S&L Podcast – #165 – SciFi is Finally Literature!

We kick off our March book pick, Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, ponder the brief career of Jonathan Ross as LonCon MC, and discover that at least Houghton Mifflin thinks SciFi is lit.

Direct download here!

WHAT ARE WE DRINKING?    
Tom: Yorkshire Gold Tea    
Veronica: Napa Smith Brewery Wheat Beer    
    
QUICK BURNS    

The Wertzone: WorldCon 2014 announces Jonathan Ross to host Hugo Awards, controversy follows, Ross withdraws    

Another Layer of J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst’s Book Onion   

Science fiction and fantasy are now officially part of American Literature   

FINALISTS: 2013 Nebula Awards (With Free Fiction Links!) – SF Signal    

FINALISTS: 2013 Aurealis Awards – SF Signal    

CALENDAR    

TV, MOVIES AND VIDEO GAMES    

Lara Takes On HBO and Game of Thrones in an Open Letter | Saurian Saint    

The Wertzone: GAME OF THRONES Season 4 fan trailer   

NBC’s ‘Heroes’ is coming back | Inside TV | EW.com    
    
BOOK KICK-OFF    

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan    
Altered Carbon Wikipedia article    
Richard K. Morgan Wikipedia article    

BARE YOUR SWORD    
    
Did you get to read fantasy in school?
    
Written accents annoying or what?    
    
Anthology cover reveal.    

DTNS 2183 – BitCoin Joke Here

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comEric Olander joins us to discuss whether Facebook drones can help Africa, Japan’s regulation approach to BitCoin and the real story behind the Flappy Bird flap. It’s 4 AM in Vietnam where he is, so be kind.

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:  Eric Olander, Vice President, Financial and Business News Channel,Vietnam

Headlines

Facebook to buy drone fleet. Because internet: TechCrunch reports its sources say Facebook is buying Titan Aerospace, makers of near-orbital solar-powered drones that can fly up to five years at a time without landing. For its 60 million dollars or so, Facebook would be able to use the drones to deliver Internet access to any part of the world as part of the Internet.org project, starting with Africa, according to the sources. One can only assume Facebook will not use its drones to shoot down competing Google weather balloons that deliver competing Internet.

CarPlay powered by QNX: USA Today points out that the new Apple CarPlay system in part is powered by QNX, the embedded OS of choice among automakers, and QNX just happens to be owned by BlackBerry. Ford is actually moving off Microsoft’s Sync to QNX according to Bloomberg. N4BB first pointed out the interesting fact. Paul Leroux, public relations manager at QNX Software Systems, “We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.”

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to retire in September

Cortana, voice assistant, in action: Unleash the Phones has video of Microsoft’s forthcoming Cortana voice assistant in action. Though no words are spoken by the operator or the phone, you can see the setup system which asks the user some personal questions, like most enjoyable part of an evening, and thoughts on food. No kidding. Cortana is expected to be part of Windows Phone 8.1 and be officially unveiled at the BUILD conference in April.

Microsoft integrates Skype with Outlook.com

Twitter mistakenly sends password reset email to many users

Aether’s Cone Speaker reviewed: Several sites, including Wired, have a review of Aether’s Cone speaker. Unlike say a Sonos system, the Cone speaker has no remote and no Bluetooth connectivity. It uses WiFi to connect to a music service (available services have yet to be named) and then keeps tabs on your behavior to find out what you like to hear. It also has voice recognition in case you want to request something in particular. The only other control is the speaker grill which you can twist right to skip to a new song or twist left to replay. The Cone will sell for $399.

Intel purchases wristwatch health tracker company Basis for around $100 – $150 million

Bring me red page… I can’t… I can’t see you… Broderbund founder Doug Carlston has donated Broderbund’s software and corporate records to the museum, The Strong. Correspondence, photos and other material that reveals the culture of the studio that developed Myst, Prince of Persia, the original SimCity and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, will be preserved. The high school version of our producer Jennie is SO happy. So is the college-aged version of Tom. Who feels really old now.

 News From You

Rich_Seattle submitted the Ars Technica story that the US Department of Justice has thrown in on the side of broadcasters, in the Aereo vs. the broadcast world Supreme Court knockdown coming this April. Recode reports the Justice Department made the filing Monday arguing that Aereo gives users access to copyrighted content in the first instance without paying licensing fees. KAPT_Kipper also submitted this story under a different link.

biocow posted the Verge link about Radio Shack closing 1,100 shacks in the US. That’s more than twice the number expected.Radio Shack will have 4,000 locations left. The company lost $191.4 million last quarter. TVSEgon also submitted a link for this story.

dillydobbs & Tekkyn00b submitted the Gizmodo link about Flexcoin shutting down. While not nearly as large as Mt. Gox, Flexcoin says 896 bit coins were stolen from its store. Bit coins that were not stolen will be returned to customers before the shutdown. Polonix also admitted thieves stole 12.5% of its bit coin reserves, but that company will replenish the lost coins itself.

adi_lachman pointed us to a WSJ article about Dish striking a deal with Disney to limit the use of its Hopper ad-skipping feature on Disney-owned channels. Interestingly in return, Disney granted DISH rights to stream Disney channels like ABC and ESPN as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.

