Category Archives: Episodes

Ep. 121 – Some Assembly Required

It’s a tech-packed episode! Topics include:

  • How many transistors really fit inside of a CPU? The answer might surprise you; they’re really freakin’ tiny!
  • “There is a company in the United States that began by offering a few products directly to consumers, and then quickly expanded its offerings until they included almost everything a person could want. This company went directly to the consumer, bypassing local brick-and-mortar stores, and became enormously successful, meeting the needs of its customers all over the country. Of course, the local stores were often (as economists will say) “disintermediated,” which is a fancy way of saying they couldn’t compete on price and selection, let alone delivery and convenience, and went belly up. And with them went the jobs of the people they employed. Recently I’ve been using that story in my speeches and conversations, and everyone nods their heads and says, either out loud or mentally, “Amazon.” Except that I’m not talking about Amazon.”
  • Apple announced new products! The iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED is here, along with new iPhone cases, new iPads, and new Apple Watch bands!
  • Critical security flaws found in LastPass on Chrome, Firefox! Why staying patched and on top of major security vulnerabilities is more critical than ever.
  • Laser pulse study could lead to ultrafast computers. How much faster? Try 100,000 times faster! Woah…
  • The Galaxy S8 get’s an official announcement date: March 29th.  If you’re an Android or Samsung Galaxy fan, prepare to mop up the pile of drool that will be inevitable come Wednesday the 29th!

Ep. 120 – Clever Title Goes Here

This week the guys are back – recovering from sickness for some, descending into sickness for others.  Will they ever be able to catch a break and all be healthy at the same time?

Topics on the show this week include:

  • Listener feedback & tips from Kye and T.J. – a couple of cool links and helpful tips. One in the form of a cool, Alexa-enabled animatronic skull and one in the form of a way to clear out the cruft and clutter from official Twitter iOS app: and finally a link to a pretty cool technical “dictionary” for non-technical folks:

  • The guys give a rundown on the official word from Amazon about their “little” outage a few weeks ago. Remember, the one that crippled huge swathes of the Internet for over 4 hours? Turns out it was an honest mistake by an Amazon engineer and not – as some had feared – a giant hacking or DDoS attack. Interesting fact; over 30% of the Internet flows across an AWS server at some point.  That’s awfully concentrated for what’s supposed to be a distributed network!
  • And…. speaking of cool facts! How about some Google Cloud facts to blow your mind?  We’ve got ’em! And if they’re not enough for you, there are also some pretty mind-bending facts about Amazon’s new Snowball Edge and Snowmobile storage platforms.  If you need to store a little all the way up to – oh – say 100PB of data, Amazon has you covered!
  • In just a few short years; Android is now poised to eclipse Windows as the world’s most-used OS.  Let that sink in for a few minutes.  Android – which has only been around since 2008 – less than a decade.  Microsoft has seen Window’s market share fall from 82% in 2012 to just under 39% – at the same time Android has marched up to 37.4% market share and should be overtaking Windows as the dominant OS anytime now!
  • TAG Heuer is launching a new, $1650, smartwatch.  After the “relative” success of their Connected smartwatch last year (which sold around 56,000 unit), TAG has announced that they’re going to be rolling out an all-new Connected Modular 45 with a MSRP of $1,650! They also expect to double last year’s Connected sales and bring a “luxury” option to the smartwatch game.  Will they succeed in the face of all the Android Wear competition, the juggernaut that is Apple Watch, and the very recent announcement by Swatch Group that they’re going to be building their own smartwatch platform from the ground up with an original OS! Whew, things are heating up in the wearables space!

What we love

Jeff loves his shiny, new Apple Watch Series 2, Stainless Steel edition! Sweet!

Todd loves the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet; starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant

Jacob loves the text-generating website Textcraft. Perfect for creating highly stylized text with just a few clicks of the mouse!

Ep. 119 – I can’t afford $20 undies!

