own terms – a man who has always felt powerless and foolish and is now gifted with ultimate power and a gravity that makes his previous enemies shake in their boots. He tries to use his power to protect the young prince and give him a safe kingdom to rule when he comes of age. But he does it with a petty selfishness that leaves others horrified at his actions. 

What’s Less Than Good
I have a real problem with one of the main characters – the gristled captain of the guard, Marcus Wester. He is a man tortured by his own past which has also lead him to develop a savior complex for any young women in peril. I have a hard time connecting with Marcus simply because he feels overdone and a little less than believable to me. Furthermore, his impulsive actions in the book feel forced, almost like a poor plot device to force the narrative forward, rather than authentic expressions of his desperation. Also, I’ve never been one for stoicism.  

    Additionally, Abraham’s general style is slow paced. This is definitely a commitment-level series and a commitment for a novel. Although it is enjoyable, many readers will probably find themselves tapping their fingers waiting for a chapter to be over. Don’t pick this book up expecting a fast paced read; it’s not Tolkien, but it is certainly weighty. 

The Final Verdict
Sticking with Tyrant is not a bad thing; the plot in this novel seems to finally come fully into bloom (about time, after 900+ pages!) and a lot of what has been hinted at in the previous novels is finally developed. As a part of the series, Tyrant definitely represents the rising action. Tensions are boiling over, armies are moving, and characters are in peril. More than anything, this book made me excited for the Abraham’s upcoming release in the series, The Widow’s House. Fans of the series will be excited to finally get some answers (or at least some new questions to chew on until August), and I would recommend the series to anyone with some time on their hands and an affinity for slow-burn fantasy and the up and coming genre of gritty/low fantasy. 

Current Geek 12: So much nudity

Tonight on CurrentGeek, Halo feature film is indeed in the works, we have 14 years of marvel movies coming, Wil Wheaton is doing a new series on Syfy, movies need to start being virtual and real at the same time, blow some air up your body, Project Loon is a thing we will talk about, The FireTV is in our hands and we have thoughts about it, Windows phone and regular windows both get some updates, never chaning your password again, and how to make cool dungeons!

DTNS 2206 – Hak5-year-old

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is here to talk about the 5-year-old who hacked an Xbox One and started a career in security research. Plus, a look at the Amazon Fire TV in use. AND Len Peralta is here to illustrate the episode.

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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

Headlines

Graphene, a substance poised to take over for silicon for many years, may finally made it out of the lab. CNET reports Samsung’s researchers have synthesized a crystal of graphene that retains its charge across a larger area, which could lead to industrial scale production. Graphene is just one atom thick, more conductive than silicon, stronger than steel and able to leap tall buildings if carried by Superman. It could make it easier to construct flexible or unbreakable screens and be useful in things like bionic implants.

CVG reports the Unreal game engine will get an update later this month that will add support for Linux and SteamOS in Unreal Engine version 4.1. In March Epic made the Unreal Engine available for $19 a month plus 5% of gross revenue from any commercial products that use the engine.

io9 reports The US National Institute of Standards and Technology a new atomic clock called NIST-F2, that uses a fountain of cesiujm atoms to determine the length of a second, and can go 300 million years without gaining or losing a second. That makes it three times as accurate as the current NIST-F1.

The Verge reports the Samsung Ativ SE Windows Phone is now official and available for pre-order on Verizon. Thhe 5-inch phone has a 1080p display, 13-megapixel camera, 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 2600 mAh battery. It also comes with Ativ Beam which can use an infrared blaster on the phone to control your TV. Verizon promises it will ship by April 12 and runs $200 on a two-year contract or $600 without a contract.

Josh Constine at TechCrunch has a piece up, looking at the question of Facebook’s declining page reach. Even though the total number of pages liked on Facebook grew 50% last year, companies like Eat24 and presumed people like Rainn Wilson have complained and even broken up with Facebook over a declining number of people visiting their pages. A study from News Feed optimization service EdgeRank Checker has found reach per fan has steadily declined. Constine finds the increase in things for people on Facebook to pay attention to, plus the number of alternatives like Twitter and Pinterest are the most likely culprits.