Discussion Section Links:  How Japan is dealing with bit coins / Flappy Bird Perspective

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Japan-to-regulate-Bitcoin-trades-impose-taxes

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1440514/japan-considers-regulation-bitcoins-wake-mt-gox-failure

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001087024

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/27/flappy-bird-clones-iphone-ipad

Wednesday’s Guest:   Iyaz Akhtar of CNET & of the excellent podcast Quest for Peace.

DTNS 2182 – The Microsoft Shuffle

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDavid Spark brings us tales from RSA. We also chat about Apple’s CarPlay, Microsoft’s Cortana, and other less prosaically named devices and services in the news.

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:   David Spark, journalist, producer, speaker, and owner of Spark Media Solutions.

Headlines

Apple to unveil CarPlay in Geneva this week: CNET reports iOS in the car is now called CarPlay. Ferrari, Mercedes and Volvo will all show off models at the Geneva auto show this week. CarPlay is till an in-car touchscreen display with voice command. It requires an iPhone 5, 5C or 5S to be connected with a lightning cable to work. Only Apple apps will integrate with the initial exception of Spotify and iHeartRadio. The system won’t show up at car dealers until later in 2014 for some brands with most others to follow in 2014.

Microsoft testing voice-activated assistant: The Verge reports Microsoft is testing a voice-activated assistant currently named Cortana, yes like the Cortana in Halo, though on Windows Phone she’ll just be a circle. Sorry. Although apparently you can set Cortana to call you Master Chief. Cortana can use contacts, location reminders, and behaviors to help you out with notifications, similar to Google Now. Microsoft expects to unveil Cortana along with Windows Phone 8.1 at BUILD which starts April 2nd.

Samsung to release two new Chromebooks in April

Zynga’s push into mobile: Zynga has taken a lot of criticism for not being able to branch out past Farmville. So many will be happy to hear this PC Mag article that Zynga is making a big push into mobile with three new games. It’s first hot new title for mobile, Farmville 2: Country Escape. OK. Text MOO to 99642 if you want in on that one first. The second major advance is the still-existing Words with Friends. Now with dictionaries. Coming in the next few week.s Well it’s not like they went all the way back in time to when Zynga was just a poker app— The third new game is New Zynga Poker. Sigh.

Gartners latest tablet marketshare numbers show Android tablets collectively overtook the iPad in 2013

Mt. Gox confirms loss of 750,000 bit coins deposited by users,  as well as 100,000 bit coins held by Gox itself have disappeared, likely due to a bug in the website’s code. Meanwhile, a chunk of code lifted from Mt. Gox and posted to Pastebin appears to be part of the exchange’s backend for the website. The code reveals that anyone with access to the server could have easily redirected transactions and taken coins from customers wallets.

Google and Samsung express concerns to China’s Ministry of Commerce about Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Nokia

Reddit to donate 10 percent of its advertising revenue for the year to non-profits: At the end of the year Reddit will take suggestions on what charities should receive the money. An election will then be held and funds donated to the top 10 non-profits selected.

 News From You

LifeDownloaded submitted the Verge story on Microsoft’s executive shakeup. Tony Bates, the company’s executive vice president for business development and evangelism, and Tami Reller, its marketing chief, are both leaving the company, according to an email sent to employees. Eric Rudder, executive vice president of advanced strategy, will take over Bates’ Biz-Dev duties while a full-time replacement is sought. Reller will stay to train up Chris Capossela, as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Mark Penn also joins the Senior Leadership Team as chief strategy officer.

AllanAV posted the IFLScience article about skin cells being transformed into human liver cells that can not only function in an organ but even inside the liver of another species. A team from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California San Francisco announced the success in the publication, Nature. Successfully transplanting the cells will not only make growing transplants for humans more possible, but increase other research possibilities.

KAPT_Kipper sent us the Kotaku story of a Texas man, Eugene Thompson who appears to have stabbed his girlfriend’s estranged husband with a replica Legend of Zelda Master sword. The man must have still had some hearts left because he smashed Thompson with a flower pot before succumbing and heading to the hospital in serious condition.

