DTNS 2175 – What’s Appening?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont and Nate Lanxon join us to explain why Facebook REALLY bought WhatsApp. Also why Twitch Plays Pokemon is probably more important.

MP3

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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

Facebook Did What? I don’t know if y’all heard, but Facebook announced it has agreed to acquire messaging app company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion worth of stock. An additional $3 billion worth of stock goes to the founders of WhatsApp and its employees that vests over 4 years. Co-founder an CEO of WhatsApp Jan Koum also gets a spot on Facebook’s board. Fortune reported Google had offered $10 billion but no board seat.

Reassuring Blog Post from Jan Koum

Jan Koum’s first Tweet

David Rowan of Wired UK spent three days with WhatsApp for article in March 6th issue of Wired

Mark Zuckerberg has learned what Steve Jobs knew: You need to disrupt yourself before your competitors do

NPD releases US smartphone market numbers:  The smartphone market grew there by 21% in 2013. Apple captured 45% of the market growing a bit over 2012’s 44%. Samsung and LG also grew at the expense of HTC and Motorola.

The Kansas legislation attempting to ban nearly all municipal broadband networks is apparently dead: Joshua Montgomery, who runs a small ISP in Lawrence, KS, told Ars Technica he thinks they killed the issue at least for a year. A Senate committee hearing has been canceled and not rescheduled. Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D) told Montgomery in an e-mail that the bill “has lost its momentum at this time.”

News From You

KAPT_Kipper posted the GigaOm story about Aereo losing its court case in the US District Court covering the 10th Circuit including Utah and Colorado. Judge Dale Kimball is the first of three Distrcit Court’s not accept Aereo’s argument that renting a micro antenna to a customer over the Internet is not a public transmission. Judge Kimball wrote “Aereo’s device or process transmits Plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs to the public.” The Supreme Court will hear Aereo’s case April 22. In the meantime Aereo will have to shut down operations in Salt Lake City and Denver.

Dmmacs submitted a GigaOm story about Visa and MasterCard announcing upgrades to their point-of-sale systems to take advantage of new capabilities in Android 4.4, aka Kit Kat. Previous NFC systems required hardware cooperation, meaning mobile carriers could keep out competing payment products in favor of their own. Google has developed host card emulation which allows the security element to be done in software allowing Visa and MasterCard to use NFC without any cooperation front he hardware makers.

Kylde pointed us to a Slashdot posting about Mercedes-Benz new 360-degree video capture method. A ball made of wide-angle cameras allows the viewer to swivel and tilt the camera angle in pretty much any direction as the car speeds around the track. And yes there’s an iOS app. The device will launch with the Mercedes AMG F1 team this year.

And flying spatula submitted this Engadget article about Waze updating its navigation map for Android and iOS to talk to your calendar. If your appointment has a location you can now ask Waze for directions right from inside the calendar.

More links from the show

Microsoft’s Office Web Apps changes its name to Office Online, launches new features

HTC to  show first of three wearable devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. 

Virtual keyboard Fleksy has made itself open and free for developers to integrate into iOS apps

Google announces Project Tango– aims to develop a prototype smartphone equipped with cameras, sensors and chips that can create a 3D map of a user’s surroundings.

Mobile analytics firm Distimo releases a new report showing the most lucrative markets for game apps are Japan, Australia, and South Korea, in that order.

 

DTNS 2174 – Google, Now with More Fiber.

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAndrew Zarian joins us as we talk about Google Fiber possibly invading 34 new cities, and the FCC cracking down on Net Neutrality violations again.

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

FCC announces it will create new rules to strengthen net neutrality Ars Technica reports US FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today that the agency will not appeal the court ruling that struck down parts of the Open Internet Order. Instead the FCC will begin the process of creating new rules to prevent ISPs from blocking or discriminating against websites, that have a more solid basis in law. Wheeler said the FCC will also continue to consider reclassifying ISPs as a common carrier as an option.

