Weekly Tech Views – Feb 6, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

First, thanks for stopping by for the Weekly Tech Views. Now that you’re here, definitely go ahead and read it; what the heck, you may get a few laughs. But if you want a lot of laughs, get over to YouTube when you’re done here and search “Bob & Ray.” Bob Elliott passed away this week, but left behind a treasure trove of comedy that achieves the remarkable feat of remaining hilarious over the span of nearly seven decades. I watched some more today and laughed out loud more during a five minute bit than I do during a month of most sitcoms.

Do yourself a favor and check out some Bob & Ray. Unless you hate laughing. Which would be weird.

Now, back to our regular program…

The next four days may be the most party-intensive time of the year, with the Super Bowl, Carnival, Mardi Gras, and, headlining the celebratory stretch, and, frankly, making the other events wish they could reschedule to avoid the inevitable shadow cast by such a spectacle, a new Weekly Tech Views! Who wants some beads!? (Don’t worry, all you have to flash is the questionable judgment to keep reading.)

For the week of February 1 – 5, 2016…

What Wizardry Is This?
Nostalgic first-person shooter fans rejoice, Bethesda announced May 13th as the release date for the next entry in the Doom franchise, twelve years after Doom 3. “Twelve years between games? What kind of performance-enhancing drugs are you guys on?” said the Duke Nukem development team.

Thank God For All Those Suds
Microsoft is planning a submersible data center called Project Natick that would sit on the ocean floor. “We really should have seen this coming,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s parents, showing off home videos of young Satya at bath time, happily splashing about with a Lego-encased Busicom LE-120A calculator anchored by three bars of soap to the bottom of the tub.

No, Sir, “Up To 150 Mbps” Means We Promise Not To Exceed That
A Comcast Internet customer has devised a way to creatively complain when his promised 150 Mbps speed drops below 50 Mbps. He has a Raspberry Pi run an hourly speed test and automatically tweet when the result is below the 50 Mbps threshold. In three months of use, his speed has reached the 67% drop sixteen times. “He’s getting above 33% of the promised speed an average of six days a week?” asked a Comcast technician, who then jumped up on his desk and yelled, “Hey guys! We’re getting our bonus!”

Prediction 2: “Rogue Drone” Will Soon Be A Series On Syfy
Law enforcement in the Netherlands is training eagles to take down rogue drones. Prediction: Pilots start disguising their drones as eagles, which proves fairly effective until mating season, which doesn’t end well for anyone.

Think I’ll Go Watch “Draft Day” Again
In other drone news, unmanned aerial vehicles will not be permitted within 36 miles of Levi Stadium in Santa Clara on Super Bowl Sunday. “Makes sense; why should drones get any closer to a Super Bowl than us?” said the Cleveland Browns.

How Many Friend Requests Can You Send Before Facebook Finally Asks You To Face Reality?
Friday was Friends Day on Facebook. I think I held up fairly well, knowing others were celebrating, spending the day watching their friend-filled videos, while I searched in vain for a People You May Know section in my barren News Feed. But then I used the day as a learning experience, to appreciate what it’s like for my Jewish acquaintances (I’d call them friends, but, if that were the case, I’D HAVE A VIDEO TO WATCH, WOULDN’T I?) on Christmas Day. So I ate Chinese food and went wherever I wanted on the internet–with no crowds!

One Less Lonely GIF
Some Android users noticed a GIF button temporarily in their Twitter app. Asked by a reporter for comment, Twitter management sent an email reading “Here’s our statement,” accompanied by a GIF of Justin Bieber shrugging, marking Justin Bieber’s most likeable appearance in the last five years.

You’d Better Update Before I Get My Belt!
Microsoft has recategorized Windows 10 from an “Optional” update to “Recommended.” This is certainly understandable to any parent who has realized the optional method (“Okay, you don’t have to eat your vegetables if you don’t want to be big and strong”) isn’t going so well, and has to kick things up a notch (“I recommend you finish that broccoli or you can go to your room and forget about ice cream for the next year”).

Expect “Recommended” to soon become “Mandatory” (“We’ve had to listen for years to you whining for a Start menu; you’re damned well going to use it!”).

Is My Tin Foil Hat On Straight?
A study shows that, at any given time, sixteen apps are running on an Android phone, eight of which the user is unaware. “I knew it!” said every AM radio overnight talk show host.

Yeah, We Know, But Trust Us, This Is Better Than Being Able To Edit A Tweet, Even If None Of You Asked For It
It was mentioned a few weeks ago that Twitter was considering a non-chronological method of displaying tweets, and now it appears that the change is imminent. You might say that I’m overreacting to something just because it’s different, without giving it a fair chance, but based on what little I’ve heard discussed, providing my timeline according to some new “Al Gore rhythm” seems an outdated idea, at best.

Also, “Organic Malware” Is My Favorite Band; I’m Sure You’ve Never Heard Of Them
The Internet Archive has launched The Malware Museum, where you can see the resultant messages from computer viruses prevalent in the eighties and nineties, without, of course, your computer being infected. In independent coffee houses across the country, hipsters huffed and downloaded actual viruses on Windows 95 desktops.

Like That’s The Worst Thing That’s Happened To It
Word is that Apple will be allowing iPhone users to trade in damaged phones for credit toward a new phone, the credit ranging from $50 to $250, depending on the device. I’d be willing to accept significantly less if, just once, they’d take my phone back without feeling compelled to incessantly grill me about what led to the problem: “Do you work around industrial vats of peanut butter? How else could you get so much so far inside every crevice? Seriously, do you realize at this point this is more peanut than phone?” Sheesh.

Whoa! That was some party! Am I right!? Hope you saved a little hell-raising for the secondary celebrations.

Till next week,

Mike Range

P.S. Carolina 31 Denver 20

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