News From You:

MrMaxPowers247 pointed us to the ABC News 10 San Diego story about 5-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel discovering that filling the Xobx One’s secondary password box with all spaces let him log into his father’s Xbox Live account and play some not necessarily age-appropriate games. His father, Robert Davies, is a security researcher, who was not only proud of his boy’s l33t skillz but also contacted Microsoft after documenting the vulnerability. Microsoft has patched the problem and given Von Hassel four games, $50 and a year-long subscription to Xbox Live from Microsoft, as well as acknowledging him as a March 2014 Microsoft Security Researcher.

SpSheridan let us know that Nest has announced it halted sales of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, after it found that the Nest Wave feature could delay the alarm from going off during a fire. Nest Wave let a user wave hands at the detector to shut off the alarm. Nets researchers found this feature could be unintentionally activated. Protect smoke detectors that have already been sold will automatically update and deactivate the feature within 24 hours if the device is connected to the Internet. Nest is also offering refunds. It may take up to three months to get regulatory approval of changes to the software for Nest Protects to be sold again.

metalfreak pointed out the Network World story that Linus Torvalds has banned Kay Sievers, a prominent Red Hat employee and code contributor, from working on the Linux Kernel. Sievers develops the system management framework systemd. Torvalds banned Sievers for failing to address an issue that caused systemd to interact with the Linux kernel in negative ways. The command line entry of debug would run both the base kernel and systemd’s debugging routines potentially flooding some systems. Torvalds wrote on a mailing list that he is “tired of the fact that you don’t fix problems in the code *you* write.” referring to Sievers.

And motang pointed out the ReactOS Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign. – ReactOS is a free open source operating system based on the design principles of the Windows NT architecture. It is intended to be binary compatible with Windows software. The group wants to raise $50,000 to help develop a ReactOS community edition, which will focus on developing compatibility with the community’s favorite Windows apps and drivers, based on a vote.

Discussion Section Links: The Littlest Hacker

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/microsoft-plugs-xbox-one-security-hole-discovered-by-five-year-old/

http://www.10news.com/news/5-year-old-ocean-beach-exposes-microsoft-xbox-vulnerability

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/cc308589

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-davies/5/302/b17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnQhhEv4cKw&list=UU-vIANCum1yBw_4DeJImc0Q

Pick of the Day: Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder

If you like to make coffee at home, but you’re still using good old reliable Mr. Coffee with good old reliable pre-ground coffee, perhaps its time for an upgrade? Today’s pick of the day: A Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder. Grinding your own beans ups your coffee quality by at least 50%. Using a conical burr grinder instead of the traditional two-blade grinder produces a uniform grind by only allowing grains of a specific size to pass through the machine, among other benefits. Amazon has them for about eighty bucks, which is NOT cheap, but it’s worth the investment. Now you can all fight among yourselves about which method of coffee preparation is the best. Jennie choses a Chemex brewer, but that’s another story for another pick of the day.

Monday’s Guest: Iyaz Akhtar

DTNS 2205 – Free Range Organic Europeans

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont joins the show to talk Google becoming a mobile phone carrier, our take on the Amazon Fire TV and more!

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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes
Today’s guest: Veronica Belmont!

Headlines

Europe is free to roam, and guaranteed neutral. The BBC reports the European Parliament voted 534 to 25 in favor of a package of telecom reforms called Connected Continent, championed by EC Vice President Neelie Kroes. Among other things, the new regulations would get rid of roaming fees as of December 15th 2015. The package also included provisions protecting Net Neutrality and making it easier to build networking infrastructure. EU member states now must review and approve the regulations. The Commission expects final agreement by the end of the year.

Apple announced the dates for this years WorldWide Developers Conference at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The highly-anticipated show will run from June 2 until June 6. Ars Technica reports tickets will be issued at random to any registered developer who signs up at Apple’s site by Monday April 7 at 10 AM Pacific Time. If selected, you get to spend $1,599 on a ticket by April 14th, or lose your spot. Tickets cannot be resold or given away.

Recode reports Mozilla confirmed in a blog post that CEO Brendan Eich is resigning from his position and from the Mozilla foundation board. Eich had contributed to a campaign to make gay marriage illegal in California. Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker told Recode that Eich’s ability to lead the company had been damaged by the continued scrutiny over the hot-button issue. The blog post from Mozilla stated “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

TechCrunch passed along a report from The Information that Google executives met with Verizon officials in January to discuss creating a wireless network in locations where Google offers its fiber Internet. The idea apparently, was to make WiFi access points carry mobile traffic, but provide cellular data as a backup. Google could buy that data wholesale from a partner like Verizon, or become a virtual network operator, AKA an MVNO. Google ALSO met with Sprint in early 2012, before that company was bought by SoftBank.

