Monthly Archives: January 2017

Ep. 113 – Ten Acres of Nerd



Is your smart TV spying on you?  It might be!  Jacob recounts his tale of his Vizio TV informing him that it was auto opting-in to basically monitor everything happening, being watched, etc. and sending it off to Vizio to be “shared” with third-party content companies.  The scary thing? The tiny fine print in the privacy agreement lets Vizio tie all devices it can to your IP address and include them in it’s reporting.  So if they can link your PC, tablet, smartphone, or other devices to your TV – that data is all fair game, too!  Arrgh, it’s enough to make a technologist pull their hair out.  If you haven’t checked out the DNS blackholing project Pi.Hole (http://pi-hole.net) yet, you really should go and do that right away!  Protect yourself, people!

Everyone hates open concept offices, that’s a given.  But who has the BIGGEST open concept office?  Like so many things, Facebook seems to be striving to be the biggest; they’re building a 10-acre office that’s going to be one room. It’ll also house 2,800 engineers – all under one roof.  Wowza!

There’s a bunch of quickies the guys run down in this episode:

  • Microsoft is bringing Cortana to the Android lock screen
  • Apple to offer a Kaby Lake Macbook pro with 32GB of RAM later this year.
  • Trump says, “Cooks eyes open to it” – to possible manufacturing iPhones in U.S.!
  • CBS is working with Andy Weir – author of The Martian – to create a TV show about NASA
  • AT&T has finally shut down its 2G network. No more original iPhone support anymore.
  • Twitter sells its developer platform to Google.  But will they find a buyer for the actual Twitter platform?

In the what-were-they-thinking department: A U.S. Appeals Court ruled last week that App Store customers can move forward with a lawsuit claiming Apple created an illegal app monopoly because it did not allow users to purchase iPhone apps outside of the App Store.  Tell us again how that’s going to work? Oh yeah, it’s not! This is America, though; where anybody can sue anyone for anything. It doesn’t seem to matter the validity of the claim.

What we love

Jacob loves the book “AWOL on the Appalachian Trail” by David Miller.  It’s his story of thru-hiking the A.T. in 2003 and definitely worth checking out! http://amzn.to/2iJwajT

Todd loves his Shure 215 in-ear monitors; writing, “[They’re] comfortable, stay in my ears and provide a good seal”.  Audio bliss for a ‘hundo! http://amzn.to/2iNOXaN

Jeff loves his Seagate Expansion 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive.  Tiny with a price-tag to match: http://amzn.to/2iNORj4


Ep. 112 – Wholesome Activities



This week the guys are talking about some of the cool things shown at CES 2017 – a fantasy-land for any gadget fetishist around!  But before they can get to the gadgets they have to talk about some of the bigger news items of the day:

The FBI has arrested and charged former regulatory compliance chief Oliver Schmidt with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Since that story broke, another handful of VW employees has been named as being criminally complicit in the diesel-emissions-coverup scandal.  Is the end in sight for VW? And – more late-breaking news – is that Fiat Chrysler may be facing down its own dieselgate-type scandal!

The week this episode was originally published marked the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone announcement.  Yes, ten years ago – on January 9th, 2007 – Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone and changed the world.  It’s hard to imagine a time before smartphones were ubiquitous, and now they’re de rigueur.

On the CES news front: Razer unveiled two stars-of-the-show this year. Their three-screen laptop prototype was rave reviews for its innovative and unique design.  It sports not one, not two, but three 17″ 4K screens that automatically slide out and form an ultra-wide 12K screen!  It’s 11,520 x 2,160 pixels for those of you playing along at home! Acer also unveiled a 21″ “laptop” that weighs in at a whopping 19 pounds and starts at $9,000.  Anyone want to order a few and have ’em sent our way?

An IndieGoGo project hits big and is also a darling of CES.  The Tiny1 is a smart astronomy camera that blew its funding goals way out of the water on Indiegogo. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tiny1-the-world-s-smallest-astronomy-camera-photography#/

T-Mobile has their usual CES announcements. This year they unveiled their One plan; unlimited data and they’ll even refund you if you don’t use a bunch of data.  Yep, if you use 2GB or less of monthly data T-Mobile will credit you back $10. They also announced something that Jacob can really get behind; all-in pricing. There is no more hiding taxes and fees – the price you’re shown is the price you pay each month.  Hopefully all of the other carriers pick up on this and start offering it as well; it’s long past due!

What we love:

Jeff loves his Pasonomi iPad Stand. It looks nice and it’s affordable! http://amzn.to/2ikVN74

Jacob loves his Leviton VRPD3-1LW Vizia RF Plug-In Lamp Module – it’s affordable and works with Wink and Alexa! http://amzn.to/2jlVLNr

Todd loves the YouTube channel by MKBHD. Lots of great tech and gear reviews: https://www.youtube.com/user/marquesbrownlee


Ep. 111 – Resolutions?



The holidays are over and the guys are – once again – back at the tech-talk-game. Some of the topics this week:

Cheap and Useful? A website promising links to “cheap and useful stuff under $25”.  It may or may not actually be useful, but it certainly is cheap!  Decide for yourself at http://www.cheapanduseful.com/

Inside Facebook’s Prineville, OR data center.  Some amazing stats and also where your old, unused Facebook data goes to die – in cold storage.

The wearables market didn’t do nearly as well in 2016 as analysts predicted, but Jeff’s still bullish on his Apple Watch and pines for the Apple Watch Series 2 edition.  What say you, listener?  Are wearables hot or overrated in 2017?

Jeff gives an enthusiastic review of his Beats Solo 3 wireless headphones.  TL;DR?  Loves them.  You’ll have to listen for his full review.

On the heels of Jeff’s Beats review; iFixit declares Apple’s AirPods are “impossible to repair” – saying that you’ll have to destroy the earbud to get into it’s tiny, complicated electronic guts.  It doesn’t seem to be stopping people from ordering them, though – there’s at least a 6-week wait on Apple’s online store.

Todd *highly* recommends checking out The IT Crowd.  Both he and Jacob are late to the party, watching the show, but if you haven’t seen it, check out this clip and then give it a look on Netflix (or YouTube if you’re a glutton for bad quality videos).