And Jaymz668 posted the Verger story about Kickstarter celebrating the milestone of $1 billion in pledges from 5.7 million people. The site announced the landmark figure today with a special page full of stats about campaigns and pledgers. According to Kickstarter, just 40 people pledged a total of $1,084 to seven projects on the site’s first day; the site now brings in over $1 million per day.

Discussion Section Link:   RSA Roundup

http://www.sparkminute.com/2014/02/28/video-2014-rsa-conference-end-of-show-report/

Pick of the Day: Buy Me A Pie

Tuesday’s Guest:  Eric Olander

Current Geek 08: Going the way of dialup

On this week’s CurrentGeek, we have Jonathan Strickland and Bill Meeks with us, NASA turns on the Valve, let’s get the worlds biggest camera in space, Star Trek Themepark coming to Spain, Giant godzilla at Mardi Gras, Samsung has a new device for you, Bitcoin takes a bit of a hit, Pop Quizes, 10 years without cable, what about the pebble, and what a robot can do with 3D printing!

DTNS 2181 – Trust the Con

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comDarren Kitchen shares some thoughts on TrustyCon, we discuss some new reasons why Comast-Netflix doesn’t impact net neutrality directly, and Len Peralta illustrates the show live!

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 of hak5.org

Headlines

 Mt. Gox applies for bankruptcyArs Technica reports Mt. Gox applied for bankruptcy protection in Japan, claiming debt of about $63.6 million, with assets of just more than half that. CEO Mark Karpeles reportedly appeared at a press conference bowed in contrition and apologized in Japanese. A bankruptcy supervisor will develop a restructuring plan for the company.

Tim Cook says Apple sold $1 billion worth of Apple TV devices: Reuters reports Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors at a shareholder meeting Friday that Apple sold $1 billion worth of Apple TV devices last year. Cook even got extremely close to telling a joke, for him, saying “It’s a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days.” Oh Tim, you kidder.

Netflix internal hackathon produces dream product: TechCrunch has a story about Netflix’s internal hackathon producing some amazing mods for the video service. One monitors data from a fitbit to tell when you’re asleep and pauses your show for you. Another let you build multiple playlists for a lean back experience. Radial was a faster input keyboard for use on game consoles. And Beam let visitors temporarily use your Netflix account on their devices, then logged them off when they left your house. Sadly Netflix noted that the hacks might never become official part of the Netflix product. Might. So you’re saying there’s a chance!

Microsoft may test a free version of Windows 8.1, which would be bundled with the Bing search engine

Google yanks fake FBI listing in Google Maps

Flocking Drones!

California state appeals court rules drivers may legally read digital maps on their phones while in the car

News From You

uscwaller pointed us to the story on TorrentFreak that Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig prevailed over Liberation Music and will receive damages in his fair use fight. In a talk on Fair Use in 2010, Lessig used a clip of people dancing to a song by Phoenix as an example. A video of the talk was taken down from YouTube after a DMCA notice was issued by Liberation Music, the band’s label. Lessig fought the removal and sued Liberation Music. The two entities have settled and Lessig will receive an undisclosed sum for the damages the label caused with the wrongful takedown. Liberation admitted in a statement it agrees that Lessig was making fair use of the music.

uscwaller got a twofer in NFY today pointing us to the Wired Article about drone cargo ships. Rolls Royce is developing unmanned vessels to move the world’s cargo around. Along with robots in the warehouse and self-deicing trucks, the entire supply chain could soon be automated and human-less.

Kylde submitted a T3 post about Virgin media upgrading the speeds of its 12.5 million UK customers. Those who have the 120Mbps package will get 152Mbps while those on the 30Mbps plan have been bumped up to 60 and those on the 60 plan bumped up to 100. Yeah that’s right you just get more speed without asking. That’s this ISP’s response to people using more bandwidth. Well done Virgin Media.

And KAPT_Kipper submitted a GeekWire article about Amazon having more talks with record company execs about creating a streaming music service. Amazon already provides a cloud music locker but not a service like Spotify or Rdio. Recode’s sources seem to think this time the talks are quite serious and a deal could get done.

Discussion Section Links:  Trustycon, Tor & Netflix/Comcast

http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/news/2240215264/TrustyCon-Hypponen-warns-of-government-malware-loss-of-vendor-trust

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/28/snowden-privacy-products-trustycon-2014

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/tor-develops-its-own-anonymous-im-tool-to-hide-chat-from-spying-eyes/

https://whispersystems.org/blog/the-new-textsecure/

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014/02/heres-comcast-netflix-deal-structured-numbers.html?curator=MediaREDEF

Pick of the Day: Automatic

Automatic is like a fit bit for your car! It plugs into your car’s ODB port and connects via BTLE to your smartphone (Android or iOS).

