Ep. 103 – Arrow in the Knee

This week the guys pile on Samsung a little more as profits fall to their lowest levels in two years!  Samsung’s mobile division just reported Q3 2016 profits of “only” $87.8 million – which sounds like quite a lot. It is – however – a 96% decline from last year’s Q3 profits. So… ouch?  Samsung is hoping to rebound next year with the rumored Galaxy S8.  Will it be enough to make up for Samsung’s recent woes?

And while Samsung’s been having a rough few months Alphabet has been rolling in the dough.  They reported revenues of $22.4 billion – a 20% increase year-over-year which is huge for a company their size.  Their core business (search) was up quite a bit more than their “other bets” which saw a segment operating loss of $865 million.  Interestingly, the Google Play Store increased revenue by 39% to $2.4 billion.  That’s a lot of app & media sales.  Overall, Alphabet has $83 billion in cash & equivalents on hand, and could write a check for Time Warner if they wanted.

There was a little announcement from Cupertino this past week; new MacBook Pros were announced which normally would be a great thing.  There wasn’t any love for the iMac, the Mac Mini, or the Mac Pro at this announcement.  The rub is – and Jeff has some great points – these new MacBook Pros are a bit of a mixed bag for consumers.  They’re very expensive and while they do pack in some nice, new technology and features, they also take away a lot of what makes them “Pro-level” machines; namely connections and ports to the device itself.

What we love:

Jacob loves his Light-O-Rama PixCon 16 light controller: http://www1.lightorama.com/pixcon16/ – if you’re interested in learning some more of the nitty-gritty of large Christmas light displays; check out Episode 11 with guest Richard Holdman.

Todd loves Joe Sheehan’s Baseball Newsletter: http://joesheehan.com/

Jeff loves his Special Edition XBOX One Skyrim: http://amzn.to/2fn6SbA

Ep. 102 – Regulatory Capture

This week the guys are all back & talking tech. Companies are being sneaky, trying to get around Amazon’s ban of paid-for-reviews (as Jacob experiences first hand). Samsung still hasn’t said why the Note 7 was bursting into flames.  It the brand too tarnished at this point to salvage?  Should they just rebrand the Note 8 next year; will they?  And if they do, what do they call it?

Not to keep kicking Samsung while they’re down; but this week they used the DMCA to try to demand that a mod for Grant Theft Auto 5 (GTA 5) be removed which featured Samsung’s Note 7 as a sticky bomb.  In the end the modder was victorious and it’s like a Streisand effect moment for Samsung (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect).

AT&T and Time Warner have agreed to a merger that will see AT&T paying a whopping $85.4 billion for Time Warner. It still has a lot of regulatory approval hoops to jump through before it’s a sure thing. Should regulators allow a deal of this magnitude to go through? And where will AT&T get the cash for the half-stock-half-cash deal?  They don’t have nearly that much cash-on-hand and will have to leverage a load of debt to make the deal work.

The Google Pixel XL gets the iFixit teardown treatment. If you’re a fan of electronic innards on display, head over to iFixit to check out the carnage! https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Google+Pixel+XL+Teardown/71237

What we love

Jacob loves the iOS app Really Bad Chess: http://reallybadchess.com/

Todd loves the free speech/First Amendement blog Popehat and highly recommend checking out “The Tale of Sigmund And The Skunk” https://popehat.com/2011/08/04/the-tale-of-sigmund-and-the-skunk/

Jeff loves the FOX network adaption of Lethal Weapon: http://www.fox.com/lethal-weapon

Ep. 101 – Who Knew What, When?

Todd is on vacation this week, but there’s still lots of Android & Samsung news to cover in this week’s episode.  Verizon is demanding a huge discount on their purchase of Yahoo because of the 500m user accounts stolen – which Yahoo’s executive team knew about & hid from everyone (including Verizon). Plus Jeff finds a really interesting story about ethanol from CO2 that has scientists excited about the possibility of making lemonade out of… well… carbon dioxide!

What we love:

Jacob loves the mobile game Make 7! – available for iOS https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/make7!-hexa-puzzle/id1095539172?mt=8 and Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitmango.go.make7hexapuzzle&hl=en. He also is really enjoying the new NBC show, “This is Us” (http://www.nbc.com/this-is-us?CID=Search%7CThis-is-us&nbc=1)

Jeff loves the new FOX TV series, The Exorcist (http://www.fox.com/the-exorcist)

Ep. 100 – Strong Pucker Factor

This week the guys are celebrating their one hundredth episode!  It’s hard to believe that well over 100 hours of No Better content exists in the world.  If you’re feeling nostalgic, why don’t you head back down memory lane and check out some of the early episodes?  Like this one, or this one, or maybe even this one!

