Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ep. 65 – A Day Late And A Dollar Short



A Day Late and A Dollar ShortThis week the guys get the show out by the skin of their teeth.  Which is odd, because teeth don’t even have any skin!

  • The results are in for Apple’s financial results.  And despite a slight decline, Wall Street is beating them up. Despite selling $70+ billion dollars of stuff, and sitting on $200 billion in cash reserves. Plus rumors of a new 4″ phone – possibly the iPhone 5se?
  • OMGTV!! is an interesting little thing.  Not really.  They’re selling a Raspberry Pi 2 in a case with Kodi (http://kodi.tv) pre-installed.  And they’re charging $150 up front and $120 a year for the privilege.  But interestingly, one of the approaches they’re taking to selling is setting up booths at shows and teaching their “sales people” that with this “magic” box you’ll not pay anything but the price of the box (false) and you’ll be able to stream live TV (false) and any movie you want (false). Aaaaaand since it’s “streaming” and not downloading the content it’s all 100% legal and approved by the FCC (false, false, FALSE)!
  • Dunbar’s number seems to hold true on social media – most of your Facebook friends just don’t care about you at all…  Robin Dunbar has analyzed the results of a UK study of 3,375 Facebook users and found that – like in the offline world – you can only really maintain about 150 meaningful relationships. And precious few of those people will commiserate with you when you have an “emotional crisis”.  Which, why are you having “emotional crises” on Facebook, anyway?
  • Amazon now supports two-factor authentication! If you’re not using 2FA everywhere you can, well you’re just missing out on an extra layer of security that makes it much more difficult for “hackers” to break into your accounts and steal your stuff.  And now Amazon supports it, too!  Listen to the episode to find out how to enable it!
  • Netflix is going to be implementing tech to catch people using VPNs and proxies to get content from outside their home country.  Apparently it’s a big issue due to Netflix’s licensing agreement, and currently savvy users can use proxies and VPNs to make it appear that their “home” country is different than it really is.  Well, apparently Netflix is going to focus on cracking down on this and will be implementing new tech to help them identify and stop proxy and VPN users.  We’ll see if this ends up having a material impact on Netflix’s international subscriber numbers.
  • CERN scientists may have found that the speed of light might not be a constant after all.  A team has been studying three year’s worth of measurements of neutrino beams that appear to be traveling faster than the speed of light would allow them to travel, and now they’re looking for colleagues and other scientists to attempt to verify their data and duplicate their results. It would be a huge change to physics as we know it if it does turn out that the speed of light isn’t truly the limit to how fast stuff can move about the universe.  What a cool time to be alive!  And, Jeff wants to point out that he totally called this a few episodes back.
  • Atari is bring 100 classic titles to Valve’s Steam this spring! They’ve just announced that they’re creating the Atari Value of 100 classic games, including titles like Centipede, Missile Command, Tempest, and more, and bringing them to Steam.  No mention on the full list of games yet, or whether they’re ports from the arcade or home version (or both).  But apparently they’re going to work really well with the Steam Controller to give “precise control” over gameplay.

Ep. 64 – Burning Down The House



Burning Down The House

This week the guys are back with a bunch of little stories and tidbits.  Jacob tells a tale of home renovation gone (so far) not so bad, and how he’s just trying to not burn the darn place down at this point!

Odds ‘n Ends…

Haier is planning to buy GE’s appliance division for a whopping $5.4 billion dollars after a deal a couple of years ago fell through for GE to sell the Electrolux.  Apparently the gub’ment thought that sale would violate anti-trust provisions.  So – hey – just sell it to a Chinese company! Why not…

An ex-felon posted a picture of himself on social media.  No big deal, right?  Except in this photo he was posing with guns.  Lots and lots of guns.  And you know what a felon isn’t supposed to have, right?  Yep, it’s guns.  Especially lots and lots of guns.  This guy ended up getting 188 months tacked on to his sentence, his parole revoked, and he gets no second chance at parole now.  Lesson to be learned; STOP POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

Bonus pic: Sexy Gun Guy

Sexy Gun Guy

You have a smartcar? Have you given it a bath recently? In the winter, smartcar sensors can get blocked, blinded, and just plain wonky with road salt, snow, and other ravages of the winter season.  Jeff shares some tips to keep your smartcar in top, smart condition!

