Weekly Tech Views 20 – Nov 28, 2015

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

You’ve found it–a five-minute break from our most revered holiday tradition: listening to people try to sell you stuff.*

For the week of November 23 – 27, 2015

Can’t I Just Post To Her Timeline?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will take two months paternity leave when his baby is born, proclaiming, “Studies show that outcomes are better when parents take time to be with their newborns.” Asked why he’s not using the entire four months that Facebook policy allows, Mr. Zuckerberg appeared to hyperventilate, then he pulled tight his hoodie drawstring, leaving only a dime-sized opening, and screamed, “Two months of constant crying, no sleep, and ungodly smells–good lord, that isn’t enough?!” He then pulled back the hood, spent ten seconds rapidly blinking and shaking his head before calmly asking, “I’m sorry, what was the question?”

How About I Enjoy The “Go Away”?
UK carrier EE is considering allowing customers to block some kinds of ads. I am ready to announce right now that this is the Weekly Tech Views story of the year–IF U.S. carriers pick up on this and I’m never again subjected to that family of bears and their disturbingly giddy use of toilet paper.

Let’s All Go To The Lobby–It’s Only A Half-Mile Round Trip
Thirty percent of retailers use facial recognition software to track consumers in their stores. They believe this will not only help to identify known shoplifters, but to improve the customer experience by, for example, allowing alterations to the store layout depending on how long people spend in different areas. Following this lead, cameras are hurriedly being installed over the next few weeks in movie theater lobbies to improve the movie-going experience for the more discriminating fans attending Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The cameras will identify the image of Jar Jar Binks on clothing, resulting in the wearer automatically receiving a ticket to Theater 24, the 50-seater waaaaay back in the far corner of the complex–the one that maybe doesn’t get cleaned if time is short and the employees aren’t exactly hustling–where movies like Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension usually play in their fifth week.

Chrome Shot First
Speaking of Star Wars, you can add The Force Awakens themes (you even get to choose dark or light side) to Google apps, which installs a light saber progress bar in YouTube and a TIE Fighter or X-Wing fighter as your Google Maps position marker. I personally hope that a search in Google Shopping for “fur coat” results in endless images of women with a very annoyed Chewbacca draped across their backs.

I Don’t Suppose There’s A Super Mario Fallout 4 Galaxy?
Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 has surpassed 30 million units sold, a 5 million unit increase since July. Over that same four months, Nintendo sold 0.7 million Wii Us, the majority of which were purchased by grandmothers for a grandkid who had actually asked for a PS4, but “this one sounds like Wheeee You! so it must be more fun, sweetie.”

Just A Programmer Being A Programmer
When an unidentified programmer left his place of employment, a coworker found a collection of scripts the programmer had used to automate his work life, including automatically emailing in sick if he hadn’t logged in by 8:45am, texting his wife an excuse for being late getting home, and hacking a company coffee machine to prepare his latte in the exact time it took him to get to the machine. Asked for comment, his former boss replied, “It makes me really curious about why he asked if the toilets could be networked.”

Black Pi-day
Raspberry Pi has released a new five dollar version of the tiny computer, the Pi Zero. It’s half the size of last year’s Model A+, but twice as powerful. If you’re looking for a great stocking-stuffer, you can get this incredible deal now at raspberrypi.org. Haha! No, of course you can’t! They were sold out by the time you read the words “five dollar.”

Because An Exploding Zombie Head Can Never Be Too Big
LG is building a new plant to make OLED panels for everything from watch faces to large screen TVs. Production is expected to begin in 2018, when large screen TVs will be known as “the living room wall.”

You Can Hear “Hello” When Pandora Is Damned Good And Ready For You To Hear “Hello”
While they won’t be available to on-demand music streaming services like Spotify, every track from Adele’s new 25 album will be there for Pandora users. So, Adele fans, fire up Pandora and hear the complete album, one song every forty-five minutes or so, each track separated by thirteen songs by Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Natasha Bedingfield, and eight commercials.


* I… uh… can’t necessarily promise the same next week.**

** Who said eBook?


Okay, everybody, time to hunt down the last of the pie and ignore some jewelry commercials. See you next week.


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Weekly Tech Vies Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.