Oh Samsung – even your “safe” Galaxy Note 7’s aren’t so safe after all it turns out.  More reports have come in that repaired Note 7 phones are catching fire, and since this episode was recorded Samsung has announced it’s suspending all sales of the Note 7 line while it regroups and reviews what the heck is going on. If you have a Galaxy Note 7 – safe or otherwise – all of the major US carriers are offering refunds and Samsung is recommending you return the device.  Yikes! Is this a blow that Samsung Mobile can recover from?  At the very least, is the Galaxy brand too tarnished to continue?

What happens when you take a bandsaw to your brand-new iPhone 7? Surprisingly you get something that doesn’t look to darn awful.  Maybe some design cues for next year’s anniversary phone??

shaved iphone bandsaw

Finally, not directly related to technology, but cool none the less, Todd encourages everyone to go and watch the following music video.  And we concur, it’s well worth a few minutes of your time!

What we love

Jacob loves the web app/mobile app Drone Deploy.  An amazing 3D model creation and aerial mapping tool – seriously go check it out: http://DroneDeploy.com

Todd loves his Anker PowerCore 10,000mAh portable battery: http://amzn.to/2dQcMOr

Jeff loves his Apple iPhone charging dock.  One of the more expensive ways to charge AND listen to music at the same time: http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MNN62AM/A/iphone-lightning-dock-black

Ep. 99 – Blinded by Thomas Dolby Vision

This week the big news is Google’s October 4th announcement; the Pixel phone, Google Assistant, Google WiFi, Daydream View, Chromecast Ultra, and Google Home. Head over to http://madeby.google.com for all of the tech specs and pre-order pages.

A plethora of new products and services to keep any devoted Google or Android fan happy for a while.  Some of the highlights:

  • Google announced their new phone, the Pixel
  • A new virtual reality headset that fits the Pixel and includes a gyro-controller, the Daydream View
  • A new WiFi access point/router that will automatically expand and mesh as you add new nodes, Google WiFi
  • A new Chromecast sporting better picture quality, 4K playback support, and HDR support; the Chromecast Ultra
  • The new Echo-killer that runs Assistant and ties into your own personal Google to give you a personalized experience, Google Home

Lots to unpack in this episode – so why are you spending time reading show notes?  Jump in and listen to the show already!

What we love

Jeff loves his new Nomad leather iPhone 7 Plus phone case: https://www.hellonomad.com/products/leather-case

Todd loves Tin Man Strawberry Sour Ale: http://www.tinmanbrewing.com/

Jacob loves his Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 40″ propane smoker: http://amzn.to/2dqbRZb

Ep. 98 – Nightmare at 1700 feet

This week the guys cover a veritable plethora of tech topics. You’ll just have to tune in to hear them all.

And Jeff is so afraid of heights he wouldn’t even let Jacob & Todd talk about this video.  Seriously, even Jacob (who’s not afraid of heights at all) gets a little queasy watching it.  So if you’re game, buckle up and give it a watch – but don’t say you weren’t warned!

What we love:

Jacob loves his Lock Laces – only $7, cheap! http://amzn.to/2dqPyR9

Todd loves his Specialized Sirrus bicycle: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/utility/sirrus/106252

Jeff loves his Caseology iPhone 7+ case: http://amzn.to/2cAeXmI

Ep. 97 – Not another “gate”

Just when you thought it was safe to dip back into Internet message boards, there are more “gates” abounding Apple’s latest iPhone 7 release.  There’s now hissgate, yellowgate, and scratchgate for the new Jet Black model. Is it much ado about nothing or is there something to the Internet’s complaints therein?  This week the guys tackle some of the “gates” and what they might mean.

Samsung officially launched a recall of the Note 7 through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It’s official now – you can’t buy or sell a Samsung Note 7 until they’ve worked out a fix and repaired or replaced your Note 7 device.  Samsung claims they’ll have a fix in place by September 21st (or 23rd depending on who you read) and then things will be hunky-dory once again in Samsung-land.  Is it too little too late?  Will they be able to rebuild the trust that’s lost in the brand and the Note line at this point?

Amazon unveiled it’s new Alexa device this past week – the Echo Dot version 2.0.  What’s new? That’s not entirely clear (other than a snazzy new color; white) and a welcome price break from $100 to $50.  Heck, they’re even selling ’em by the pack; you can pickup 6-for-the-price-of-5 or 12-for-the-price-of-10.  What a deal!