Reuters reports Pavel Durov, founder of Russia’s largest social network, ВКонтакте, withdrew his resignation Thursday, two days after announcing he would leave his post as CEO. Durov at first said he was stepping down because his freedom in running the company had been reduced by shareholder changes. Durov said “my resignation at this difficult time would have been a betrayal of all that we have been defending for the last seven years.”

Reuters reports TIB, the Turkish telecom authority has lifted the two-week-long ban on Twitter as of Thursday afternoon, in response to an order from the constitutional court. A block against YouTube remains in place. Legal challenges against the YouTube block are pending.

Ars Technica reports researchers have demonstrated that computers can use algorithms to teach each other unfamiliar tasks, like how to play Pac-Man or StarCraft. Before you shout SkyNet, Matt Taylor, the lead author on the published research, says the method only works on sequential decision-making tasks. Other general machine learning methods would not benefit from these techniques.

News From You:

MrAnthropology submitted the CNET story about Intel’s new 24-nanometer ‘Braswell’ system-on-a-chip unveiled at IDF in China. Braswell will follow in the footsteps of the Bay Trail chip used in low-cost PCs like Chromebooks. Intel also unveiled a 64-bit Android 4.4 KitKat kernel optimized for Intel Architecture devices. As well as a media box from QVOD running on a Bay Trail chip, arriving later this year. Oh and Intel is working with Xiaomi on a Widi-enabled set-top box.

LifeDownloaded passed along the AP story about the US Agency for International Development, AKA USAID, secretly developing a microblogging system over text messaging in Cuba called ZunZuneo, which is slang for the sound a hummingbird makes. Documents show the US planned to build up users through non-controversial content, then try to get things to turn political. At its peak the company had 40,000 users. When USAID felt it could no longer hid its involvement, they tried to find new managers, then eventually the service shut down in 2012.

metalfreak sent us the muktware article the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has issued “a directive to local government departments asking them to switch over to open source software, in the wake of Microsoft’s decision to end support for Windows XP this month. The government claims hardware upgrades would make it too expensive to switch to Windows 8. IN its place computers will run “BOSS” a custom Linux distro that the government designed themselves.

And MikePKennedy sent us the Wired story that Tesla and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers called for the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to allow cameras to replace rearview mirrors in cars. This follows a new US rule requiring all new vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds to be equipped with back-up cameras beginning May 1, 2018.

Discussion Section Links: Google WiFi?

http://www.androidcentral.com/google-reportedly-considering-adding-cellular-service-google-fiber-cities

Pick of the Day: alternativeto.net via Komei from Lovely Fremont

My favorite tool is a website that helps me find my favorite tools :) It is called alternativeto.net

When you have questions such as “Is there a tool like WinZip on the Mac?”, “What was the name of that free program that works like Photoshop?” or “Is everyone still using ACDSee?”, then you can enter the name of the tool you have in mind, and the website will list all similar programs by popularity. You can also narrow the search by platform or by license type (free, open source, or commercial). I use both Mac and Windows and this site helped me populate my machines with nice tools.

Cheers, Komei from Lovely Fremont

Friday’s Guest: Darren Kitchen & Len Peralta 

S&L Video: Author Spotlight – Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig has a reputation for cursing. He also has a reputation for being a badass writer of amazing characters in inventive situations, across novels, comics and movies. He also invented cornpunk. Oh wait, he ALSO writes one of the best guides for writers ever made. But what is his favorite word? Well, now you’ll just have to watch for that, and to see how many times our editor has to use the bleep button. Spoiler: he uses it more on the hosts than the guest.

Download audio here.
Download video here

DTNS 2204 – Lamarr Douses the Fire

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comLamarr Wilson is on the show to talk about the new Amazon Fire TV. Why did Lamarr cancel his order already? Plus, an avalanche of Microsoft announcements from BUILD.

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Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Lamarr Wilson, Vlogger/Comedian of Tech Culture & Entertainment. He also host shows on Mashable.

