S&L Podcast – #181 – The Promise of More Blood

We break down our June book pick, Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan, and find out why its actually four or five books and its gods are not what they seem. Also we set up our July pick from Octavia Butler and decide whether warp speed is actually coming or not.  

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WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Boddington’s Pub Ale    
Veronica: Earl Grey Tea    
    
QUICK BURNS  

3 more Expanse novels announced – Ben    
IXS Enterprise (IXS-110) – Bookshelf
Every Game Of Thrones Scene Broken Down By Book, Chapter And Episode  
WINNERS: 2014 Campbell and Sturgeon Awards
 

PICKS    

Tom: Cibola Burn by James S A CoreyTraveling in Space by Steven Paul Leiva     
Veronica: Shattered by Kevin Hearne, though I’m still a book behind!   
  
Sandi – I finished listening Hollow World this morning. I really liked it. Kind of a modern H.G. Wells/Jonathan Swift vibe. I’m now starting On the Steel Breeze. I love the narrator, Adjoa Andoh. She played Martha’s mother on Doctor Who and was one of the narrators of Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.     
    
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar    

BARE YOUR SWORD    

Monthly meetups!    
Uncharted-esk Books by Josh    
How do you find new books to read? by Alexander   
Should We Read Comics/Graphic Novels As Group Reads by Killian    

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION    

July Book is Dawn by Octavia Butler       
Wrap up Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan    
“The revolution will not be…?” by Sean    
Let’s talk about the ending by Joanna    
    
ADDENDUMS

Looking for something ELSE to read? Wish you could read 20 books in the space you usually read one? Can’t decide between scifi and fantasy? WE HAVE SOLVED ALL YOUR PROBLEMS. The Sword and Laser Anthology combines 10 great scifi and 10 great fantasy stories from new authors found RIGHT HERE in our audience. And the stories are fantastic. Even Patrick Rothfuss thinks so. Head on down to your favorite online bookseller and search Sword and Laser Anthology or point your favorite Web browser to swordandlaser.com/store.   

Listeners who complete the survey will be entered in an ongoing 
monthly raffle to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. 
 

Survey!
Take the listeners survey at podsurvey.com/laser

DTNS 2263 – HIPAA HIPAA Hooray

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJeremy Kaplan joins us from #CEWeek to talk Nest API, Microsoft’s Android phone and the future of healthcare tech. Can wearables make the jump from fitness to serious medical use?

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

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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:  Jeremy Kaplan, editor-in-chief of Digital Trends.com 

Headlines

Digital Trends reports Nest Labs released a new smart home API to let developers make their devices work well with Nest’s. So your car can tell the Nest thermostat to warm up the house as you head home, and your light bulbs can glow red of the smoke alarm detects something alarming. Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone, Whirlpool, LIFX, IFTTT, and Logite have already released new Nest-compatible features for some of their products. The API is open to iOS and Android developers. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek published an interview with Google’s head of Android, Sundar Pichai, in which he said the next version of Android will be previewed at Google I/O tomorrow. The decision to preview Android’s ‘L’ named version at I/O instead of waiting until fall, was made in an effort to be more transparent. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what desert will become the name. Lemon Merengue, Ladyfingers, Lorna Doone Biscuits?

Bloomberg’s been talking to ‘people familiar with the plans’ and they say Apple plans begin mass production of its largest iPhones ever next month. The people say the plans include one model with a 4.7-inch display for shipment in September. The new phone swill also be rounder and thinner. An alleged 5.5-inch model has alleged production complications and so allegedly might not make it out this year.

The Next Web has the fact that Microsoft has announced a new Android phone called the Nokia X2. This is the first phone launched by Microsoft since it acquired Nokia’s handset division. The phone has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, 1.2 GHz dual-core snapdragon processir, 5-mpxl rear-facing camera, dual-SIM and 15 GB of storage. It’s available immediately for €99 in select countries.

The Next Web reports WeChat has introduced an ‘unsend’ feature that lets you pull back a message within two minutes of pressing send. The update is live on iOS and coming soon to Android. 