Finally – what the heck parents??!  Some people out there are convinced that forcing their children to drink bleach and take bleach enemas can quite possibly “cure” them of autism!  If you want all of the nitty-gritty details you really need to check out this Vice article – it’s absolutely heartbreaking that there are people out there that honestly believe in this. http://www.vice.com/read/parents-are-giving-their-children-bleach-enemas-to-cure-them-of-autism-311

What we love

Jeff loves his Comply Foam earphone tip replacements for his new headphones (check out Ep. 96 if you want to learn about the headphones in question): http://amzn.to/2dbM5Dp

Jacob loves his Adobe CC Photography subscription for access to Lightroom and Photoshop: http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud.html

Todd hates iTunes, but loves the music organization app Media Monkey: http://www.mediamonkey.com/

Ep. 96 – None More Black…

How much more black can the new iPhone be? The answer is, none.  It can be none more black.

This week the guys geek out over the BIG NEWS from Apple this past week! Well… mostly Jeff & Jacob, Todd not so much.

But there is much to discuss from Cupertino – from non-hardware updates (like Apple Music subscriber numbers) to new watches to a new iPhone that has the Internet whipped into a raging hate-froth which, let’s face it, the Internet is very good at.

There is also some discussion of virtual reality and augmented reality – so if you’re not into Apple “stuff” you might find that 10 or 15 minutes interesting.  Whatever.

What we love:

Jacob loves his Platypus Big Zip LP water bladder: http://amzn.to/2c0ZAGW

Jeff loves his Zero Audio Tenore headphones: http://amzn.to/2cr52mY

Todd loves his Mpow bluetooth receiver: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MJMV0GU/

Ep. 95 – Erik Caso

This week the guys talk to Erik Caso – co-founder & CEO of Entangled Media – about their app younity.

Entangled Media is a San Diego-based software company and maker of younity, a personal media streaming platform that allows consumers to access, stream and share all of their files and media libraries across multiple devices.

Erik comes on to discuss younity, how they’ve managed to simplify the setup for creating your own personal cloud, the advantages of having access to your own media, and the security implications of having your content in someone else’s system.  With younity – you don’t have to trust that your provider is keeping your data safe because your data isn’t stored anywhere other than your computers and devices.

Want to check out younity for yourself?  Download the clients from their website and your local app store:

What we love:

Jacob loves the AMC series, Halt and Catch Fire. Season 3 just started, but you can catch up on seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix before starting in on the new season.

Todd loves his MLB at Bat subscription

Jeff loves the band Blitsen Trapper – specifically their 2009 album; Black River Killer

Ep. 94 – Will Carroll

Welcome, Will Carroll

This week the guys bring on special guest, Will Carroll, to discuss doping and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the Olympics, as well as the future of virtual and augmented reality as it could apply to sports gaming in the very near future.

Will is a sportswriter specializing in the coverage of medical issues, including injuries and performance-enhancing drugs. He has written for Baseball Prospectus, Sports Illustrated, Football Outsiders, The Bleacher Report, and Fanduel. Carroll was a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America and the Pro Football Writers Association. He has also authored three books: Saving the Pitcher, The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball’s Drug Problems, and The Carroll Guide to Sports Injuries.

The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball’s Drug Problems (2005) won the 2005 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. In 2014 Carroll was awarded the MORE Award by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for his article “Dr. Frank Jobe, Tommy John and the Surgery That Changed Baseball Forever,” published by Bleacher Report on July 17, 2013.

Will joins the show to discuss Jeff’s allegations that the reason the U.S. won so many medals in the 2016 Rio Olympics is that it has the finest and best minds working on undetectable PEDs.  Will brings a thoughtful and thorough explanation of why this really isn’t the case (and even if it were the case, it would be eventually detected and medals stripped retroactively).

The guys also have a really interesting discussion with Will of where VR and AR and gaming with sports as an emphasis is likely to be going in the very near future. Some sports won’t translate well to the VR/AR modality while others will be a much better fit. Could widely accessible, affordable VR systems lead to a resurgence of popularity in baseball on the console?  Could it lead to better training systems for players to create a deeper simulation of standing down that 90mph fastball?

If you want to keep up with Will, follow him on Twitter at @InjuryExpert

What we love:

Will loves his Apple Watch.  What’s not to love with the best-selling smartwatch to date? And being locked into Apple’s eco-system from top-to-bottom makes it so much easier to love: http://www.apple.com/watch/buy/

Todd loves his JBL Synchros S300 on-ear headphones: http://amzn.to/2bvTBJT

Jacob loves the iOS app Friendly Social – a Facebook wrapper that blocks ADs and stops the wicked battery drain associated with the “official” Facebook app: http://friendly.io/