The app gives you feedback on your driving (I now know it costs me $5 in gas to get to work in the morning), saves where you park on a map so you don’t get lost in the parking lot, tells you what’s wrong when the check engine light comes on and will even call 911 for you if you are in an accident.

On top of all that, they’ve recently added iBeacon support (which doesn’t mean a lot now, but in the future can do stuff like let you in and out of your parking garage or even pay at a drive-through apparently) and, as of today, IFTTT support (finally I can stop getting in trouble for forgetting to text my wife when I’m on my way home from work, or, alternatively, I can use it to do things like turn off the lights when I leave home.) – Dr. Karl,  forever resident of BuzzTown.

Monday’s Guest:  David Spark, journalist, producer, speaker, and owner of Spark Media Solutions.

DTNS 2180 – The Naked Truth

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show and we discuss British intelligence looking at nude photos of Yahoo chatters, plus more net neutrality thoughts, and a very special birthday that made all of this possible. You have not guessed who it was, I promise.

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:  Patrick Beja, host of RDVTech

Headlines

British spy program ‘Optic Nerve’ captures Yahoo web chats, including nude images: The Guardian reports on documents obtained from Edward Snowden describing a UK GCHQ spy program called ‘Optic Nerve’ which ran from 2008-2010 for sure and was showing up on an internal wiki as recently as 2012. The program captured images from Yahoo chats, saving a still picture every 5 minutes. Analysts could only look at metadata in bulk searches but could get images if a username was the same or similar to targeted individual. In addition to testing facial recognition and feeding some data to the US NSA. the GCHQ was surprised to find a “number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.” Around seven percent of the images included “undesirable nudity.” The report did not estimate the amount of desirable nudity.

Google’s Project Ara project to arrive as early as next year with $50 price tag:  Time’s Technologizer blog reports Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone could arrive early next year priced at $50. That’s the phone that has blocks you can plug in and replace to add or upgrade functionality. Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group reportedly will finish a functioning prototype within a few weeks.The $50 version would only have WiFi, but then you could always get more block later. The freemium model comes to hardware!

Boeing to make secure phone CNET reports on Boeing’s dupe secure government and military phone: Yes Boeing is making a phone. Codenamed Black, it comes with loads of security features, dual SIM cards, a modular back for mission-specific needs like satellite communications or ultra-specific geolocation. Also any attempt to open the device would delete the data and software. The device won’t be available to the consumer market and technical information on “Black” is to remain confidential or protected by non-disclosure agreements. Also we never had this conversation.

The European Commission plans to hold talks on clearer guidelines for in-app purchases to prevent free-to-download games from misleading customers

GigaOm reports on crowd funding for a wearable fitness device called Moov which would audio and visual instruction WHILE you’re exercising

Baidu finished 2013 with its fastest revenue growth in more than a year increasing 50.3 percent to 9.523 billion yuan beating analyst expectations of 9.319 billion 

Pew research data shows 87 percent of people in the US use the Internet. That number shoots to 99 percent in households that earn more than $75,000 a year

News From You

Hey Steven Strogatz, I hope you made a bet on your prediction that computer-assisted math solutions would surpass human comprehension. Josh sent us an email with a link to the iO9 article about a computer that has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy problem. The solution is as long as all of Wikipedia’s pages combined and impossible for a human to confirm. The only way to check if it’s right is to see if another computer attempting to solve the same problem comes up with the same answer.

KAPT_Kipper posted the TechCrunch article about Sony announcing it’s shutting down 20 of its 31 retail stores in the US. Sony is busy offloading unprofitable parts of its business, even considering things like selling Sony Pictures, so this isn’t a shock. The 11 stores to remain open are in California, New York, Florida, and Houston, Texas.

And tm204 noted the Computer World story about Apple’s decision Tuesday that it will no longer issue security patches for OS X Snow Leopard. The last Snow Leopard security update came in September 2013. Snow Leoaprd was released in 2009. Apple generally only supports the newest and previous versions of its OS, but has supported Snow Leoaprd longer. Still. 19% of Macs were running Snow Leopard according to Net Applications data. Snow Leopard was the last version of the OS capable of running applications on the PowerPC processor.

Discussion Section Links:

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/spy-agency-intercepts-yahoo-webcam-chats-nudes-and-all/

Pick of the Day:

I always heartily endorse Writer, at writer.bighugelabs.com Its essentially an internet typewriter, a super stripped down word processor. By default its green text on a black background (takes me back to my DOS days), and when in full screen mode it gives the best distraction free writing experience I’ve ever had. It has basic features, word count and a word count goal percentage, along with online saving across their servers. There’s a subscription option with some more advanced editing features and the ability to save to Google Drive/Dropbox, but the free version is all I’ve ever need. Every time I try NaNoWriMo its my go to.