News From You

tm204 has the top story on the subreddit from ComputerWorld. It seems folks who shelled out $1450 for the Chromebook Pixel last year were promised two years of free Verizon LTE service up to 100 MB a month. One year after activation several Pixel owners are complaining the Verizon service has stopped working, unless you pay. Computerworld’s JR Raphael called Verizon support and Google Play and has received no definitive answer why. 

gardnervh posted the TechCrunch story that an amendment to the constitution of the US State of Missouri. The state legislature has proposed adding electronic communications and data to the section prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure and requiring a warrant and probable cause for reasonable searches. Citizens of Missouri will vote on the amendment in August.

tekkyn00b posted the Gizmodo story that MIT engineers have created a nanomaterial that withstand force 160,000 times its weight. A repeating geometric lattice was designed to be stiff but light makes it about 400 times as strong as most material of the same density. Researchers suggest it could be used in space, for battery construction or anything that needs high strength and low weight.  

metalfreak posted the Wired story describing Hacking Team modules discovered by researchers working independently of each other at Kaspersky Lab in Russia and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs in Canada. The Hacking Team provides software to governments and law enforcement agencies. Among the modules uncovered are ones that can activate microphones, take pictures, intercept email and text messages and log keystrokes on Android and iOS phones. 

Discussion Section Links:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/24/5835910/soundhawks-earpiece-lets-you-pick-exactly-what-you-want-to-hear

http://www.cnet.com/news/pebble-watch-partners-with-misfit-for-fitness-tracking-app/

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/06/23/healthcare-wearable-technology/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/06/19/wearable-tech-health-insurance/

http://www.mddionline.com/article/wearable-tech-regulated-medical-devices-can-revolutionize-healthcare-6-18-2014

Pick of the day: Cloak via Alan Steinberger

Hi Tom, I have a simple solution for auto-connecting to WiFi hotspots, and protecting one from spoofed AT&T sites. Not to sound like a shill for Cloak VPN (www.getcloak.com), but they rolled out an extremely effective Connect On Demand feature a few months ago. When I’m out and about, every time my iPad finds a Starbucks or a Time Warner or other recognized hot spot, it automatically comes on. When I’m home or in another trusted location, Cloak stays off. I only need the 5 GB/month plan, which is inexpensive, and I’ve found the Cloak team in general and Dave Peck in particular to be most helpful and responsive. Love the show! Alan

Calendar Item of the Day: CE Week New York

Today is the start of CE Week, the consumer electronics industry’s annual mid-year check-in in New York City.The Exhibits and Conference Program, better known as as ‘the place with all the shiny things you covet’, begins Wednesday June 25 — we’ll have a preview on tomorrow’s show. Want more? Check out ceweekny.com

Wednesday’s Guest: Andrea Smith, technology journalist talks CE Week  

DTNS 2262 – Google Does Not Want to See Your Bits

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comLamarr Wilson is on he show to talk about the frightening prospect of Google owning Dropcam and everything else that watches you in your home. Plus why startups should not have thought it was OK to sell public parking spaces.

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:   Lamarr Wilson,  host of Mashable’s YouTube Weekly & Socially Awkward

Headlines

WinBeta reports the Microsoft Store is offering up to $650 in-store credit when you trade in select MacBook Air models, as long as you use the credit to buy a Surface Pro 3. Also the MacBook Air must turn on and not have water damage.

TechCrunch reports Microsoft has doubled and rounded up the amiunt of free storage you get in your Microsoft OneDrive account from 7 GB to 15. That shoots up to a Terrabyte if you’re an Office 365 customer at $6.99 a month and 1 TB per user for 5 users at $9.99 a month. Additional plans drop to $1.99 monthly for 100 gigabytes, or $3.99 each month for 200 gigabytes.

Google subsidiary Nest Labs is using its own money to go out and get itself something nice. Dropcam. The makers of devices that know whether your house is the right temperature or burning down, can now know whether your pet is roaming around or your being burglarized. Nest says Dropcam will fall under Nest’s privacy policy which does’t share data with any company including Google, without the user’s permission.

The NextWeb reports Google Glass is finally leaving its home market and is now available in the UK’s Google play store for £1,000. Google is also selling the frames from its Titanium collection as an optional add-on. Back in the US, new frames designed by Diane von Furstenberg have gone on sale. The bundle of Glass plus shades and frames runs $1800.

ReCode reports a startup called Cruise will start taking preorders Monday for an aftermarket kit that will convert your late model Audi to a self-driving car while on San Francisco Bay area highways. The kits cost $10,000 and installation will begin in 2015.

News From You

metalfreak posted the top story on SubReddit from Ars Technica about the risks of AT&T and Comcast’s free WiFi hotspots. As Darren Kitchen has pointed out before, phones are set up to connect by default to the ssid’ attwifi and xfinitywifi. Malicious operators could set up devices that broadcast that ssid, capture login and password info then direct the device to the Internet so the device owner never knows the accoutn has been compromised. Best not to automatically connect to those kinds of hotspots, or if you’re an ATT phone owner, disable the setting on your phone that does so.