Google Fiber expands Ars Technica also reports Google posted that Google Fiber will investigate 9 new metro areas, a total of 24 cities, as possible sites for Google’s 1 Gbps Internet service. Google will send representatives to Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashiville, Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham to meet with municipal governments and make detailed studies of the areas. Google hopes to make decisions about the new locations by the end of the year.

Important thing that happened after the show

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $16 billion

News From You

pete_c submitted this Wired article about Steve Perlman’s attempt to end cell phone congestion, and increase speeds about 1,000 times what they are now by replacing cell phone broadcast antennas and adding a card into existing cell phones. Perlman’s technology is called pCell which works by targeting individual cell phones and using a data center and an algorithm, provides each device with its own connection, rather than sharing bandwidth with every other device in the area. Perlman demonstrated the technology publicly for the first time this morning at Columbia University in New York.

lythander sent in a story from the Charleston Daily Mail describing how customer complaints have dropped nearly 70% since Frontier Communications took over Verizon’s West Virginia landline operations. Frontier has also expanded access to roughly 176,000 households. Regulators required Frontier to invest in infrastructure and increase access as a condition for buying the operation from Verizon.

And ancientbearwizard posted this Popular Mechanics story about a study published in Current Biology showing that an app called UltimEyes lengthened the distance people could see by an average of 31%. The app works by taking advantage of neuroplasticity, the way the brain can require itself. The app confronts you with patterns based on the Gabor stimuli which the brain uses to represent incoming visual information in the visual cortex. This trains your brain to process the patterns more efficiently. Researchers are still unable to say what is happening int he brain that improves acuity.

More links from the show

Microsoft OneDrive launches

Canonical  announces the first Ubuntu-powered phones for sale; will ship later this year from BQ in Spain and Meizu in China

 Nokia to introduce Treasure Tag, a previously rumored device meant to pair physical objects like keys and wallets with a Nokia smartphone

Glove for Android to help you pick the right mobile carrier by collecting your mobile data

Russian company Yandex launches a firmware kit for Android phones offering a suite of services for carriers and device manufacturers wanting to use Android without agreeing to Google’s terms 

Pick of the day:

Jennie Pick! Ridiculous awesome thing: Z-Board –It’s an electric skateboard for pete’s sake. Lean forward to go, lean back to stop. The company was founded by two guys in Hermosa beach who learn as they go and always try to please their customers. They built a special skateboard for the hills of San Francisco,  and made a replica of the Back to Future II hoverboard, complete with awesome promo video. What’s not to love?  (Jennie road a Z-board once, and it was awesome. Also she used it to film a Dolly shot.)

S&L Podcast – #163 – Hugh Howey Hullabaloo

Hugh Howey caused quite a stir with his findings about independent authors, but what does it mean for us readers? We also talk about the Wizard of Earthsea feminism implications and have an exciting election for the March book pick! There is a gavel involved.

Direct download here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom: New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Veronica: Vina Robles Red Blend

MOTH AND SPARK GIVEAWAY

VIDEO SHOW COMING THURSDAY OMG!!!!!

QUICK BURNS

Hugh Howey’s Report

Self-published ebooks: the surprising data from Amazon

Most Amazon bestselling authors aren’t making minimum wage

WH Auden told JRR Tolkien to cut the love story from Lord of the Rings

Daemon And Influx Author Daniel Suarez On Why Innovation Has Stalled

CALENDAR

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES

Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptation Watch

More on the Redshirts TV Series

What was cut to make the “unfilmable” book Winter’s Tale into a movie

BOOK CHECK-IN

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin

Earthsea and Harry Potter

Women in Earthsea

Among Others and Earthsea

March Pick

BARE YOUR SWORD

A forgotten classic?

Looking for more firearms in “High” Fantasy

EMAIL

Hi Tom & Veronica,

Listening to Gregory A Wilson talk about his daughter’s name made me think of my own family. I was named after Jessica Atreides (Dune), putting me in the odd position of being named for a sci-fi character AND having one of the most common girls names of my generation.

I passed the nerd legacy onto my own children as well – my son’s middle name is Zaphod (as in Beeblebrox) and my daughter is named Aeryn (after Aeryn Sun from Farscape). Hopefully she won’t resent me for it the millionth time she has to spell it out loud for someone.

