Real Tech News. Really Shaky Analysis.
Thanks for visiting the Weekly Tech Views Blog. Give me five minutes and I’ll give you the week in tech, without the annoying facts or common sense.
For the week of August 24 – 28, 2015
AT&T–Advertising Through & Through
AT&T was discovered to be sending ads to users of one of their free wifi hotspots, even if the web sites being visited were ad-free. If this initiative goes well, AT&T plans to expand the program:
“Hey, Bob. I’ve got tickets to a game this week, thought you’d like to go.”
“Sounds good, Joe. When is it?”
Got a ticket? Don’t just blindly pay it–fight it! We here at Schlichter, Schefter, and Shyster have never, in our fifty-five years of practice, seen a ticket issued that was justified. Most lawyers won’t handle traffic tickets, claiming there’s no real money to made, but we care about the little guy, and nobody is hiring us for anything else these days, so just buy us lunch and sit there and talk to us while we eat and we’ll fight to have that ridiculous going-seventy-five-in-a-school-zone charge disappear!
“What the heck was that?”
“I don’t know, Bob; I thought it on your end.”
“Weird. So, when’s the game? I’m going to be out of town a few days this week.”
“It’s a one o’clock start on–”
Love to travel, but hotels are too expensive? Motels seem pretty pricey, too? Hostels… that’s more like it, but still think you’ve got better things to do with that ten bucks a night? You need to get to your App Store and download Hobo-ocity. Get reviews of the most comfortable, least police-patrolled park benches in over thirty major cities.
“Send me an email, Joe.”
My Weekend is Now Booked
The battery in the new LG Gpad 2 tablet promises two days worth of constant use, which is great; we all want more power and efficiency from our devices, but I have to admit that I’m going to kind of miss my wife and I looking each other in the face every ten hours or so.
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Cheater Whose Identity Has Been Revealed
Not surprisingly, hacked affair-promoting website Ashley Madison has been sued by multiple people for breach of contract and violation of privacy laws. Ashley Madison quickly filed a response, reading, “C’mon, baby, why you gotta be like that? I made a mistake; I didn’t mean anything by it. What about the good times? Remember how I helped you get some strange and you gave me a lot of money? That was fun, right? Can’t we go back to that?”
Laid Off Worker Regrets Joining Angry Birds Pharmaceuticals Division
Angry Birds creator Rovio is laying off 260 employees, citing that the company tried to do too many things and will now scale back. The fear is that this could jeopardize their latest game, Angry Trump, as the development team had completed only two levels: launching reporters out of press conferences and slingshotting anyone with an accent over a twenty-foot U.S. border wall.
“Welcome to printer technical support. Do you agree to the $4.95 per minute charge?”
“Yes, sure, this should only take a couple seconds. I just need to find an updated driver for my printer.”
“Yes, sir. That’s on the web site. Just go to–”
Golfers! Looking to be longer off the tee? Gary’s Golf World has the drivers you need! We’ve got Calloway, Cleveland, Cobra, Ping, TaylorMade, Bridgestone, Nike, Mizuno, Titleist…
“Hey! What is this crap?”
…on sale this week is the Calloway Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond Driver. It’s forged composite crown, lively titanium face, and adjustable OptiFit hosel will have you playing like a pro. And it’s a steal at $450! Isn’t it worth the kids wearing last year’s school clothes to add ten yards to your drive?
“I’m not paying for this!”
Sometimes You Really Have to Squint for That Silver Lining
Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers involved in the creation of the Fire Phone. While the loss of a paycheck will certainly be a tough financial hit, this does, at least, provide a much-needed respite from Amazon’s grueling schedule. Say what you want about how hard Amazon drives their people, they have a strict policy that once an employee is laid off, they are not to work more than forty hours per week.
I’d Have Preferred a GIF of Kevin Bacon Screaming, “Remain Calm! All is Well!”
Apple’s Tim Cook sent an email to financial analyst/TV personality Jim Cramer to allay fears about Apple’s stock and iPhone sales in China. Inspired by this, Denver Broncos GM John Elway, after watching quarterback Payton Manning throw three consecutive incomplete passes during a morning practice, emailed ESPN’s John Clayton and told him to “chillax.”
“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”
“Someone just broke into my house! They picked the lock and ripped out the screen and now they’re coming up the stairs!”
“What is your address, sir?”
Lock screen problems? We can take care of those and just about any other issues you’re having with your smartphone here at Phone Phixers. Same day service for half what the manufacturer charges. Remember, your phone’s not dead, it just needs Phone Phixed.
“Sorry about that, sir. Your address?…. Sir?……..”
OK, I’ve had my fun. AT&T inserting ads into web sites via a wifi hotspot may be annoying, but what real harm is being done?
Web Site Ads Can Kill Your Computer!
According to a recent study, malware delivered via ads tripled in the eight months between June 2014 and February 2015. At this rate, it’s possible that by the end of the year, in the U.S. alone, we will actually have more computers infected with malware than we have Marvel movies.
Waiter, There’s a Six-Millimeter Countersunk-Head Stainless Steel Rivet in My Pizza
The RoboHow project demonstrated two robots working together to make a pizza, the first delivering the ingredients to the second, which assembled the pie. Stories like this have prompted the ABC television network to capitalize on the public’s increasing fascination with robots, perhaps by replicating the tone Fox used with last year’s Cosmos and launching a program where the tremendous, mind-bending advances in robotic technology and artificial intelligence can be seriously analyzed, and its future repercussions discussed by leaders from every scientific field, or they could do a reboot called Two Robots, a Droid, and a Pizza Place.
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Weekly Tech Views Blog by Mike Range is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.