Headlines

Amazon’s Peter Larsen announced the Amazon Fire TV in a press conference in New York Wednesday morning. The .7” think CD-case-sized box is another video streamer but packs in a quad-core processor, dedicated GPU, 2GB of RAM and dual-band WiFi with Mimi. The remote control connects by Bluetooth and takes voice commands. IN addition to the usual apps like Netflix and Hulu, the device also plays games from major publishers, albeit games that play well on the underlying Android-based operating system. Amazon also announced a game controller for the Fire TV that costs $39.99 and comes with 1000 Amazon Coins and a free game from Amazon. The FireTV box itself sells for $99 and is available to order int he US, shipping today.

Get ready for three hours of Microsoft announcements? Don’t fret, we compressed them into a few minutes. But still. There’s a lot of them. Let’s start with Windows Phone 8.1. It sports a new action center, new lock screen experiences, a new way to set the background on start screen, and the big hit, MS personal assistant software, Cortana. The voice-activated assistant replaces the phone OS’s search function. It also shows you a notebook with what it knows about you. 8.1 also supports enterprise level VPN, new MDM capabilities and S/MIME encrypted email. Oh and a nifty WiFi Sense feature that joins known hotspots faster and a nifty keyboard typing function called ‘shape writing” that’s similar to Swype on Android. 8.1 will roll out to current customers of WP8 in the next few months. Brand new phones will have it as soon as late April, or early May.

A couple of those new phones were announced by Nokia’s soon to be Microsoft’s Stephen Elop. The Lumia 930 will have a 5-inch full HD display, integrated wireless charging, a 20 MP PureView sensor with Optical Image Stabilization and Zeiss optics and 4 microphones for audio capture in video. Lumia 930 sales start in June overseas for around $599. Elop also announced the Lumia 630 and 635 with a 4-inch display, five colors with shells. The 630 comes with 3G dual SIM capabilities while the 635 has LTE. Both phones come with a low-powere Sensorcore processor that can track movement for things like fitness tracking. Sales start next month in Asia. The U.S. will see them in July. The phones will run about $159 for the single SIM 630; $10 more for dual SIM. $189 for the Lumia 635.

Finally, Microsoft gave us a peek at the future, including the holy grail of universal apps. Universal Windows apps makes the Windows runtime available for phones for common code, providing a consistent user experience across devices including the Xbox. IN addition DirectX 12 will be the shared platform for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. Universal Windows Apps will run in their own Window on the Desktop, new for Modern apps. No more jarring experience between Desktop and Metro/Modern. And Microsoft is getting more open. Windows Library for javascript is going cross-platform and open source. And Windows for IoT will be free as will Windows for phones and tablets with screens less than 9 inches. Oh and next update will bring the Start menu back, with new added live tiles alongside a more familiar looking list.

And now for some not-Microsoft news! Samsung launched a service called “Samsung Smart Home” in the US and Korea Wednesday. An Android app is now available that will give users the ability to manage compatible devices from Samsung and other manufacturers. In the US the system is compatible at launch with the “Samsung Smart French Door Refrigerator” and the “Samsung Smart Front Loading Washing Machine.” An app is in the works for the Gear 2 and 2014 Samsung Smart TVs as well.

Reuters reports Turkey’s constitutional court ruled the telecom authority’s block on Twitter violates freedom of expression and individual rights. The court sent its verdict to the TIB but a previous ruling also supposedly ordered the block lifted and it has not been lifted yet. blocked access to Twitter on March 21 after several audio tapes were posted allegedly showing evidence of corruption.

News From You:

cosmicvibes submitted the blog post from Canonical’s Jane Silber announcing the shutdown of Ubuntu One cloud file storage services. The post says Ubuntu could not compete with services offering 25-50GB of free storage. The Ubuntu One file services will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release. The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted. Customers with annual subscriptions will have the unused portion refunded.