Unprompted and hopefully not resented. Thanks

Rich from Lovely Cleveland

Tomorrow’s Guest:  Darren Kitchen of hak5.org

DTNS 2180 – The Naked Truth

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show and we discuss British intelligence looking at nude photos of Yahoo chatters, plus more net neutrality thoughts, and a very special birthday that made all of this possible. You have not guessed who it was, I promise.

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:  Patrick Beja, host of RDVTech

Headlines

British spy program ‘Optic Nerve’ captures Yahoo web chats, including nude images: The Guardian reports on documents obtained from Edward Snowden describing a UK GCHQ spy program called ‘Optic Nerve’ which ran from 2008-2010 for sure and was showing up on an internal wiki as recently as 2012. The program captured images from Yahoo chats, saving a still picture every 5 minutes. Analysts could only look at metadata in bulk searches but could get images if a username was the same or similar to targeted individual. In addition to testing facial recognition and feeding some data to the US NSA. the GCHQ was surprised to find a “number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.” Around seven percent of the images included “undesirable nudity.” The report did not estimate the amount of desirable nudity.

Google’s Project Ara project to arrive as early as next year with $50 price tag:  Time’s Technologizer blog reports Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone could arrive early next year priced at $50. That’s the phone that has blocks you can plug in and replace to add or upgrade functionality. Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group reportedly will finish a functioning prototype within a few weeks.The $50 version would only have WiFi, but then you could always get more block later. The freemium model comes to hardware!

Boeing to make secure phone CNET reports on Boeing’s dupe secure government and military phone: Yes Boeing is making a phone. Codenamed Black, it comes with loads of security features, dual SIM cards, a modular back for mission-specific needs like satellite communications or ultra-specific geolocation. Also any attempt to open the device would delete the data and software. The device won’t be available to the consumer market and technical information on “Black” is to remain confidential or protected by non-disclosure agreements. Also we never had this conversation.

The European Commission plans to hold talks on clearer guidelines for in-app purchases to prevent free-to-download games from misleading customers

GigaOm reports on crowd funding for a wearable fitness device called Moov which would audio and visual instruction WHILE you’re exercising

Baidu finished 2013 with its fastest revenue growth in more than a year increasing 50.3 percent to 9.523 billion yuan beating analyst expectations of 9.319 billion 

Pew research data shows 87 percent of people in the US use the Internet. That number shoots to 99 percent in households that earn more than $75,000 a year

News From You

Hey Steven Strogatz, I hope you made a bet on your prediction that computer-assisted math solutions would surpass human comprehension. Josh sent us an email with a link to the iO9 article about a computer that has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy problem. The solution is as long as all of Wikipedia’s pages combined and impossible for a human to confirm. The only way to check if it’s right is to see if another computer attempting to solve the same problem comes up with the same answer.

KAPT_Kipper posted the TechCrunch article about Sony announcing it’s shutting down 20 of its 31 retail stores in the US. Sony is busy offloading unprofitable parts of its business, even considering things like selling Sony Pictures, so this isn’t a shock. The 11 stores to remain open are in California, New York, Florida, and Houston, Texas.

And tm204 noted the Computer World story about Apple’s decision Tuesday that it will no longer issue security patches for OS X Snow Leopard. The last Snow Leopard security update came in September 2013. Snow Leoaprd was released in 2009. Apple generally only supports the newest and previous versions of its OS, but has supported Snow Leoaprd longer. Still. 19% of Macs were running Snow Leopard according to Net Applications data. Snow Leopard was the last version of the OS capable of running applications on the PowerPC processor.

Discussion Section Links:

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/spy-agency-intercepts-yahoo-webcam-chats-nudes-and-all/

Pick of the Day:

I always heartily endorse Writer, at writer.bighugelabs.com Its essentially an internet typewriter, a super stripped down word processor. By default its green text on a black background (takes me back to my DOS days), and when in full screen mode it gives the best distraction free writing experience I’ve ever had. It has basic features, word count and a word count goal percentage, along with online saving across their servers. There’s a subscription option with some more advanced editing features and the ability to save to Google Drive/Dropbox, but the free version is all I’ve ever need. Every time I try NaNoWriMo its my go to.

Unprompted and hopefully not resented. Thanks

Rich from Lovely Cleveland

Tomorrow’s Guest:  Darren Kitchen of hak5.org