Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ep. 9 – Need for Greed



Have a question, comment, or rant? Leave us a message on our brand-new call-in line and we’ll address it on an upcoming episode! Get the digits; 317-643-1212!

How was your year? Did you re-invest $56 billion back into yourself? No? Well Apple did! That’s right, Cupertino’s darling poured $56 billion of it’s massive cash reserves back into itself, buying back oodles of it’s own stock (much to Carl Icahn’s delight). And when you figure they’ve had a 45% return for the year, that’s a pretty smart investment.

After spending a little time with a Moto 360, Jacob grudgingly admits that smart watches may not be doomed to failure. In fact, he’ll go so far as to say they’re actually kind of spiffy. But, dang it, it’s another thing to charge each night. Comon’ battery tech, catch up! We’re just sayin’…

Count on those east-coast liberals to do whacky things; like provide municipally-backed, reasonably priced gigabit Internet access. Stop it, Connecticut! You’re killing us! Yep, 46 towns have banded together in Connecticut to create a public/private Internet service with the goal of providing gigabit service to residents at competitive prices! Hartford has never looked so good!

Ubisoft is sticking it to Assassin’s Creed season pass holders; sneaking in language in the agreement of the free DLC they received for the AC: Unity launch snafu that prevents season pass holders from EVER suing or joining a class action against the company. Oh yeah… and their heirs and kin, too.  You stay classy, Ubisoft!

And speaking of classy… Everyone’s favorite game studio, Electronic Arts (sarcasm definitely intended) is up to a whole new level of greed with their scamium… errr, we mean freemium game; Tetris Blitz. Not only are they begging you to purchase power-ups and coins between game play, now they’re actually pausing game play to show you ads.

Lastly we talk rooting Android. Why should you? How should you? What does it give you? Do your homework, ’cause if you’re not careful you’ll go from a smartphone with unlocked potential to a fancy, expensive brick faster than you can say “make a nandroid backup!”.


Ep. 8 – I’m coming for you, Lucas!



Can it be called a Christmas episode when there is almost no mention of Christmas in the episode? The guys say “Yes!” So Merry Christmas everyone; It’s the No Better Than Average Christmas Episode!

Hackers or Terrorists? The Guardians of Peace have forced Sony’s hand, and with basically every theater chain refusing to show The Interview, Sony has canned the project. Will they release it as video on demand? Was North Korea really behind the #GOP hacks?

Microsoft & HP are teaming up to bring out the Stream. A $240 “PC” that’s more like a Chromebook than a laptop. Its definitely the big brother to 2010’s netbooks which were underwhelming and died out almost as fast as they took the world by storm. Can Microsoft and HP find the secret to making a Chromebook killer? The biggest selling feature is that it “runs Office.” But is that still a strong selling point today?

Microsoft also previewed a bit of… well… magic. The Skype Translator. It will do real-time language translation between English and Spanish, and can translate to over 40 languages in text. What kind of impact will this have on business travel? What about just on shrinking the planet in general, and making it easier for us to communicate as a species? Microsoft’s R&D team never fails to make some amazing things – we just wish they would trickle out of R&D at a faster rate!

Why can’t movies be as good as they once were? Jeff is convinced that movies today are great, and that Jacob is just clinging to nostalgia. Jacob thinks Jeff is full of it, and that movies for kids and teens were way better in the 80s! Who’s right? You decide!

Rumor alert! Taco Bell might be offering shells made out of Fritos! Holy cow, please let this be a thing! Jacob and Jeff both concur; the world needs 100% more Frito-shell tacos!

Last; the guys discuss what they love. This week Jeff raves about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Jacob grooves to the year’s catchiest pop songs as remixed by DJ Earworm and Daniel Kim.

Links:

DJ Earworm: https://www.youtube.com/user/djearworm
Daniel Kim: https://www.youtube.com/user/kimaginati0n
TSO: http://www.trans-siberian.com/


Ep. 7 – Squeezing an Elephant Through a Garden Hose



Surprise, surprise; Yik Yak has some potentially serious security vulnerabilities. Do college students – their key demographic – even really care about privacy and security?