KAPT_Kipper posted the Engadget story that BlackBerry has chosen not renew T-Mobile’s license to sell BlackBerry products, after the deal expires April 25th. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the two companies’ strategies are “not complementary.” T-Mobile ran a promotion enticing BlackBerry owners to switch to an iPhone.

tekkyn00b sent us the article from The Verge about the USB Implementers Forum releasing images of the new reversible USB cable standard expected to be finalized in July. The USB Type C cable will not be compatible with current USB ports. It’s smaller and symmetrical, meaning you can’t put it in upside-down. The new standard is intended to replace both regular and micro-USB. It will support USB 3.1 and speeds of 10Gbps.

melchizedek74 pointed out the Verge article about an FCC Spokesperson telling the National Journal, “Peering and interconnection are not under consideration in the Open Internet proceeding.” Although the agency is monitoring the situation and considering some new rules to regulat arrangements between companies like Comcast and Netflix. So totally off the table in net neutrality talks. But maybe they’ll regulate it anyway? You’re confusing us FCC!

And KAPT_Kipper, he gets a twofer today, sent in the link to the Ars Technica article about Google taking its WiFi sniffing case to the US Supreme Court. Back in 2010 Google’s Street View cars were using MAC addresses of WiFi connections to help pin down locations better. Lots of services including your phone do this. Google got caught sniffing in some packets from open WiFi connections that were not necessary for the location info, including pieces of email data etc. Google says that was an accident. In 2012, the FCC fined Google $25,000 for stonewalling its investigation and a US Federal Appeals Court concluded the collection violated the Wiretap Act. Google has appealed the devision and has now asked the US Supreme Court to review it.

Discussion Section Links:  Fire!

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1915168&highlight=

Pick of the Day:  Duolingo

“Il parle sans savoir et sans comprendre”* Or, according to the addictive language-learning app Duolingo, “He is talking without knowing and without understanding.” This free app can teach you to say that in six languages – Spanish, French, German, Italian, English and Portuguese. The app was crowned Apple’s App of the Year in 2013 and it’s worth every free penny. Unlike Spanish 101, you don’t have to get up for class at 8am, you don’t have to remember to answer to your “Spanish name,” and best of all, it’s actually FUN. If languages really aren’t your forte, at the very least, it’s a source of unintentional giggles when asking you to translate phrases, like “Erwachsenen haben diese Traume,”* or, “No normal adults have these dreams.” (H/T to the wtfduolingo tumblr for finding the app’s sometimes awkward awesomeness.)

Thursday’s Guest:  Veronica Belmont!

S&L Podcast – #169 – Sneaking Peeks and Swapping Sleeves

From a debate on whether we should read early chapters from George R.R. Martin’s “Winds of Winter” to the usefulness of Asimov’s three laws, to our wrap-up of Altered Carbon, this is an episode that should contain a lot of wisdom. Who knows? It might!

Download audio here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom and Veronica: Bulleit Bourbon

QUICK BURNS

Amazing Stories relaunches on April 1

Pre-order William Gibson’s new far-future novel The Peripheral

A New Novella from Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles Series Arrives November 2014!

Excerpt from the Winds of Winter | George R.R. Martin

All Hell Breaks Loose In That New Winds of Winter Chapter

Why Asimov’s Three Laws Of Robotics Can’t Protect Us

CALENDAR

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

X-Men – Days of Future Past

BOOK CHECK-IN

WRAP-UP Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.

Finished – overall impressions?

When are you a new person?

APRIL PICKS

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish

Brand by Bryan Benson

BARE YOUR SWORD

Which real-world companions would accompany you on a fantasy world quest?

SF and Fantasy Anthologies

EMAIL

***

Hey Tom and Veronica!

Listener from Bosnia here. Since you’re reading Altered Carbon I’d like to weigh in.

Kovacz which is a transliteration of Kovač. The last letter is read like a “ch” sound like in cheap, chore or champion.

The “a” is more like an “ah” sound rather than “ay”. Like the second “a” in “large”. And Kovač means “smith”. So there you go! Takeshi Kovacz – Warrior Smith!

Not chiding you for the pronunciation btw; I just found that this was an appropriate excuse to contact you!

Love the show and I hope it keeps going strong for years to come.

All the best,

Stefan

P.S.:
I hope (rather arrogantly) that this email gets picked up for the podcast because I would absolutely love hear Veronica mispronounce my name, because I’d find it quite charming!

***

Hey sword and laser!

I need some help. I’m trying to find a book I read once upon a time. It has to do with the the earths rotation stopping, I think because of an asteroid strike, and is an adventure set in what remains of civilization. I want to say it’s by Navarro… But can’t find any hints of it anywhere. Does this ring a bell?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Ryan

***

DTNS 2203 – April Fools BALEETED

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNatali Morris joins the show and we get to the bottom of all this April Fool’s Day nonsense. Also it’s Gmail’s legit 10th birthday.