Rumors are swirling that Apple might buy Time Warner Cable.  Is that a good idea? Jeff thinks Apple should focus on creating original content, or even better, buy Disney!  Jacob thinks Apple needs to tackle the problem in a 1-2 punch manner; buy Time Warner to get access to lots and lots of content, then produce original content like Netflix or Amazon. Either way, rumblings like this have to keep the Cable and Telecom companies up a night worrying about the impending disruption that has to be right around the corner.

What we love

Jeff loves his Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener: http://amzn.to/1WppcvD

Jacob loves the book: Ultimate Guide: Wiring (7th edition) because it’s helping him to not burn down his house! http://amzn.to/1U8cPmr

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Ep. 63 – One BILLION Dollars



One Billion Dollar Lottery Jackpot

This week the entire world seems to be going crazy over the record-setting lottery payday that seems to be looming larger than life.  For just two bucks you get a shot at a little over a billion dollars.  Yes, even you, could become a billionaire overnight. So the guy’s are trading in their better judgement and getting a little Powerball crazy for the first few minutes of the show.

Just a quickie, baby…

  • Listener John writes in with his 4K and multi-device connected woes.
  • Scientists just keep on science-ing!  The IUPAC just announced that four (count ’em, FOUR) new elements have been officially accepted and are being added to the periodic table.  The elements (with atomic weights 113, 115, 117, and 118) are yet to be named, and only last on average for 20 milliseconds.  But – hey – new elements are always something to get excited about!
  • Microsoft is finally ending support for IE 8, 9, and 10. As of January 12th, support is officially ending for all versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 11.  So if you’re still rocking an older version, it’s time to think about switching to Chrome or Firefox, or – God forbid – upgrading to IE 11 or Microsoft’s new browser; Edge!
  • Over 180,000 pilots have registered with the FAA to fly their drones/UAS.  The deadline to get registered if you fly a UAS that weighs in at more than 250 grams (8.9 oz) is February 9th.  Over 180k flyers have already registered, and if you get registered by January 20th the FAA will even refund your $5 registration fee.  Head over to https://registermyuas.faa.gov/ to get registered if you haven’t yet, and need to.
  • AT&T is bringing back unlimited wireless data for UVerse and DirecTV customers. They say it’s really, really unlimited; $100 for the first line and lines 2 & 3 are just $40 each.  And they’re graciously giving you your 4th line free – as if giving them $180 a month for data wasn’t enough already!
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 to be shot on RED’s new 8K “Warrior” digital cinema platform! They say the performance of the Warrior’s 8K system nearly rivals 70mm film!
  • Smart guns… is there really such a thing? According to Jeff (who says according to his research, yes) the government might become the largest buyer of “smart” firearms and push what is currently a niche with almost no demand to the forefront of arms sales.  Maybe.  Jacob thinks that talking about guns won’t upset enough people and that the guys should also tackle religion and politics as well…

Google Cardboard saving lives?

  • According to a story Jeff found, a surgeon just successfully combined MRI data with Google’s Cardboard to create an immersive 3D world to rehearse and “practice” a difficult surgery on a baby girl born with only half her heart and one lung!  According to the doc, the visualization system worked far better than the 3D printed models they have used in other surgeries, and that going forward he expects to us this technology A LOT more!  Read more about this story here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/health/google-cardboard-baby-saved/

Malware cripples Ukraine’s power grid

  • At the end of December, the power system in the Ukraine suffered a massive outage. New evidence suggests that “hackers” who masqueraded as members of the national parliament were able to send Microsoft Excel documents with macros which allowed them to embed the malware suite BlackEnergy to install backdoors into critical systems running the Ukrainian power system. Yep – you think users enabling macros in your organization is bad?  At least you’re organization being compromised probably won’t take down the power grid. Probably…

What we love:

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Ep. 62 – What happened to horror movies, anyway?



