Sunday, December 04, 2016

Techtalk November 29, 2016

Every week we sit down on Nightline and we talk technology. This week Andrew and Jatin from join me as a tag team.


Here are the show notes and links.

  1. Google Home and Alexa Chat

  1. SONY XZ what I am noticing the wifi pickup not as good as the Z5!
-is this something we need to pay more attention to?
-I want to set up the consumer lab!

Is social media disconnecting us from the big picture?

What happened to all those BB8s?

Snapchat ads! Worth it?
Snapchat ads are averaging less than 3 seconds a view, leading some advertisers to wonder whether that's long enough to win over consumers.
Video ad length has been a concern on Snapchat since it introduced its first commercial formats, which included the ability to skip them. The ads play among personal videos, as people tap through their messages, popping up as interstitials and at the end of videos. The company has been working with advertisers to teach them how to create for the platform in a way that will keep people from just quickly tapping through to the next video in the stream.
But one top advertiser said the app's users typically view ads for 2.5 seconds to 2.8 seconds. "We still buy it, and are figuring it out," the advertiser said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss metrics that Snapchat, a close partner, does not disclose.
"The interstitial vertical video ad is challenging," said a social media agency executive, speaking anonymously because of a close relationship with Snapchat. "People just tap through. That's the behavior."
A Snapchat spokesman declined to comment about the duration of its ad views, but pointed to recent studies by the company showing that Snapchat ads are effective.

Amazon Dash buttons for Prime members! COOL!

The hottest in 2016!

  1. Not tech but cool wearable sleeping bags
Remember Selk’bag’s line-up of wearable sleeping bags based on Marvel superheroes? That was awesome. If your fandom leans more towards space adventures in fictional galaxies, however, we’re guessing you’ll love the new Star Wars by Selk’bag line so much better.
Like other sleeping bags from the outfit, these ones are built like padded pajamas, so you can walk in them, lounge in them, and even go to sleep on cold, hard floors in them. Whether for staying toasty while camping in the spring or lounging around the house during the colder months, these things let you do that while decked in full Star Wars regalia.

3. Anti Drone gun! Good for 1.2 miles

There are numerous systems built to take down wayward or dangerous drones, but they tend to have one big catch: you need to be relatively closeto the drone, which could be scary if the robotic aircraft is packing explosives. DroneShield thinks it can help. It's introducing the DroneGun, a jammer that disables drone signals (including GPS and GLONASS positioning) from as far as 1.2 miles away. Like most rivals, it doesn't destroy the target drone -- it just forces the vehicle to land or return to its starting point. Anti-drone teams can not only disable threats from a safe distance, but potentially locate their pilots.