MP3

Multiple versions (ogg, video etc.) from Archive.org.

Please SUBSCRIBE HERE.

A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Natali Morris, CNBC Contributor and cofounder of ReadQuick

Headlines

Today is April 1st. April Fools’ day which the Internet first made amazing and then risked ruining. How did the Internet do this year? Google Japan gave us a robot hand you can use to type. Google+ introduce auto awesome photobomb which inserted David Hasselhoff into your pictures. Richard Branson played along with Nest for flights, giving Virgin airline passengers climate control. YouTube decided to stop producing the memes and let people do it this year. And SwiftKey for physical keyboards, Roku Watch, Samsung, Toshiba, AND HTcC’s smart gloves, CERN changing to comic sans as the official typeface, Sphero’s selfiebot, iFixit bought by Apple, AND the inevitable raft of awesome, possibly soon to be real fake products from ThinkGeek.

April 1st is also Gmail’s birthday. Harry McCracken has an excellent piece on Technologizer about the origins of Gmail and why it was launched on April Fool’s day. It mostly had to do with Sergey Brin’s sense of humor. Happy birthday Gmail! You did better than the email system I was using ten years before you, called PINE.

And now news. Ish. Reuters reports Apple suppliers will begin producing displays for the next iPhone in May, which would be about right on schedule for a fall release of the phone. Reuters source says Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display have all been tapped to make screens. The screens being produce in May are supposedly 4.7-inches, a big jump up from the current 4-inch screens in the iPhone 5S. Apparently a 5.5-inch screen is in the works but hit a snag and won’t be produced until later this year.

Engadget reports its sources say Google is testing a new camera app for Android with a background-blurring effect for portrait shots and improved panorama and Photo Sphere modes. Also photo framing gets a tweak so that what you see in the viewfinder is what you get in the picture. Nothing creeping in at the edges. And support for third-party filters is also supposedly on the way. The improvements would come in a standalone app so Android device owners wouldn’t have to wait for a carrier update to their OS.

Now actual news from not anonymous sources. TechCrunch reports that Pavel Durov, founder of Russian social network Vkontakte, announced he has resigned as the company’s Acting Director General. Durov said said it became “increasingly difficult” to run the social network after ownership changes put pressure on the company’s freedom of speech ethic. Durov has become increasingly outspoken about mass surveillance and freedom of speech in Russia. He sold his remaining stake in the company in January. Mail.ru owns 52% of Vkontakte.

CNET’s Jeff Bakalar reports select Xbox Live members will get invites to early access to a few new features for the Xbox One. Among the features are the ability to set DVR recordings and watch recordings from a tablet or smartphone. Also coming is “Rent Once, Play Anywhere” which lets you stop playback of a rented video on one device, say your Xbox and pick up where you left off on another, like a Windows Phone.

News From You:

fja submitted the BBC story on OKCupid dissuading its visitors from using Firefox, in protest over CEO Brendan Eich’s previous support of antigay marriage law in California. Visitors to OK Cupid’s site who use Firefox receive a screen asking them to use another browser, with an explanation of why. However a link does allow Firefox users to continue on to the main site. Mozilla told the BBC it has not been contacted by OKCupid and said “Mozilla supports equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples.”

LifeDownloaded passed along the Verge story that HP has settled a class action lawsuit that alleged the company misled investors. The plaintiff’s claimed HP publicly said it would flood the market with WebOS powered devices after acquiring Palm in 2010, but that privately the company never actually planned any such thing. HP will pay $57 million as part of the mediated settlement.

And KAPT_Kipper posted the GigaOm story that Google+ users can now see a stat telling them their total views adding up profile, post and photo views since October 2012. The number will show up on the profile page. Number-hungry companies desperate to show some kind of reach on their brand pages are calling this addition ‘analytics.’

Discussion Section Links:  

http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/01/homestar-runner-springs-back-from-the-dead-releases-new-stuff-for-the-first-time-in-four-years/

http://time.com/43263/gmail-10th-anniversary/

Pick of the Day:  f.lux

Wednesday’s Guest: The Internet’s own Lamarr Wilson!