Love the show,

Jessica

DTNS 2173 – Candy Crushin’ It

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comLamarr Wilson joins as we ponder the wonders of an IPO based on Candy Crush, and watch our audience debate a la carte cable TV.

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

New details on Samsung’s high-end smart phone: Bloomberg reports Samsung’s forthcoming high-end smartphone will have a 5.2-inch screen with improved resolution.  Marketing will focus on improved security, an upgraded camera and integration with wearable devices. It also may be sold for less than the Samsung Galaxy S4. The phone is expected to be released at the same time as an update Galaxy Gear smart watch. Samsung has an event scheduled for Monday 2/24.

New Snowden docs show debates in NSA about treatment of WikiLeaks: Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher of The Intercept revealed details from documents leaked by Edward Snowden, showing debates in the NSA about how to treat organizations like WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay as well as general Internet users. The debates centered on when it was required to filter out data on US users, when monitoring visitors to a site like Wikileaks. One document argued Wikileaks particularly should be dubbed a “malicious foreign actor” so that no filtering would be required. ON a side note, The Verge reports AT&T issued their first transparency report, indicating the company received 301,816 total requests for phone records and subscriber information in 2013.

 News From You

AllanAv called our attention to this Verge article about BitCoin ATMs coming to Seattle and Austin this month. Robocoin will install similar machines to the one it set up at Waves coffee in Vancouver last year. Robocoin also plans to bring its machines to Asia in a few weeks. The Vancouver ATM processed more than $900,000 in transactions in its first month.

Maurice emailed us a Daily Mail story about an organization called the Media Development Investment Fund that wants to create wifi access beamed from hundreds of cubesat satellites launched into orbit by 2015. The company calls the project the Outernet. Each satellite would receive data from a network of ground stations and use UDP to send data to users. The folks at Lightsquared will likely be very interested to see if this is allowed.

gigitrix posted this GameSpot article about the weekend craze of up to 7,000 people at a time playing a game of Pokemon on Twitch. An emulator allowed viewers to input text commands like A, B, Start and Select in chat which controlled the game. As of yesterday the game had four badges under its belt, and more than 80,000 people watching. You can watch and play at:  http://www.twitch.tv/twitchplayspokemon

KAPT_Kipper pointed us to the Verge article about Gabe Newell’s blog post where he explains why Valve’s Anti-Cheat software was looking at users DNS data. What VAC does look for is DNS that matches the DRM used by cheat software. Details on matching DNS entries are sent, checked again and if matched to known cheat software, the client is marked for a future ban.

and pete_c submitted the Ars Technica article about hackers taking advantage of a known critical vulnerability in Asus routers to place text files on drives connected to the routers. Asus reportedly patched the vulnerability late last week. Readers are advised to lock down their routers by installing any available firmware updates, changing any default passwords, and ensuring that remote administration, Cloud, and FTP options are set to off if they’re not needed.

More links from the show

AT&T files first transparency report

Candy Crush maker King files for IPO

Irrational Games, creator of BioShock Infinite  to close

NVidia reveals new power-efficient GPU architecture

Microsoft makes Skype and Lync more compatible

DTNS 2172 – Happy Presidents Day

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJust a quick glance at the headlines. No guest today as it’s a holiday in the US.

MP3

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

Current Geek 06: Flapping the Bird

Civ 5 lets you be evil, Mincraft makers don’t wanna make a film, hacker dads are the coolest, Dr Horrible 2 will still be made, Gargoyles are all over youtube, the Flap over FlappyBird, Comcast and power do not mix, wearable computing will be different, Justin Robert Young and Andrew Mayne join us, your emails and more on this edition of Current Geek

DTNS 2171 – Funk Da Crunk in the Elephant’s Trunk

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comBrian Ibbott is on the show and we’ll talk about the PS4 doubling Xbox One sales, Pandora guessing your political party, and what tech Coverville’s Mayor uses for music. Plus Len Peralta draws the show!

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

Continue reading DTNS 2171 – Funk Da Crunk in the Elephant’s Trunk