Malware doesn't always have to attack your computer through browser- or OS-based exploits. Sometimes, it's the social networks themselves that can be the problem. Researchers at Check Point have discovered that a variant of known ransomware, Locky, is taking advantage of flaws in the way Facebook and LinkedIn (among others) handle images in its bid to infect your PC. The trick forces your browser to download a maliciously coded image file that hijacks your system the moment you open it. If you do, your files are encrypted until you pay up.
While the actual Locky code is relatively pedestrian and easy to avoid if you're aware (just don't open the file), it's the delivery mechanism that has analysts worried. Many security apps explicitly trust big social networks, and many people aren't used to worrying about their downloads at sites like Facebook.
Check Point says it told Facebook and LinkedIn about the exploit in September, but it's not clear that there are fixes in place. We've reached out to both companies to find out what the situation is right now. Whether or not you're in the clear, this is a reminder that you can't take the safety of social sites for granted -- it's a good idea to be wary of any downloads you weren't expecting.
5.Next iphone the 8 thinking!
Apple is reportedly testing "more than 10 prototypes" of the iPhone 8, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal claims its checks with display suppliers suggest next year's flagship iPhone could come with a curved screen with greater resolution than the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The curved screen echoes a Barclays Research note that reported the iPhone 8 would have a curved screen that extends to the edges.
The report also corroborates earlier rumors claiming Apple could release a new top-tier iPhone 8 with an OLED display that'll cost more. Though as many as 10 different iPhone 8's are being considered, Apple will shave that down to two or three models by the time they launch next year.
Apple has yet to ditch LCDs in favor of OLED technology for its iPhones, even as competitors such as Samsung and Xiaomi have done so. The only Apple products with OLED displays are the Apple Watch and the new MacBook Pros.
OLED screens could help make the iPhone 8 thinner and more power efficient.
What's the big deal about OLED? To normal folk, LCD and OLED screens might not look too different, but the advantages of OLEDs are many, with better color reproduction and improved contrast (thus deeper blacks). Also, LCDs require a backlight but OLEDs don't; instead, each individual pixel lights up. Pixels that turn black don't need to light up and, thus, help conserve power.
Furthermore, because OLED displays don't need a backlight, it's one less layer to fit into the iPhone's already tightly packed design. That means Apple could make the iPhone 8 thinner and lighter than the iPhone 7.
Of course, the release of an iPhone 8 with an OLED screen will depend largely on production yield rates. Apple moves millions of iPhones every quarter, after all.
Other iPhone 8 rumors we've heard include a glass and metal designresembling the iPhone 4S, an embedded Touch ID sensor underneath the display and wireless charging.
If this year's iPhone 7 and its lack of a headphone jack were underwhelming to you, next year's might be better. Just don't count on the headphone jack coming back. It's gone, guys. Get over it.
6. Iphone battery is a software issue?
Apple's latest iOS update, 10.1.1 promises, among other things, "stability improvements and bug fixes." But some believe it's also carrying a new battery bug.
According to a report by the update is unexpectedly draining iPhone batteries. There's also an active discussion on Apple's own support site where customers are reporting iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S devices unable to last a full day without charging. Others report iPhones dying with "30 to 50% charge left."
Might want to wait on this one.
Might want to wait on this one.
The report comes just a week after Apple agreed to replace the batteries on a small number of iPhone 6s devices that were prematurely losing steam.
Some users who have opted into Apple's open beta program report that version 10.1.1 (14B150) solves the problem (others, said it didn't help), but most iPhone users are not running beta software on their phones. The beta program is now offering version 10.2. Some in the forum have opted to roll back to a previous iOS version. One user on the Apple support forum reported that a rollback didn't help, either. Said JimS-in-Seattle:
Don't waste your time on rolling back to 10.1.  I unfortunately confirmed faysal22's comment that 10.1 does not work.  My phone is lasting about 3 hours now.  Instead of the battery shutting down at 70% it is now shutting down at 85%.  I cannot tell you how many calls I have been bumped from.  BTW, when it happens my phone is essentially dead for about 10 minutes before I can use it again.  
In addition to early shutdowns and rapid battery drain, others in a Hacker News forum reported that the Battery Consumption numbers given in Apple's Battery Percentage Table seemed way off. "Varying apps are listed as huge battery sucks even when I don't think they are (Calculator anybody?!?)," noted one frustrated user.
There are many reasons batteries in iPhones can appear to malfunction. Over-heating can impact battery life and performance. Background activity like mailbox synchronization can drain batteries, as can active social apps like Snapchat and Twitter. Repeated drops can impact the connection to the battery so that it never fully charges. There's also the fairly common issue of the lightning port becoming clogged with lint, making it impossible for the lighting plug to fully seat in the port (clean it out with a pin or toothpick). It's always worth checking all these things before assuming that an iOS update is responsible.
I've seen my iPhone 6 unexpectedly drop from 60% charge to 0%, even on iOS 10. After plugging it back into the charger, it almost immediately jumped back up to 60%. These glitches are, apparently, sometimes caused by an errant app or some sort of crossed signal inside the phone.
On the other hand, Apple has been known to release a buggy iOS update or two. Usually it recognizes the issue quickly and delivers a patch. On Nov. 10, an Apple Support Forum rep responded to users' concerns by pointing them to articles on Maximizing Battery Life and Lifespan.  One user complained the answer was "nonsense." Mashable has contacted Apple for comment and will update this post with its response.

