DTNS 2281 – Sane Plane Game

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is back and we’ve got a well-reasoned arguments why low-flying drones could cause serious problems. Also a stolen ID database that sort of doxxes hackers and normals alike, and Kindle’s devious all-you-can-eat ebook service. And Len Peralta illustrates something out of that gumbo of tech news.

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Show Notes

DTNS 2280 – Finnish Him!

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comBreki Tomasson joins us to talk about Microsoft’s Satya Nadella swinging the ax at Nokia X Android phones, Xbox Entertainment Studios and 18,000 employees.

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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

DTNS 2279 – Tesla Sells S3X

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comNicole Lee joins us to chat about G+ reversing the real name policy and where this weird social network fits in the landscape of the Internet. Also more on IBM and Apple making friends.

MP3

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

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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

DTNS 2278 – iBM

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAnnie Gaus is on the show and we’ll talk about what Comcast’s customer service rep. call means in the light of monopolies and net neutrality. Plus a little insight into the Uber and Lyft fights, and IBM and Apple partner up.

MP3

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

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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:  Annie Gaus, technology journalist

Headlines

GigaOm reports Google’s Chris Evans announced Project Zero today, a team of security pros hired by Google to look for vulnerabilities in non-Google software. Any software depended on by a lot of people is fair game. Ben Hawkes, Tavis Ormandy, and Brit Ian are apparently on the team, and GeoHotz is the first Intern, but they’re also hiring.

Bloomberg reports Microsoft is planning its biggest round of layoffs in five years as part of the integration of Nokia’s handset division. Bloomberg’s sources say the reductions will probably be in engineering, marketing and areas of overlap with Nokia. Microsoft’s biggest round of job cuts ever happened in 2009 when they let go 5800 people. 

The Verge reports Microsoft is beginning to distribute Windows Phone 8.1 to existing Lumia devices. 8.1 includes the Cortana digital assistant, new customizable Live Tile layouts, a new keyboard and more.

The Next Web reports Samsung, Google and ARM have teamed up to develop an Internet-of-Things wireless networking protocol called Thread. Sound familiar? That’s because the other day Samsung and Intel were among several companies proposing the Open Interconnect Consortium as a new standard for Internet of Things. Thread isn’t an application protocol or a connectivity platform; it’s a networking protocol that has been built upon open standards. A current version of Thread is already in use by Nest thermostats.  

The Next Web reports Apple has announced a new service in Japan that lets customers add cash to their iTunes account in store. ‘iTunes Pass’ lets users purchase credit in-store for the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore, and have that money immediately applied to the Apple ID account instead of needing to receive a gift card and enter a redemption code.

Well now we know why Babak Parviz left Google for Amazon. His work on Google smart contacts must have been done. Engadget reports Google has licensed its smart eyewear to healthcare specialist Novartis, which will develop new products. The first will be lenses that measure glucose levels in tear fluid to help diabetics. The second will restore focus on near objects so farsighted people can have contacts. Google will develop the electronics and Novart’s Alcon will supply the medical knowledge. 

Ars Technica reports the US FCC extended the deadline for submitting comments on its Open Internet Guidelines. You now have until Friday July 18 at midnight. The FCC website suffered under the strain of last-minute commenters, prompting the extension. People can also get their views into the official record by e-mailing [email protected] At the same time, TechCrunch reports 13 senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler requesting Internet service be classified as a common carrier under Title II of the telecommunications act.

Reuters reports Japanese messaging app Line intends to go it alone rather than look to get acquired. Reuters source says Line applied for an initial public offering (IPO) valued at over 1 trillion yen ($9.85 billion) around two weeks ago at the Tokyo Stock. The company recorded 14.6 billion yen in revenue in January-March – a more than threefold increase on the year. The app has more than 480 million downloads.

Microsoft’s team showed off a new deep learning AI this morning in Redmond called Project Adam. Rather than trying to have a better algorithm than other efforts like Google Brain, Adam optimizes data handling and fine-tuning communication between machines. The system is based on technology developed at the University of Wisconsin, called Hogwild that for asynchronous processing across the chips within a single machine. Microsoft’s Trishul Chilimbi and team have made it work across an entire network of machines. . So far it has only been deployed through an internal app that recognizes objects based on a photo. It can even identify specific dog breeds. Microsoft is till developing the research and has no consumer plans for the system yet. Microsoft claims it uses 30x fewer machines with double the accuracy of other deep learning systems.

The Next Web reports Mozilla announced the release of mozjpeg version 2.0, a JPEG encoder capable of reducing the size of both baseline and progressive JPEG images by 5%. Images make up a lot of the bandwith used by web pages. Facebook is testing mozjpeg 2.0 on Facebook.com. In fact, the company gave Mozilla $60,000 to help develop the technology.