The 2nd most popular story, also from metalfreak and Ars Technica provides an alternative. Members of the “Open Wireless Movement,” including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Free Press, Mozilla, and Fight for the Future aim to get WiFi router owners to open up hotspots through the website openwireless.org. One project for example is open-sourced router firmware called Open Wireless Router lets you safely share a portion of your router with anyone nearby, password-free. The software prioritizes owner traffic and walls off guests from snooping.

Finally KAPT_Kipper points out the Verge article that security researcher Robert David Graham found at least 309,197 servers still vulnerable to the Heartbleed exploit. Graham found more than 600,000 vulnerable servers immediately after Heartbleed was discovered, but that dropped to 318,239 within a month. However in the past month only 9,042 more servers were patched. 

Discussion Section Links:

http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/20/nest-is-acquiring-dropcam-for-555-million/?ncid=rss_truncated

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/23/5834962/man-who-created-ipod-now-running-googles-hardware-future

https://nest.com/blog/2014/06/20/the-nest-family-is-growing/

http://recode.net/2014/06/20/googles-nest-buys-dropcam-for-555-million/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtT3oY8eJ_Q&list=UUOcE8WdQOSeqFczVxGatGKg
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/23/san-francisco-rent-public-parking-space-monkey-parking-sweetch-parkmondo/11263723/

Pick of the day: Light-Bot via Matt from Vegas

Matt from Vegas has our pick of the day, what he calls a ‘teaching kids to code’ game: “Hey DTNS I love the show and listen daily. I found this over the weekend and loved it. My 7 year old is completely hooked and for once I don’t care that she’s taken my tablet over. It’s a game that is teaching her programming called Light-Bot. It’s on IOS and Android and is just awesome. I know there are a number of games in this category and they’re all fantastic, just thought I would share this one that I ran across. 

Calendar Item of the Day: CE Week New York

Today is the start of CE Week, the consumer electronics industry’s annual mid-year check-in in New York City.The Exhibits and Conference Program, better known as as ‘the place with all the shiny things you covet’, begins Wednesday June 25 — we’ll have a preview on tomorrow’s show. Want more? Check out ceweekny.com

Tuesday’s Guest: Jeremy Kaplan, editor-in-chief of Digital Trends.com 

FEATURED REVIEW: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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 Derek Brown

It turns out that you can go home again. Or at least you can if you’re Stephen King.

I just finished this, King’s sequel to a much earlier work. The Shining is the story of a small child, trapped in a world so much more dangerous than the one other kids inhabit, because he has a special talent. A power that supernatural forces want to consume. In Doctor Sleep, we get to see that small child, now grown, haunted by the same affliction that nearly drove his own father to murder his wife and son. Not his power, but the drinking problem he now has, the only thing he has yet found to suppress his terrible, awesome power, and keep the ghosts of his childhood quiet. 

To me, this story is largely about demons. Recognizing the worst of them for what they are, and realising that you are never alone with them.

Its also a story about another small child, afflicted (or gifted) with her own set of abilities, and because ka is a wheel, and it always turns, this little girl is also chased by supernatural forces eager to consume her. 

I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed this book. I first read The Shining over 20 years ago, and its one that’s always really resonated with me. Getting to revisit the landscape of that work with King, seeing what happened to Danny Torrance after the events at the Overlook Hotel, and finding out how his life turned out because of it was a lot of fun. 

Fans of King’s other novels will find a healthy helping of the usual Easter eggs here as well. If you’ve read any of his other books, you’ll enjoy the many references to King’s integrated universe. 

The only item to note (and it’s not a negative, but it is a warning), would be that I consider either reading The Shining or seeing the original Kubrick movie a definite prerequisite to reading this book. Preferably both, so you’ll know the correct version of the story that King uses to jump from, but also so that you’ll have the awesome imagery from the movie to help light the way. 

Current Geek 20: It came from the Amazon

On tonight’s Current Geek: Yo has some problems, Yo. Apple Smartwatch watch is in high gear. NASA in the news. Netflix wants you to see Pinkman in amazing 4k. Harrison Ford is not as hurt as you thought. Amazon announced a BUNCH of things and we are buzzing around it like Fireflies. And Youtube is NOT blocking you afterall. We are headed to a video game future. Your emails and more!

