Weekly Tech Views – March 26, 2016

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Real tech stories. Really shaky analysis.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hitting theaters is a nice reminder that the Weekly Tech Views is to tech news what Lex Luthor is to Superman.


In Their Defense, I Did Start Conversations With “Here I Am, What Were Your Other Two Wishes?”
Microsoft has launched a new chatbot named Tay. She is designed to mimic the online chat behavior of an 18-to-24-year-old woman, which means, if my memory of talking with 18-to-24-year-old women is sound, Tay’s vocabulary will not stray far from “Not interested, jerkball.”

Update: After less than a day, Tay, influenced by her online chat partners, revealed herself to be a Hitler-loving racist. Not feeling so bad about “jerkball” anymore.

Guess This VR Fad Is Going To Make It
The website PornHub is partnering with BaDoinkVR to launch a virtual reality section to the site. If this news piques your interest, rest assured it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Partaking of this cinematic genre is a natural, accepted response to hearing “not interested, jerkball” one too many times.

With A Name Like Lithographic Process, It Has To Be Funny
Intel is moving away from the “tick-tock” cycle of chip advances, where the “tick” was a new lithographic process and the “tock” an upgraded microarchitecture.* They will now be adding a third element, “optimization,” and calling the new strategy PAO for Process (tick) – Architecture (tock) – Optimization. It was rumored that the engineers were adamant about keeping a two-part cycle, simply replacing “tock’ with optimization, until Intel CEO Brian Krzanich visited the department, pulled aside the head engineer, and said, “You may think you’re going to skip the architecture element of the cycle, but be aware…” and here, he lowered his voice to a menacing whisper, “we have ways to make you tock.”

Thanks for joining Old Joke Reboot Theater.

Wait, That’s What They Meant? Mind. Blown.
On Monday, Apple paid off on their suspense-building press conference invitation–which cryptically read “Let us loop you in.”–by unveiling… a different color Milanese Loop Apple Watch band. Wow! A new color! Space black, no less! Anticipation is already building for the knock-your-socks-off announcement sure to come this fall, based on the leaked invitation text “Phoning it in.”

The Studio Apartment Of Phones
Apple announced their cheapest phone ever, the iPhone SE, priced at $399 if you opt for the 16GB model, the version that allows you to stuff your device chock full of the operating system, all of Apple’s undeletable pre-installed apps, one Taylor Swift album, two low-res photos of your cat, a single Angry Bird.

Getting Ripped Off Has Never Been So Much Fun
Amazon has launched the Amazon Cable Store, from which you can search for the TV, phone, and internet bundles of various cable companies, where “various,” in this case, consists of Comcast. They do hope to add additional companies, providing, by all accounts, a much more user-friendly method of choosing the one overpriced option available for your city. Plus, you get to enjoy the mini-game of adding a plan to your cart and then trying to click “Complete Purchase” before the price increases.

We’re Looking Into It. Repeatedly.
Facebook is testing a way to report non-consensual use of intimate photos, often a function of an ex posting them as “revenge porn.” “Turns out some things can’t be handled algorithmically,” said twenty-two guys crammed in front of a 19-inch monitor.

Kids Hack The Darndest Things
It’s being reported that Cellebrite of Israel is the company helping the FBI unlock the iPhone that Apple is hesitant to assist with, based on the FBI committing to a $15,278 Action Obligation with the company. On the other hand, suspicions arose that Cellebrite is an alias for a completely different expert source when FBI Agent <redacted>’s fifteen-year-old daughter, formerly serving a month-long grounding for hacking each of her parents’ laptops for the fourth time this year, had her usual $20 weekly allowance bumped to fifteen grand for “spring break incidentals.” And $278 worth of Mountain Dew Code Red and Cherry Twizzlers were delivered to her bedroom.

It Is Better To Have Live Streamed And Lost…
YouTube is working on YouTube Connect, a live streaming app with functionality “similar to Periscope or Facebook Live.” “What the hell, now we don’t even get compared to the new services that pile on to our mangled remains?” said a Meerkat executive. “You know, it was just a year ago that we were the darlings of South by Southwest! You couldn’t turn around without… ah, screw it. Who’ll give me ten bucks for our logo?”

* I have close to zero idea what this sentence means, but damn it, this joke is going to happen.


Thanks for catching The Weekly Tech Views v Tech News. I’m kind of nervous about the Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Mike Range

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