ReCode reports Intel benefited from an improved PC market to beat analyst estimates in its quarterly earnings. Intel reported earnings of $2.8 billion, or 55 cents per share, on sales of $13.8 billion for the three months ending in June. Desktop chip unit sales were up 8 percent from a year ago and average selling prices increased 2 percent as well. Notebook processor unit sales increased 9 percent. Intel’s mobile unit posted revenue of $51 million, down 83 percent year-on-year and off 67 percent from the first quarter.

TechCrunch reports Yahoo reported Q2 revenue of 1.04 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.37. Revenue including TAC was $1.08. Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.38 on revenue of ex-TAC $1.08 billion. Yahoo sold 24% more ads in the quarter than the year prior, which was strong, but saw its price per ad fall by 24% as well.

Apple and IBM announced a partnership today on CNBC, putting IBM made-for-business apps on iOS devices. IBM said it would create a class of more than 100 business applications exclusively for iPhones and iPads to run on Apple’s iOS platform. In return, IBM will sell Apple’s products filled with 100 industry-specific apps to its clients worldwide. Some of the services IBM will provide via iOS include device management, security, analytics and mobile integration. 

News From You

normgregory and tm204 both submitted articles from Ars Technica and Hollywood Reporter about Dish’s victory over Fox in the Hoper lawsuit. Fox had asked for a preliminary injunction and pointed to the Supreme Court’s determination that Aereo was a public performance claiming, Dish’slingbox-like service in the Dish hopper was the same thing. On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a district court didn’t abuse discretion by denying Fox’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The underlying case, Fox et al v. Dish et al, will continue to move towards a trial set to begin in federal court in Los Angeles on January 13, 2015.

habichuelacondulce posted the Mashable article on leaked Windows screenshots appearing on mydigitallife.info showing the restored Start menus. The size and format of the menu is the same as what Microsoft showed off at the Build conference in April, but the tiles themselves are different. The watermark on the images reads “Windows 8.1 Pro,” and ‘confidential’ However The forum where the screenshot appeared says it’s from Build 6.4.9788 of Windows 9.

michsineath submitted the GeekWire story that Transportation startups like UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar will finally be able to legally operate in Seattle. The City Council there voted 8-1 to approve a new law providing a regulatory framework for Transportation Network Companies. The 150 vehicle cap has been removed, insurance requirements adjusted and 200 taxi licenses added over the next four years. 

Discussion Section: 

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/comcast-investigating-customer-service-call-from-hell

http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/comcast-statement-regarding-customer-service-call

 Pick of the Day: FB Purity

Dan White in mostly rainy Bristol, UK has our pick of the day: Hi Tom, I’ve been following the comments about Facebook and the annoying way that they mess with your news feed, changing the order and stuffing unwanted junk in to annoy you. I’d like to recommend a free browser plug in called “FB purity“. I like to think of it as what Facebook would look like if they didn’t hate their users! It’s compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera and Maxton.

It has an awesome collection of features, including:
Force news feed onto chronological order. Block in line video playback. Hide or block posts based on keywords or phrases (handy for those Game of Thrones spoiler posting idiot friends) Revert news feed to single column. Stop external links from being tracked by Facebook. Block applications directly from your news feed. Receive an alert if someone de-friends you. And lots more.

Naturally Facebook hates this idea and regularly tweaks their code to overcome some features, even claiming that it is “unsafe” (well they would, wouldn’t they!). However, the plug in is inevitably updated almost immediately to restore sanity to your experience.

I don’t work for or have any connection to the FB Purity coders. I just think it’s an awesome plug in, and apparently about 160,000 other people agree with me.

EXTRA Message: TVsEgon has posted tons of Nerdtacular pics to a dropbox. You can find the link in the subreddit or the show notes!

Forced lowercase i in title is standards-compliant thanks to a suggestion from biocow.

DTNS 2277 – Virtual Personal Netflix

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPeter Wells joins us from Australia, and therefore the future, to talk about how Netflix became the second most popular streaming service in Australia without ever launching there.

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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:  Peter Wells of Reckoner, Australia

Headlines

Apple Insider passes along info from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s note that says Apple’s 4.7-inch iPhone is still expected to debut in the autumn but a larger 5.5-inch iPhone would not come until later. Kuo says Apple is working out the kinks in the device’s in-cell touch panel, as well as color unevenness on the next iPhone’s metal casing. Kuo also expects that Apple will debut a new Apple TV set-top box this fall with motion controls and potentially support for a third-party App Store. 

Reuters reports the Internet Association has filed their comments regarding the US FCC’s Open Internet guidelines. The Association represents 36 companies including Google, Netflix and Amazon. The filing objected to allowing any kind of paid prioritization beyond reasonable network management, and called for wireless networks to be treated the same as wireline regarding net neutrality.

The Next Web reports LinkedIn has acquired Newsle, a service that scans your Facebook or LinkedIn contacts and alerts you when anyone in them is mentioned on the Web. Newsle will continue to operate as a standalone service but also be integrated into LinkedIn’s existing products.

