Current Geek 21: Roger Roger

Today, on CurrentGeek: Roger Chang and Roger White join us! Yo is being used in new fascinating ways. Superman joins The Arrow, sort of. What would YOU do in an empty room? Let’s fine more planets, shall we? The Dark Tower gets musical. LG has some flexible ideas. Let’s talk about a transparent society. Trek coming back? The US Navy has some fun acronyms. And more!

DTNS 2276 – Amazon to Hone Drones in Test Zones?

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comAshley Esqueda is on the show today. We’ll talk about Amazon’s plea to let them test their shipping drones. I guess they were serious! Len Peralta is also along to illustrate the show.

MP3

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:  Ashley Esqueda, host of Tomorrow Daily on cnet.com and Len Peralta of the arts

Headlines

GigaOm passes along that Chinese state broadcaster CCTV claims iPhone are a threat to national security because of tracking. iOS7 has a frequent Locations function that learns where users frequently visit in order to provide location-based information. The function can be turned off. Apple has about 6% of the market in China. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports Google blogged that it wants a European users to share their thoughts on right-to-be-forgotten laws through an online form and public hearings. later this year. A panel including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and former German justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger have also been enlisted to advise Google on how it should comply with European rules. Google admits it incorrectly removed links from search results to article in news sites that have since been restored. The company has received 70,000 take-down requests covering 250,000 webpages since May.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky sought a temporary restraining order against Lyft to stop it from beginning operations in New York City today. Lyft asked a judge to block the state’s subpoena, calling requested documents “utterly irrelevant.” The New York State Department of Financial Services issued a cease and desist to Lyft on July 8 and on July 9th the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission said Lyft has not complied with safety requirements and licensing criteria. Not one of these agencies complained about the stupid pink mustache. 

Recode reports the US FCC has set aside $2 billion to help pay for Wi-Fi networks in schools over the next two years. The National PTA and teachers unions wanted a larger fund in order to cover more schools. There are also questions about how to cover continuing costs once the networks are set up. The E-Rate program is part of the Universal Service Fund, a government subsidy program funded by a monthly fee on phone bills.

PC Mag reports The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) awarded Seattle-based supercomputer maker Cray a $174 million contract to develop a new machine to manage nuclear weapons. Yep that’s a story from today not 1978. The Trinity supercompuer will be installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in cooperation with the Sandia National Laboratories. Trinity will use Intel Haswell and Knights Landing processors, run at 1.37 petaflops and have 82 petabytes of storage. It should arrive in mid-2015.

News From You

ancrod2 posted the TechCrunch story that a version of The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act was amended and approved by a US Senate Committee and sent to the Senate floor for a full vote. The US House passed it in February, meaning its getting closer to passage. The bill would make it legal for US consumers to unlock their phones at the end of a contract, without violating the DMCA. 

metalfreak called attention to the Ars Technica article from yesterday that Microsoft issued an emergency update for most versions of Windows to prevent attacks using digital certificates that impersonate sites like Google and Yahoo. The update update blocks 45 SSL certificates that attackers managed to generate after compromising systems operated by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India. 

MikePKennedy submitted the Engadget story about Amazon’s response to a French law banning free shipping of books and taking away the companies right to give a 5% discount on book titles. Amazon will now charge one eurocent for shipping in France. Thought they didn’t have a clever way of getting around the discount ban. French booksellers may offer free shipping and up to a 5% discount.

KAPT_Kipper posted the WPXI story about the US Selective Service System, sending draft notices to 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897. The men are likely all dead, but they were warned they must register for the draft anyway. The error happened because birthdates were stored with only the last two digits of the year and a clerk working with the database forgot to specify the century when generating notices.  

Both lythander and TVSEgon posted stories about Verizon’s response to Netflix’s accusations that Verizon’s network is congested. In a long post filled with charts and arrows, Verizon, rightly, points out that Netflix could use other transit providers to get around congestion but refuses to do so. Netflix has said that if Verizon would upgrade the interconnection with its preferred transit provider this wouldn’t be a problem. Both companies are using you as a bargaining chip while trying to reduce their own costs.