, a sort of website/app/social media platform hybrid, went live on Monday.
The basic idea is that you sign in through Facebook and start by joining six "Tribes" -("Hammond's Foby Jockeys," and "Dogs in cars," for instance) which then gives you access to a range of different content. You then interact with the program by commenting, reposting or "bumping" (the Drivetribe version of a favourite or an upvote).
Here are the tribes I've joined so far.
Here are the tribes I've joined so far.
Some examples of the articles you can read on DRIVETRIBE.
Some examples of the articles you can read on DRIVETRIBE.
The site's still very new, but after a 30-minute tour it looks like fun.
The fact that you have followers and the option to "bump" posts gives the site the same mildly competitive element found on Reddit and Twitter. And there's a decent mishmash of stuff to appeal to a range of people (the more hardcore car channels are counter-balanced with a healthy dose of memes and dog photos).
“The internet is brilliant," Clarkson said in a press release sent to Mashable. "You can watch Pandas sneezing and find out when it’s high water in the Easter Islands.
"But until DRIVETRIBE came along, there’s never been a one- stop-shop for people who like cars.”
8. CNN buys beme

CNN has acquired Beme, the social app co-founded by YouTuber Casey Neistat. As part of the deal, Neistat will lead the Beme team as a new standalone media sub-brand operating under CNN’s umbrella as executive producer, and all 11 members of the Beme team will join the ranks of the news network, according to Variety.
Beme’s had an interesting history, with a founding vision of providing a means for users to share quick, short clips of video without edits, as a means of bridging the gap between live streaming and more polished YouTube-style creator production. Neistat discussed Beme’s founding vision and financial state on state at Disrupt New York 2016, where he noted that he didn’t actually pay himself a salary as a way of mitigating burn rate for the startup.
The social app actually launched in summer of 2015, but despite early success claims including half a million downloads and one million videos uploaded within its first few days of availability, things went quiet about the app following its debut – so much so that Neistat even posted an explainer video on YouTube a year after launch explaining “what the hell happened” to the app. This preceded a May relaunch as the app exited beta with many bug fixes and functional adjustments in tow.
Beme still never really found its footing, at least not with anywhere near the success of comparable social video apps like Snapchat or Still, CNN is acquiring it with the intent of investing in the team (hiring producers, developers and content creators) and the product in order to create a new brand focused on a millennial audience, according to Variety.
This isn’t the first time CNN has looked to acquisition as a means to try to help it supplement its approach to digital media; the news giant previously acquired Flipboard competitor Zite in 2011, before ultimately flipping the digital pub to Flipboard itself in 2014.
Neistat had previously announced he would be ending his long-running daily vlog to focus on other projects, and now it’s clear he was talking about this tie-up with CNN.

9.Japan wants to build the fastest super computer!
Japan is spending nearly $175 million to build the world's fastest supercomputer, according the BBC, in an effort to reclaim the record from China.
The AI Bridging Cloud computer is expected to run at speeds as high as 130 petaflops, the BBC reported. That would be faster than China's Sunway TaihuLight, the current titleholder, which has a theoretical maximum of 125 petaflops (but generally slacks at just 93 petaflops).
A petaflop equals a quadrillion floating point operations conducted in one second. A floating point operations, or FLOP, is a step in a calculation.
AIBC, which Japanese authorities hope to complete before the end of next year, will be used to analyze huge datasets and could be used for medical research, improvements in autonomous car software and designing robots.
"As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast," Satoshi Sekiguchi, head of Japan's ‎National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, told BBC in a statement. The institute will oversee the development of AIBC.
AIST didn't respond to a request for comment. But its webpage shows the agency is actively pursuing a range of projects, including the development of Electro-conductive Transparent Plastic Wrap.

Japanese businesses will be able to rent time on the AIBC, something the government hopes will dissuade them from using similar services run by US companies.

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