Ep. 62 - What happened to horror movies, anyway?The holidays are all wrapped up and the show must go on. This week the guys are back, talking tech and speculatin’ on plenty of things they’re absolutely not qualified to speculate on.

Do you even science, bro?

Jacob brings a couple of amazing science facts – courtesy of NASA’s Chief Technologist, Dr. David Miller. Chiefly this – which absolutely blows his mind; in 1995 we absolutely knew of the existence of 9 planets (which is now only 8 thanks to NDT), but in 2015 we have confirmed and know of over 2000 extra-solar, rocky planets that might be Earth-like.  Listen for some more amazing facts about what we know now that will blow your mind!

Going to the movies…

Jacob had a chance to catch Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie – The Hateful Eight – and talked about it in a spoiler-free way. So if you were curious, but didn’t want anything spoiled, here’s your chance.

And speaking of movies – both Jacob and Jeff are very intregued by an odd little film written and directed by Charlie Kaufman called Anomalisa.  It’s beautiful in a very unique and unusual way – just check out the trailer:

(or get it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DT6QJaS2a-U)

And… Jeff wonders what the heck happened to horror movies?  There are two coming out and they’re both rated PG-13! Where are the good old R-rated gore-fests?  Give us our unnecessary boobies with a side of machete hackin’ good times, Hollywood!  Bring back the R-rated horror flick!

Get yer funk on!

Some code wizards out there have faithfully recreated a Roland 909 drum machine entirely in HTML5 – and have put it on the interwebz where *you* can play with it ’til your heart’s content.  Seriously, don’t head over to the site unless you have, like, a solid half-hour to waste. http://html909.com/

Netflix re-encodes

Netflix has a problem – one of bandwidth.  That is, it takes A LOT of bandwidth to stream all of those episodes of Jessica Jones to a whole Internet hungry for drunken justice.  So they’ve undertaken to re-encode their entire streaming library!  They plan to slim things down by an average of 20% while saying they’ll manage no noticeable changes in picture quality.  Hopefully they can pull it off, same themselves some money on bandwidth charges, and make even MOAR new content for us!

Global CO2 emissions expected to decrease in 2015

A Stanford-led study claims that we might have hit global peak emissions of COs in 2014.

The study by the Global Carbon Project, in “Nature Climate Change”, predicts that annual global carbon dioxide emissions may have dropped slightly in 2015 compared to the years before. Over the past few years, emissions have increased 2 to 3 percent each year, but not so for 2015, according to Rob Jackson, who led the team at Stanford University saying, “In 2014, global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels grew by just 0.6 percent. This year we expect total emissions to flatten or drop slightly, despite strong growth in gross domestic product worldwide.”

This economic correlation is the most important part of the whole projection because usually any reduction in emissions are accompanied by a dip in productivity. But economic production hasn’t decreased globally—in fact, GDP increased by 3 percent.

What changed in 2015? China’s big shift away from coal-fired power, report co-author Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia says in the Stanford release: “After a decade of rapid growth, China’s emissions rate slowed to 1.2 percent in 2014 and is expected to drop by 3.9 percent in 2015.”

The researchers presented their findings at the UN’s COP21 summit, but urged that this does not mean our climate problems are solved. If anything, the findings highlight the need for action to amplify some of the downward trends in emissions. It’s also important to note that the study is just a projection at the moment, the data won’t be finalized until 2016. But this is very good news indeed—and will help the summit to end on a hopeful note.

Inkjet prints that are smaller than a Retina pixel!

Crazy scientists at Zurich University and a startup company called Scrona have developed a technique called 3D NanoDrip printing. The process uses nanoparticles that emit light of a very specific color which build the images from R, G, and B layers.
The printing process creates a picture at a resolution of 25,000 dots per inch! The resulting picture measures just 80 microns by 115 microns, covering an area of just 0.000014 square inches. Or, about the same size as one pixel on your iPhone.  Wowza!

Inkjet print the size of a Retina pixel. Science!

What we love

Jeff loves Bethesda Game Studios’ new single-player epic; Fallout 4

Jacob loves his 4-port USB 3 hub: http://amzn.to/1JJf3mf

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