DTNS 2261 – Drones are OP, Please Nerf

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen is on the show to talk about the U.S. House’s restrictions on surveillance by the NSA, the National Park Service’s restrictions on drones, and why Saturn might be the best place to take a quadcopter. Plus Len Peralta is here to illustrate 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

Today’s guest:   Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta

Headlines

If we were to launch a watch … :People familiar with the matter are BACK! Remember yesterday’s Reuters rumors about an Apple iWatch? Well, the Wall Street Journal has even more RUMORY rumors that say the non-existent unannounced watch will have 10 sensors, including ones to track health and fitness and come in multiple screen sizes. Now those are just statements from unidentified sources, however, somebody willing to go ON the record was KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo who said, “watches are fashion accessories.”

Hey, Yo … yo got hacked: TechCrunch reports three Georgia Tech students claim to have hacked the Yo app. That’s the app that searches your contacts for other people that have the Yo app and then allows you to send each other messages that say Yo both ou tloud and in text. The GT students emailed TechCrunch details on their ability to get any Yo phone number, spoof Yos, spam users and send notifications with any text. Yo founder Or Arbel says some of the security issues have been fixed and they are working on the others. 

Let’s talk:  TechCrunch reports Path is separating out a messaging app called Path Talk from the main Path app. Path Talk has ambient status updates that let friends know things like when you’re traveling, nearby, and or have a low battery. Path also bought TalkTo and will roll its features into PathTalk soon. TalkTo lets you text businesses and provides the backend communication over the phone for businesses that don’t take texts.

It’s a PC! It’s a tablet! It’s a … Surface Pro 3: The Next Web reminds us the Microsoft Surface Pro 3’s i5 processor version goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada today starting at $799. The i3 and i7 models will follow on August 1. As a side note, The Verge passes on Paul Thurott of WinSuperSite’s discovery that the Surface Pro 3 user guide has references to a Surface Mini. A lot of people expected a smaller Surface to be unveiled at the announcement on May 20.

Now, listen here: CNET reports that search results for music on Android phones now returns links to launch music apps where you can listen to that music. Android detects which apps you have installed and offers you links to launch them. This only works for Google Play, iHeart Radio, Rdio, Spotify, TuneIn, or YouTube. It also only works in the U.S., but Google plans to expand to other countries and other services. 

News From You

tekkyn00b posted the TechCrunch story that the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, placing limits on on how the NSA can gain access to communication, including email, online browsing, and chat histories. The amendment received bipartisan support, passing 293-123. It must also be approved by the US Senate.

ssnapier sent along the Verge article that the FCC has issued its largest fine in history, $34.9 million, to CTS Technology, a Chinese company that has been selling hundreds of models of signal jammers, which are against the law in the US. The jammers could block radio communications including cell phone, WiFi, Bluetooth, satellite radio and GPS, sometimes up to half a mile away. CTS must stop selling and marketing the jammers to US customers and hand over information about who bought them.

tm204 has the post from ComputerWorld about the passing of another print tech magazine. June 23 will be the last dead tree edition of Computerworld. Computerworld’s website will continue and get a redesign later this summer. A new tablet version of the magazine will launch August 1. 

metalfreak submitted the Ars Technica report that Johns Hopkins University professor Matt Green asked one of the developers of TrueCrypt for permission to fork the existing code to start a new independent version. TrueCrypt’s developers ceased work on the project at the end of May. One of the developers responded to Green, “I don’t feel that forking truecrypt would be a good idea, a complete rewrite was something we wanted to do for a while. I believe that starting from scratch wouldn’t require much more work than actually learning and understanding all of truecrypt’s current codebase.” 

Discussion Section Links: Drone and where in the galaxy you can fly them

http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/20/5828046/us-park-service-directing-national-parks-to-ban-drones

http://rt.com/usa/167124-nasa-send-quadcopter-drone-titan/

http://phys.org/news/2014-06-nasa-titan-potential-prebiotic-chemistry.html http://www.nasa.gov/content/titan-aerial-daughtercraft/#.U6R_yo1dXA4

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-cassini-titan-20140618-story.html

Alternate awesome titles:

Title: No drones in parks. DRONES IN SPAAAAACE!

Title: “Drones Are OP Please Nerf”

TItle: I was offered a griffen, so I’m going with the horde.

Title: Yodor

Title: That drone is after my picnic basket!

Title: “Full NASA Regalia”

Title: Parks and Drone Limitations

Title: “Is that a hodor mini?”

Title: So I married a drone

Title: “Park Your Drone”

Title:  “Hodorcrypt”

TItle: This is a drone-free park

Pick of the day:  Duolingo via Tom

Monday’s Guest: Lamarr Wilson