GigaOm reports Babak Parviz, one of the produce leads on Google Glass and Google smart contact lenses, has left the company to take a job with Amazon. Parviz announced the switch on Google + writing “status: super excited! :)” and including an Amazon logo. Amazon Fire eyes, here we come!

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald revealed more secret government programs from the UK’s GCHQ including the ability to change the outcome of online polls, send mass emails and SMS, collect skype call records, messages and contact lists, and target DDOS attacks, among other things. The document is called “JTRIG Tools and Techniques” JTRIG stands for Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference that Microsoft continues to use the theme of productivity started in CEO Satya Nadella’s internal memo form last week. Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told partners that Microsoft wants to offer a “complete suite of Microsoft experiences preinstalled on any device, on any platform.

News From You

metalfreak posted the Independent’s article that Surrey Nanosystems has created a carbon nanotube material so black it absorbs all but 0.035% of visual light. The material named Vantablack is grown on sheets of aluminum foil. Even when you crumple the foil you can’t tell in the area where the nanotubes are. The material also conducts heat seven and a half times more effectively than copper and has 10 times the tensile strength of steel. Hotblack Desiato will be very excited.

KAPT_Kipper pointed out the TechCrunch article about the new model of Raspberry Pi that’s out called the B+. The new model has 4 USB ports (up from 2)40 GPIO pins up from 26, a microSD card slot, lower power consumption among other improvements. The new upgraded model B+ is available now for $35 via the Foundation’s usual distributors.

MikePKennedy posted the Engadget story about BitTorrent getting ready to charge for Bundles. The legitimate torrent fils usually only cost your email address but a test with a major musician will come soon to sell a bundle. Even more ambitious BitTorrent is partnering with Rapid Eye Studios to make a scifi series called “Children of the Machine.” Rapid Eye will spend $1 million to make the pilot. To fund a full eight-episode run, at least 250,000 users will have to sign up for a “BitTorrent Bundle” for $10 after seeing the pilot.

KAPT_Kipper also sent in the 9to5 Mac article that Google has launched its popular augmented reality game “Ingress” on iOS. Android users have been playing the game since December. To play the game you join a team, either Resistance or Enlightened, to locate and collect “Exotic Matter” found in real-life locations.

And metalfreak posted the PC World article about Samsung temporarily suspending business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics after following up on reports from China Labor Watch that the supplier was employing underaged workers. Samsung has begun an investigation and in a blog post wrote, “If the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier.” Samsung had audited Shinyang on June 25. The illegal hirings are alleged to have happened June 29. 

Discussion Section: 

http://mashable.com/2014/07/14/how-netflix-is-dominating-australia-from-abroad/

http://www.zdnet.com/au/village-roadshow-confirms-netflix-is-coming-to-australia-7000030954/

https://getpocketbook.com/blog/netflix-australia-2-stats-scare-local-players/

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/11/how-to-stream-netflix-and-hulu-in-australia-and-other-stuff-geoblockers-dont-want-known/

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/blog/gadgets-on-the-go/unlock-hulu-and-bbc-iplayer-in-a-click-with-hola-20130124-2d8zu.html

 Pick of the Day: iCatcher via Preston in Silly-con Valley

Preston in lovable Silly-Con Valley has our pick of the day:

Most of the time I hear a recommendation for a podcasting app it is usually for Downcast or Pocketcast. Though I’m sure these are very good I just wanted to throw a new one into the mix. For almost 3 years now I’ve been using iCatcher for my podcasting enjoyment. Talking to a friend who uses Downcast we were comparing features. iCatcher seems to match Downcast pretty much feature for feature. It has both global and podcast-specific settings. Can be set to download over wifi only or cellular as well. Custom skip forward and back lengths. Start a podcast X seconds in. (Handy for skipping shows with long intros.) Supports video podcasts (including alternate playback speeds). Etc, etc…

One thing we did find was playback speeds differed a bit. iCatcher offers 3/4, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 2 and 3 times playback speeds. I listen at 1.25 and my friend listens at 1.5 using downcast. But here’s the thing, they are actually the same speeds. He said he noticed one day that a 1 hour podcast played at 1.5x speed took almost 50 minutes to get through and so wasn’t done after his 40 minute commute. He contacted the developers and said they confirmed that that playback speeds are a bit off and they do it on purpose but didn’t explain why. I confirmed iCatcher is accurate by listening to a 56 minute podcast at 1.25x and timing it. It finished in about 45 minutes which is correct. 56 / 1.25 = 44.8 minutes.

iCatcher is also very well supported and always adding new features through regular updates. iCatcher is $2.99 and worth every penny in my opinion.

Preston lovable Silly-Con Valley

 

Tuesday’s guest: Annie Gaus, technology journalist