Another week and more tech talk!  Topics this week include:

  • Nintendo’s new gaming console, the Nintendo Switch.  Is it a hot new console or a $300 Legend of Zelda player?
  • Jeff found a story about a photographer who photographed the entire Sistine Chapel and has produced 220 pages of the photos in a 1:1 size in a forthcoming new book.  Only 1,999 copies will be produced and it’ll set you back over $12,000!  Got some spare change?
  • For the First Time, More US Households Have Netflix Than a DVR.  Yep, DVR households were slightly edged out by Netflix households, but the margins were pretty close still.  Give it a few more years for Netflix to finish what it’s started.  Hard to believe Netflix streaming launched “only” 10 years ago in 2007 while the TiVo launched over 17 years ago in 1999!
  • Apple has announced it’s already fixed some of the major exploits unveiled in the WikiLeaks dump last week and claims it’s on track to continue patching and correcting holes from the dump.  Of course they are! Why wouldn’t they be? But it’s going to be a never-ending arms race between the companies building systems and everyone who wants to find (and exploit) any vulnerabilities.

What we love:

Jeff loves his Kwikset 910 Smart Lock:

Todd loves his new family truckster; a 2014 Toyota Sienna!

Jacob loves his *ahem* overpriced underwear from Duluth Trading Co.; their Buck Naked underwear:

Ep. 118 – May the odds be ever in your favor

It’s been a rough week with surgeries and rescheduling and painkillers! So without much fanfare – the guys present you with another episode of the show.

What we love

Jeff loves the iOS app Duet – turn your iPad into an external display for your Mac or PC!

Todd loves the Lego Batman Movie:

Jacob loves his Apple Watch “nylon band” copy from Aokay:

Ep. 117 – Apps live IN the watch now?

The listeners have responded – enthusiastically – and AirPods have been given a big ‘ol thumbs-up.  They’re now, officially, on Jacob’s to-buy list.

Also, rumors abound on the next iPhone using some fancy tech called “substrate-like PCB (SLP)” will allow Apple to cram a bigger battery into the non-plus-iPhone, potentially giving it a similar capacity as today’s plus models. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that, but this SLP tech comes at a high cost – potentially 80% more than the traditional PCB tech Apple’s using today – which also helps cement the rumors that the next iPhone may cost as much as $1,000!

Need to surf the net anonymously or bypass pesky filtering software?  Check out the proxy and see if it does the trick for you.  It’s your helpful-site-of-the-week recommendation!

Todd has a rundown on the top Android Wear 2.0 announcements.

Snapchat’s Spectacles are now available to everyone to order online! $129 and no desire for privacy and they can be yours! Fun fact, Snap Inc. has filed for an IPO – to make money – but has also admitted that the Spectacles will likely cost more than they sell for, but they’re going to make up for it in volume!

In just two years Samsung slips from 3rd to 49th in Harris Poll’s US Reputation Quotient poll.  Thanks to the Galaxy Note 7 battery debacle, and the recent arrest of CEO Lee Jae-yong, consumers are a little prickly on Samsung.  Will the Galaxy S8 be able to win back consumers’ hearts and minds? Topping the list is Amazon and at the bottom – no surprise – Comcast, Volkswagen, and in dead-last Takata.

What we love:

Jeff loves his Galaxy S7 – it’s new & shiny, what’s not to like?

Todd loves the TV show The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson.

Jacob loves the SSH/VNC/RDP management tool MobaXTerm.  If you need to remotely manage machines, it’s definitely worth a look!

Ep. 116 – Pow-pow-Powerwall

The music trivia challenge: Without cheating, name Aerosmith’s first no. 1 single?  Jeff pulled the answer right out, but can you?

AT&T has announced they’re trialing their new 5G network – named “Indigo” in Austin, TX and Indianapolis, IN – right in the guys’ backyard!  Yay! The new generation wireless spec uses 28GHz, 39GHz, and sub-6GHz frequency bands to hit speeds up to 400Mb/s and AT&T hopes that by using some technology coupling 5G with their LTE they can even hit 1Gb/s of network speeds – to a mobile device – by late 2017.  There’s no definitive word on whether or not this new 5G network will require a new mobile device, but considering it’s using some frequencies that aren’t currently being used in LTE the odds are good that the shiny new phone in your pocket won’t work on an Indigo network.  Still, it might be worth it to upgrade for 400Mb/s (or faster) right in your pocket!

Game maker & publisher 2K Games has won the right to store your biometric facial data.  A New York federal judge has ruled that the company’s technology that includes scanning your face to build a more lifelike avatar with your console is okay, and doesn’t infringe on your rights.  The real question is, do you trust 2K Games to safely store your biometric markers and to not sell them to 3rd parties or use them in otherwise nefarious ways?