Discussion Section: 

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/11/amazon-asks-faa-to-test-prime-air-says-drones-will-go-over-50mph-with-geo-fence-for-safety/

http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/10/amazon-asks-faa-for-permission-to-test-its-delivery-drones/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/12/30/the-6-lucky-states-thatll-shape-the-future-of-drone-technology/

http://gigaom.com/2014/06/27/faa-scrambles-to-control-consumer-drones-but-its-legal-case-is-shaky/

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0474-0001

http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

 Pick of the Day: Buy Me A Pie via Tom

Monday’s guest: Peter Wells of Reckoner, Australia

DTNS 2275 – Give Us Our Duck Rights

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTodd Whitehead is on the show to comb through the buzzword bing that was Satya Nadella’s new vision for Microsoft. Who do they want to be?

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

DTNS 2274 – 404 Bulb Not Found

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMichael Wolf is on the show to talk about how retailers hope to grab your loyalty for the Internet of Things. Is this going to be the worst format war yet?

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: Michael Wolf of The Next Market podcast

Headlines

SamMobile reports Samsung’s virtual reality device, allegedly called “Gear VR” will be announced alongside the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 at the IFA conference in Berlin. Sort of a higher tech version of Google’s Cardboard, Gear VR will connect to a Galaxy device by USB 3.0 and make use of the phone’s sensors to track head motion. IFA kicks off September 5th. 

Bloomberg has an article about how landing top talent is getting tough in Silicon Valley. So much so that firms like Facebook are flying High Schoolers out to meetings with CEO Mark Zuckerberg in order to win them over from a young age. A chart from GlassDoor shows interns earning more than $5,000 a month at places like Apple Google, NVidia and Amazon, and those companies don’t even pay the most. 

CNET reports Apple lost a patent case in China to Shanghai’s Zhizhen Internet Technology over a speech-recognition patent. Zhizhen claims their patent is violated by the way Siri recognizes and analyzes a person’s speech. Apple plans to appeal the decision. 

Recode reports LG introduced KizOn Tuesday, a wearable device designed to allow parents to track their preschool and elementary children. The wristband has a button to call a predefined number and can receive calls from parents. It’s set to debut July 10 in South Korea before eventually making its way to North America and Europe in the third quarter.

ZDNet passes on that NPD DisplaySearch’s report shows tablet PCs declined year over year for the first time ever, to 56 million units. NPD DisplaySearch has lowered its forecast for tablet PC shipments in 2014 to 285 million units. The fall comes mostly in the 7-7.9-inch tablets feeling pressure from larger phones in the 5-6 inch range. Replacement cycles for tablets are also lengthening.

The Next Web reports that time spent with apps on Xiaomi phones has surpassed iPhones in China according to mobile firm Flurry. A random sample of 23,000 devices in China throughout January 2014 found the average Xiaomi user spent 7 percent more time in apps compared to Apple. The average Samsung user spent 14 percent less time than an iPhone user, while a HTC consumer spent 27 percent less time.

The Next Web also has some good news for Facebook in the Philippines. A report from OnDevice research shows 80 percent of mobile users in the Phillipines are regular Facebook Messenger users. Second place at 27% is Skype and Viber. Normally popular apps in Asia like We Chat and Line are near the bottom of the list at 15% and 10% respectively. Also interesting to note 70 percent of the country’s 40 million Internet users are younger than 30.

Google posted on the Android blog that screen mirroring from Android devices to Chromecast is now enabled. To start mirroring, simply select “Cast Screen” from the navigation drawer in the Chromecast app and select your Chromecast device. On Nexus devices, this feature is also available through the quick settings menu. The feature is in beta and will roll out to various devices over the next few days. 

THIS JUST IN Matt Chapman told Jeff Rubin of the Jeff Rubin Show that the Chapman Brothers plan to start making more HomestarRunner cartoons. That April Fool’s Day thing was a test and we passed Internet, We passed. More StrongBad emails are coming. Soon. Maybe Strongbad’s Lappy will even be rocking a Pentium!

News From You

therobertonline posted the 9to5 Google story about security researchers from Avast showing that Android’s factory reinstall only cleans at the application layer, leaving loads of personal data behind. Using off the self drive imaging programs like FTK Imager on 20 smartphones purchased from eBay, Avast recovered more than 40,000 photos, 750 emails and text messages, and even a completed loan application. Coincidentally, Avast has a tool they say does a better job, but encrypting your data, and wiping a phone loading fake data and wiping again are also good suggestions.

MikePKennedy sent in the Next Web article pointing out Google has announced its remote access plugin fro Chrome now works for Linux users. That means remote access from Chrome now works acrtoss Windows OS X Android and Linux, although for that last you need to be running the Ubuntu or Debian distros for it to work.

KAPT_Kipper posted the Engadget story that Google engineer Michele Spagnuolo discovered a critical security flaw in Adobe Flash. The so-called “Rosetta Flash” is a proof of concept, but could allow hackers to steal your cookies and other data using malicious Flash .SWF files. Many companies have patched their sites, but not all, so you’ll want to get the fix from Adobe in the latest version of Flash 10.0.0.145 and if you use Adobe AIR update that to 14.0.0.137 too. 

Finally tm204 submitted a National Journal posting about the Senate Intelligence Committee approving legislation Tuesday to make it easier for companies to share information regarding cyberthreats with each other and the US Government. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act or CISA is meant to remove legal barriers to cooperation against cyberattacks, while still protecting user privacy by stripping out personally identifiable information of known Americans. Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall voted against the legislation, saying in a statement that it “lacks adequate protections for the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans, and that it will not materially improve cybersecurity.” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, said the bill is a carefully crafted compromise between business groups and privacy advocates.

Discussion Section: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelwolf/2014/07/01/heres-why-retailers-are-betting-big-on-internet-of-things/?utm_content=buffera190a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.cepro.com/article/staples_connect_hub_slashed_to_49_newer_model_adds_bluetooth_zigbee/

http://www.cepro.com/article/staples_connect_vs_lowes_iris_home_automation_smackdown_at_ces_2014/

http://blog.nextmarket.co/post/87623736094/first-impressions-of-homekit-apples-first-step-into

http://www.zonoff.com/

http://revolv.com/faq/

 Pick of the Day: My Tracks via Vance McAlister

(As you might expect from me, another Google app, this time one very few seem to know about, I just discovered it myself!)

I wanted to point everyone to an almost unknown little app from Google called My Tracks. It most closely resembles apps like Runkeeper which track your walking, running or biking. It has large, friendly buttons for Start, Pause and Stop during your workout and then gives you the standard stats afterwards, including a map. A few fun features are that you can follow your progress on the map while you are moving, it will give you a “fly-over” movie of your movement on a 3D Google Map, and it will keep a copy of each workout map saved in a special folder in Google Drive. Super simple to use, and dead easy, but maybe not as full-featured as Runkeeper or Runtastic. Definitely worth trying out since it is free.

Thursday’s guest: Todd Whitehead of Alpha Geek Radio

S&L Podcast – #183 – The Damon Inside Me

We ponder on Matt Damon’s role in The Martian, why we love to hate villains, and the role of philosophy and ideology in Octavia Butler’s Dawn. Join us, before Veronica falls into the hellmouth.

Download direct link!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?

Tom: Red Stripe
Veronica: 2011 Canoe Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon The Expedition

QUICK BURNS

And the Martian is…
The Wertzone: Update on Scott Lynch’s THE THORN OF EMBERLAIN
WINNERS: 2014 Locus Awards – SF Signal
J.K. Rowling has released a new ‘Harry Potter’ story online
S&L and Open Road heading to Loncon 3!

PICKS

FEATURED REVIEW: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Find more upcoming releases at swordandlaser.com/calendar

BARE YOUR SWORD

Tor founder Tom Doherty on publishing without DRM
Do we love to hate villains?
Duty to self-publishing authors?

BOOK OF THE MONTH DISCUSSION

Unequal Relationships

DTNS 2273 – Spark up the Internet

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comShannon Morse is on the show to discuss whether the Internet of Things can be saved from chaos by open source platforms, hardware and standards. We need to have some standards people!

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

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Shannon Morse of hak5.org

Headlines

Samsung reported earnings a little down. Q2 sales were approximately 52 trillion Korean won ($51.4 billion) and operating profit was about 7.2 trillion won ($7.1 billion). Both numbers are down from last quarter and a year ago. Samsung blamed sluggish demand for tablets, a slowdown in smartphone sales and strong Korean currency for the declines. The company predicted stronger smartphone sales with the coming release of its new smartphone lineup. 

PC Mag passes along a video from Marques Brownlee who got ahold of an alleged iPhone 6 screen made of sapphire crystal. Brownlee attempts to scratch the screen with keys and a knife and tries to bend it and break it to no avail. The part is a 4.7-inch screen and certainly looks like an iPhone. It’s possible that gorilla glass might hold up to some of the same abuse, but Brownlee claims his sources are reliable.

GigaOm reports Samsung, Broadcom, Atmel and Wind River (an Intel company itself) are teaming up on yet another Internet of Things standards alliance, much like All Seen Alliance, Industrial Internet Consortium MQTT and XMP. This new one has the name Open Interconnect Consortium and will see all the companies collaborate on code set to come out in Q3. The goal is create a peer-to-peer protocol that handles discoverability and authentication better. Qualcomm has worked on a similar standard called AllJoyn which it open sourced through the AllSeen Alliance.

Reuters reports Chinese businessman Zhan Baosheng is taking Tesla Motors to court over the use of the name Tesla for sales and marketing of Tesla cars in China. Tesla said in January that the trademark dispute was resolved, and began delivering Model S sedans to Chinese customers in April. The Beijing Third Intermediate Court will hear the case on Aug. 5.

GigaOm reports Uber has agreed with the State of New York not to raise prices during “emergencies and natural disasters.” Uber will adopt a similar policy nationwide. Uber did not specify what counts as a disaster, but you can bet New Year’s Eve is not considered one and surge pricing will still rear its costly head from time to time. 

News From You

devham submitted the DroidLife article about Google letting users enable the “OK Google” hotword to be said from any screen on the phone, not just the home screen, to prompt a voice search. To turn it on in Google Now, scroll to the bottom and tap Menu>Settings>Voice>”Ok Google” Detection and turn on the options you want. This also adds Audio History which learns the sound of your voice and how you pronounce words.

Draconos pointed us to the Slashdot post that Microsoft has ended updates for MapPoint and Streets & Trips. Both services will be retired in favor of Bing Maps. The fate of the two services has been noted on both their websites.

tm204 posted the Engadget story about New Zealand ISP Slingshot offering a Global Mode VPN feature that allows customers to access normally georestricted Internet content.  Marketing for the feature originally mentioned making visitors from other countries feel more at a home but then Slingshot General Manager Taryn Hamilton confirmed to the New Zealand Herald that “No beating around the bush. This is to watch Netflix.” Refreshingly candid.

And magoojc submitted the TechCrunch article that points out Blackberry stock is 50% on the year and is one of the best performing stocks in its sector. Yes. BlackBerry. By comparison Apple is up 20% and Google just 5. So far revenue has not improved but the company has cut costs which investors like. Blackberry has also not made any bold moves this year other than the square Passport phone meaning you can’t accuse the company of doing much wrong. 

Discussion Section: Spark Labs

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/08/spark-labs-raises-4-9m-to-make-an-os-for-the-internet-of-things/

http://gigaom.com/2013/05/02/spark-core-brings-open-hardware-plus-a-cloud-service-to-the-internet-of-things/

http://gigaom.com/2013/03/14/electric-imp-aims-to-make-the-internet-of-things-devilishly-simple/

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/07/intel-samsung-and-others-create-new-qualcomm-free-internet-of-things-consortium/

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/07/intel-samsung-and-others-create-new-qualcomm-free-internet-of-things-consortium/

 Pick of the Day via Simple TV Steve Boland

Amazon is still selling a basic Simple TV with LIFETIME service for $120. Yes, I had to buy a hard drive, but once it was set up, I get live or recorded TV streamed (slung?) to my Roku, my computer, my tablet or whatever anywhere I am. Avoiding monthly or annual fees was important to me in getting this set up, so good to know there is a cheap option for this. Thanks for everything you do! Steve
(One of your bosses. We are LEGION.)”      

Wednesday’s guest: Michael Wolf of The Next Market podcast