Radio Shack has announced plans to stop matching employee’s retirement contributions in February 2015. Remember when you could buy – you know – RADIOS and RADIO components at Radio Shack? Remember when you could go in and actually find a knowledgable associate who could point you to the racks of resistors, diodes, and ICs you needed for your project? How is Radio Shack still operating in 2014?

Grumpy Cat’s earnings over the last two years have surpassed $100,000,000.  Yep, a hundred million dollars. Good for the owner for capitalizing on the phenomenon, we guess.  But, darn, we really don’t want to live on a planet where a slightly deformed cat is earning fifty-million bucks a year!

Do you just love you some television? So do we; and we’re in a great time for scripted TV! The guys talk about all of the amazing shows on network and cable and how the non-traditional players are shaking up the industry. It’s no question that Netflix and Amazon original programming are disruptive, but what does the future have in store?

Everyone love their gadgets, but let’s face it; battery tech hasn’t kept pace with gadget tech. What’s the deal with our sub-par battery experience? We’re always hearing about amazing new battery tech that’s just around the corner, but no matter what, it never seems to get turned into a product and put into our power-hungry hands! Comon’ science, make with better batteries already!

Polaroid is making a new Instamatic, the Socialmatic. A $300 “camera” that shoots and prints on 2″ x 3″ plastic-y “paper”. Who thinks this is a good idea? Who even has photos developed in this day an age? Someone is betting on it, and  betting that those people are willing to drop tree-hunnert bucks for the privilege!


Ep. 6 – A Trillion Dollars



This episode makes Jacob feel old when he discovers Yik Yak, the latest hot social app among the collegiate crowd, and realizes it’s two 23-year-old founders have raised over 73 million dollars in under a year. All for an app that lets dumb kids be dumb.

Verizon locks you into your contract harder than ever! Big Red just changed their TOS to make early termination fees even more confusing and difficult to grok. Is it any surprise that the new rules favor VZW and no matter how you slice it, it’s now more expensive to get out of your contract?  And – dangnabit – just why are smartphones so expensive anyway?

Amazon’s Fire Phone’s fire sale! Is $199 enough to get you to bite on an unlocked GSM smartphone that includes a year of Amazon Prime in the price? And at 83 million in inventory, how many units of the darn things is Amazon sitting on anyway?

Got Milka-Cola? Yes, the leading purveyors of fizzy sugar-water are getting into the premium milk game. Jeff thinks is a smart move, and can’t get enough of that creamy, white gold.

Finally, when worlds collide… Will luxury watch makers & smart watches ever get along? Should the watch makers license their names, designs, and brands to Apple, LG, Samsung, and Google? Would you pay $10 to have a genuine Rolex face on your Android Wear or Apple Watch?


Ep. 5 – Here Be Gremlins



SPOILERCAST! We talk about the book, “The Martian” by Andy Weir. If you haven’t read it yet you should jump ahead to the 30 minute mark!

We try to have a conversation about how we’re in a renaissance of scripted television. Dramas abound and viewers are flocking to great content… But here is where the gremlins came in and… well they nom nom-ed all of our conversation. We’re going to tackle this again in another upcoming episode – so stay tuned!

Why everybody gotta be a h8ter on everything? We have amazing access to content; books, TV, movies, music. We all have – basically – tricorders in our pockets. At the very least we all are carrying around our own HHGTTG book (I’m looking at you, Wikipedia!). We’re living in an amazing time and – gosh darn it – we need to pause to be more mindful and thankful about how amazing things are!

On the heels of Thanksgiving, we talk a bit about the phenomenon that is Black Friday. Deals abound, but at what cost? Okay, we will admit that we both want shiny new UHD TVs. Santa, are you listening?

Links: The Martian: A Novel


New & Noteworthy!



You  like us. You really, really like us!

Thank you NBTA fans – thanks to your reviews on iTunes we’ve cracked a major obstacle; the show’s been listed under “New & Noteworthy” in the Technology section of iTune’s podcast directory!

Whoo hoo! That’s awesome, NBTA fans! And you helped make that happen!

We’re excited to bring you quality rambling, and we’re going to keep trying… Trying hard… to continue to bring you no better than average shows.

We deliver what we promise, bringing you a No Better Than Average show. And that’s our promise to you!