Walmart kills its Amazon Prime-style shipping service and rolls out a free two-day option (on orders over $35) meant to compete.  Amazon still has 20 times the items available for Prime shipping that Walmart has, but Walmart is trying to strike at Amazon’s base and build their own, loyal, customers.

What we love:

Jacob loves his RetroPie video game emulator running on a Raspberry Pi 3+ (  You’ll need to find ROMs to play on the emulator, but when you do they work a treat! To control the games, Jacob also recommends the Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad:

Jeff loves his OneTouch Connect blood glucose meter. It sports a Bluetooth connection and loads data right into your phone (and in the iPhone’s case, right into HealthKit).

Todd loves his Klipsch R-10B Soundbar with wireless subwoofer & surround speakers:

Ep. 115 – I’ll fax that right over!

The guys are back in full force, talking technology!  Topics on this episode of the NBTA podcast:

  • It’s 2017 – why are we still using fax?  Jacob has a teeny-tiny rant to get off his chest.
  • NAMCO founder Masaya Nakamura passes away at the age of 91 – an end of an era for a company that brought out such amazing arcade games as Galaga, Pole-position, and Pac-Man.
  • Huawei sets its sights on being the world’s largest smartphone maker by 2021 with a plan to begin aggressively marketing in the west as well as to continue to grow in China and expand into India.  Can they pull it off without partnerships with the major American carriers?
  • Todd reviews and gives his MPOW on-ear Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones a pass.  At $38 they’re affordable, but he says it’s a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for!
  • Fitbit announces they’re cutting110 jobs as wearable sales slow.  Citing possible market saturation as one culprit, Fitbit has announced the cost-saving cuts to bring expenses in line with less-than-expected fourth quarter results.  The cuts represent nearly 6% of Fitbit’s worldwide employee base.
  • Xiaomi has announced it’s skipping Mobile World Congress this year.  The Chinese smartphone maker isn’t planning on attending MWC217 in Barcelona in February leaving the industry wondering why.  There were rumors that Xiaomi would be showing off their Mi6 phone, but that doesn’t appear to be the case (Samsung is also not planning on announcing the Galaxy S8 line at MWC, either).  A smart move for the once-third-largest smartphone maker?  If they want to crack into the west, it seems like a curious move to make.
  • Todd brings up an interesting article about the rise of the mini-app – specifically China’s WeChat’s “app app revolution”. It could spell trouble for both Apple and Google down the road as users begin to care less about the operating system on their mobile devices and more about the app in which they spend the majority of their time and usage.  Social apps like Facebook and WeChat keep gaining more and more screentime and look to make mini in-app-apps accessible to encourage users to stay within the apps and reduce the friction of using new services.

What we love

Jeff loves his Orange Leather G-Case apple watch band:

Todd loves the site for its play-by-play statistical analysis of NFL plays going back to 1989!  From Todd, “Spend a couple of hours there this week so you can “wow” all of the fans at the Sports Ball party with your intimate knowledge of DVOA and DYAR.”

Jacob loves his USB digital meter.  Monitor the capabilities of your USB cables, battery packs, and the amount of charge you’re putting into your mobile device batteries all for about $10.

Ep. 114 – Half a Million Calories!

It’s Girl Scout cookie time and once again Jeff’s daughter’s stash is cause for Jacob’s amazement! This week the guys talk about:

  • Listener Kye writes in with a link to the Periodic Table of Beer: and a way to send snail-mail all secure and tamper-proof like the CIA does!
  • Jacob finds an interesting ad blocking tool for iOS called AdBlock by FutureMind:
  •  ASUS unveils their Raspberry Pi competitor that’s capable of playing back 4K video and 24-bit audio!
  • Cassette sales rose by 74% in 2016! People still use cassettes?  Yep!  Check out this video for how good they can be!
  • Google’s Pixel phones made up 12.3% of all Verizon smartphone activations in the fourth quarter of 2016
  • Todd has cut his cord cutting and returned to the sweet, sweet embrace of overpriced pay-TV.  The cable companies win back another lost soul!
  • Samsung releases their full report on the Note 7 battery failures and announce that they’re going to stick with the Note branding for the foreseeable future.  Really? Is that a good idea, Samsung? The market will decide.

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 ( 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!

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!

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

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.

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!

Jacob loves his Leviton VRPD3-1LW Vizia RF Plug-In Lamp Module – it’s affordable and works with Wink and Alexa!

Todd loves the YouTube channel by MKBHD. Lots of great tech and gear reviews: